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Garden party opens little season for debutantes

June 25, 2011

By Jo Alice Darden
The Governing Board of the Southern Debutante Assembly introduced the honorees for 2011 at a late afternoon garden party on May 27 at Cotesworth, the home of Mrs. James Barney Williams II in Carrollton.
The event was among the first of the “little season,” which will continue through the summer. The debutantes, pages and page escorts will be formally presented at the Assembly’s White and Gold Ball in December.
Seated at the registry table were Mr. and Mrs. Robert Taylor Hardeman and the Honorable William Webster Franklin and Mrs. Franklin, all of Greenwood.
Situated on a gentle rise and surrounded by ancient sycamore, oak, magnolia and sweet gum trees, the antebellum home in the Greek Revival style was built in 1840 as a stagecoach stop. On the National Register of Historic Places, Cotesworth was once the home of Mrs. Williams’ great-grandfather, U.S. Senator J.Z. George.
 Guests and honorees gathered on the front lawn, where the focal point was the center table, skirted in cream linen with a pink linen overlay and centered with an imposing arrangement of gerbera daisies, pink snapdragons, white hydrangeas, rose alstroemeria and baby’s breath. Citrus punch was served from an heirloom silver punchbowl.
On the expanse of manicured lawn, guest tables and tables offering a selection of hors d’oeuvres were skirted in cream linen overlaid with pink and centered with smaller arrangements in silver bowls complementing the large arrangement on the center table. A pair of terra cotta urns holding magnolia blossoms and greenery flanked the brick walk to the veranda, where Morris Hubbard of Grenada provided background music during the appointed hours.
Assisting Mrs. Williams with receiving were her daughter, Mrs. Williams Davis of Greenwood, and granddaughter, Katharine Elizabeth Davis, one of this season’s debutantes, along with Mrs. Richard Cunliffe McBee III of Minter City, Assembly advisor.
Wearing long afternoon dresses in pastel shades, the debutantes received carrying the traditional white wicker garden baskets of daisies and plumosa fern, accented with white satin ribbon. Similarly attired, the Assembly pages each wore a wrist corsage of daisies and plumosa fern, hand-tied with white satin ribbon.
Pages to the debutantes include:
Mamie Carlisle Clark, daughter of Mrs. Andrew Hamilton Robertson of Tupelo and Mr. Steven Murrah Clark of Starkville
Swayze Lynn Harris, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Yandell Swayze Harris of Columbus
Parties honor debutantes, pages and page escorts
Cookout and Swim Party
Pages and page escorts were invited to attend a poolside cookout and swim party at the Greenwood Country Club after the garden party.
Tacos and fruit kabobs were served, and each page and page escort received a beach towel embroidered with his or her name.
The pages honored with the cookout were Madeline Aylett Beard of Madison; Mamie Carlisle Clark of Tupelo; Mary Quinn Dulaney of Tunica; Allyn Denley Flautt of Grenada; Elizabeth Yandell McKee of Clarksdale; Mary Evelyn McLean and Catherine Campbell Melton, both of Tunica; Jane Graham Nance of Oxford; Virginia Malone Owen of Tunica; Alexis Louise Ridgeway of Jackson and Melissa Logan Sones of Grenada.
Hosts for the evening were Mr. and Mrs. David Hazard Beard Jr., Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Hamilton Robertson, Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Thomas Dulaney, Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Vernon Flautt, Mr. and Mrs. John Baskervill McKee III, Mr. and Mrs. William Campbell McLean Jr., Mr. and Mrs. Richard Raymond Melton, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Blackwell Nance III, Mr. and Mrs. Will Whitten Owen Jr., Mr. and Mrs. Patrick David Ridgeway and Mr. and Mrs. Richard Mitchell Sones II.
Cutlines for photos (2 photos)
Pages Group 2
Honored at the garden party at Cotesworth were pages, from the left, seated, Madeline Aylett Beard of Madison and Swayze Lynn Harris of Columbus; standing, Evelyn Claire McIntyre of Columbus, Bentley McClain Blair of West Point and Mamie Carlisle Clark of Tupelo.
Cookout and Swim Party
Pages honored with a cookout and swim party at the Greenwood Country Club include, from the left, in front, Catherine Campbell Melton of Tunica, Melissa Logan Sones of Grenada, Elizabeth Yandell McKee of Clarksdale, Jane Graham Nance of Oxford and Mamie Carlisle Clark of Tupelo; in back, Mary Evelyn McLean, Virginia Malone Owen and Mary Quinn Dulaney, all of Tunica; Allyn Denley Flautt of Grenada and Alexis Louise Ridgeway of Jackson. Not pictured is Madeline Aylett Beard of Madison.

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