Alabama Gazette - The people's voice of reason

No Name Literary Club 125th Anniversary Tea at the home of Mary McLemore ~ April 18, 2018

 


In 1893 a group of forward thinking ladies formed the first literary club in Montgomery and the second in the State at that time. They named their club No Name because they could not agree on a name, and it still goes by the same name today! Recently, the No Name Club celebrated their 125th anniversary with an afternoon tea at the home of Mary and Price McLemore in Rosemont Place. Guests included friends of members as well as Presidents and Vice ­­­­Presidents of other Literary Clubs in Montgomery.

No Name members present their own programs and their presentations reflect the passions and scholarly research of the club's members and their continued dedication to a culture of lifelong learning.

The President this year is Beverley Amberg and the Tea Chair is Rennie Vainstein. The committee members were Rennie, Mary Miles, Helen Till, Peggy Joseph, Olivia Williams, Frances Durr, Georgia Carroll and Anne Tidmore. The idea of the celebration was Peggy's. Members remembered fondly their 100th celebration, 25 years ago, which was in Mary Miles' beautiful home and garden, so they certainly did not want this milestone to go by unnoticed. Mary McLemore graciously offered her home and worked for months to have the garden just right for the occasion.

The afternoon of the event, Price McLemore was in his golf cart riding up and down the street, bringing guests to the house, and Alex Vainstein was at the front door to help the ladies up the steps.

Sarah Spratling did several beautiful floral arrangements in the house, including bud vases containing the Organization's flower, the Narcissus, which were flown in from Holland. On the center of the dining room table was an exquisite arrangement of spring flowers, hydrangeas, roses and hyacinths, in Mary's antique punch bowl on a silver tray, both of which had belonged to Price's grandmother, May Powers Houghton, one of the original founders of the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts.

The food was expertly done by Sherri Tate of Daughter by Design Catering. It was presented on sparkling silver trays and included scones, banana nut bread, petite cucumber & dill sandwiches, ham & cheese pinwheels and many delicious deserts.

In the garden were round tables dressed in exquisite gold brocade cloths with white lace toppers, representing the Club colors of Gold & White. Mary's blooming flowers included bromeliads, bulbs, ground orchids, roses, canna lilies, geraniums and holly ferns to name a few.

The drinks were served on the patio, with a choice of hot tea in an antique silver samovar, French champagne or peach tea.

In addition to those mentioned above, the following No Name members were present to welcome the guests: Jane Albritton, Wanda Bigham, Nancy Bradford, Menelle Weiss, Judith Broadway, Jean Brown, Mary-Aileen Conniff (Mary McLemore's daughter and a third generation No Name member), Fru Garrison, Jo Ann Hall, Dottye Hannan, Kitty Harrell, Peggy Heard, Kittie Hill, Leah Slawson, and new member Lee Ann Hester.

Among the guests were Jane Barganier, Betty Beale, Jon Broadway, Debbie Caldwell, Leura Canary, Sue Ellen Carroll, Kitty Coleman, Julie Crane, Catherine Custard, Tyler Dunklin from Greenville, Camille Elebash-Hill, Jan Gill, Sarah Goodwyn, Catherine Goray, Gibson Graham, Saralee Green, Vivian Hamlett, Jane Hamn, Lynn Henry, Carol Henry, Mary Coleman Hester, Ilouise Hill, Jamie Hodges, Kitty Huffaker, Martha Jinright, Marian Joseph, Jelia Kershaw, Minnie Lamberth, Margaret and Bill Lamkin, Brandt LaPish, Caroline Lawson, Joan Loeb, Susan Mathews, Kathy McGowin, Laura McLemore, Mary Houghton McLemore, Dinah McLemore, Paul Miles, Randee Miller, Bonnie Moore, Danae Morgan, Guin Nance, Susan Noble, Pam Paine, Sandra Patrick, Jan Pringle, Mary Beth Reed, Katherine Rees, Michelle Roth , Cookie Ruth, Janey Sabel, Crystal Walker, Alex Saunders from Columbus GA, Mary Susan Seier, Lynn Simpler, Mary Augusta Slawson, Bette Smith, Emily Sparrow from Auburn, Laura Steiner, Suzy Stevenson, Jessica Taylor, Marguerite Wood, Anne Young and many others.

Special thanks go to hostess Mary McLemore, to Tea Chair Rennie Vainstein, to long-time member Helen Till, who has been the example and encourager of this Club for decades and to Peggy Joseph who spearheaded the effort to have the Tea.

As the time for departure drew near, members and their guests headed for their homes, but will keep the memory of this special afternoon in their hearts for years to come.

 

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