Well, the Sunday for a concert and a party which I had been eagerly awaiting, arrived. After church, the boys and I grabbed a Chinese dinner and then I hurried home to change in to my new suit. I arrived at St. Peter in Chains Cathedral in downtown Cincinnati ten minutes before the concert began ( http://www.stpeterinchainscathedral.org/Final.asp). The Vocal Arts Ensemble is conducted by Earl Rivers, the choral conductor at CCM. Earl is also the ex-husband of an old Fred Waring/show choir friend and choreographer, Stephanie “Stevie” Rivers. My good friend, Phil Clary, had a ticket waiting for me at will-call, and I enjoyed one of the best choral ensembles I have heard in years. It made me dearly miss my years with the Ball State Chamber Choir. Their repertoire was phenomenal and I could have listened for several more hours. For more information on the Vocal Arts Ensemble please go to: http://www.vaecincinnati.org/

Following the concert, I road with Phil to a restaurant overlooking the city of Cincy so he could purchase several gift certificates for the ensemble staff. The view was breathtaking and I wish we could have enjoyed a dinner there. We picked up my car and I followed Phil to his home in Eden Park which is another wonderful view of the city, right next to Playhouse In The Park. Phil’s new three story condo is gorgeous, and he certainly knows how good taste – very impressive. Phil changed into his suit, and then we took off for a north eastern suburb, Indian Hills, where Phil teaches choir at the high school.


The party was held at an estate called Peterloon, a landmark estate, for the benefit, education, and enjoyment of Greater Cincinnati. Peterloon was built in the Georgian style between 1928 and 1930 and designed by the architects Delano & Aldrich. The home’s deceptive scale ingeniously obscures its five stories, 36 rooms, 19 fireplaces, and 21 baths.

The home of Mr. and Mrs. John J. Emery, its major reception rooms and bedroom suites are fitted with authentic 18th-century English carved pine paneling. Peterloon’s rooms contain their original collections of furnishings and art, including a drawing of Mr. Emery by the artist John Singer Sargent and portraits by Mrs. Emery’s father, Charles Dana Gibson.

Walled gardens, terraces, and lawns extend down a hill to a terraced circular pool and on to an eight-acre lake, which the house overlooks. In 1979, the Peterloon estate and 72 of its original 1,200 acres of land were placed in a foundation which opened the home and its grounds for both public and private enjoyment and use.

John Josiah Emery Jr. (1898-1976) was a patron of architecture and the arts in Cincinnati as well as one of the region’s outstanding civic and industrial leaders. He was a nephew of Mrs. Thomas J. Emery, who designed and founded the Village of Mariemont, 10 miles east of Cincinnati. He was the principal developer in 1929-1931 of the 50-story Carew Tower and the adjacent Art Deco masterpiece Netherland Hotel (now the Netherland Hilton), which serves as a centerpiece of downtown Cincinnati.
After World War II Mr. Emery developed the Terrace Plaza Hotel (now the Crowne Plaza). Artwork created for the hotel’s public spaces by Alexander Calder, Joan Miro, and Saul Steinberg now resides at the Cincinnati Art Museum, where Mr. Emery was a long-term Board Chair.

Irene Langhorne Gibson Post Emery (date-1973) was a daughter of the artist and cartoonist Charles Dana Gibson and a niece of Nancy Langhorne, Lady Astor, who was the first female member of the British House of Commons. Mrs. Emery was, along with her sisters, one of the original “Gibson Girls.”

The party was first class – all the way and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. I met one docent who was assisting at the party and she shared a good deal of history with me. While the ensemble sang for the guests of the party, the docent took me to the “guest wing.” Wow! I got to read some letter written by the architect, William Delano. Delano was the uncle of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and was quite a valuable voice in the 1948-1952 reconstruction of the White House under the Truman Administration. Delano is also the designer of the Truman balcony on the bowed south portico of the White House.

After the elegant party, we returned to Phil’s so he could give me the 10 cent tour of his home. He insisted that he treat me to his hot chocolate with homemade whipped cream and a cap of Buttersnaps! Delicious, and very comforting on a cold December evening. We discussed some of his art work he wished to hang and a variety of other topics – running out of time with 1:15am. I returned home at 2:10am and went straight to bed, but hating to close my eyes… what a fun evening – so different from what I generally experience.

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