It's a long way from the American West to West Hollywood--but when the two did meet, it was instant chic, sudden awareness and almost immediate gratification.
All of that--and more--as the 3-month-old Los Angeles chapter of the Wild Horse Sanctuary held an overflow luncheon at open-for-the-occasion Spago on Friday. It was not an afternoon for easy eating or leisurely chatting.
Beverly Petal, wearing one of the money-raising Wild Horse T-shirts, pulled Barbara Lazaroff over to a display board with large color photos of wild horses: "We don't have Louis XIV. We don't have Queen Elizabeth. This is our American heritage."
Petal and Diane Clapp, who, with husband Jim runs the nonprofit sanctuary in the Shasta County community of Shingletown, were adamant that political action to save wild horses is more than necessary. If a 90-day regulation, proposed by the Bureau of Land Management in April but still not implemented, goes into effect, they said, there would be "unjustifiable killing of thousands of wild horses."
The proposal involves rounding up wild horses and killing those that are not adopted, organizers said. The event was not just a fund-raiser, but an attempt to get the word out to push public reaction.
Write to Interior Secretary Donald Hodel, Petal kept telling people. "They are waiting for public response that says, 'Just don't do it.' "
The crowd was made up of the sleekest of Westside types--including Wallis Annenberg; Ursula Andress (who flew in from Europe just for the party); superagent Nina Blanchard; Carl Parsons; Sachi Irwin; Loretta Swit and hubby, Dennis Holahan; Rae Dawn Chong (going table-to-table selling raffle tickets); philanthropist Ron Mandell; Teddy Getty Gaston and daughter GiGi; "Full Metal Jacket's" Dorian Harewood with wife, Ann McCurry, and baby, Olivia; Wild Horse Sanctuary L.A. Chapter president Enid Quick and actress Tracey Ullman (she and Annenberg were busy discussing how wonderful the West Coast is).
So, does a girl from a small ranching town in the West imagine herself in such surroundings--especially if she has devoted her life to saving horses? "I never dreamed of it . . . struggling in the boonies," Clapp said, looking around with slight amazement. "This is not my field."
COMING UP--In May, Ray Charles (born Ray Charles Robinson) announced the formation of the Robinson Foundation. On Sept. 23, the foundation along with Ear International, hosts its first "Happy Birthday, Ray" celebrations at the Bel-Air Hotel. . . . Lou Weiss, who co-chairs the William Morris Agency, gets honored by the United Jewish Appeal-Federation Division Sept. 27 at New York's Hotel Pierre. Among those expected: Walter Matthau, Carol Channing, Bill Cosby, Jack Paar, Merv Griffin, George Burns and Jack Lemmon. Gosh, it's amazing who turns out when the person honored is a major agent. . . . Joan Rivers hosts her second annual Celebrity Tennis/Auction Classic for the Guild for Cystic Fibrosis on Sept. 12-13, including a black-tie auction ball. Nell Carter does some of the entertaining honors, while a couple dozen star players are also on tap.
HAPPY ANNIVERSARY--Pepperdine University, as part of its 50th anniversary celebration, has been mailing post cards with messages from faculty, students, supporters, etc. This week's missive comes with words from Supervisor Kenny Hahn: "Pepperdine has meant so much to me and my family . . . it is the place that permitted me to have my education, the place where I made my best friends and the place where I met my wife."