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Bob Raymond: California visitors enjoy whirlwind of Southern hospitality


Bob Raymond



Local author Deborah Schumaker''s recent house guests were her son Matthew, his wife Malena Watrous and their 2 year-old son Max from San Francisco. Matthew grew-up in Rome while his mother lived there working for the Vatican Radio. He is a composer and a graduate fellow at The University of California at Berkley where he is preparing to defend his Ph.D. thesis. Malena is an author who teaches at Stanford and is in-charge of their on-line writing program. She and Deborah are both published by Harper-Collins and were HC''s Mother''s Day Mother-Daughter duo this year. Malena''s latest novel If You Follow Me has just been translated into Polish. 


While in Columbus they were guests of Curtis and Qua Austin for a Memorial Day barbecue. Enjoying the judge''s top-notch ribs were daughter Rebecca, Qua''s nephew Ray from D.C., Peter Imes and his son Benjamin and Clifton Scott. 


The Schumakers were also entertained by Lane Hardy Pierrot and Ray McIntyre at a Korean dinner and swim party at Lane''s enchanting prairie home. The house was filled with flowers from the gardens that surround the house. The guests included Charlotte Hardy and her two darling daughters Carlton and Collier, Lane''s sister-in-law Penny Severi and daughter Nicole from Silver Spring, Maryland, Lane''s cousin Chip Billups and his most charming wife Deborah. Charlotte had everyone laughing as she recounted stories from her family''s recent trip to the Ozarks and delighted the "yankees" with her genteel Southern humor.  


After aperitifs accompanied by homemade guacamole (Penny) and Green Goddess Dip (Malena) with chips, the youngsters swam until dinnertime. Once again, Lane overwhelmed everyone with her culinary skills by preparing Bul gogi and Daejij bul gogi (marinated beef/pork) served on lettuce leaves dressed with bean paste which the guests topped with various marinated Korean vegetables served from a large selection of heirloom bowls and plates that covered the dining room table. For dessert, an old family recipe from Lane''s grandmother McCaskill consisting of local strawberries smothered in whipped cream over homemade shortcake wafers was served in the parlor to the delight of everyone. Lane graciously offered seconds which were not refused. 


The next evening Chip & Debra Billups welcomed their daughter Cameron''s future in-laws, Bob & Karen Peden, from Virginia. The Pedens attended the May Magowah Barbecue that Wednesday and met Lane, Ray, Penny and Nicole as well as Charlotte and other Hardy family members on a warm prairie evening. Seen at the barbecue were former Columbians John & Beth Rice from Oxford. Emmaline Hardy had her friend Rio from Australia as a guest. The Billups other guest was their godson Marshall Brown who was about to leave for Africa where he will attend the FIFA World Soccer Cup.  


Noticeably absent from the event was Mary Ann Hardy and her family. They were off to Disney World, where they celebrated Mary Ann''s birthday with a memorable dinner at Chef de France. Mary Ann was serenaded in French by all the waiters with the French rendition of Happy Birthday. Daughter Madeline enjoyed practicing her French as she will soon leave for a five-week French Immersion at University Laval in Quebec City. Son Boyd is not to be outdone. He leaves in July for a pub crawl of Ireland before he starts his freshman year at State. Boyd was recently accepted into the Early Admittance Program for the Vet School. 


Deborah Schumaker continued to fete her family with engagements with Linda Campany, Roger Larsen and Jo Shumake. Roger presented Deborah with a large basket of wine and cheeses from Le Gourmet which provided for many tasty courses throughout the extended weekend. Claude & Elizabeth Simpson hosted a dinner for the out-of-towners and to everyone''s delight served Coquilles St.-Jacques. 


Deborah was also a guest at a most delightful and international dinner chez Claude and Elizabeth Simpson while their French son-in-law Olivier Massiot was in town from Brussels, Belgium. Also attending the lovely evening were Olivier''s business associates Ana Athayde from Montpelier, France but originally from Portugal, and Cindy Hodo from West Point. 


Elizabeth and Claude have lived all-over the world and speak several languages, including French. Claude is a computer genius who got his start early-on in Europe and has founded several highly successful computer companies in the U.S. Olivier has his Ph.D. in artificial intelligence from France and is spearheading a new venture with his international partners. 


Elizabeth prepared a lovely pesto pasta dinner with fresh baked beets and a knock-out salad. The highlight of the evening just could have been the strawberry trifle that Elizabeth created using the traditional sherry-infused cake. 


Several locals have slipped-away to various parts of France ... more next week!



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Reader Comments

Article Comment vannucci commented at 6/6/2010 9:44:00 AM:

What a refreshing article and so well written. I almost felt that I had been a part of these wonderful family events. I WILL look forward to next week!


Article Comment sunnyside commented at 6/7/2010 2:00:00 PM:

What a refreshing article! It gives the public an alternative to oil spills and crime! The title of the column is catchy!


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