Patricia Gannon: It’s a matter of class

You either have it or you don’t. And if you don’t, it can’t be bought. Wealth and power confer privileges and status, but class is not a perk included in the package. Class is different and has no price tag.

Not the sort as in social class, a group of people who possess the same income, but the much more elusive class — style, dignity, elegance and manner. Cary Grant had class, Arnold Schwarzenegger does not. Some cars have it, as do racehorses, and very few politicians. Queen Elizabeth has it; Prince Charles can’t seem to get any while Princess Di had more than enough. Hollywood used to have some, but not anymore, and, despite the Tiger Woods and Mike Tysons of the world, you can still see it occasionally in athletes — Derek Jeter, Jake Delhomme, Drew Brees and a few others.

Genuine class has always been effortless and innate. You can tell where it’s lacking, but because class never announces itself (that would be classless) you have to witness it.

Like the soldier and LSU fan deployed three times to both Iraq and Afghanistan. A self-confessed football fanatic, he asked a third party if it would be possible to get an autograph, maybe from Josh Dworaczyk, a former Tiger whose picture had appeared in The Advocate’s society pages. During his career, Dworaczyk labored largely in the trenches and perhaps the soldier appreciated someone who could hold the line.

Several calls later, Dworaczyk was located at the airport ready to catch a vacation flight to California. Not only did he respond, he sent an autographed football. And that’s class.

You either have it or you don’t.

Dworaczyk has it.

Patricia Gannon covers society for The Acadiana Advocate. She can be reached at pgannon@cmaildrop.com or at pgannon@theadvocate.com.

Veterans install new officers

Without them, society as we know it could be quite different. Veterans of American Legion Post 69 recently installed Commander Daniel J. Bentley et al with due ceremony under the historic oaks on Surrey Street. Bentley, an Acadiana native and owner of Beausoleil Investigations & Consulting Firm, is a former elite Presidential Honor Guard member who served under President Reagan. Outgoing commander and Pearl Harbor survivor Robert D. Lowe emceed the evening and gave a handwritten speech acknowledging duty and service before departing his post. Among those present and accounted for were Alfred “Al” Leger from the Louisiana Department of Veterans, Adam Mouton, Tom Green, Bob St. Clair, Jeff Landry, Charles Lasseigne, Rudy Bourg, Jackson Croker, Camille Lejeune and Vietnam veteran Karen Fontenot. Anthem soloist Lanna Lejeune performed, and Capital One’s Curt Couvillier, whose bank is committed to refurbishing the facilities, also attended. Bentley plans to expand membership and outreach to young veterans as well as to work closely with Sen. David Vitter and Congressman Charles Boustany to establish a larger VA Clinic in Lafayette. The American Legion is the world’s largest wartime veteran’s service organization, and membership stands at over 2.4 million in 14,000 posts worldwide. Post 69 represents members of the Lafayette community who have served America with dignity in times of war.

AcA screens film

The Acadiana Center for the Arts saw a chic art house crowd attend the Cane Fire Series screening of “Filth,” a film written and directed by Jon S. Baird. “I’m trying to bring in the art house films that normally open in New York or L.A. but don’t make it to Lafayette on the big screen — or Louisiana for that matter,” said Michael Scott Myers, curator and originator of the project. “This is a good crowd, we had 25 pre-sold tickets.” At the AcA since last October, Myers also plans to show “The Congress,” “We Are the Best” and is considering “Smiling through the Apocalypse.” Also smiling were Brenda and Kirk Piccione, Lisa Tabor, Troy Falgout and Acadiana Center for the Arts Executive Director Gerd Wuestemann, whose German team had just won the World Cup the night before. “I’m a rabid soccer fan,” he said. “If you’re German, it’s genetic. I celebrated as much as I could.”

The Art of Lunch

Friends of the Humanities mixed their business with pleasure at the University Art Museum. The ladies had a private tour of the upstairs galleries courtesy of curator Lee Gray and a personal introduction to new exec LouAnne Greenwald before lunching at Jolie’s. “I just became a member,” Greenwald told the Friends. “I’m going to be hanging out with you.” Taking in the culture were Gail DeHart, Fifi Billeaud, Dr. Lise Anne Slatten, Celia Foard, mother-daughter pair Pam and Abbey Smith and creative hands Pam Stroup and Bettie Sonnier, who fashioned Linda Alesi’s pendant from Shearwater pottery shards.