More On How The Party Started:

Over the past 25 years, Jay Morgan's "Friday Night Porch Parties" and their online cult following may have grown in numbers, but its sentiment remain the same.

On his website, Jay says, "There has always been a small group of close friends that come to the porch every time they are in town, but Jay is also good about inviting new friends.  Honestly, he feels as though God puts people on his heart during the week that might need a night on the porch.  There may be 12 or 44, but we never run out of food!"

He continues with, "The Friday Night Porch Party is not about small talk.  It’s filled with real life stories shared among friends and always tons of laughter.  On hot summer nights, we may have to turn on the big shop fan.  And on the cold nights, we might gather around the fire pit.  One thing is for sure, everyone leaves the porch with a warm heart and full belly."

Q: Have you always had a love for gathering and hosting people?

"I guess I have. I was always the classmate who organized parties for our class when we were in high school, including parties at my friend Stephen’s barn out in the country.  We called those barn parties.  As my memories serve me, I would plant the seed in Stephen’s mind early in the week for a party at the barn.  Once he agreed, I would start spreading the word.  Those parties were the best!"  

Q: What is included in your "recipe of non-negotiables" that makes for being a great host _ to ensure that your guests have a good time?

"Good music, good food, and good conversation make for the best parties.  How many times have you gone to a party and there’s no music playing?  That drives me crazy.  Music sets the mood.  

I included food in this list of musts, but don’t get me wrong……the food doesn’t have to be anything fancy.  It can be pizza.  Your friends and family are just excited to be there. If you think about it, people don’t entertain a lot these days.  We live in a neighborhood of many large houses that rarely entertain.  

Good conversation is achieved by a good guest list.  Let’s face it…..not everyone gels well.  I love loud, fun women.  You know the type I’m talking about.  My personality is attracted to them. Not as my wife, but as my friend! I must be very careful about having too many of my loud, funny friends in the same room at the same time.  They can easily clash.  I also like to introduce new friends to my old friends.  I’m 55 years old and still love making a new friend." 

Q: I’m sure that over the years, you’ve gotten quite a few gifts to say “thank you” for hosting. What are the top two or three gifts that have stood out as some of the winners to you over the years?

"That’s a funny question.  At our age, Lou and I love what we call “consumable gifts”.  We love gifts we can eat, drink, burn and smell.  Lou’s favorite happy to give now is this special washing powder.  She loves it and so do our friends!  Probably the best gift ever was a few years back when our refrigerator was on its last leg.  Many of the drawers were broken and the air vent was stuffed with paper towels because it was broken and too much cold air was coming out freezing everything in the fridge.  Our Friday friends passed the hat and surprised us with a new refrigerator!  That must be the best gift ever." 

Q: With a beautiful wife + three daughters, you are lucky to be surrounded by so many wonderful women in your life. Do they recommend any Susan Shaw pieces that would be a good fit for a FNPP or to bring as a hostess gift?

"Lou thinks any piece of Susan Shaw jewelry would make the perfect hostess gift.  She said, "It’s aways hard to think of a creative hostess gift and I’ve grown tired of always giving candles.  A Susan Shaw piece would make the perfect gift because they are so versatile.  They all look great dresses up for a party or more casual for game day.  I love mine.'”


Anne Scott says, 'Susan Shaw dresses up a casual outfit perfectly.  The gold goes with everything.  Susan Shaw jewelry is such a personal gift but it’s so versatile it would fit anyone’s style.'"

Q: As the placements for College Bowl Games have just been announced, football season has almost come to a close. If so much of the Fall is dedicated to Game Days in the Grove, are there still Friday nights dedicated to hosting Friday Porch Parties?

"Friday Night Porch Party happens every Friday night unless we are out of town or have other plans.  I have spent many Fridays cooking for tailgating in The Grove and for Friday Night Porch Party. The best FNPPs are when our children are in town for the weekend and all their friends come over for a visit.  Those are my favorite nights."

Q: We hear that you’ve celebrated a few weddings over the past few years. Can you tell us a little bit more about the experience of preparing for such large events and some of the highlights of welcoming so many people that you love into your home?

"2022 was quite a year with home weddings for our three daughters in January, May, and December.  Since they were little, our girls have said they wanted their wedding receptions at our house.  I intentionally left an area of our back yard treeless to save room for a wedding tent. I never dreamed they would all fall in love and marry the same year!  Just reliving that gives me anxiety.  My girls all wanted their receptions to be a great party, so I was up for the challenge.   We had to spend our money wisely to make sure my brides were happy.  We used a family friend for wedding photos and sacrificed the wedding video for 10 piece bands and cocktails.  We made it work with the help of so many precious friends.  There’s not much I’d change."