Forever 21 – A Golden Birthday Party for Dee McGraw
PHOTOGRAPHER RAEANNA ANGLEN
It’s no secret that Stellafly likes parties — especially the private ones. The ones where hostesses invite us into their home and we get to experience true friendship. You know, the kind of friendships that happen outside of the workplace and the busyness of every day life. Parties where girls can be girls. No boys allowed.
Last Friday, we headed into the depths of East Grand Rapids to celebrate a very special lady — actually a whole bunch of really great women.
Dorothy McCants Kaufman McGraw (aka Dee) is not your ordinary Grand Rapidian. You see, Dee is a bona fide Southern Belle. In fact, she very well may be Grand Rapids own version of Miss Scarlett O’Hara herself. Born in Paris, Kentucky, Dee lived at Claiborne Farms – where Secretariat retired and remained under the care of Dee’s father, a veterinarian. Like many of the most proper southern girls, Dee graduated from Vanderbilt University. But instead of leaving with a coveted MRS degree and setting up home in a tabacco plantation, Dee loaded her big hair into a camaro and took off.
After a series of wrong turns, she found her destiny in Grand Rapids. And although the years here may have softened her big hair and Southern drawl, they have not eroded her big Southern personality. That’s why when it came to throwing Dorothy McCants Kaufman McGraw’s golden birthday party, her friends knew that it had to be something truly special.
It had to be warm, inclusive, pretty, feminine, fabulous and festive. Just like Dee.
So, on Friday, January 18, 22 of Dee’s closest friends gathered at the home of Wendy Wassink to celebrate with a two-tiered pink fluffy lemon cake with raspberry buttercream filling by The Cakabakery (with 21 candles, of course), oodles of pink flowers, lots of champagne, and Dee’s favorite Raspberry Framboise. And although Dee is content to live on sweets, the rest of the group rounded out their plates with mini burgers from Martha’s Vineyard and oodles of sushi from Maru.
It was all very prim, proper and Southern – at least until the 20-seat stretch Hummer from Crystal Limosine arrived to whisk them out, about and around the town into the wee hours of the night.