Mixing friendship and Wall Street: A Valentine’s Celebration


Since the late ’90s, I’ve bought and sold stocks with the ladies of WEB Investment Club. When we started the started the club, most of us had no idea how to access stock market info online or place a trade.  Now we talk the talk of PE ratios, exchange funds, and the like, even though we sometimes buy on a whim!

Yes, we’ve also had our ups and downs — members have come and gone, the stock market almost wiped out our earnings (and everyone else’s) in ’08, and we’ve bought some dogs of the Dow and wondered What were we thinking? when they tanked. We’re now talking about what to do with Apple!

But through it all, we’ve remained friends.  Good friends.  The kind who don’t mind speaking up and saying What do you mean we should sell?  That’s my favorite stock!

And one more thing we have in common:  We like to have fun! That’s why we invite the husbands (well, sometimes) and share the joy!


Member Jeanne Misenheimer with her husband Stephen

With busy December schedules, we decided to forgo our usual Christmas affair with husbands until February and celebrate Valentine’s instead. Our host and hostess were Vandy Leake and her husband Don who invited us to their lovely West Knoxville home.

Don and Vandy Leake hosting the Valentine's Day dinner for our investment club.

Don and Vandy Leake hosting the Valentine’s Day dinner for our investment club.

Now you have to know this about Vandy: she could have her own show on HGTV — she’s just that creative!  Her colorful touches and floral designs added a romantic ambience to the evening.

On the buffet table, blue and white pottery anchored an arrangement of forced white tulips and pink begonias.

Centerpiece created by Vandy Leake anchors the bountiful table

Centerpiece created by Vandy Leake anchors the bountiful table.

Streams of knotted and curled french ribbons wound under and through the platters and casseroles brought by members.


In the sunroom, a ruffled pillow stenciled with LOVE found a home among the yellow and green pillows on the wicker settee.


Tulips burst forth in this coffee table arrangement of ferns and ivy in a silver urn . . .


and swags of ribbons and hearts in the sunroom were visible even from the entryway.


Gourmet dishes and comfort food proved that this investment club could easily turn into an eating club if the market goes south again!


Doris Carter anchored the table with husband Dave’s smoked salmon and special sauce.


Gale Pettit said she cooked the pork tenderloin in the oven, but we could have sworn it was smoked on husband Mike’s outdoor grill.


Trisha Clark filled a platter with tomatoes, mozzarella cheese and a balsamic vinegar/olive oil topping for the biggest caprese salad we had ever seen.


And Vandy’s stuffed new potatoes were a hit with most guests coming back for seconds!


Sandra Bowlin and her husband Gary let me take a picture of them right after dinner when they were feeling oh-so-full and happy!


It was good times, good food, and good friends.


Don, Vandy, Gary, Sandra, Trisha, Jim, Doris, Gale, Charlotte, Bert, Jack, Jeanne, Stephen, Dave, and Mike — right before the WEB Investment Club dinner!


Now, if we can just buy winning stocks as well as we can cook, we’ll have a Wall Street year to remember!


Corn Souffle

6 Tbs. sugar

6 Tbs. flour

2 tsp. salt

2 cans cream style corn

2 cans whole kernel corn, drained

1 1/4 cup milk

4 beaten eggs

2 Tbs. melted butter

Mix sugar, flour, salt, cream style corn, and whole kernel corn together. Mix mild and eggs thoroughly with melted butter.  Add to corn mixture and mix well. Bake in a greased casserole or souffle dish at 350 degrees for 1 hour. (If a deep dish is used, increase baking time until middle is almost set.) Serves 8-10

Happy Valentine’s Day from an investment club that knows what it takes to stay the course — and still remain friends!


13 thoughts on “Mixing friendship and Wall Street: A Valentine’s Celebration

  1. doris carter

    rusha…you are something else….although I was there for our meeting, your description made me enjoy the evening again!.

    1. Rusha Sams

      Thanks! I wish I had photographed everyone, but I didn’t have the idea to write that post until the meal was almost finished! Thanks for reading and commenting!

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