Shelby About Town
Lynn Wyatt bonds with Lady Gaga at Elton John's England estate (this really happened)
How much fun can a girl have in 10 days? Ask Lynn Wyatt, who's just back from house-guesting with Sir Elton John in England and is still giddy from the rounds of heady socializing that included lunch with Lady Gaga and Billie Jean King, both Elton house guests.
La Wyatt and the tennis great were guests at Elton's 12th annual White Tie and Tiaras Ball (Lynn has attended every one of them). The benefit for the Elton John AIDS Foundation is hosted by Elton and his partner David Furnish at their Woodside estate in Old Windsor, outside of London. Lady Gaga was the entertainment in the grand marquis tent where 670 guests helped raised close to $8.5 million for the charity.
"We could hear her rehearsing in the tent," Lynn recalls. Then Lady Gaga came in and joined the luncheon table. (Her outfit — a lace bra and ephemeral skirt, just sheer enough to reveal her bikini panties.) "I like her. She's very real," Lynn adds. "She is number one a showman and number two a very, very smart gal. She knows how to market herself."
With music playing in the background during the lunch, Gaga started singing along to her recording of "Speechless." Lynn reports that the luncheon group joined in singing and waving their arms over their heads. Priceless.
The gala that night was a who's who of celebrities from various arenas including Valentino, Dame Shirley Bassey, Elizabeth Hurley and Arun Nayar, Kate Beckinsale, Sharon Osbourne, Jon Bon Jovi, Boris Becker, Kid Rock and on and on. (See a video of Lady Gaga introducing a new song, "You and I," at the gala.)
After the last limo departed, Elton and company retired to his living room for hours of dishing. Lynn says that the conversation was so lively that she and the gang including Gaga and King chatted on until 3:30 in the morning. It was a really big day for Billie Jean King who had earlier met Queen Elizabeth at Wimbledon.
Beyond that spectacular experience, Lynn's dance card included lunches, teas and dinners with various Rothschilds, visits to Buckingham Palace and St. James Palace, a day at Ascot including lunch for 34 in the private Queen Elizabeth Room where she sat between the esteemed trainers for horses belonging to Queen Elizabeth and Andrew Lloyd Webber.
As soon as Lynn returned to Houston, hubby Oscar Wyatt whisked his wife off to their South Texas ranch for a bit of R&R from her busy travels.
From fairways to ballroom
Celebrated professional golfer Jack Nicklaus takes time out from a busy schedule with his golf course-design firm, philanthropy and his role as goodwill ambassador to land in Houston Oct. 19 for M.D. Anderson Cancer Center's annual "A Conversation With a Living Legend." The Golden Bear will take the stage at the Hilton Americas-Houston where CBS Sports announcer Jim Nantzwill conduct the interview.
Beyond the golfing great and the Emmy-winning sports announcer, M.D. Anderson has lined up a top-notch group of chairs for the luncheon. Rose and Harry Cullen Sr., Katie and Harry Cullen Jr. and Kathy Cullen McCord and Jody McCord have signed on as a family. Joining the party as honorary chairs are members of another notable Houston family — Ginger and Jack Blanton, Kelli and Eddy Blanton and Leslie and Jack Blanton Jr. — which chaired the previous "conversation."
Riding the rails
It was a heady group with a decidedly Democratic party bent that saluted attorney Carrin Patman for her appointment to the Metropolitan Transit Authority at the new Planned Parenthood headquarters. Annie's List, EMILY's List, Planned Parenthood and the Center for Women in Law hosted the early-evening reception that drew close to 150 Patman fans.
Top politicos congratulating Patman were Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee and Mayor Annise Parker. Elected officials included State Representatives Ellen Cohen, Carol Alvarado, Kristi Thibaut and Armando Walle plus Harris County Commissioner Sylvia Garcia.
Patman's husband Jim Derrick, her mom Carrin M. Patman and friends Kathy Hubbard, Andrea White Elena Marks and Sue Schechter joined the party, as did Planned Parenthood president and CEO Peter J. Durkin and board chair Rita Lucido.
Ladies, gents lunching at Fleming's
Fleming's Steakhouse River Oaks has never seen such a social crowd at midday as it did when operating partner Maeve Pesquera and chef partner James Cole hosted a lunch for power brokers and society mavens. The purpose was to introduce the restaurant's new Private Luncheon Service offering customers the opportunity for lunch in a private room for small business meetings and social gatherings or the opportunity to take over the entire restaurant for a noontime event.
Sampling the three-course lunch were Houston Grand Opera's Rudy Avelar and Guyla Pircher, KUHT's Linda Olson, Houston Ballet's Lindsey Conlon, Andrews Kurth's Ashley Nelly and M Penner's Karen Penner. Saks Fifth Avenue provided goodie bags (thank you Sylvia Forsythe) that were snapped up by guests including Sylvia Sullivan, Isabel David, David Wuthrich, Tim Moloney, Catherine Pierce and Priscilla Larson of Society for the Performing Arts.
Getting to know you
Christina Hanson, wife of the Houston Symphony's new executive director and CEO Mark Hanson, was the center of attention at a meet-and-greet luncheon held at Neiman Marcus.
Among those welcoming Hanson and going home with fab gold tone/crystal bangle bracelets by Lee Angel (favors from Neiman's) were Linda Dewhurst, Nancy Heitshusen, Viviana Denechaud, Kim Sterling, Zarine Boyce, Betty Tutor, Janet Bering and Kathi Rovere.