Gala Takes a Royal Peek at Technology

Times Staff Writer

Sweden's King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia were honored this week at a purely California cuisine luncheon given between "Sweden, Science and Technology for the Future" seminars at the California Museum of Science and Industry. Gov. George Deukmejian and his wife Gloria and luncheon chairman Roy A. Anderson put on a gala affair with major business magnates, their wives and three Nobel laureates, including Charles Townes, in attendance.

Albert Wheelon, chairman and CEO of Hughes Aircraft, was chosen to deliver after-lunch remarks because Hughes is the largest employer in California. The dean of Washington's consular corps, Swedish Ambassador Wilhelm Wachmeister (his birthday is Friday and he retires next year) and his wife Countess Ulla Wachmeister, a painter, joined Flora Thornton, Morgan Harris, chairman of the California Museum Foundation trustees, and Don Mulford, California chief of protocol, while Fred L. Reidman, the museum's president, sat with the king and queen.

An idea of the cuisine: San Joaquin melange of vegetables, Humboldt County wild mushrooms, Imperial Valley carrot timbale, Sacramento asparagus tips, mosaic of Coachella Valley citrus (lemon torte in a pool of orange sabayon garnished with macerated grapefruit segments). The skoals were with Robert Mondavi Fume Blanc 1985 and Robert Mondavi Pinot Noir reserve 1984.

Then the rush was to the Westside for Swedish Consul General Margareta Hegardt's lovely reception in Bel-Air. Later the king and queen partied past midnight at a late supper with Jimmy Murphy and a coterie of 34 friends at Jimmy's Restaurant.

Now the museum's next big do: Chevron chairman and CEO George M. Keller will be named California Industrialist of the Year on May 4 for his role in Chevron's $13.3-billion acquisition of the Gulf Corp. and his work as chairman and director of the American Petroleum Institute.

The same evening affable Caltech chemist Harry B. Gray, who has shown that proteins transfer electrons over relatively long distances in living cells, will be named 1988 California Scientist of the Year. Marion Malouf and museum executive director Don Muchmore are among those staging the evening.

SPECIAL REUNION: More than 600 Spinsters, former Spinsters and their guests will romance the night away May 6 at "An American in Paris" affair at the Beverly Wilshire. Ball chairman Sonja Ledergerber and her assistants--Marti Brock and Renee Lawley--say white tie or formal costume are de rigueur . President Pamela Kerns will host the President's Party for board members and their escorts . . .

Saturday, Los Solteros, the bachelors' organization, plans a "first annual" Casablanca Ball at the South Bay Marriott. Led by president Jeff Mayhew, Michael Fergoda, John Steinlage, Lawrence Hummer, Matthew Shannon, Roger Lockhart, Don Davis and Michael Lawrence, the Southern California group will give proceeds to Children of the Night, the group that provides shelter and counseling for teen prostitutes.

KEEN COMPETITION: You might think it's funny to get excited about gigantic floral headdresses. For sure, it was fun the other night for the "Las Floristas Goes Gold" 50th anniversary soiree.

The judges awarded sweepstakes honors to mannequin Kathy Wills, whose exotic South American headdress was designed by Clark Jellison of the Flower Basket. Down the line, other top prizes went to Tinsie Taw, wearing a mass of anthuriums concocted by Randy Duncan, Tim Holland and Al Ezra from Galaxy Flowers and C. P. Flower & Card Co.; Diane Kordick, whose floral lanterns were designed by Don Honold; Katherine Bentley, a blaze of white orchids designed by Jim Delamore, and Sandy Wessel, Bali orchids by Modesto Busto.

What made the evening extraordinary was that Lucy Toberman and Ella Mae Manwarring, co-founders of Las Floristas in 1938, both attended. Lucy recalled that the first funds were given to the King's Daughters Day Nursery, the first child-care facility for children of working mothers in Los Angeles. More than 900 watched the dazzle of the Mannequin Parade, emceed by Gene Barry. The entire ballroom was draped in gold mylar by designers John Daly and Jason Pew and huge bouquets hung from the ceiling.

President Mary Richardson and ball chairman Barbara Gershon and co-chairman Maggie Simms, like almost everyone else, wore gold gowns. And John Robinson, Rams and former USC football coach, showed he's made of gold when he described why he gets tears in his eyes when he visits the Floristas clinics at County-USC and Rancho Los Amigos Medical Centers. Then, he revealed that the funds raised at the 50th year project (the ball will net about $300,000 because Kenneth and Harlyne Norris announced a surprise gift of $100,000 at the party) will go to the new Center for Applied Rehabilitation Technology at Rancho.

Too, Carolyn Stockwell gets heroic credit. Her "Celebration" ad book brought in $106,000, and now, she says, she and Randy are moving to Santa Barbara (but she'll be back for meetings). The Stockwells' guests included Parker Montgomery of Santa Barbara (a major Republican fund-raiser), who escorted Carole Wells Doheny.

On a scale of 1 to 50, how did the Golden Anniversary measure up? Said former honorary chairman Alice Avery, glittering in diamonds and gold, "50 plus-- so top drawer."

DIAMONDS AND DINOSAURS: The dinosaurs may be deceased, but the $40 million in diamonds from the House of Harry Winston were alive for the 75th anniversary Dinosaur Ball at the Natural History Museum, celebrating the museum's diamond jubilee.

George C. Page was there as the night's Diamond Jubilee Sponsor, and major underwriters included ball chairman Diane Jacobs and her husband David and Gloria and Jimmy Stewart. Natural History Museum Foundation board president Stephen Onderdonk and his wife Kay and trustee Dr. Richard Call and his wife Nancy, were among the 830 entering under the green neon articulated dinosaur, then the fun was on with a crowd including Daryn and Bill Horton, Bill and Tally Mingst (in the most smashing white and floral moire Carolina Herrera gown), Nancy and Ray McCullough, Kate and Joe Regan, Ed and Betty Harrison, Mary Louise and Arthur Crowe, Richard Seaver and Suzy Moser, John and Jeannette McCarty, Betty and Bob Strub and Stanton and Ernestine Avery, who were en route to Scotland to open their castle for anticipated summer guests.

KUDOS: Beverly Thrall (Mrs. Larry) is the new president of the Assistance League of Southern California. She's affiliated with the league's Day Nursery Auxiliary whose members, including Gloria Holden, Geannie Sheller and Yvonne Cazier gave her a celebration luncheon at the Bistro Gardens . . .

Crossroads School for Arts and Sciences broke ground for its Arts Education Center at a happy luncheon in Santa Monica. . . . The Pasadena Arts Council headed by David Crandell saluted its silver anniversary at the annual Gold Crown Awards banquet at the Huntington Library . . .

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