Diadames Share Some Fine Table Talk

Times Staff Writer

Joni Smith chaired the Diadames luncheon the other day at the Beverly Wilshire and personally hosted five tables of friends. That's what she did part of the day, between meetings. In the evening she appeared, still in the same gold silk suit, at the kickoff of the June 6 preview party for the Music Center's Mercado.

Diadames is a women's gourmet group. Annually, it stages a party that accents table decor. The tables were opulent. Lucy Zahran Bonorris used gold (metal) stem roses over Meissen gold-leaf plates, incorporating gold knife rests. Loriene and Clifton King concocted "Croissants on a Lace Bed." Barbro Taper borrowed Peggy Parker's china houses for her "House" table. Lois Linkletter and Mary Davis combined their jade and objets d'art.

Art Linkletter, who introduced each hostess and her table, avowed, with his wife by his side, that he had "driven for miles" to find four goldfish ($1.25) for the Imari bowl. Pat Moller and Nanci Denny set a glass menagerie table. Marcia Adams went "Ascot" using her mother's antique silver dance-card holder.

Also getting in on the act were Clark Smith and Donald Tronstein (the husbands of the co-chairmen did a riotous "Odd Couple" table), Rosemary and John Raitt (holding hands while he sang songs from "Oklahoma!"). Guests included Marilyn Duque, Dody Booth, Wallis Annenberg, Alyce Williamson and Bobbie Galpin (who hurried back to Pasadena for a fast change for the evening Mercado party), Lois Erburu, Bobbe DeHaven, Bonnie Black, Joan Hotchkis, Toni Webb, Charlotte Jensen, Mary Jones, Nancy Munger, Norma McIntyre, Maggie Wetzel, Arletta Tronstein, Andrea Van de Kamp, Dina Oldknow, Betty Ramser, Margaret Pereira, Betty McDonald and Adrienne Underwood. This party was just for friends. At other times, the Diadames raise funds for the Mirman School for gifted children.

Linkletter was in demand, too, at the ARCS Foundation's Science Awardees Ball at the Beverly Wilshire. When he agrees to do an introduction, he does major research and then adds a light touch, making him the master of introducers. Thus, he was a major hit when ARCS gave its award to Robert Noyce, co-inventor of the microcomputer chip.

Linkletter noted that Noyce is a University of California regent, co-founder of Intel Corporation, serves as a trustee for Grinnell College, has flown seaplanes and built a hang glider, is a madrigal singer and plays the oboe. And he does that all with a congenial smile.

Noyce flew in from Los Altos with his wife, Ann Bowers, for the black-tie occasion which started with cocktails at Gumps. Had it not been misting, guests might have walked to the Beverly Wilshire for dinner and dancing but because of the rain, they were transported in vans.

Enjoying the evening were Maritza and Basil McManus (she was ball chairman), Barbara and Chandler Harris (she's president), Mrs. Fred Nason with Count Hubert O'Brien, Mary and Stuart Davis, Jaclyn and Randy Hill, Robert and Marie Humphreys, Patricia Hearst, Vivian and Ken Baker, Marion Malouf with John Vernay, Florence Malouf with Elton Leach, Betty and Kenneth Morgan, Dr. Marvin and Mildred Goldberger, the Walter Danielsons, Anne and Romus Soucek, William and Marilyn Simpson, Joann McGarty with Bill Williams, the Leland Atwoods, and Fred and Millie O'Green, who never missed a dance.

The Los Angeles Planned Parenthood Guild Men's Dinner was a definite success. About $75,000 was raised to step up the guild's efforts to combat teen pregnancy. And it was raised so easily--20 male boosters spent an afternoon cooking quail stuffed with rice and truffles, supervised by master chef Roy Yamaguchi. Benefit chairmen Steven and Judy Jones even included their daughter Lawry, who's headed for Harvard's MBA program next fall, and a youthful group including James (Chip) Stuart Jr., Robby Wood, Pia Anderson, John Woods and Kelly MacNeal. Toni Haber was back from a month in India, where she rode an elephant into Tiger Tops at Nepal; Paul and Dorothy Toeppen talked about the villa they've leased in Tuscany for next fall. Roz and Henry Rogers had signed up for the UCLA summer program at Cambridge, but Henry has nixed dorm life. More guests included Anna Bing Arnold, the Lawrence Goodmans, Charles and Nancy Munger, Yvonne Lenart, Keith and Betty Russell, Janice Rusack (guild president), Michael and Karen Berk, and Richard and Dee Sherwood.

Barbara Sinatra hosts the fourth annual Barbara Sinatra Art Auction Saturday at the Marriott Rancho Las Palmas Resort in Rancho Mirage. All proceeds go the Barbara Sinatra Children's Center, expected to open in August at the Eisenhower Medical Center.

She's particularly interested in providing affordable outpatient mental health treatment for the full range of emotional problems that affect children. The center will have a unit for abused children. And the thrust will be on prevention.

Paintings, sculptures and prints by Dinah Shore, Gina Lollobrigida, Tony Bennett, Ginger Rogers, Red Skelton, Jonathan Winters, and, of course, Frank Sinatra, will be auctioned.

Tickets are $75. Information: (619) 340-3003.

Nelda Linsk is chairman, assisted by Natalie Schwartz. More helping are Calvin Vander Woude, Norma Lawler, Joseph Tobin, Judy Gelfand, Barbara Kaplan, Anne Sutherland, Doris Hammond and Lynn Mallotto.

Greer Garson receives the prestigious Lifelighters Award on April 5 at the 35th annual Ruby Ball in the International Ballroom of the Beverly Hilton. The actress was recently in the spotlight at Jimmy's Restaurant where Jimmy Murphy and Nat Dumont hosted a cocktail reception for her friends, including Cynthia and Hal Gershman, Carol Connors, Jacques Camus, Nancy and Carroll O'Connor, Beverly Sassoon, the Jim Blakelys, Marilyn McCoo, Billy Davis Jr., Cornel Wilde and Barbara Lawrence.

Former President and Betty Ford, the Carroll O'Connors, and Michael and Gretchen Wayne will play a major role in filling the house for the dinner which has been underwritten by the Gershmans.

The net--100% of it--will benefit the John Wayne Cancer Clinic at UCLA.

Sculptor Sasha Brastoff is designing the special award for Mrs. Garson. The elaborate theme is "The Elegance of Gatsby." In keeping with the era, Jeanne Hillis, of the Hillis salons in Palm Springs, is expected to present a provocative fashion extravaganza with lots of lynx and sable and dazzling jewels and gowns.

President Suzanne Odekerken and ball chairman Maureen Womack, have a jewel of a committee: Betty Christensen, Jean Murdock, Jean Burns, Virginia Dragon, Barbara Cleeton, Barbara Michael, Jacquelyn Heebner, Bee Nassour, Vera O'Larry, Linda Scott, Anne Taylor, Helen Kirk, Katherine Small, Barbara Griffiths, Marie Rolf and Helen Lindhurst.

What started out as a small surprise birthday party for Albert F. Osterloh III blossomed into a black-tie dinner dance. And the guest of honor made it back from Washington on time, though wife Katie was afraid he wouldn't.

Partygoers danced to the Sunbursts under a ceiling of black and white balloons at the upper Bel Air Bay Club. There were lots of out-of-towners: David and Nan Adams of New York, John and Susan Yocom of Toronto, Albert Zlotnick of Philadelphia, Bucky and Jane O'Connor of Oklahoma City, Charlie and Collie Huter of Carson City, and George and Barbara Karl of Newport Beach.

More celebrating were Kee and Paul Flynn, Rita and Bruce Murdoch, Joyce and Fred Hameetman, Raylene and Bruce Meyer, Wayne Rogers, JoAnn Pflug, Gloria and Paul Griffin, Maggie Edwards and Gene Croft, Anne and Fred Clark, Linda and Morry Behar, Linnette and Hugh Temple, Elaine and Ken Leventhal, Pam and Peter Mullin, Mary Pat and Gary Cooper, Yudi and Welton Becket, and Margot and Tom Barron.

The Pacific Asia Museum opens the "Festival of India" exhibit from 2 to 7 p.m. today. In conjunction with the Pasadena Centennial and the Year of India, Pasadena Mayor William Bogaard and Consul General of India Deb Mukharji will preside over the traditional coconut breaking ceremony. The museum courtyard should be alive with the sights, smells and tastes of India. Chicken will be prepared in an authentic tandoori oven and guests will learn to wrap a sari.

Last night, trustees and the India Arts Council attended a special preview of the exhibition: "Indian Miniature Paintings from the Collection of Mrs. Harriette von Breton."

The Music Center Opera League presents its inaugural season lecture at 4 p.m. today at Crocker Center Auditorium, 330 S. Hope St. Speaking will be Richard Hickox, who is scheduled to conduct Handel's "Alcina" in November at the Wiltern Theater (part of the Los Angeles Music Center Opera inaugural season).

The board of directors and medical staff of Huntington Memorial Hospital will host a preview of the hospital's new Pediatric Center at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday.

The Millie and Mike Hersch Family Surgical Center at the City of Hope will be dedicated today. Hersch is a four-time City of Hope president. All the Hersches, including sons Mitchell and Brian and daughter Kerry, are active in City of Hope activities.

Jolie Gabor and her daughters--Magda, Zsa Zsa and Eva--will be in the spotlight at the black-tie Americana Ball V Thursday in the grand ballroom of the Hilton Riviera Hotel in Palm Springs. The night supports the Palm Springs Senior Center. The Gabors follow a host of honorees--former President Ford, Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, former Ambassador Walter Annenberg and Barbara Sinatra.

Upcoming: At Annandale Country Club, St. Anne's Angel Awards Luncheon committee, headed by Evelyn Blasiar, finalized plans for the event April 22 in the International Ballroom of the Beverly Hilton. Ruben Panis will present his collection. . . .

Wine and cheese precede the Theater of N.O.T.E. special screening of Ed Harker's new film, "Dream On," at 8 p.m. Wednesday in the Writers Guild Theater in Beverly Hills. . . .

Here's one way to view the Oscars: Cedars-Sinai's Alfred Jay Firestein Diabetes Center Associates chairman Alan Croll and Dr. Stuart Holden, along with Jane Glassman and Judy Komaiko, stage an off-Academy Awards dinner Monday at the Hollywood Roosevelt. They'll rig three giant screens and project the telecast of the 58th Annual Academy Awards broadcast from the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. . . .

Past perfect:

Faith and James Porter (she's a sculptor and jewelry designer; he's an architect, and both are USC graduates), discussed their "marriage of art and architecture" for the USC Friends of Fine Arts. . . .

Cynthia and Hal Gershman hosted a St. Patrick's Day dinner at Jimmy's. Guest included Rose Marie and Danny Thomas, Beverly and Buddy Rogers, Marilyn and Harry Lewis, and Zsa Zsa Gabor. . . .

Friends of Cedar House viewed Travilla's spring collection at a luncheon at the Hyatt Regency. Bonnie Lavonie, president, and Shirle Lewis and Kris Klose planned the affair. . . .

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