John Traina, San Francisco’s favorite gentleman farmer, gathered his whole tribe, including sons Trevor, Todd and Maxx and daughters Samantha, Victoria, Vanessa and Zara, for the biennial Fourth of July Barn Dance at Traina Vineyards, tucked in one of the prettiest spots in Napa Valley. Duded up in cowboy hats, pointy boots and Western wear, neighbors — representing clans Procter & Gamble, Hills Bros., Swanson and Mondavi — all moseyed in, as did social types like San Francisco’s O.J. Shansby and Urannia Ristow.
“My look isn’t too hoe-down,” said Victoria, who is studying design at Parsons.
This story first appeared in the July 8, 2003 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
“As long as it isn’t too ho’,” warned big brother Trevor.
But while Victoria and Vanessa, who were headed off to meet their mother, Danielle Steel, at the couture, know a thing or two about dude ranch dishabille, some of the younger crew’s scanty costumes raised eyebrows.
“What’s amazing is what they’re not wearing,” Norah Stone told Allison Speer.
And miniskirted, sunkissed teens and twentysomethings swarmed throughout. After all, each of the Traina kids, from adorable 15-year-old Zara, who slunk though the shadows with her boyfriend, to the eldest, was allowed to invite 50 friends. Even pop star Vanessa Carlton, one of the 25 houseguests staying at Trevor and Todd’s place down the road, went country-western.
John himself came as an Indian scout. “I’m thinking of opening up a casino,” he joked.
But gaming tables were the only amusement Traina didn’t truck in for the party. Tarot card readers, stilt walkers, lasso throwers, a Good Humor truck, a cotton-candy maker and a popcorn machine ringed the barn. Some guests set off fireworks, others made for the mechanical bull — then begged for aspirin.
After the previous week’s black-tie engagement party, thrown by Todd and Trevor’s mother, Dede Wilsey, for Todd and his fiancée Katie Orr at Wilsey’s Napa palace, it was remarkable anyone could still stand, let alone line-dance.
But kicking through the sawdust, Todd and Katie took the first spin, then the Traina sisters and their friends stormed the dance floor.
“Tomorrow morning I’m going to wake up and count the days until the Trainas’ next barn dance,” sighed Alexis Swanson Farrer.
The next night, a few hours away in Squaw Valley, Lori Puccinelli and Peter Stern celebrated their nuptials with a party at PlumpJack Squaw Valley Inn. Of course, proprietors Gordon and Ann Getty and the Newsom clan — Gavin, Kimberly and Hilary — were there, as were Cecelia de Quesada, Kendall Wilkinson and politicos Nancy Pelosi and Jerry Brown. “I’m calling this weekend ‘Two Weddings and a Funeral,’” said Pelosi, the House Majority Leader, who also attended a wedding in Yosemite and a funeral in San Francisco before hightailing it back to Washington, D.C.
Though her schedule wasn’t quite as intense, Dorka Keehn whirled her way from the barn dance to wedding. “It’s only three hours to Squaw Valley,” she said breezily, “and I never miss a good party.”