A huge full-blown yellow Mexicali rose dominated center stage. Black ceramic boots trimmed with rhinestones and filled with yellow roses adorned tables. Jewelry designer Pascal put a red Stetson with diamonds on the chiseled green glass Indian pendant on her necklace.
Topped in a dressy white Stetson, Gene Autry said to a standing ovation, "Thank ya all for joinin' us."
June A. Ebensteiner, one of the original Toni twins, chaired the party, the Mexicali Rose Gala for 750 at the Century Plaza for the Gene Autry Western Heritage Museum. It was, as museum executive director Joanne Hale said, "June's exquisite presentation." Ebensteiner, in Nolan Miller glitter and wearing a yellow rose, forfeited dinner to circle tables, graciously greeting nearly every guest.
Proceeds from the gala go for expansion of the Mary Pickford Education Center; the ebullient Buddy Rogers, husband of the late actress, acknowledged that with a surprise gift of $50,000.
Actor George Montgomery has donated $1.25 million in Western paintings, and it was revealed that the museum's special exhibition gallery has been renamed for him. Rear Adm. William Narva and his hotelier wife, Rose, came up from Palm Springs. Monte Hale and Foster Brooks yodeled. Ruta Lee wore red boots. Sheldon Ausman was honored as past president. Comedian Rich Little impersonated former President Ronald Reagan and President George Bush, and he and Pat Buttram kept guests, including Jackie Autry, laughing. To cool it down, Shirley Jones sang "Oklahoma."
IN CONTRAST: The Los Angeles Master Chorale's "Magical Madrigal Ball" at the Biltmore was haute Renaissance.
Members of the chorale ushered guests between the silent auction room and the ballroom. Music Director John Currie led the chorale in a balcony serenade. Internationally renowned Scottish folk singer Jean Redpath dazzled a cappella.
Music lovers and community leaders joined in a tribute to honor Charles I. Schneider and his wife, Barbara. Schneider, former president of the Music Center Operating Co. and a member of the center's board of governors, received an engraved champagne bucket and paid tribute to Dorothy (Mrs. Norman) Chandler, "my mentor."
Honorary chairs Lois and Robert Erburu were among those heralded by knights on horseback and an amusing coterie costumed as lords and ladies.
Elizabeth Levitt Hirsch planned the occasion, set to raise more than $150,000, much of it due to the labor of Clifford A. Miller, board chairman; Marshall A. Rutter, president; William M. Ruddy, silent auction chair (Robin Barker bought Peter a windsurfer for his birthday), and dinner co-chairs Judy Behr, Mark Foster and Penny von Kalinowski. The 15th-Century Italian menu, starring compasta and a game hen in lingonberry sauce with cabbage, jolted the unadventurous accustomed to a steady diet of veal on the party circuit. Cabbage lovers, though, were in fine fettle.
TRIO OF LUNCHEONS: One--Arletta Tronstein hosting 50 in Bel-Air to honor Dona Kendall, with guests Robin Parsky, Marion Anderson, Joanne Kozberg and Dorie Pinola.
Two--Antoinette Campoy, Linell Shapiro and Barbara Laykin heading Quest's fourth scrumptious lunch prepared by Wolfgang Puck at Spago to benefit victims of Prader-Willi syndrome.
Three--A-T (Ataxia-Telangiectasia) Medical Research Foundation joining at the Regency Club for an event chaired by Alice Lainer and Lois Rosen, assisted by Barbara Belzberg, Marilyn Kwiker, Judy Schlosberg and Roselynne Wolfberg.
KUDOS: To Clyde R. Porter, recipient of the Valley Cultural Center's Golden Horn Award at the Warner Center Hilton in Woodland Hills. . .
To Caroline Ahmanson, International Visitors Council of Los Angeles International Citizen of the Year, honored at the Century Tower. . .
To actress Betty White, hosting top philanthropists at the Bonaventure for National Philanthropy Day. . .
To Jane Nathanson, Lenore Greenberg and Nancy Vreeland, co-chairing the benefit patrons dinner at Mortons Dec. 4. The event began festivities for the fifth International Contemporary Art Fair, ART/LA 90, at Los Angeles Convention Center Dec. 6-10. . .
To Mayor Tom Bradley, Quincy Jones, Rita Moreno and Ed Ruscha, honored by Los Angeles Arts Council at the Beverly Hilton. . .
To Cheri Yousem, chairing the United Hostesses' Charities Cabaret Capers at the Beverly Hilton.
PAST PERFECT: Costume Council Patrons headed by Hellevi Schine and Kathy Offenhauser glittered at Amen Wardy in Beverly Hills as New Yorkers Judith Leiber (of jeweled bag fame) and Nina Silberstein (David Webb owner) in stunning ruby beads dazzled guests on the arm of Wardy . . . .
Daniel M. Tellep, chairman and CEO of Lockheed, and his wife, Pat, took on the special screening for 400 of "Blue Planet," the big new environmental ticket, in the IMAX Theater at the California Museum of Science and Industry . . . .
Jim and Chantal Kilroy hosted a dinner at their Bel-Air home to honor Lt. Cmdr. Cristobal Colon, an 18th-generation direct descendant of Christopher Columbus, here to encourage the participation in 1992 in the 500th anniversary of Columbus' voyage to the New World.
THE CIRCUIT: The Salvation Army's Sally Award salute to former President Reagan at the Beverly Wilshire . . .
Kidspace Museum's race day benefit headed by Terry Clougherty . . .
Legal Aid Foundation's tribute to executive director Kathy Krause . . .
Artist Peter Adams' opening with 650 guests at Adamson-Duvannes Galleries (including Alyce Williamson, Pat and Gene Prindle, Stanley Mullin, Spike and Debbie Booth, Ruth and Hutton Wilkinson) . . .
The Wild Beast Society's first anniversary party with Tanzanian speaker Tony Fitzjohn . . .
The Associates of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center opening of the Red Car Grill restaurant in West Hollywood with Mark and Susan Greenfield, Sue Neuman, James Baer and Cheryl Factor-Baer at the helm.