Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Tea with Shakespeare and the California Governors' Wives

Good morning. Tina here. Today I am going to share some highlights of a program our Placerville Shakespeare Club held on October 28th which was entitled "Tea with the Governors' Wives".  It was held in our historic clubhouse on Bedford Avenue.  

Those of us who were servers wore white aprons and mop hats, but unfortunately I did not get a picture of any of us, too busy then, I guess. Some of our members also dressed in period costumes.  

We have quite a few ladies who have served as "El Dorado Rose", which is an honor given to a woman in our community who has worked as a volunteer and given herself to many charities and has just been excellent in her efforts in the area for many years.  Below is Judy, who is this year's "Golden Rose", an honor given to a lady who may be a little older than the El Dorado Rose, and who will aid the El Dorado Rose in her duties.  Judy is proudly wearing an antique outfit.

We servers came early to set up the tables for the 110 people who purchased tickets for the event.

On the table were programs with biographies and photos of each Governor's Wife and information on the cast, who were all docents from the California Governors' Mansion in Sacramento. Also on the tables were favor boxes with candy, shaped as lovely old fashioned dresses with bows and jewels, and miniature boxes with myriad tops and sides which were for sale afterward.

Above on the right in blue you see Waldith, who is one of our club's former El Dorado Roses.  Below is the table with our tidbits we are about to serve to the attendees.  There were endive spears with scrambled egg and capers, cream puffs, and apple bars, among other yummies.

Below, our present El Dorado Rose, and chairman of the tea, Sharon, in her lovely cream yellow outfit, stands at a table between her husband and Gayle, who was responsible for the table decorations. On stage our President, Joan, is greeting the guests and introducing the first speaker.

Below, Al Howenstein, as Albert Gallatin, begins his duties as he introduces each "wife".

Below is Jane Stradley as Helen Pardee.  Please excuse the dark photos, I was back from the stage so my flash did not carry well.  We servers were able to sit and watch after our duties were done, so I am glad I was able to see the program!

No, she isn't taking a nap! Reba, one of our former El Dorado Roses, is actually reading her program during a lull in the action.

Below, Barbara Stephens Zane, portrayed by Carol Howenstein, tells how she was the first governor's daughter to marry in the Governor's Mansion.

This next lady, August Richardson, played by Carol Valentine, was quite entertaining as she told how she lit a fire under the members of her Quaker first family to get busy cleaning the unbelievably dirty Governor's Mansion.

Lyla Young (Maureen Mattos) lived in San Francisco during the 1906 earthquake.  She established an informal "at home" at the Governor's Mansion, where friends and visitors could drop by and listen to the first radio added to the home.

Virginia Knight (Bonnie Hansen) had my favorite costume in a lovely turquoise blue full skirt, sweater set, gloves, hat and pearls.  She and her husband, who she married while he served as governor in 1954, loved to dance.  She predicted the mansion would become a museum and was responsible for mounting photos of all the wives in the front hall.

Bernice Brown, portrayed here by Rae Kiddie, was the wife of Governor Pat Brown, and mother of Governor Jerry Brown.  She was a popular speaker and hostess.

The last of our wives was Nancy Reagan (Cindy Brockway). The Reagans only lived in the mansion for three months, preferring a newer home in a much quieter neighborhood.

We were very pleased with the turnout for the Tea, and the audience definitely enjoyed the presentation.  The actors did a great job, and the costumes were marvelous! Thank you Governor's Mansion Docents!

Our lovely clubhouse may not be as old as the Governors' Mansion, but it has held its share of memories also.  Perhaps someday we can put on a similar presentation with some of our stories.


Paul Duca said...

It would have been fun to see one of you being Linda Rondstat, if things had worked out (she and Jerry Brown were an item during his first go-round).

Paul Duca said...

Seriously, where was Mrs. Earl Warren--three times noteworthy:

Wife of the governor of California
Bride of the Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court
Mother-in-law of newsman/WHAT'S MY LINE host John Charles Daly

Heidi Ann said...

That all sounds really fantastic - interesting, fun - and yummy, to boot. Wish I could have been there! I think I'd have enjoyed it very much.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.