Wasn't Life Grand!

Photography by Rebecca Baxter and Robert Castro January 1, 2009

Friends we love and friends we’ve lost, dinners and dances we’ve shared, beautiful moments we’ll never forget—and some hairdos and dresses we wish we could. That’s what we found when we sifted through three decades of party photographs, and they evoked so many smiles, memories and yes, even a few tears, that we had to share them with you.

We have two photographers to thank for these wonderful pictures: Rebecca Baxter and Robert Castro. Rebecca has been taking pictures of Sarasota parties for most of our 30 years; when she took a break during the late 1980s, Robert stepped into her shoes. Though their styles are strikingly different, both have a genius for what Rebecca calls “social anthropology,” capturing the manners and mores of the micro-society that is the Sarasota social world. And they each can immortalize a moment, so that a single frame from a long-forgotten event still speaks to us today.

Faces in the crowd

Notables from near and far livened up our social scene.

1 Jewelry designer Kenneth Jay Lane 2 Virginia Hoffman and Frank Colson 3 Sharon Scott 4 Margaret and Bill Wise 5 David Penner 6 Jean Arnold and Jerry Wexler 7 Bill Buttaggi and Debra Jacobs

Life of the party

Were we having fun yet? You bet!


1 Heather Daughton and Anne Profitt 2 Leisa Weintraub 3 Mark Famiglio and friends 4 Brian Johnson 5 Steve Smith, Jim McClenithan and Gail Fraley 6 At the Debutante Ball 7 Hermene Ferrigno and Wendy Resnick 8 At the New College Foundation Clambake

Say cheese!

Some moments still make us smile.


1 Cartoon Classic Gala 2 Demonstrator Diane Diamond 3 Edith Cosenza and partner 4 Levica Belinda Jewell Clark 5 Syd Solomon, former Gov. Bob Martinez, Eli Cantor, R.K. Robinson 6 Media at the French Film Festival 7 Student viewing faculty show at Ringling College 8 Joan Griffith 9 Claudia Porter with escorts

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