Fashion, Food, Fun
As the guests were coming into the Lawrence County Museum Saturday afternoon for the annual Christmas tea, Pat Arrington and Sue Jenkins were busy in the kitchen slicing fresh jumbo strawberries to go with the strawberry-spinach salad on the menu.
On a table nearby were trays bearing the traditional plum pudding that would be the holiday finish to a menu of gingerbread scones, Benedictines, roast beef finger sandwiches and strawberry pecan scones. And of course, lots and lots of tea.
Arrington showed up at 9:30 a.m. Saturday to start work on the preparation but planning started months before when the historical society volunteers decided what delicacies they would offer this time.
“We get together and go through our books to see what is good and plausible,” Arrington said.
In the entrance hall of the Gray Mansion was Kay Rader, playing hostess and showing everyone to their table with help from one of the museum’s youngest docents, Dylan Carpenter.
Dylan has been volunteering at the museum for four years.
“I love the history of the area and this house,” he said. “Being a docent made sense to me. The tea is a great community event that is held twice a year and a great way to celebrate the season.”
Upstairs, the models were getting ready for the fashion show that is a tradition at the tea. This year the theme was party dresses coming from the museum’s collection of clothes. One exception was the silver fox full-length coat Jackie Dufore borrowed from a friend to wear that day. Dufore is a frequent model for the museum teas.
“You get to act like you are somebody else,” she said. “It is so much fun.”
Besides a Fortuny pleated chiffon dress, Dufore got to end the show by wearing a black velvet and sequin encrusted sheath, once worn by Nannie Kelley Wright.
Holding the dress up, Dufore realized that for a few moments she would be wearing a gown that belonged to the woman who was once the second richest woman in the world.
“I’ve got the right attitude,” she said.