Totally Engaged By: AnnaBeth

Kate and Will who? This year in BlueBell, all eyes are on our very own royal couple, Lemon Breeland and George Tucker, who are finally heading toward the altar. The other night was their fabulous engagement party, an event the likes of which our town has never seen! People will be talking about this party for weeks. Probably months. Maybe even years!

Lemon looked absolutely stunning, of course, and George was dashing, like always, despite having been tragically injured shortly before the event (really, doesn’t everyone know that Old Man Jackson has that darn eye chart memorized?). Pretty much everyone in BlueBell was there, some even barging in without a proper invitation. Lemon’s father, Dr. Brick Breeland, was a kind and gracious host as per usual. Like father like daughter, I guess :)

No event can go completely flawlessly, and I must admit there was a huge disruption to the night’s events. I am of course referring to the fact that, unfortunately, Carrie Rose Ennis and I were wearing the same gown. I would like to use this public forum to apologize to Carrie Rose. Everyone makes mistakes, even if those mistakes were specifically reserved for me three weeks ago at Colette’s on Camellia Street. In retrospect, I maybe should not have made such a scene and, Carrie Rose, I apologize for throwing some of Agnes’s best peach cobbler at you. I hope you were able to wash it out of your hair easily.

Otherwise, the event went off with hardly a hitch. I heard something about Zoe Hart delivering a baby, but that was really small potatoes compared to the glamorous décor, delicious food and fine company. I can’t wait to see what else Lemon has planned for us as we all take this journey with her toward her wedding day!


The Blushing Belles of BlueBell Debutante Ball By: AnnaBeth

On the 20th of August, six lovely ladies made their debut to everyone who’s anyone in polite society at the 65th Annual Blushing Belles of BlueBell Debutante Ball. I don’t need to tell y’all that the presentation of the debs is one of the biggest events of the year, and this year’s Belle Ball did not disappoint. The Decorations Committee completely transformed our town square into a City of Lights — a gorgeous twenty-foot Eiffel Tower-shaped archway, adorned with imported white lilies and French silk ribbons, under which the debutantes made their grand entrance. With so many twinkly lights everywhere I literally felt like Meg Ryan in French Kiss! This year’s delightful debs were all a vision in white… except Abigail Cornwall Christensen, who wore a rather showy shade of eggshell. However, the poor dear is getting over a nasty break-up and is still healing her wounds. She had to be escorted by her cousin from Mobile. Bless her heart.

The five-course dinner, catered by Fancie’s, was a welcome bliss after last year’s unspeakable potato salad fiasco. (Though at Carrie Rose Ennis’ brunch the next week, I was able to wear my Jessica McClintock from middle school. And Lemon Breeland said I looked adorably vintage!) After the debutantes’ traditional first dance with their escorts, most of the party guests – including a few who should have perhaps sat out, or at least laid off the punch – joined them on the makeshift dance floor and frolicked under the stars until well after midnight. Congratulations to all of the darling new debutantes, their proud families and friends, and the many people who contributed to success of this fabulous night, especially the Belles, of course!


BlueBell’s Debutantes Feted at Mother-Daughter Tea By: AnnaBeth

My, oh my, the weeks leading up to the Debutante Ball are always terribly busy and exciting, and this year was no exception. Yesterday was the traditional mother-daughter tea held at the lovely waterfront estate owned by the parents of Ashley Margaret Percy.

As always, Miss Esther May Tisdale joined to give the debs a primer in etiquette. When Lemon and I were debs, it was Miss Esther May who taught us how to host the perfect afternoon tea and set a table for a formal dinner. But I’m afraid yesterday’s lesson was a bit more remedial. That poor dear Esther May practically winded herself trying to impress upon this new generation of debs how positively tacky and unladylike it is to be “click-clacking on your teeny, tiny phones” at all hours. She also reminded them — as she batted their phones out of their hands with her cane — that well-bred ladies should always have poise, and greet people with a nod and a smile, which means “under no circumstances walking with your head slung like Early Man, never looking up from your devil’s toys.”

I am slightly appalled to report that one of the new debs even had the gumption to ask Miss Esther May, who, like any true belle would never reveal her age but who’s been teaching manners to BlueBell’s debs since before even my mama’s time, whether it would be acceptable to send a thank you note via email. Email! Any good Southern girl should have her own signature stationery selected by the time she can write in cursive. Of course, now, with all of the H8-ing, ROTFL-ing, and OMFG-ing that has migrated here from up North just like the carpetbaggers, feminists, and Dr. Zoe Hart, I have to wonder whether these otherwise darling debs can even write with a pad and pen, bless their hearts. But now, thanks to Miss Esther May, I am very confident the Percys will be getting six hand-written thank you notes, however sloppy the penmanship may be.


Dash DeWitt


Bon Iver by Bon Iver By: Dash DeWitt

Review:  Do “hipsters” exist in BlueBell, Alabama? Though the “skinny jean” here is merely the unfortunate consequence of one too many a trip to RJ’s Endless Étouffée Tuesday. But in the heart of this reviewer, the hipster population is alive and well. And the blood pulsing through that heart at present? The self-titled album by indie rock band Bon Iver (bone ee-vair, for the plebes).

The work is an example of emotion delivered by way of nuance – a tact Kayne West never cared to learn – with each song displaying a delicacy and honesty sadly forgotten by mainstream radio. Sparse piano keys and guitar strings layer upon one another like a delicious Napoleon, atmospheric flourishes and ambient noises swirling in between held whole by the haunted fragility of Justin Vernon’s vocals, so powerful as to elevate simple repetition into a wrenching of the gut. “Holocene” is prime example of Vernon’s magic at work, the song’s refrain – I was not magnificent – spun to become exactly what it claims it is not – magnificent. Beauty found in an unexpected place, like yours truly in BlueBell.

Recap:  I do not toss around terms like masterpiece lightly. But Bon Iver is exactly that, a masterpiece worthy of the vaunted Quadruple Dash and special place in my secret hipster heart (but not in my wardrobe, the only converse I like is one that is full of insightful and meaningful dialogue).

Dash DeWitt


“A Month I Will Never Forget” Book Reading by local author Dalton McDaniel By: Dash DeWitt

Review: At the request of my editor, I went to Pageturners for the book reading of Dalton McDaniel’s new self-published novel “A Month I Will Never Forget.” I say “at the request of my editor” as I could think of many a more worthwhile thing to do: fold my pocket squares, rearrange my couch pillows, alphabetize my foot creams. The list goes on. This is where I should add a disclaimer: many of you know Dalton, and I reluctantly add my name to that list as we share a common street. I know that most of BlueBell is enchanted with Dalton: he’s an artist, a man of knowledge, a man who’s every word should be sopped up like rain to a desert flower. If you are one of them, then go ahead and drink this book up…but for the rest of us, I’d like to present the other side of the story. The month Dalton is referencing was February of two years ago, and it’s a month I also, unfortunately, will never forget.

The book is about Dalton’s brief relationship with local beauty Kaylee Graves (who he pathetically disguises as “Gracie Kraves”). Dalton describes the night he and Kaylee first fell in love: he took her on a romantic date, they floated through the night, dreamlike… well, I remember that date, and it was seven beers at the Rammer Jammer that ended with Dalton and Kaylee “floating dreamlike” to the dartboard where their faces stayed mashed for an hour (in the middle of my game no less!). Numerous times in the book he references how he and Kaylee would “walk about like babes” and “the form our maker gave us”…well, my living room looks out on Dalton’s backyard and it is near impossible to do a crossword puzzle when your neighbor is gallivanting around, playing croquet in the nude. That is a long game of awkward body movements with angles that no woman (let alone your neighbors) needs to see. Dalton ends the book with their breakup: “sometimes a bird is so beautiful that it can’t fly any longer.” Let’s start with the simple fact that the sentence makes no sense. I don’t know of any birds that cannot fly simply because they’re too beautiful. Also, wingless birds aren’t beautiful. Case in point: penguins. Most importantly, Kaylee left because Dalton cheated on her – we all saw him crying and begging her to take him back in the middle of church. Maybe you all can overlook these inconsistencies, but when the book goes on sale next week, you will not see me at the register. Dalton, I trust my review won’t ruin our weekly euchre match.

Recap: The book reading was just a Dash under painful and a Dash over making me suicidal.