William Smith, Wife Back in Groove

It's a little overdue, this "Welcome Home" party for former Atty. Gen. William French Smith and his wife Jean who left Washington late in February to settle back home in Pasadena. Bill Smith eased himself into his old office at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher. Jean resumed her local charitable affairs (and gave up just a few of her Washington commitments). And together they've slipped easily into the social rounds they were part of before he became President Reagan's attorney general. It now almost seems as if they'd never been away.

But in the overall scheme of things, for people of their standing and accomplishments there has to be an official hometown greeting. And that's what the Los Angeles Area Council, Boy Scouts of America is doing with a big-scale dinner (black tie preferred) on Sept. 19 at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel. The evening will benefit Inner-city Scouting in the Los Angeles Area. And it will give the Boy Scouts a chance to present both Smiths with Life Achievement Awards. Well earned, too.

Heading the honorary committee for this hometown celebration is California Sen. Pete Wilson, chairman, and Margaret Martin Brock (known around these parts as Mrs. Republican), tribute chairman, who are joined by Peter de Wetter, George F. Moody and Fred O'Green. The dinner committee is equally impressive. It includes, among many more, Whitaker Corp.'s Joseph F. Alibrandi, Supervisor Michael Antonovich, Smith's legal colleague F. Daniel Frost, Northrop's Thomas F. Jones, Beneficial Standard Insurance's Joseph Mitchell and his wife Beverly, the Los Angeles Turf Club's Robert P. Strub, First Interstate's John F. King, Thrifty Corp.'s Leonard H. Straus, Grace and Henry Salvatori and Great Western's James F. Montgomery. The rousing choruses of "Welcome back Bill and Jean" will be thunderous.

Gene Kelly, America's best known Francophile, is opening his reconstructed Beverly Hills home (it was gutted by fire two Christmases ago) to help launch his daughter Bridget's new career. Bridget who has been studying in Paris will now become the director of American development for the Pierre le Prince collection of men's and women's fashions. There's a le Prince salon in Paris, but in America the couture fashions will be sold on a one-to-one basis and Bridget's in charge. Tuesday afternoon at the Kelly home Pierre le Prince chief Pierre Wilford, a handful of Parisian models, and the collection (20 styles for women, 12 for men) will make their bows to a gathering of the Kellys' California friends.

It was all celebrating the night Laura Branigan performed for a sold-out audience at the Universal Amphitheatre. Backstage after the concert were Barbara Eden and Dr. Stanley Frileck, actress Shari Belafonte-Harper, singer-actress Lisa Hartman, producer Tony Adams with "Hollywood Close Up" co-host Cynthia Allison. And much later there was a supper party at Spago's for Branigan hosted by Atlantic Record's president Doug Morris. At one point Morris toasted the singer's successful tour and her fourth Atlantic release ("Hold Me," the album, includes her current big hit "Spanish Eddie"). And then Branigan toasted Paul Cooper on his promotion to senior vice president of the record company's West Coast operation. Meanwhile sipping and supping on Wolfgang Puck's best were Dr. Robert Karns, Branigan's mother Kathleen who flew in from New York and her brother Mark Branigan who lives in San Diego, Bill Schrank, Dr. Antonio Elizalde, Dick Gilmore and Laura's manager Susan Joseph.

Tall, slim and beautiful Kim Alexis has the enviable job (it means beaucoup traveling and beaucoup bucks) of being the new beauty ambassador for Revlon's Ultima II line. And the other night, dressed in an above-the-knee-length beaded Fabrice gown, she was the guest of honor at a little Moroccan dinner party thrown by Revlon's vice president Dan Moriarty and Kim's traveling companion on this current tour.

The setting was the private room just off the terrace at Le Bel Age. By pure happenstance one of chef Derrick Dikkers' assistants at the hotel is Tinoco Maximilano, a Moroccan, who whipped up a selection of his country's special delicacies. Running down the length of the table were white moschata roses, which grow along Morocco's Mediterranean. (The roses, blended with a few other fragrant ingredients in France make up Ultima II's new fragrance, Maroc.) And the guests, a lively lot, included Los Angeles Magazine's editor Geoff Miller, producers Ross Hunter and Jacque Mapes, actress Linda Miller and her son Jason Patric and Geraldine and Jack Chutuk (Linda and Gerry are Jackie Gleason's daughters), The Broadway's Margot Scavarda, Vogue's Eleanore Phillips Colt, Harper Bazaar's Nancy Dinsmore, Glennis Liberty, New Yorker Susan Reed and Le Bel Age's Milan Adam.

Red Letter Days: This morning when Bullocks Wilshire hosts a champagne petite dejeuner for major supporters of the UCLA Center for the Arts. It's happening in Jerome Nemiro's Presidential Suite and we know every detail will be perfect because a few days back BW's Shirley Wilson and Rosemarie Troy watched over a run-through with Sheila Tepper, Connie Chang, Dawn Douglas, Rosalind Millstone and Brooke Pattengill. The petite dejeuner's special guests are designer Frank Smith who'll show vignettes from his fall collection for Evan Picone, Robert H. Gray, dean of UCLA's College of Fine Arts, and Pebbles Wadsworth, director of the Center.

Sunday when the Los Angeles Guild of the San Diego Opera enjoys an "Afternoon of Opera" at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Ragnar C. Qvale.

Sept. 17 when the Board of Supervisors of Los Angeles County--chairman Edmund D. Edelman, Peter F. Schabarum, Kenneth Hahn, Deane Dana and Michael D. Antonovich--thank Margaret Paterson Carr, the county's chief of protocol, for two years of "exceptional service to the county" over drinks in The Founders' Room of the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.

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