I know I’m skipping over Saturday morning and afternoon to write about the party Saturday night, but I promise to go back tomorrow and tell you all about our tour of Savannah – with someone we knew very well on Mackinac Island last year.
For today though, the story is the party at Uncle Bubba’s Oyster House. Bubba is Paula’s brother, and uncle to her sons, Jamie and Bobby.
Once again, we met at Johnson Square and packed into city shuttles and 15-passengecr vans for the 10-minute ride out of downtown Savannah. As soon as we turned into the parking lot at Bubba’s , we could see a long line of hungry diners waiting for seating at the popular marsh-view seafood restaurant.
No worries for us, though. We were escorted through the main dining room to a special entrance where we received a wrist band we wore for the rest of the evening. The entire back deck was reserved for Paula’s party, and as we arrived, the band was setting up and the bar was doing a brisk business. On Saturday night photography was allowed, and in every set of hands there was a camera. Groups of two, three, and more were busy huddling together to have their pictures taken, and the deck rocked with laughter and stories being told from “back in the day”. About thirty minutes after we arrived, Paula Deen came through the back deck doors, and the party was officially “on”.
Paula, bless her heart, is probably still seeing white spots in front of her eyes. For the first hour after she arrived, she was being photographed constantly with different couples and groups, and the camera flashes reminded me of the media frenzies we see at Hollywood premieres. Paula was having a ball and moved (or was tugged) all over the deck as guests tried to get a moment with her.
After an hour of picture taking, Paula was called forward and asked to sit in a chair in front of the bandstand. Bobby Joiner, a classmate who sang in a band in high school, had re-written the words to “Hey Hey Paula”, and his seranade to the misty-eyed Paula brought the house down.
Paula was then presented with a gift from the group and spoke from her heart about how much seeing everyone had meant to her.
After the special presentation, the band started playing and the crowd alternated between dancing, eating from double buffet tables (barbeque table and low country boil table), talking with Paula, and having professional portraits made with the star and her husband. The same professional photographer – Nicole Rule – took portraits at Paula’s house on Friday evening, and she has already posted those online for us to order. When the ones we order come in the mail, I’ll try to take pictures of the pictures to post online.
What a night! What a party! Thank you, Paula Deen!
Note: Tomorrow I’ll take you on a tour of the historic district in Savannah that was so much fun! AND I’m hoping that others who partied with Paula this weekend will email me some of their pics to post! See you Wednesday morning!