James D. Lamb III and members of the choir at the Kings Chapel Church Of God In Christ got guests dancing with their Gospel sounds. Photos by Eileen Casey
- As the nation watched newly sworn-in President Barack Obama
dance with the First Lady at home, a few hundred fun-loving folks celebrated history at the Southampton Inn
's Inaugural Ball. Gordon Herr
, Chairman of the Southampton Town Democratic Committee, was decked out in a tuxedo and Dede Gothelff Moan
, owner of the Southampton Inn
, looking lovely in a green gown and jewels by a local designer, were the evening's consummate hosts greeting each guest with enthusiasm. The ballroom overflowed into OSO
Restaurant for the festivities which lasted until 12 midnight.
Chairman of the Southampton Town
Democratic Committee Gordon Herr
welcomed the assemblage.
Elizabeth Thunderbird Haile
Soprano Rhonda Liss moved the crowd
with an impressive aria.
of the Shinnecock Nation came to the event with her daughter and was breathlessly ecstatic over the new President. She commented that she never thought she'd see the day - then reminded all near her with a beaming smile that with hard work anything is possible.
As guests found their seats and enjoyed the moment, Herr welcomed everyone and announced that his "faith in democracy has been restored" with the election of President Obama. Later, as the music began with the Gospel sounds of James D. Lamb III
of Southampton, and members of the choir at Kings Chapel Church Of God In Christ, Herr got the masses on their feet dancing and clapping away. Deacon Ken Brown
was front and center as were Grania
and Tip Brolin
, Lucius Ware
(head of the Eastern Long Island chapter of the NAACP), Legislator Jay Schneiderman
, Town Councilwomen Anna Throne-Holst
and Sally Pope
, Town Justice Andrea Schiavoni
and Tommy John Schiavoni
, WLIU's Bonnie Grice
, Terry Moan
, Omar Gould
, artist Joe Strand
, Isabel Sepulveda de Scanlon
, Mitchell Kreigman
, winemaker Roman Roth
and Kevin Bodkin
, Jackie Worth
, and scores more. More entertainment came over the course of the evening including soprano Rhonda Liss
, saxophone player Charles Certain
, and Carlos Ponce
Town Councilwoman Sally Pope, Gordon Herr, Town Justice Andrea Schiavoni, and
Legistator Jay Schneiderman were on hand for the celebration.
Talking about courses - what's a dinner party without dinner? Chef Brian Naylor
of OSO Restaurant and his team assembled a lovely meal complete with NY Strip Steak, salmon, and finishing with a decadent chocolate hazelnut ganache cake that was enjoyed by the festive-attired guests.
It was truly wonderful watching history unfold on the various screens set up throughout the rooms and guests confided with each other about the significance of the event. Each time President Obama appeared a cacophony would erupt from the noisemakers on the tables which resembled more of a New Year's Eve feeling than the typical political event. Folks from both sides of the political aisle had come together that evening to celebrate the new future for America and looked forward to the prospect of a time when, as President Obama declared in his speech earlier in the day, "We are ready to lead once more."
Nicole, an award-winning journalist, is Executive Editor & Publisher of Hamptons.com where she focuses on celebrity interviews, fine living and design, social events, fashion and beauty. She lives on the North Fork with her husband, their two daughters, and Bernese Mountain dog, Cooper. www.hamptons.com