A very patriotic red, white and blue evening is in the works for March 14 when the Los Angeles Area USO presents its Distinguished American Award to First Lady Nancy Reagan at a dinner-dance in the Beverly Wilshire's Grand Ballroom. Flags will unfurl, a color guard made up of representatives of all the services will march through the ballroom, red napkins will complement the white tablecloths and even the dessert, the Betsy Ross Bombe, will combine the flag colors in its ice cream filling and strawberry sauce. When it's time for the Pledge of Allegiance, Efrem Zimbalist Jr. will lead the group.
For Mrs. Reagan, who is flying in from Washington (with a stopover in Phoenix to visit her mother) to receive the honor, there will be plenty of pals on the dais to keep her company. Dolores and Bob Hope, both recipients of previous Distinguished American Awards, are dinner chairmen. Mrs. Hope will also make the presentation. Johnny Grant, another award recipient who has made 44 USO tours overseas to entertain the troops, will act as master of ceremonies. Margaret Brock, often referred to as Mrs. Republican, is honorary co-chairman with Grant. Presidential pal James Stewart is on the honorary committee along with such rooters as Ed McMahon, Gene Raymond, Connie Stevens, Dean Martin, George Peppard and Fred MacMurray and his wife June Haver. And greeting the First Lady at the VIP reception will be such familiar faces as Virginia and Holmes Tuttle, Ruth and Tom Jones, Sybil Brand, Dr. and Mrs. Armand Hammer, Loretta Young, Ginger Rogers and Fred Hayman. Big business--Coca-Cola, Rockwell, American Airlines, Security Pacific, Litton, etc.--will be represented by the top guys.
Everyone is going to love the entertainment--Tony Martin and Andy Williams--and the food (hearts of palm, watercress and mushroom salad and roast filet of beef). All in all it's shaping up into a very rah-rah evening. Except perhaps for the press corps, who'll be kept far away from the First Lady. It's the way the White House wants it.
Thailand's petite and stylish Queen Sirikit (the House of Balmain dresses her) will be in Los Angeles later this month under the auspices of the Ambassador Foundation, which is keeping details of her visit quiet. But we've done a little snooping and come up with a few tidbits. She arrives at the Beverly Wilshire on March 19, accompanied by an entourage of 20 and beaucoup equipage (royalty never, never travels light) and will probably leave on the 29th. And on her social agenda are two large dinners--one at the Beverly Wilshire, another at the Century Plaza--and a tea. The queen has a married daughter living in Southern California.
Love notes: Jerome Nemiro, the man at the helm of Bullocks Wilshire, and Dolores Naar, an active member of SHARE, will marry March 20. It's going to be another of those small weddings and right after the ceremony and a few toasts the couple will take off for a Paris honeymoon. It's good news for all their pals.
Now that we've finished celebrating the marriage of Geri Firks and Dick Brawerman (or have we?), we start fresh with a lineup of parties for Guadalupe Hank and Darwin Shannon. Frances Klein is the first to send out invitations for a bridal luncheon at Jimmy's honoring the bubbly Mexican-born Lupita. The wedding date is April 19.
The Social Scramble: Boy George, sans any visible makeup and wearing an oversize overcoat and scarf, was part of the Friday lunch bunch at the Bistro Garden. Boy's luncheon companion was blonde Morgan Fairchild. Around the room and oblivious to the attractions of the super-rocker were Betty Adams lunching with Erlenne Sprague, Giney Milner and Chardee Trainer; Rose Marie Thomas with Mrs. Nat King Cole (Maria), Mrs. Sugar Ray Robinson (Millie) and Mrs. Billy Daniels (Perri); Milton and Gloria Gunzburg; Cubby and Dana Broccoli with Sir Gordon White and David Niven Jr.; Betty Niklas with Millie Katleman and Juli Hutner with Joyce Flaherty.
They break ground today for the Pavilion of Japanese Art at the County Museum of Art with a formal Japanese ceremony and jubilant speeches delivered by trustee president Julian Ganz Jr. and LACMA Director Earl A. Powell III. Tonight, Ganz, Powell and the trustees host a preview reception for the exhibition of Japanese Ink Paintings. When completed, the new pavilion will house the Shin'enKan Collection, a 1983 gift from Mr. and Mrs. Joe D. Price and the largest holding of Edo period paintings in the Western world.
French Impressionist painter Camille Pissarro's grandson, Joachim, head of the Impressionist and Contemporary department of London's Phillips Signed Art Auctioneers, will be at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel at the end of the week. As part of his Beverly Hills orientation, Wally Cedar is taking him to dinner at Max au Triangle.
John Bowles, one of the leaders of Los Amigos del Pueblo who are committed to restoring the historic adobes on Olvera Street, took members of the Rome Polo Team to lunch at La Golondrina on the Plaza. The team, here under the sponsorship of Geyser Peak Winery, then went on to Palm Springs where over the weekend it will cross mallets at the Eldorado Polo Club with teams from Los Angeles, Santa Barbara and San Francisco.
Les Gourmets du Dimanche met the other night (a Sunday, naturally) at the home of Dr. Fabio Marcotulli to dine on osso buco and risotto prepared by Max Eckert and to talk about their next outing. Les Gourmets have chosen Rome and Florence for their springtime jaunt, a week of sightseeing, art viewing and shopping in those two magnificent Italian towns. Eckert will act as tour guide as he did for Les Gourmets' recent visit to Hong Kong. Taking in every detail were avid travelers like Jan and Jim Moiso, Jack Lowrance, Van Venneri, Lois Howard, Dr. Joseph Pollock, Barbara MacDonald, Ann Marie Moses. Yvonne Auerbach, Don DeVaney, Nina Trutanic, Philip Salet, Father Maurice Chase, Elisabeth Pollon and Bea Gilbert. Before the first drinks were served, a few of the guests admitted they'd already signed on--Ellen Pollon and Diane and Bill Murphy with daughters Meg and Cassie.