(Director’s Note: To be read slowly, with a Southern Accent---American Southern, Not Ariegoise).
The weather was delicious. After too many days of early summer drizzles, the sun was finally beating down. The humidity demanded that movement only occur when necessary, such as to refresh a beverage. Everyone languished, hugging the patches of shade provided by the sprawling trees. Even ladies in linen frocks bedecked in wide-brimmed straw hats bearing delicate flowers appeared to be wilting---both the ladies and the flowers. Occasionally, a scent of a breeze was detected, but only occasionally.
The festive occasion at Billy and Sally’s was like walking into a Tennessee Williams’ play. Perhaps all that was missing were the mint juleps. Sally flitted from one strategically-placed table to another, always attuned to the guests’ needs. “Did you get enough to eat?” The choices made one’s head spin. Inside, white tablecloths draped over an elongated U-shape arrangement displayed quiches, salads, pastas, and eventually deserts. Outside, in his usual place, Christian manned his barrel-drum BBQ---a carnivore’s pleasure-palace. Even after the food supplies dwindled to empty platters, Sally could have performed a ‘water-into-wine’ reconstruction, if only necessary. But everyone was already beyond their consumption limits anyway. In the kitchen, a dedicated crew re-invented clean dishes throughout the afternoon.
Where the musicians summoned the energy to provide entertainment is confounding. The guitar and choir-master, Alan, and his faithful sidekick Barryoke (fresh from across the Channel) revived the audience with hearty renditions of French and English songs. Members of the well-renowned Leran Choir gathered round. This writer was charmed by their well-practiced voices, and could have listened at length.
While a camera was taken to the soiree, no photos were taken. Unfortunate perhaps, as “a picture is worth a thousand words”, right? Hogwash, Tennessee Williams might respond…..They just haven’t found the right thousand words.
Merci, Billy et Sally