Posted on January 26, 2015 Houston Chronicle | By Amber Elliott
“Kmart shoppers please sit down, there’s a sale at your table,” Beth Robertson joked, imploring the boisterous crowd at Bill Hobby’s Birthday Roast and Toast tobe seated inside the River Oaks Country Club ballroom. “We have a sea of senators, mayors and governors tonight – it would take a lifetime to recognize each of you, so consider yourselves recognized.”
Indeed, the guest list for Wednesday night’s raucous bash celebrating Hobby’s 83rd birthday was a virtual who’s-who of Texas politics. Laughs kept rolling as Roberston and her co-chair-slash-sidekick Lynne Bentsen summoned University of Houston Chancellor and President Renu Khator to the stage. After officially welcoming partygoers to the land of red – crimson hues flushed the walls and dotted the elaborate tablescapes – Khator, the guest of honor’s neighbor, regaled the former Lieutenant Governor’s threats to crash her house parties in his pajamas should she get out of line.
Post dinner service, Beverly Kaufman presided over the official program as “Orner-ary Chairmen and Roasters” Senator Rodney Ellis, Joe Jamail and Herb Kelleher each had a go – the latter sang “Happy Birthday” to Hobby, Marilyn Monroe style.
The memorable affair, benefiting the Hobby Center for Public Policy and the Hobby School of Public Affairs initiative, raised more than $500,000.
In the crowd: Janet and Paul Hobby, Andrew Hobby, Ramona Davis, Don Adams, Jim Granato, Anne and Charles Duncan, Barbara and Corby Robertson, Delores Chambers, Kathy and Jody McCord, Shirley and Jim Dannenbaum, Bette and Ralph Thomas, Carroll Ray, Andrea and Bill White, Linda Gale and Mark White, Soraya and Scott McClelland, Diana and Chase Untermeyer, Beth Madison, Gerald Hines, Macey and Harry Reasoner, Ben Barnes, Rep. Garnet Coleman, Gwen Emmett and Harris County Judge Ed Emmett.
Photography Gary Fountain