I had such fun at the Tower Grove Park Flower Power luncheon last week! I'd never been, and the only people I knew were the busy staff, but several hosts were on the watch out to welcome lost looking guests, which was kind. The Piper Palm House had centerpieces everywhere, on all the scattered tables, and someone, brilliantly, had bedecked the marble busts of composers.
Art is my vocation but is also occasionally a good social ice breaker. Once I was given my champagne, I realized I could stand around with it awkwardly, or I could sketch a while, keep myself busy, and maybe meet a few people in the process. I chose option two. Sketching occasionally makes a good parlor trick.
Charlie Barnes, the event photographer, noticed what I was doing and took a couple of photos. He also photographed me after the luncheon was over, when I had changed and gone out painting. You can see those photos here.
The ladies at my table continued the kind welcome and made me feel at home. Both women beside me had Tennessee connections, and we had a lovely meal.
I kept sketching after lunch during the program by James Farmer, who was delightful. I felt at home with his Southern accent and family stories. My grandmother from south Georgia sounded a lot like the women he grew up amongst. He had an easy manner and kept everyone laughing, and people were sorry when the talk was over. (Not always the case at these things.)
It was a delightful day in a beautiful setting, and I was so glad for the invitation.
Martha Kelly is an artist and illustrator who lives and works in Memphis, Tennessee.
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