David and Lorie Huff Matthews won the costume contest! They were Mary Poppins and her chimney sweep. Cute! Alan and I came in second. (Read on to see what we were.)
To get you in the mood for Halloween this week, here is some inspiration from an early Halloween party. This one was called the Hearth Scares Ball and it was a benefit for James White’s Fort held last Friday at, where else, the Fort.
What a fantastic location that was — it’s probably haunted anyway! But with the massive amounts of fabulous props courtesy of board member Rick Russell, who rents a warehouse to house them most of the year, and great lighting courtesy of Bandit Lites, I was startled and spooked the whole evening. Familiar tunes from the fabulous Chillbillies were the only things that kept me sane.
I’m sure that James White, the founder of Knoxville, would be turning over in his grave if he knew what we were doing at his house, but . . .
Come along! Congrats to Marsha Grieve, the chair of the Ball committee, and her hard working team.
It would not have been an election year Halloween party without these two! Zack Sellars was President Obama and Gavin Van Vlet was Governor Romney.
The Three Musketeers were, from left, Teresa Scott, Evelyn Miller and Mary Ann Condry. Don't they look great?
Here are Coco Chanel and Charlie Chaplin, also known as Jeanne and Bill Tapp.
The food, provided by Rothchild's, was theme-appropriate. Here's the cheese spread!
We also had “Bats on a Stick” (teriyaki skewered chicken strips); “Yummy-Mummy Wraps” (pigs in blankets); “Spiders in Pastry” (beef Wellington bites); and “Spider Eyes” (mini meatballs), among other enticements.
This is that Halloween-loving Rick Russell. He truly frightened me!
The Downtown Coven was, from left, Gay and Bill Lyons and Kim Trent.
City Councilman Duane Grieve, the lumberjack, with Manya Pirkle, the witch and Leigh Krieps, the Indian princess.
Angela Adams was a racecar. "I like her headlights," quipped one party-goer. It's hard to tell from the picture, but they actually lit up!
Sister Ruthie Kuhlman. (She's not really a nun, but she is really the wife of board member Russell Kuhlman.)
Attorney Scott Elmore was a dalmation and his wife was Cruella DeVil.
The Chillbillies had everyone on their feet.
Here's the dance floor.
Some of the scary decor.
I loved these Jack o' Lanterns on the buffet table.
Bob and Marie Alcorn were Betty Boop and her worst nightmare! Ha! Clever!
Gwen Brown just chose to wear a pretty mask. I guess her husband, Ron, was disguised as himself!
Sam Maynard, the executive director of James White's Fort, originally said he was the character Gomez from the Addams family. But, because of his cigar, so many people mistook him for radio exec Bobby Denton, "the voice of Neyland Stadium," that he decided to be Bobby Denton! Sam is flexible!
WVLT news anchor Alan Williams came as Ron Burgundy from the 2004 movie "Anchorman." His wife, Rebecca, was simply "anchor girl."
This is Chris Williams from East Tennessee Public Television.
Gary Bentley was a farmer.
Mary Whaley was a witch.
Ryan, left, and Michael Foltz were the ghosts of coaches future (Derek Dooley) and past (Phil Fulmer), respectively.
Judith Foltz, who is the city's director of special events, was, appropriately, the Ghost of Christmas Present. Immediately after Halloween, she'll be working on Christmas in the City - in real life.
And then there were the “pun” costumes. They are for folks who want to be creative, but are not fully committed to the whole costume thing.
Kim Bumpas as a buckaneer. Or, more accurately, a "buck-in-ear."
Allyn Purvis Schwartz was a "cereal killer." Ha!
Alan and I came as what I thought would be the most popular costume in Knoxville this year — lawyer Dan McGehee and one of his clients from the Pike fraternity house! But we were the only ones. We walked from our downtown condo over to James White’s Fort and were astounded and amused by the reactions we got. Folks laughed and pointed and took our pictures! One car full of young men turned around three times just to pass us and take more photos.
Here is "Dan McGehee." In the process of putting this costume together, we actually learned to tie a bow tie! Well, sort of.
Here are the props for the infamous "Tour de Franzia."
Khakis, a wrinkled shirt, and Alan’s blazer and shoes completed the ensemble! Easy. If anyone wants to borrow my props, you are welcome to them. I don’t think I’ll be needing them.
Here we are winning second place in the costume contest -- a gift certificate to Naples restaurant, one of our favorites! All thanks to what many folks say was the most ill-advised press conference in the history of Knoxville! Photo by Duane Grieve.
Fun party! The fort really did look spooky outside. Thank goodness we had the very end of the good weather!
Marie: Boy, are you right about the weather! I hate to think what would have happened if this storm had come through a little earlier. You were a fantastic Betty Boop! As you know, I would never have recognized you if you had not finally told me who you were! Bob was a very convincing “nightmare,” too!
Great pics. This has turned out to be a great event the Fort puts on. It goes to show that the old folks love to still dress up. Look forward to next year.
You are so right, Sister Ruthie! You and your cowboy looked great!
Hated to miss this frightful event, but thanks to your pictures, I’m vicariously scared! We have some pretty spooky people in Knoxville, and James White’s Fort may never be the same!
Great party! We could see the eerie lighting as we walked over–way before we could see the Fort itself. The coven had a lot of fun dancing to the Chillbillies. I hope JWF plans to make this an annual event.
Rusha: You and Bert need to come next year! It was a blast!
Gay: Glad the Downtown Coven could make an appearance! Great place to recruit more members!
Clearly, the Pikes didn’t hire you! Hysterical, girlfriend!
Thanks, Annette. You are correct. I don’t believe Knoxville would have had quite the same international attention if they had!
It looked like alot of fun. Your costume was hilarious!
Loved the costumes, Cynthia and Alan!
Also loved Sister Ruthie. Reminds me of when I was in second grade and pulled a big black cloak out of the dress-ups trunk and asked my mom to be Dracula for Halloween. She came to the school party and told me there was a slight change of plans – and dressed me as a Franciscan nun. It was the most popular costume in school – among the Dominican nuns who taught us at St. Mary’s in Oak Ridge, though not among my 7-year-old peers.
Lauren: I would have loved to have seen you as a nun! Any photos?
There were some photos. I’ll have to look for them next time I’m at my parents’ house!
Thanks for posting. Had lots of laughs, which I needed.
I know you do, George. Alan and I have been thinking of you. Maybe next year you and Gid can join us.
I am still laughing at your custom!!! You two are too much! LOVE IT!
Thanks, Kim! We had fun – and didn’t even have to paint ourselves or anything like that!
So glad you and Alan enjoyed it….Bill Lyons looked like the evil Emperor from Star Wars – what a great shot of the coven!
Thanks for sharing the pix!
HILARIOUS! Very creative costumes but we’d expect nothing thing less from you two.
Thanks, Marsha, for all your hard work! Barbara: this puts real pressure on what to be next year! Thanks.
OMG, Cynthia. That is FANTASTIC. Way to raise the bar.
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