“When I went to the state fair in 1935--and all I can remember are the cars--I never believed I would own a car.”
That was General Motors’ largest stockholder, H. Ross Perot of Texas, as he accepted the Los Angeles Philanthropic Foundation board of directors Outstanding American Award (and a Steuben crystal eagle) before a huge crowd at the Beverly Hilton.
Declared Perot, “The history of America is ordinary people doing extraordinary things.” With seven of his Annapolis classmates in the audience (Perot was president of his 1953 class at the U.S. Naval Academy) including Tony Correnti, Owen Davies and Ray Bright (who claimed Perot once borrowed $35 and never paid him back), the crowd clapped incessantly.
The late William E. Nassour founded the foundation, which provides 20 college scholarships annually; his wife Bee organized every detail of the dinner, down to the seating charts.
Perot told foundation supporters he advocated early childhood centers for disadvantaged children. “You better hug these children . . . you could change society in 20 years with these childhood centers.”
After the dinner, Finn Moller, husband of Bee Nassour’s daughter Patsy Moller, with an arm around his 12-year-old son Kevin’s shoulder, commented, “Maybe we better start a new foundation for this.”
SO SPECIAL: Beverly Hills is so proud of its $2-million holiday street decorations. They’ll be lighted up Nov. 25 at the Beverly Hills Holiday Pageant on Wilshire Boulevard and Rodeo Drive in front of the Beverly Wilshire.
It’s to be a true pageant. Mel Torme will star, so will the International Children’s Choir, Mickey and Minnie Mouse, the 750-voice Beverly Hills Holiday Youth Choir, the “original” Santa Claus of Finland and eight real reindeer. Beverly Hills Mayor Robert K. Tanenbaum will be on hand.
The holiday cocktail buffet in the Grand Ballroom of the Beverly Wilshire is priced at $100, but a portion of the proceeds will benefit Camp Ronald McDonald for Good Times (the camp for children with cancer).
HIGH TECH: Universal Pictures’ “The Land Before Time,” George Lucas and Steven Spielberg’s animated adventure set in the prehistoric age of dinosaurs, opens nationwide Nov. 18, but it will be screened at an invitational family preview at the Natural History Museum at Exposition Park on Saturday.
It ties in with the grand opening Sunday of the Kokoro Animated Dinosaurs (mechanized prehistoric animals) exhibition at the museum. The event is sponsored by JC Penney Co., Universal and Amblin Entertainment.
BIG DATES: Humanitarian Ruth L. Harvey will be honored at the Los Angeles Israel Cancer Research Fund’s dinner dance Friday at the Beverly Wilshire. Mel Torme entertains.
CAN’T MISS: Lucy Zahran hosts a champagne reception in her Beverly Center store Sunday to benefit the Children with AIDS Care Program. The benefit also celebrates 75 years of the Thistle Gold Collection of crystal by Saint-Louis Cristalleries (the French crystal that has graced the tables of global monarchs for 400 years).
Couturiers Bill Blass, James Galanos and Michael Novarese will design one-of-a-kind table settings for the Thistle Gold Collection, as well as gowns to be worn by the hostesses at those tables.
PAST PERFECT: What a crowd! Bernard Osher and the officers of Butterfield & Butterfield poured champagne to celebrate the opening of the new Los Angeles gallery on Sunset. It was elbow to elbow among the paintings, antiques and diamonds. . . .
A trio--the California Music Theatre, the Pasadena Playhouse and the Pasadena Pops Orchestra--has formed the Pasadena Partners. Over the weekend they donned white tie and medals for “An Elegant Evening in Old Vienna” at the Pasadena Center, raising $100,000 from bidding on a baby grand piano, a Peruvian Paso colt and other items. Among the crowd: John and Ginny Cushman, Vern Orr, Gino and Bingo Roncelli, Joe and Kathy Ryan, Judy and Denis McDowell. . . .
The Westlake Village chapter of the California Institute for Cancer Research at UCLA showed off David Hayes fashions and Edwards-Lowell furs at a “Holiday Revue” fund-raiser luncheon Wednesday at the Century Plaza. . . .
Ethnomusicologist Elizabeth Waldo was feted at a reception after her concert at the Southwest Museum Saturday evening.
CENTENNIAL GLEAM: Bullock’s Pasadena commissioned Waterford to create a Centennial Rose Bowl as a special tribute to the Tournament of Roses Parade in honor of its 100th anniversary celebration. Valued at more than $35,000, the piece will be unveiled today by Rose Queen Charmaine Shryock and her court. John H. Biggar III, president of the tournament, will be at the reception.
MET FANFARE: Judges of the Western Regional Auditions of the Metropolitan Opera will be honored at a black-tie dinner tonight at the Valley Hunt Club. Nancy Cole of San Marino is chairman, assisted by Pamela Tegtmeyer of South Pasadena.
Saturday evening USC President James H. and Marilyn Zumberge and Dean of the School of Music Larry J. and Karen Livingston will host the reception for judges and finalists after the Western Regional Auditions Finals at the USC Faculty Center.
KUDOS: The mother of Bill, Russell and Robert Cosby--that’s Anna P. Cosby--will be honored Nov. 18 by the National Assn. for Sickle Cell Disease, Inc. at a National Celebrity Dinner at the Stouffer Concourse. Harvey J. Lehman Jr., vice president of external affairs, Columbia Pictures, is dinner chairman, and the honoraries are Mayor Tom Bradley and Dr. Nelson McGhee Jr., chairman of the board of the association.
Tickets are $150. Also on the committee, Ron Carter, T. Renee Crutcher, Carol Hall, Betty Rhone, Jerrold Smith, Stacey S. Snowden and Rosemary Spriggs.
HOLIDAYS COMING: Hospital of the Good Samaritan Gift Shop Auxiliary officially launches its gift shop Christmas season this week with courtesy shopping at the hospital and a luncheon today. . . .
Arthur and Bella Simon put on a festive show of holiday designs at a cocktail party in their Beverly Hills showroom to benefit the American Foundation for AIDS Research. Sally Struthers bought an ice-skating bear for her daughter. Through Nov. 19, 10% of purchases go to AmFAR. . . .
Saint Joseph Medical Center Guild stages a preview party Nov. 18 at the center to launch its public holiday festival. Members will sell designer-decorated Christmas trees, holiday decorations and gifts.