Sir Lancelot never hung out at the Silver Spur Saloon. But that didn't keep the Camelot chapter of the Guilds of the Orange County Performing Arts Center from mingling the myths of the round table and the OK Corral to create "Camelot Goes Western" on Saturday night at the home of Robert and Gayle Anderson in Orange.
A court jester greeted guests at the entrance, marked by gray castle towers and guarded by knights in shining armor. A red carpet led past a display of coats of arms. But where the carpet ended, hay bales and saddles took over, marking the trail to a rollicking Wild West town in the Andersons' sprawling back yard.
The Silver Spur was one of several false fronts that made up the town. The buildings were props, but the horses in the nearby corral were the real thing. "We love to go out and ride all over the hills around here," said Gayle Anderson, who chaired the event.
The Andersons were dressed in silver rhinestone-studded lame outfits embellished with embroidered butterflies. They were a bit too fancy, Gayle admitted, for a sunset trail ride.
The suits, complete with matching 10-gallon hats and boots, "were designed for us about 10 years ago by Nudie of Hollywood," Gayle said. "He was known as the Rhinestone Tailor. He did outfits for Roy Rogers, Dale Evans, Elvis Presley and Glen Campbell."
The Andersons may have been able to go to their closets, but many guests went shopping when they saw "Western attire" on their invitations. "This is my first pair of jeans," said Clementine Dombrow, feeling a little uncomfortable in stiff new Calvin Klein petites.
Dr. H. E. Sterling said he and his wife, Diana, "went out (Friday) night in a panic" to shop for their cowboy duds. Dressed in black from his boots to his hat, Sterling, a plastic surgeon, wore a beeper instead of a six-shooter.
Dr. Hansel and Martha Benvenuti had already bought their all-white Western outfits--a year ago. "When we went to Europe last year, we heard the Italians were all wearing Western, so we bought these to wear over there," Martha said. "They weren't, so we didn't."
At sunset, the 165 guests sat down for fried chicken and ribs at tables decorated with denim tablecloths and red bandanna napkins.
Robert Anderson, who strolled the grounds during dinner offering advice on cowboy etiquette, was unruffled when a breeze blew a candle flame into a basket of corn bread and one guest had to use his napkin to dab out the flames. "Westerners always cook things to their liking," he quipped.
The event netted about $10,000 for the Center, according to chapter president Hope Von Herzen.