La Vie de Ville: Juleps in June aids Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society

Few events are as quintessentially New Orleans as the Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society’s annual Juleps in June fundraiser.

William Faulkner scholar Kenneth Holditch, writer Rosemary James and New Orleans attorney Joseph DeSalvo Jr. founded the society in 1990.

The husband and wife team of DeSalvo and James set about the monumental task of restoring Faulkner’s former New Orleans residence at 624 Pirate’s Alley in the French Quarter.

The Nobel laureate lived on the ground floor of the property in 1925 when he arrived in New Orleans from Europe as a budding young poet and novelist. Within a year, Faulkner had published his first novel, “Soldiers’ Pay.”

Today, DeSalvo and James still reside in the property they lovingly restored and the couple devotes their collective talents to preserving and promoting the legacy of one of America’s greatest writers. The ground floor of the residence is occupied by Faulkner House Books, and the couple often opens their home above the bookstore for special events associated with the Faulkner Society.

Recently, the society’s founders and members produced one of their signature fundraising events. Event co-chairs Greer and David Monteleone opened their stunning Old Metairie home for Juleps in June.

Patrons mixed and mingled as they sipped juleps in silver cups engraved just for the special occasion.

The summer soiree featured live musical performances by two ensembles: the John Rankin Trio and an ensemble led by clarinetist Tim Laughlin.

An open bar quenched thirsts all evening long and a sumptuous dinner buffet nourished guests while they gathered under the oaks in celebration of a beloved writer that became a New Orleans son.

The Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society is a nonprofit entity dedicated to preserving Faulkner’s legacy.

The organization produces several key events annually including The Great Gatsby Big Read in the fall and the Words & Music Literary Feast in early winter.

To learn more about the society, please visit http://www.wordsandmusic.org.

La Vie de Ville captures city life New Orleans style every Thursday in The Advocate New Orleans Community News Section. Please email information on your upcoming event to robertagrove@hotmail.com.