Shelby's Social Diary
A near-naked lady, War and a gaggle of Orange Show hippies took over Finger Furniture
Only Orange Show founder and patron Marilyn Oshman could have convinced Rodney Finger to clear out the Bargain Basement in his Gulf Freeway Finger Furniture store and open up the 50,000 square-foot space for the Orange Show gala. She asked and he succumbed. Long-term family friends and all that.
It took three days to empty the space of the 1,500 pieces of marked-down furniture that were stored there. Just ask Finger general manager John Dean, who seemed a little bemused on Saturday night at the irreverent transformation.
Thanks to Finger and Dean, the Orange Show enjoyed a new venue that had most of the 700 guests loving the elbow room and the open sight lines. This party is all about seeing and being seen, costumes a must and attitude a plus. No one exhibited more attitude on this night than Wendy Niziol, who dressed sans top. Instead of traditional clothing, Niziol topped her very low-slung black slacks with body paint. And she was quite the hit.
Somehow that fit in with the "Kaleidoscope" theme that had the majority of guests revisiting the '70s. Afro wigs, pink wigs, go-go boots, hippie beads, bell bottoms, Pucci knock-offs, mohawk coifs and lots of orange punctuated the whacky fashion/costume scene. Gala chair Franny Koelsch led the parade in a Pucci-esque dress.
After a two-hour cocktail schmooze, the crowd sat down to dinner by Picos and dance music by War, yes the original rock band. These guys had so much fun with the dance-crazed crowd that they extended their 72-minute performance, guaranteed by contract, to 123 minutes. No extra charge.
Among the costumed characters prowling the vast hall were Barbara and Marks Hinton, Renea Abbott and Greg Manteris, C.C. Conner and D.L. Groover, Elizabeth Winston-Jones and Sam Jones, J. Michael Soliz, Shelley and Andy Weathers,Larry Harris and Glen Larner.
Opting for street attire were artist James Surls, Finger Furniture marketing and PR director Roseann Rogers and hubby Dr. Aashish Shah, Ginger and Jack Blanton, Kelli and Eddy Blanton, Wendy and Jeff Hines, Beverly and Dr. John Berry, Suzy and Dick Bergner and all those handsome gents in tuxedos.