By Carla Sue Broecker
When Mary Margaret Phelps decides to give a party, you can count on it being a doozy and lots of fun. “Back in the day” when she and her late husband, former Liberty Bank President Bill Joe Phelps, were entertaining together, he greeted guests, fixed drinks and got out of Mary Margaret’s way. He is sorely missed by all, but the parties are just as great as ever, and he is well remembered.
So, when the phone rings in the latter part of June, lucky friends get an invitation from M.M., as she is called, to come to her house off Lime Kiln Lane for the Fourth of July. That has always been her favorite holiday to celebrate with friends for many years.
Her terraced backyard is beautifully laid out with its elevated pool, charming pool house, lush flower gardens, terrace and trees to sit under and chat with friends galore. It looks like the Garden of Eden. There is even an enormous floating swan for kids to ride in the pool. Friends sit and sip while the well-known and friendly staff of the Silver Spoon see to it that everyone is comfortable and has a libation in hand.
M.M.’s handsome and charming son, Bill, even comes in from his large, rustic lodge-home down on Cumberland Lake in western Kentucky. He went down there years ago for the fun of it, fell in love with the place and lives there year round with his dogs. He has created a bed and breakfast and is always “full up.” His sister Melanie and her husband, Steve McCool, live here and keep track of Mary Margaret.
Early arriving guests and those that came a little later were treated to wonderful, bite-sized crab cakes garnished with tartar sauce. Then there were delicious deep-fried, panko-breaded shrimp with an interesting pesto dipping sauce. But the hit of all well-done Louisville parties was the lovely, round, sliced tomato sandwiches on white bread garnished with Duke’s mayonnaise if you please. It was almost like a wedding reception.
Nobody had to ring the dinner bell twice. Using his father’s prized recipe, Bill Phelps had been grilling pork shoulders all day long. It was the first thing you could smell upon arrival at the party. The Silver Spoon pulled the pork and slathered it with the homemade sauce. Also on the table was delicious salmon with cucumber sauce, a mountain of fresh tomatoes – both red and yellow – and other veggies, too, but also bacon-garnished baked beans, pasta alfredo salad and fruit salad. Dessert was everything from macarons to lemon bars to various other “bars” that featured chocolate chips.
Rosemary and Jimmy Boone, Janet Falk, Barbara Partlow, Adeline and Bill Hoagland, Kay Matton, Ann Early and Bob Southerland, Kathy and Joe Artebury, Jean Boland and Wayne Garvey, Louise Horine, Shirley Rutledge, Marilyn Taylor and Liz Todd, were among the overjoyed and overfed. And they all went home about the time the first firework boomed on the horizon. VT