Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla Debutante Ball
Like cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie, Thanksgiving arrived with a side order of Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla debutantes. Capt. Philip Carroll, father of debutante Anna, and emcee Robert Clark began the Nov. 24 Debutante Ball asking 400-plus pirates and guests to remember the late band leader Joe Stagi, who entertained the krewe for so many years. Then all eyes were on 23 college sophomores glowing in long white gowns and clasping bouquets of red roses in white-gloved arms on the Tampa Marriott Waterside runway.
The best part? "Getting dressed up and seeing old friends," said Caroline Ryals. "And family,'' added Mason Lykes, whose relatives flew in from across the country, from Colorado to New York.
And the worst part?
"These heels,'' winced Cecelia Hardwick.
Gasparilla King Michael Carrere and Queen Kerry Carson welcomed Anna, Caroline, Mason and Cecelia, as well as Meg Anderson, Brittany Burrows, Amanda Collier, Chelsea Cone, Jourdan Cooper, Jordan Dickie, Elizabeth Giles, Paige Goodwin, Cameron Hill, Kelsey Jarrett, Jessica Kilcoyne, Genevieve King, Megan Lester, Shelby Lopez, Sarah Gray Remer, Suzanne Sievers, Adair Tigert, Laura Uncapher and Jane Watts.
Krewe of Venus honors debs
Defying tradition, the Krewe of Venus invited its former debs to recall the past as the club heads into its 50th year. Charter members Max Register and Les and Phyllis Chisholm read highlights of every decade as 20 ex-debs were introduced by president Michael St. John and emcee Helene (Sam) Sweger at the Hilton St. Petersburg Carillon Park on Nov. 26.
Members sang and danced through each era, starting with Felix "Elvis" Tromp at the first debutante ball in 1966. Five guys dressed as the flamboyant Village People heralded the '70s. Christina Emery rocked the '80s as Cyndi Lauper. A trio of men in slinky black dresses and heels who prefer to go nameless had the crowd roaring as they lip-synched to Beyonce's Single Ladies.
Brunch with Miss Manners
“Your presence is cordially requested at the marriage of Proper Social Behavior and Contemporary Culture," read the invitation to meet Miss Manners, sponsored by Tampa's Jewish Book Festival and Rodeph Sholom sisterhood. The etiquette columnist, a.k.a. Judith Perlman Martin, 72, brought her sharp and sarcastic opinions to brunch at the synagogue Nov. 14.
"I'd like to expose a huge, national scandal," she said. "The modern American wedding industry, which causes millions to go into debt." To her thinking, a wedding should be "a solemn ceremony followed by a pleasant celebration," she said, "charming, loving and meaningful."
Decrying over-the-top weddings, Martin, who has been married for 50 years, signed her newest book, Miss Manners' Guide to a Surprisingly Dignified Wedding. Other hot buttons:
Bridesmaid abuse: "Attendants are not indentured servants. They ought to unionize and go on strike.''
Thank-you notes: "A year to write? An urban legend; I'd say about 20 minutes."