Steve Stodghill was running late Friday. Seems he had been on the golf course and was waylaid. Now, normally that wouldn’t have been a problem. However, guests were already arriving at the Stodghill estate for the Mission Olé party, when Steve sneaked in wearing madras shorts and a sports shirt. While wife Anne was flawlessly doing double duty in the hosting department, Steve took a quick shower and appeared as if he’d been there the whole time.
Unfortunately, Honorary Chair Chad Hennings was a no-show. Seems the hunk was under the weather.
But his absence was hardly noticed once the crowd started getting crowded. Early in the evening the Stodghill mansion was crammed with people. The probable cause was the A/C. Don’t you know that when the temperature hits the 90’s, A/C is everyone’s best friend. Ironically, last year’s Mission Ole was held in October, when it was so chilly that a tent covered the patio and outdoor heaters warmed guests as they signed in at the outside entrance. This year Tri-Chairs Angela Choquette, Carey Deuber and Maggie Kipp moved the Trinity River Mission fundraiser up a month and what do you know — people hunkered down indoors because of the 97-degree temperature.
But Dallasites know how to dress for any occasion, and a little heat only allows the gals to wear sheer, short dresses with bare shoulders, boots and loads of turquoise. You know turquoise is right on target for an event with the theme, “The Mountains of Santa Fe.”
Speaking of boots, Dawn Spalding was wearing a pair that will be going through a bling update. She’s having glittery gems added to the boots for the October 5th Cattle Baron’s Ball.
One of the topics of the evening was the Celebrity Waiter Luncheon held earlier in the day benefiting Family Gateway. Celebrity waiter Shona Gilbert, who had worn a provocative black outfit at the luncheon showcasing her sizable tattoo, reported that a Family Gateway board member had called her over to “try to tone down” the on-stage twerking. Shona innocently claimed ignorant on what “twerking” was. On the other hand, LeeAnne Locken demonstrated in the Stodghill hallway for Christopher Wright how she had been one of the celebrity waiters who had twerked.
As the sun set and the crowd moved to the backyard with the longhorn statue, the Wendy Krispin fare and the stage for the auction, poor hostess Anne had her hands full. Seems the outdoor lights went on the fritz and Anne was hustling around the pool house, trying to troubleshoot. It wasn’t like they had tested the system a week before or even a day before, but Friday night the electricity gremlins were staging a power outage.
One guest eating by the light of the pool asked his table companion, “What is that? Beans?” No, it was sweet potatoes.
However, this crowd is not the fragile variety. If anything they rallied to cause with one person laughing, “Frown lines never show up in the dark.”
The lack of planned lighting didn’t deter emcee/auctioneer Steve Kemble. He just used a couple of little flashlights to read his notes.
While the auction was going on, entertainer Radney Foster was warming up in the Stodghills’ ballroom. When approached about providing a serenade as one item to be auctioned, he was both flattered and impressed with the idea of helping to raise funds in this manner for the TRM. It wasn’t like he hadn’t already donated “a big chunk of proceeds” from one of his CD’s on sale at the party for TRM. “I’m happy to be here,” he said. “It’s a very cool thing.”
Emily Eisenhauer, who had seen Radney at the Kessler Theater a couple of weeks ago, warned others, “He’s amazing!”
At 8:50 p.m., Radney took his place on the stage lit by two little lights and a couple of candles flickering on a table in front of him. While he admitted that “I can’t see the strings on my guitar to save my life,” the glowing lights created a lovely setting for his serenade to Adrienne Strodel with a song that he had just written the week before.