Pandora opens its box

Published 12:00 am Saturday, February 17, 2007

The Selma Times-Journal

Pandora, one of Selma’s oldest women’s social clubs, invited friends to join its 2007 celebration with PANDORA’S RICH AND FAMOUS, issuing the invitation in an original poem, author anonymous:

“Excitement is everywhere

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You can feel it in the air

Pandora has begun to prepare

For her 2007 glorious affair.

We hope you will be around’

The rich and famous coming to town

Making you a rich and famous celebrity

Just imagine the people you may see:

Tim and Faith, Tiger Woods, or even Bruce Lee

Will you be Astaire in Top Hat, Mae West in furs,

Or Roy Rogers on Trigger, in boots and spurs

We all will be properly impressed

Makes no matter how you are dressed.

Pandoras will greet you at the door

Spreading the red carpet on the floor

So celebrate the champagne and caviar

Hors d’oeuvres and open bar.

Be at the Club, February 9th the date

Cocktail hour is 7 to 8

Then at 8 we swing and sway

To the beat as fabulous dance tunes play

Just what, just once, what wouldn’t you give

To see just how ‘The Rich and Famous’ live?”

At 7 of the hour on Friday, Feb. 9, arriving guests followed a pathway of golden stars to the entrance of the Selma Country Club, where a sea of golden stars inscribed with the names of stars highlighted the double doors. In the lobby, a round, glass-top table glittered with gold-chained “Blings,” one for each Pandora member, and a facsimile wall of skyscraper windows glistened and gleamed nearby.

A long, long, white limousine (another handmade facsimile) was parked just inside the ballroom, waiting to carry the new Pandora officers to their destination. Twinkling white lights drew attention to bare-branched trees, decorated with miniature bouquets of dollar (or million dollar) bills.

And in the center of the room, a towering floral arrangement graced the buffet table.

The leadout began at 8:30 p.m. when Master of Ceremonies Buddy Swift introduced Pandora

and other new officers and welcomed new members to Pandora. Anne Pilcher received the crown from Pandora 2006 Eady McCormick. Other new officers are

Sara Crum Blackwell, vice president; Tracey Cothran, secretary; and Mary Hansell, treasurer. Anne Knight and Teresa Cammack were taken into membership.

Other officers of 2006 welcoming their successors were Susie Kirkpatrick, secretary; and Betty Russell, treasurer.

EMCEE Swift announced the prize-winning costumes of the evening. They were Brenda Keith, Champagne Bottle; Robert Beers, KFC Colonel Sanders: Pud and Tom Glover, Mark Antony and Cleopatra; and “Grease,” portrayed by a large and talented group organized by Caleb Morris.

The dress this year was personal adaptation of someone, or something, rich and famous, following Pandora’s policy of having a costume ball only every other year. Some of its interesting themes have included “A Night at the Oscars, 2001;” “Safari Pandora 2002,” when from Pandora’s box jumped, crawled and climbed a black-furred orangutan, a crouching tiger and other inhabitants of the Rain Forest.

Tribal decorations awaited the safari-clad guests, who dressed for a trek.

In 2003 Stars on Alabama for Pandora, with scores of stars floating throughout the ballroom and miniature displays of the places that make the state a favorite tourist destination.

Guests still talk about the 2004 Night at the Races when a clatter of hooves signaled the line-up of champion horses waiting for the starting gun. And 2005, was a dance down memory lane, a look back at the “50 years that flew by so fast,” and guests were invited to exhume Pandora costumes from attic storage.

In 2006, the club lobby welcomed arrivals with a miniature wonderland of trees, with the ballroom was decorated in winter’s crystalline branches and miniature white lights outlining branches. Towering floral arrangements of roses and glistening greenery centered the buffet table and bar. The dress was festive, the food delicious and the music inviting.

As it is every year when Pandora opens its box.