Rumor Has It – June 2011

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By , Staff Writer
June 2011

A commoner crashed the party… Decked out in a hat and plastic rain poncho like a “commoner” in England, Tami Smith sat in a folding lawn chair. She was on the driveway at Kristi Rowland’s house with a sign that read, “Waiting to see Will and Kate.” Kristi’s 30 uncommon guests got a chuckle as they arrived to celebrate the royal wedding of Kate Middleton and Prince William of Wales. Michele Tura brought a picture of her and her 90-year-old grandmother with Queen Elizabeth. April Gauss donned a teal and purple, feathered, pill box-style hat her mother had worn to April’s wedding. Jana Dundas, Patsy Andrews, Karen Peck, Kelly Toronzo, Judy Epps, Debbie Ballard and Lori McGuiness giggled at the oversized, blue, sapphire-like, engagement-ring party favors. And, of course, Tami came in to join the fun too.

Michele Tura, Ann Bruin, Karen Peck and Kristi Rowland (from left) gather at Kristi’s “royal” tea party.

Teacher turns princess… Memorial High School geography teacher Mary Reed was treated like royalty on a first-class trip to Saudi Arabia. The petroleum company Saudi Aramco took 18 educators for a nine-day adventure in the provinces. Mary wore a burka and abaya during the visit, which included a tour of the King Abdul University of Science and Technology’s nano-tech lab and a visit to Ibrahim Palace, built during the Ottoman rule and constructed of sand and mud walls.

April 23 was memorable… Instead of the traditional flamingos in the yard to commemorate a big birthday, Carol Simon found 50 cartoon-like bras staked out in front of her home in support of her 50th birthday. She also found a walker on top of her car, compliments of Bart Shouest. Her hubby, Kenny Simon, hosted an intimate celebratory dinner in Américas’ private room with Julie and Bart Schouest, Jana and Stuart Kusin, Ellen and Pete Hetherington, Daphnie and Eric Berniker, and Elaine and Richard Frankel. Daughter Stephanie helped Kenny organize the uplifting festivities.

Road trip… A gigantic black party bus arrived at HEB on Bunker Hill at 8:30 a.m. April 29. Eighteen people boarded it for a royal good time in Galveston. Party meister Joanne Naponic and Jennifer Hernandez orchestrated the party on wheels to watch the royal wedding at the luxurious Emerald by the Sea condos. Guests viewed the wedding on a theater screen while sipping peach champagne and eating tea sandwiches. Two wedding cakes and a groom’s cake were the grand finale before everyone air-kissed each other goodbye. Randi Corbell Casada, Del Dodd, Kitty Vann, Patti Miller and Mary Lund were some of those decked out with hats and gloves.

Something old, borrowed, blue and new… The traditional wedding slogan was the theme for the royal tea party hosted for 25 women by Brits Karen Miller and Lee Barton. The guests sipped Kir Royals and compared wedding photos. Especially splendid hats were worn by Gerri Anne Looney and Christi Johnson. Crowned plaques were won by Susan Ferrari and Claudine Wright for knowing the most William and Kate trivia and Holly LaGrange for the best combo of the slogan: her wedding bracelet (old), her grandmother’s wedding ring (borrowed), a blue sash and new panties (not shown).

History, religion and sin… It was a presidential-like trip for Mary K. and Dick Furst when they arrived at the Getty Museum to see the Ronald Reagan Library. They boarded Air Force One, the same plane that served seven presidents and took Reagan 660,000 miles to 26 foreign countries and 46 U.S. states. They also visited a Franciscan monastery and took in a sinful pleasure at the Santa Anita Race Track. They watched in horror as the horse they bet on tripped and fell while sprinting around the bend. After a Catalina Island overnight, they saw ventriloquist Terry Fator, who won America’s Got Talent, and visited the Gold and Silver Pawn Shop from the History Channel show Pawn Stars in Las Vegas.

The power of the roses… For the seventh year, Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar underwrote an elegant dinner for the Rose Ribbon Foundation to benefit breast-cancer survivors. The 80 guests raised $100,000 in one night. Glam co-chairs Jessica Rossman and Jessica Stern Meyer and foundation founder Cindi Rose were thrilled at the high-power auction and table-sales results. In memory of Tracey Hilfman, a crystal Tiffany & Co. award was presented to honorees Dr. Juan and Susana Stern, who were recognized for their generosity. In the festive crowd were Caroline Mathews Kenney, Dr. Franklin Rose, Cindy Garza Farmer, Lindsey Love, Nancy Marcus Golden, Jennifer Stern and Beth Bryant.

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