Monday, December 5, 2011

Cucho's 50th Birthday Party

How lucky is Cucho Jimenez to have a glorious wife like his Melba?  She put on a fabulous and fun blowout party at their home for Cucho's 50th birthday on Saturday night.  The theme was Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil and it was played to the hilt!  You could see there was much attention to detail and that Melba pulled out all the stops.  As you will see in the photos below, when you first walked up to the driveway, there was "Danny Hanson", polishing his car, The Bird Girl statue, Minerva, the voodoo priestess, and the very statuesque Lady Chablis was greeting everyone.  Melba even had the movie playing in their upstairs theater for those wanting a respite from all the frivolity downstairs.  You were handed a "Hunt for Clues" card that you needed to find out the answers to for prizes - all very entertaining.

Several bars were set-up so you never went thirsty and a delectable southern buffet was arranged in the dining room, served by the staff from Laurel Oak Country Club, but made  mostly by Melba and Cucho.  Cucho made the jambalaya, crab cakes, and turkey, Chef Danny made the ginger squash soup and black-eyed peas, Friend Rick Dies slow cooked the pork roast, and Melba made the appetizers - meatballs, brie-en-croute, veggie tray, and green pigeons.Christine Winsler made the cornbread and Anne Opdyke covered it in cream-cheese frosting.  Tom and Debbie Shapiro also helped.  Melba even made the servers aprons and caps!  You could also relax under the stars with a cigar, if you so desired.  There were gaming tables available for those wanting to test their luck, while listening to the tunes of Johnny Mercer.

Then there was a performance from the outside balcony of Ariel Blue singing Skylark from the movie, then Carla Hill, whom Melba and Cucho met on their cruise to Croatia last summer, sang Happy Birthday to Cucho, in the Marilyn Monroe vein, and the crowd of 220 all joined in.  After that, there was much dancing and just a delightful time taking it all in.  I am so glad that Melba requested Black Tie.  I love to wear a ball gown!  She also requested that we wear black and/or white, which most people did.

Melba told me guests started sending her congratulatory emails as soon as they left the party and described the evening as "fun, special, amazing, perfect, masterful, festive, memorable, beautiful, magical, wonderful, magnificent, stately, outstanding, and simply the best!"  We left in a charming haze of sultry, romantic Savannah decadence and feeling like we had just stepped out of a movie scene.

The stunning and very happy Jimenez family - Cucho, Melba and son, Sebastian.  Doesn't Melba look gorgeous?

The Bird Girl statue - (Leah Winsler)

"Danny Hanson" polishing his car (Really Melba's nephew, Stephen Smiley)

Lady Chablis, who asked my husband for his phone number (as I'm sure she did to all the men!)

The valet team at the ready

Ernie Garcia, Kim and James Cornetet

Larry and Carol White Bold

The "Evil Casino" ready for action

The gorgeous centerpieces - flowers from Beneva Flowers, arranged by Paula Dies

The towering Christmas tree surrounded by gifts for the birthday boy

Judi and Paul Gallagher

Bob and Marsha Fottler

Karen Flanigan

Julie and Ron Milton

Debbie and Tom Shapiro

Stuart Roth

Jeff and Christine Winsler

A lush arrangement hanging from the dining room chandelier

A vignette in the dining room

My husband and myself - oh my, leaning forward is not the best look in that dress, is it?  I assure you, I had my wrap covering me most of the evening!  I did want to show my handsome husband, Jan, though otherwise, I wouldn't have included this photo.

Cucho's lanterns hanging over the driveway

Laura Shukovsky at the gaming table

A view over the front yard

The magnificent birthday cake

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