Blog fodder, that is.
Saturday night my friend Colleen and I went to the fund raising kick-off for a local library's new facility. Yes, we went to another fund raising kickoff a couple weeks ago. New library buildings are apparently the latest thing in Polk County...*
This one was quite different from the pot luck/silent auction in the fire hall that we went to then. This one was a costume ball held in a faux French chateau.
Chateau St. Croix is that rarest of creatures, a Wisconsin winery. (Their website is not working as I type this. I hope it is up again by the time y'all read.) Before you scoff at vino from [V]isconsin, however, let me assure you that their wine is not at all bad. I ordered a glass of the house wine at a local establishment about a year ago and commented that it was quite yummy. Turned out it was from Chateau St. Croix and surprisingly good. I'm no wine snob -- $10/bottle is my absolute top price -- but this stuff was nice. Anyway...
Here are more images of the place, shamelessly lifted from other websites:
You all know how difficult it is to take indoor night photos without a flash, right? Blurry images, funky color? What follows is a textbook example of what happens when Your Faithful Writer ignores those issues and goes right ahead and takes flashless photos. After consuming a glass or two of [surprisingly tasty] local Merlot.
My date** Colleen -- in her Goodwill ball gown and 50¢ feather mask from The Dollar Store -- and her exoskeleton-ed friend:
Sometimes I got the traditional head shot:
And sometimes I got a more interesting one:
Whereas many of the women went for the fairy tale princess/femme fatale look (see above), some of the men seemed to go in another direction entirely:
I met the mayor:
and The Scarecrow and the Wicked Witch of the West (IRL, his daughter):
A crayon and her coloring book (sadly, I was never able to get a photo of them together so as to capture her entire Crayola costume; she is a member of the library board and every time I grabbed her to pose she dashed off for a newspaper photo or an interview with Katie Couric or something):
It seems that a surprising number of people have great masks tucked away, just waiting for the opportunity to shine:
I'm so glad I had the opportunity to chat with that Elizabethan-esque couple (and to use the flash). Take a closer look at their masks (click to embiggen):
Those are acorn husks and milkweed pods and burrs and chicken feathers and, I think, bark or dried leaves. She said her kids like to collect stuff. When it came time to decorate the masks, she'd say, Go get me a chicken feather, and presto! there it was. Amazing.
At some point during the evening we noticed that we had been joined by a busload of women all dressed in black and white and many wearing name tags that said "Bachelorette #[n]". After chatting with the priest, below:
we got the story. Every year her daughter hosts a party for all the deer-hunting widows in her acquaintance. This year the theme of the party was black and white. They had apparently planned to come to the chateau as part of their festivities and so they came, to heck with crashing a semi-private/semi-public affair. They were so cool. Good Nun posed for me with Wicked Witch***:
And the mystery of the nametags was explained.
Deer-hunting widows. Get it?
I fully intended to have someone take a picture of me but I totally forgot. I wore the Shrek horns from last summer, a whitish thermal underwear shirt, a very loose belt, a too-small brown vest, short green pants, and boots. Hello, I'm Shrek.
* Until about five years ago, the newest library building in the county was 1970s vintage; the other nine were all housed in far older structures. Then one village renovated an old theater in an astounding display of excellent design enabled by professional fund raising, and now three or four other libraries are either fund raising for a new facility or have already finished their move. Yay for libraries! and for library supporters!
** No, Colleen and I are not planning to elope. I'm her *date* whenever a function arises on a weekend that Smokey works. Thanks, Smoke, for working so hard so that I can do this stuff. (And you can thank me for not trying to drag you along :)
*** I commented to Wicked Witch that I had never seen her in makeup before, but that the *painted strumpet* look suited her. She related how she had had to keep throwing her (four!) kids out of her bedroom earlier in the evening because she planned to go as A Woman Who Actually Had Time To Get Ready.