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Brilliant Ball at Yacht Club

Articles: Sarasota History

Author: Sarasota Times newspaper
Photo Credit: Sarasota Times newspaper - Sarasota County History Center
Credit: Sarasota County History Center

Sarasota History - Brilliant Ball at Yacht Club photo

Sarasota's response to the general invitation from the Yacht and Automobile Club for a New Year's Eve ball was on such a generous scale that the club faces the problem of providing a larger dancing hall. The present room across the entire width of the spacious building and occupying half of the main floor was so crowded that during the popular numbers navigation was attended by a perpetual series of collisions. Even by sailing the regulation channel around close to the four shores, the slightest deviation in pilotage brought the wayward craft bumping against others either roundward-bound or anchored along the beach where wall-flowers grow.

These friendly engagements only served to enliven the jolly proceedings and if the old saying about one means of growing fat be true, most of the guests must have left the club house several pounds to the good. If there was a merrier crew anywhere else to welcome the coming and speed the parting year, it must have been voyaging under forced draft.

Although brilliant in the highest degree as a spectacle, the Yacht Club's New Year's party was most delightful in the hearty informal spirit that characterized the entire affair – more like a family or neighborhood gathering that might have been expected where guests hailed from half the states of the Union. Quite a number were comparatively new to Sarasota, but the Old Settlers of six month ago or even further back in the Middle Ages of Sarasota history gave them the glad hand of good-fellowship and a quick initiation.

Not all of the sterner craft were in regatta attire but the fair squadron of the festal fleet had brilliantly observed the naval custom on state occasions to “dress ship.” Perhaps the report was also true and they had shipped dresses – from Paris, London, New York, or some Florida suburb of Sarasota that specializes in sartorial up-to-dateness. The seemingly modern rule that no two gowns must bear the slightest resemblance to each other was brilliantly exemplified in the marked differentiation of design, material and coloring. During the dances, no longer of funeral march solemnity imposed by the custom of former years, the ballroom was a moving picture theater with a Kinemacolor machine reeling off feature films in endless kaleidoscopic combinations.

At midnight the exchange of 1913 for 1914 was graphically portrayed in a tableau posed by Editor Rube Allyn and little son, surrounded by the typical emblems of the old and New Year. The scene was capitally staged in every respect and elected a storm of applause. Refreshments prepared by the ladies of the entertainment committee were served and a toast to the incoming year accompanied glasses of Steward Myer's punch.

The dancing received spirited rhythmic inspiration from the five excellent players of the Palms orchestra: Messrs. Woods, Robyn, Hebb, Kilgore and Haywood whose music received the practical tribute of encoring applause after ever number. Enthusiastic admiration was expressed over the lovely decorations planned and place by Mrs. I.R. Burns, Mrs. W.J. Adam, Mrs. E.A. Kartrack and others.

This opening event of the 1913-1914 season will be followed by a card party and it is safe to predict that the entertainment committee will now keep the kettle boiling and make good use of the club's beautiful home. A possibility is the removal of the wall between the dancing hall and large card room in the southeast quarter of the main floor in order to extend the domains of Terpsichore.