Pandoras celebrate Alabama

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 12, 2003

Pandora opened its magical box on an early February evening and scores of stars floated through the Country Club ballroom to fall once more on Alabama. Throughout, decorations included photographs, a wall-size collage of them, and miniature displays of the special places that make Alabama one of the nation’s most beautiful states and a favorite tourist site for visitors from around the world.

One of the most popular was a beach scene, representative of the sandy white Gulf shores, with a swim-suited model receiving admiring glances. From 7-9 p.m. a cocktail buffet attracted Pandora members and guests. Then Art Gleason formally opened the festive affair, stepping forth to present former officers and the new officers of the year 2003. Officers of 2002 are Vaughan Johnson, treasurer, Patty DeBardeleben, secretary, Martha Reeves, vice president, and Boo McMilion, president.

New officers are Gail Hoke, treasurer, Coralee Jones, secretary; and Anne Minter, vice president. Next on the agenda, new members Helen Cross, Cathy Henry, Suzie Kirkpatrick, Ann Catharine Reeves, Shannon Stewart, Frances Turner and Kent Woodruff were introduced. Then, with a fanfare of musical notes from the orchestra, Pandora 2002 stepped into the spotlight and crowned Pandora 2003 Martha Reeves.

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And the merriment began.

Also in the spotlight were a clever miscellany of costumes, among the most notable: a finned fish the exact color of her wearer’s hair; accompanying her was a large bright orange crab with clawed feelers to keep his date close by his side. Several Kathryn Windham look-alikes were seen in the crowd, including a near match for Julia Tutwiler and a person in female dress with a Windham tag. He or she was accompanied by Jeffrey, Windham’s friendly house ghost, who was almost a perfect image and equally unidentifiable under the sheet. For many guests, the star costume of the evening was a large cheeseburger. Really and truly.

Elvis was present, along with a number of Southern belles, an Indian princess and lots of hunters, dressed and ready for the kill. It was indeed a festive affair. And the stars continued to fall all evening.

Pandora is one of the city’s oldest women’s social clubs. It alternates each year with a costume ball, which has produced some of the area’s most interesting events. From year to year the community awaits the opening of Pandora’s box, wondering what magic will appear.