by Brad Benedict, Baton Rouge, Louisiana
It was another historic night in old
New Orleans as this city's most
famous domestic partners, Rip and Marsha Naquin-Delain, celebrated their twenty two years of married bliss. Their Bourbon Street home was elegantly decorated for the occasion with large red AIDS ribbons adorning the balcony. Nowhere else in the city could you find as many elite representatives of the community as was seen entering and leaving this charming residence in the heart of the French Quarter.
With security provided by one of the finest members of the New Orleans Police Department, Officer Donovan Archote, guests were welcomed into the magnificent office area and headquarters of America's foremost alternative publication - AMBUSH Mag 2000. The cake was white, of course, and decorated with miniature magnolias, and flashes of light from their designated photographers illuminated the evening and captured the beauty of the occasion.
Ms. Naquin-Delain was elegantly attired in a Scala design evening cocktail dress of midnight blue highlighted with silver diamonds and an open, diamond neckline. Her earrings were long strands of glittering stones which were perfect accents to her magnificently-styled hair, actually an original design by Marsha's stylist, the talented Arthur Severio of New Orleans. Her shoes were clear and graced her feet so appropriately. Diamonds adorned her hands and sparkled in the elegance of the surroundings on this evening of evenings in the Crescent City.
Mr. Naquin-Delain never looked better. His teal suit, with a white, mini-collared shirt buttoned at the neck, and black shoes were the epitome of style. A red AIDS ribbon graced his left lapel.
As the guests were welcomed into the home, they began to savor the exquisite delicacies laid out for the celebration, the very finest of dishes from the chef of the French Quarter's famed Petunias Restaurant. This elaborate selection of foods graced tables and counters in both the upper and lower quarters, and the patio area was again filled with the camaraderie of the upper class of gay Louisiana - and points beyond. The Belle Lain Magnolia Bar was a favorite spot with the evening's guests as they relaxed in the splendor of the Old South.
From the beautiful garden area to the magnificence of their living area on the second level, guests were treated to a kind of magnificence that only true love can produce.
The piano selections of versatile Hugh Clay were perfect for this occasion. The charming sounds wafted into the night air and mixed with those of distant clubs on Bourbon Street.
The guest list for this function is a treasured place to be named. All donations collected on entry are a part of this couple's charitable contribution to the New Orleans NO/AIDS Walk, and their contributions and those of their guests are always tops for the City. What a wonderful thing to do for the community. The Magnolia Cotillion is a success because of the generosity of its invitees, but the credit for putting this all together each years lies with this gracious and philanthropic couple.
When it comes to helping the gay and lesbian community, there is no match for Rip and Marsha Naquin-Delain. Their anniversary celebrations carry the luster and appeal of the genteel southern gentlemen and their ladies. May they have many, many more anniversaries to celebrate in the future. They deserve the praise and adoration. They are outstanding citizens and a source of pride for the great city of New Orleans.
Some of the 162 guests attending this party included: Rip's sister Cathy and husband Tommy Vaughn of Morgan City, Father Tom Crandall of Port St. Joe/Florida, Kitty Blackwell and Liz Simms, Richard Dykes and Guy of George's/Baton Rouge, Bob Feldman and Dick Mole of Rue Royal Inn, D.B. Carnes and Carolyn Hyman, George Rossignol, Jr. and Ragan Alford, Matt Roundtree of Parade fame, Petronius Captain Mickey Gil and AMBUSH Performing Arts Critic George Patterson, David Bruce of & ToTo, Too!, Tori Welles of LeFemme Productions, Eric Bisschop, Jerry Scavo and Kenny Walker, Pearl M. Lawson, Carla Wild of Gulf Gender Alliance, Peter Thomas and Hoyle Byrd of Petunias,
Willie L. Fernandez of Mobile, Lloyd and Peggy Williams of Mobile, Alan Robinson of Faubourg Marigny Bookstore, Bob Bernissant of Sebastians Little Garden Restaurant, Petronius' Doug Smith, Ray Ruiz, Michael Sullivan, Phyllis Patterson and Andy Denmark, Damon Veach of Hibiscus Bookstore/Baton Rouge,
Alvin Coleman and Miss Gay Louisiana America Raquel Chevallier, Hugh Jones and Butch Brown of Bon Maison Guest House, Ellis Shallbetter of Quarter Moon Designs and Jim DuBuy, Chris and Patsy Lofstrom of Norwood, Crystal Little, Ruth C. Freed, Judy Leslie, Hugh Clay, Mary Bess Matthews, Anthony Scalise, Gina Zamora, Tony Quintiliano and Paul Bordelon, Reba Douglas and Claire Voyant,
Tommy Elias of Oz, Richard Mundt and Jason Lees and Christian Johnson of French Quarter Reservation Service, Toni Pizanie of Royal Tobacconist, John Batty and Jan Bradford, Margarita Bergen of Bergen Galleries, Oz Show Director Lisa Beaumann and Patrick Rita, Yul Knighten, Kevin Limberg and Chuck LaVenture of Alternatives, Keith McLin and Charles Haynes, Glenn O'Berry and Roger Brooks, Earl Blackstone and Donald Herrington,
Jay Bourgoyne and Jay Tyburski, Rev. Dexter Brecht, Brian Sands, Jack Gentry, Baton Rouge businessman Gregory Cain, Carolyn Villars, Margaret Lundin, Marlene Schwebel, Al Shea, William Liermann, Brad Robbert, Stephanie Williams, Joseph A. Gaines, Jerry Hotard, Larry Bagneris of NO/AIDS Task Force, Keith Bourdier of Studio One/Baton Rouge, Diane Tanner, Jeff Boyd,
AMBUSH Managing Editor Sonny Cleveland and Guy Delhomme, Penny Young of Rubyfruit Jungle, Rosa San Filippo, James Comeaux and AMBUSH Graphic Artist Randy Stephens, Cody King, Chris Giroir, Skip Brown, Theresa Abadie, Petunias' Chef Jay Loomis, Michael Moran, Krystyn Betsinger, AMBUSH Movie Critic Thom Murphy, AMBUSH Lafayette Rep J.D. Norris and John Breaux of New Iberia, Jim Blackwell, Dale Francis, AMBUSH Contributor Jon Newlin,
Steven Forster of The Times Picayune, Ann Lee, Connie Marcelle, Gary Weaver, Dale Pleasance, Tim Snyder of Wolfendale's and Gary Weaver, Victoria Cole, Allegra Von Peebles, Brad Hammerly, Tony and Jayne Owens of Quarter News, Louis E. Minor, AMBUSH photographer Lori Lassiter/Joan Jette, EXIT publisher Joe Vindich, Pride Co-Chair Steven Graffeo and Jim Wiegand, Miss Emerald City America D.L. Broadway, Drew Haas, and Larry Potts of Ariodante Gallery.