As with the anticipation leading up to Cumberland University’s Phoenix Ball to include a spectacular Patron’s Party, this year’s event at the home of Dr. Scott and Jean Ellen Baker was no exception.
The weather accommodated the event with clear sky and temperatures comfortable for the ladies wearing chiffon and other casual fabrics, along with the men who had donned seersucker suits or short-sleeved shirts for the poolside event.
Each of the 144 attendees agreed it was a perfect Patron's Party on Thursday to be cast in many a year. “We just virtually stumbled across this house that was sitting here in ruins a few years ago when we were taking a walk,” said Jean Ellen Baker. “We added a pool house and did renovations on several things throughout the house. We were able to move into the house two years ago this coming August.”
After a drive up a long and winding road, the guests arrived at the front of the expansive house that offered valet parking. They were then invited to come in the front door that led them through the entry, den, kitchen and dining room that featured high ceilings, doors and window arrangements that dominated the walls upward at least two floor heights.
“Camille Burdine approached us from Cumberland University about hosting the Patron's Party,” said Scott Baker. “Our offices work through University Medical Center and we're always open to helping Dr. Harvill Eaton and Cumberland out, so we were delighted to host the party.”
Shelves and wall decorations included a mantel full of oriental porcelain collections and carved shelving units and wall hangings uniquely displayed. Other portions of the house open to visibility included a master bedroom and bath, a smaller half bath and a couple of other rooms, enough to leave you wanting to see more.
Exiting outside to the poolside area, the pool was literally the centerpiece of the scene. The patio surrounding it was filled with stuffed and comfortable seats, tables, a fire pit and one whole side was dominated by the new pool house which contained several beautiful bathrooms inside, seating area and a complete bar with fireplace under cover, but outside so the gentle breeze coming through was still enjoyed by the guests as they waited for their cocktails of choice to be made.
Spaced at periodic points throughout the scene were tables of the fabulous food prepared by Ed Riley and his crew at Two Fat Men catering that featured ribs, peg-leg chicken, rice stuffing, shrimp, red beans, cajun dirty rice, watermelon, cantaloupe and honey dew melon slices, a table of various homemade chips and several dips, trays of strawberry and other tidbit appetizers being passed, a dessert table, and a table of punches and iced teas.
A photo booth was set up at one corner of the pool with a picture frame enticing the guests to “center themselves” and get their photo made.
Music wafted among the crowd throughout the social affair, which still had about half of the guests still there at 9:30 p.m.. It was like they didn't want the evening to end at this year’s Patron's Party.