Jessica Finchum, a server from Club LeConte, greeted guests and took drink orders. I had a martini. Just to stay with the theme, of course!
Give a bunch of grown-ups some candy cigarettes and a few martinis. Throw in a Playboy bunny and a cigarette girl for good measure. And what do you get? One heck of a great party!
The occasion was one of Knox Heritage‘s acclaimed Summer Suppers, a series of theme-driven parties set in private homes and other locations. This one had a Mad Men theme, based on the TV series about a New York ad agency that so many of us adore. It started at the Manhattan office of the agency Sterling, Cooper, Draper and Pryce (actually the law firm of Winchester Sellers, located in First Tennessee Plaza). Then everyone boarded the New York Central Hudson Division Train (actually a Knoxville trolley) and headed to Ossining, New York for dinner at the Drapers (actually the beautiful south Knox home of David Butler and Ted Smith).
The hosts of this one really did it up right. Each guest couple received an authentic engraved Zippo cigarette lighter as a parting gift. But now, let’s go back to the early ’60s and drop in on a progressive dinner, Mad Men style!
Cigarette, anyone? Jennifer Tackett of Club LeConte had any brand you might want.
Stevens Koella and Greg Hall. He bought the shirt that day from Nostalgia.
It came from the old Miller's Department Store here. He let me stick my camera down his back to shoot the tag!
Guest Dorene Wensman was the spitting image of Joan, the sexy secretary in the show.
Bill and Gay Lyons. Most of us didn't recognize Gay in the wig she bought from J's Mega Mart!
Chad and Robin Tindell
Two of our hosts, Melinda Meador, left, and Ellen Robinson looked the part of front desk girls at a Sterling Cooper cocktail party!
The food by Club LeConte was vintage early '60s. These are mini beef Wellingtons.
Remember how they used to always have bread served this way?
Wes Goddard, left, and Randall DeFord. Love Randall's slicked back hair!
Susan and Robert Hawthorne
Riley Anderson and Victoria Cape
Cindy Hassil of WUOT and my husband, Alan Carmichael, enjoying the signature cocktail
Milton McNally looked dapper!
Kathleen and Peter Finch
Host Mike Winchester and guest Christi Branscom. Good beer choice, Mike!
At 7 p.m., the conductor, Peter Acly, announced the train was leaving the station!
It was standing room only on the way to Ossining!
When I say these women were "smokin'," I mean they really were smoking! Well, kinda sorta. Cindy Hassil, left, and Jennifer Holder.
Upon arrival at our dinner destination in suburban New York (ha!), this vintage Camaro in the carport caught the attention of Blake Hauk and Scott Branscom.
First, more cocktails in this sixties-style living room.
Ellen Robinson serves red and white wine. The white came from her wine cellar. Quoting character Betty Draper, Ellen said, "It's Burgundy. From France."
Mikey the cat gets a pet from Bill Lyons.
Marsha Hollingsworth gives Mikey some love.
Hosts Cathy and Mark Hill were working in the kitchen.
The garden setting was beautiful. Remember those Japanese lanterns? Hurray for the hosts, who rented outdoor air-conditioners!
The lobster cobb salad had a retro feel to it.
Our friend Tom Catani of U.S. Cellular turns on his anti-mosquito app! It emits a sound that keeps them away! (Tom has all the good apps.)
Kebobs were all the rage in the '60s. Ours had chicken and pork, as well as portobellos and roasted shallots. Delicious.
Between courses, Bill Lyons gives Robin Tindell a light. Do you remember what LSMFT stands for?
Tom gives his wife, Deanene, an assist.
Sheena McCall performs her hosting duty of pouring more wine.
Caterer Holly Hambright delivers baked Alaska to our table! Great job on the food, Holly!
After dinner, Christi and Scott Branscom, seated, visit with host Caesar Stair.
David Butler holds his outside cat, Tigger.
Some of our hosts take a bow. From left: John Craig, Melinda Meador, Ted Smith, David Butler and Peter Acly
Ellen and Peter take a spin on the (makeshift) dance floor. They look like movie characters.
It was a little crowded -- and a little frisky! -- on the "train ride" back to Manhattan! The crazy guys are Milton McNally, left, and Blake Hauk. I'm glad Blake's wife, Susan, can't see what they are up to back there!
Holding to the theme just a little longer, we stopped by the Bistro at the Bijou when we got back downtown and found Nancy Brennan Strange performing with some friends. What were they playing? “(I Get My Kicks On) Route 66,” a song written in 1946 but turned into a big hit by Chuck Berry in 1961. It seemed like a perfect ending.
Nancy Brennan Strange, left, at the Bistro Saturday night.
Photo credit: My buddy Gay Lyons took the picture of Tom Catani lighting Deanene Catani’s smoke. Thanks, Gay!