Hello, dahlings! What a busy month. Gabby partied for Ed Loper Sr. and his students, slid into her blue jeans to soak up a Beethoven-themed benefit and showed her style for the YWCA while spying other fashionistas.




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“The good news is, Ed had his operation. The bad news is, he’s as cantankerous as ever,” Bill Montgomery announced to gallery guests at the annual art exhibit of Edward Loper Sr. and students. Bill is a still-life painter and Mayor James M. Baker’s chief of staff. Alas, Ed Loper, who turns 92 this month, missed the closing party due to the surgery. Marilyn Bauman, author of Loper’s biography “The Prophet of Color,” had just finished the first-ever portrait of Loper, an oil on oval canvas. Her subject is said to be pleased. According to Marilyn, Ed said, “I don’t look so old.”

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Jerry Bilton, curator of Gallery 919 Market, the show’s site, provided commentary on Ed’s four new works, noting that the artistry of the lines was looser and less restricted than in the past. Kerstin and Bjorn Tyreus of Hockessin were the exuberant winners of the traditional raffle for dinner with Ed and his wife, Janet. Kerstin, a featured artist, admitted to increasing their odds beyond sheer luck. “Every year I’ve bought a bunch of tickets, hoping to win.”

Lyn Doto, whose “Beatific Pear” still-life was priced at $450, chatted up invitees from her book club, Rita Ritrovato of Wilmington and News Journal food columnist Patty Talorico. When we were introduced to Paula and Michael Paul, we couldn’t help noticing Paul’s World Trade Center Emergency Response Team jacket. “I like Bill Montgomery’s art. I like Lyn’s art. I like Lyn a lot better than I like Bill,” Michael said, giving Lyn a hug. Maybe this was because Bill was nowhere nearby. Bill and Lyn are married, you know.


“I had to wait until I was dead to get my first Grammy,” quipped maestro Ludwig van Beethoven, Special Ghost (a.k.a. Allan Carlsen, theater director and faculty member of the Wilmington Music School), as he introduced David Bromberg, who earned a Grammy nomination for best folk record of 2007. Bromberg was the final highlight of a three-soloist blues concert that served as the cornerstone for Beethoven in Blue Jeans, a benefit for the Wilmington Music School-Delaware Music School. “My New Year’s resolution was to hear more live music. Buy the ticket and go!” said Lisa Goodman, a committee member, along with her partner, Drew Fennell. 

Denim was de rigeur for the 250 or guests who swarmed Hagley Museum’s Soda House for the night’s sublime sounds. Occasionally, that ubiquitous fabric enhanced someone’s torso instead of legs. For instance, Ellen Roberts, vice president of investor relations at Wilmington Trust, wore a wild jeans jacket decorated by local artist Nancy Josephson that was saturated with flashy flowers, voodoo charms and what some Catholics call “miracle medallions.” Asked about the icons’ powers, Ellen professed ignorance. “I’m just a boring Presbyterian,” she said. “Nancy helped me comb the fringe.”

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Committee chair Erica Cover of Hockessin paired a classic jeans jacket with leopard-print palazzo pants. “The leopard print matches the tablecloth decor,” she said. Kate Ransom, president and CEO of Wilmington Music School, gave Erica’s outfit a big thumbs up. “She’s the most stylish person here. Anybody’ll vouch for that,” Kate said.

Josephson’s talents extend beyond voodoo crafts. Nancy is high priestess of a musical group called Angel Band and the Serafin (husband David Bromberg plays guitar, Kate Ransom is a cohort) that’s just cut its first official CD. “With Roots and Wings” (Appleseed Records) will appear late this month. It features 12 original songs, plus the lilting standard “Angel of the Morning.”

A street

party blow-out in downtown Wilmington is planned for the release.

As for “Beethoven in Blue Jeans,” the mood was blue—an upbeat blue—from the blinking, artificial ice cubes in beverage glasses to the bare trees festooned with faux sapphires. (Movable Feast catered while Cindy Love of The Event Agency Inc. coordinated things). “This is lively for a classical music crowd,” remarked Robert Layton Reed of Hockessin, chairman of the board. He began studying at Wilmington Music School as a piano student six years ago. Bob was with his lady friend, Joan Troutman, of Pike Creek. Joan’s daughter Lisa Morton, a decorator for Calico Corners, and Lisa’s husband, Scott Morton, soaked up the vibes, too. “We’re here because of Bob,” Lisa said.


“Lunch with Barack. Lunch with Hillary. Lunch with John McCain…” U.S. Senator Tom Carper dropped all the right names at Evening of Style as he auctioned his lunch for four, plus a tour of the U.S. Capitol, at the upscale YWCA benefit. Dogged bidder Joseph Cunane of Newark, owner of Guardian Environmental Services, Inc., won a chance to dine with our next president for $1,500.

 Fiscal cartwheels aside, the ladies were the media darlings. “As you all know, my personal journey hasn’t always been easy,” Governor Ruth Ann Minner told the 346 guests gathered in the Gold Ballroom of the Hotel du Pont. Six women were recognized at Evening of Style, with Tanya Ennis’ inspirational story earning wild applause. Another power gal, event chair Linda Lewis, praised YWCA Delaware, where she sits on the board. “The thing that matters most to me is what they do for homeless people,” Linda said. Minner and her female cabinet were honored by presenting sponsor Blue Cross Blue Shield of Delaware.

Fashion figured into the fundraiser, too. Michel Bilton went glam in a cinnamon-colored, pleated gown and a wrap she’d made from a piece of her pièce de résistance. Kudos to Michel’s husband, Jerry Bilton, chair of the food and entertainment committee, who selected her gown at Morgan’s. We must single out Patricia Hinton and Diana Bell Mathis, both of Wilmington, dressed in silver and black. A standout: Erika Ennis of Wilmington, elegant as a peacock in a silver-spangled, turquoise caftan-style creation and headgear that Erika’s grandmother had made in Nigeria. Not all second glances revolved around the fancy frocks, though. At table 22, Gileen Dorman of Claymont was caught comparing shoes to spark chatter. Ta-ta, ’til next time. 


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