with Donna Shor
SUMMER TANS AND FALL PLANS
Nina and Philip Pillsbury breezed back from Europe; Gilan and Milton Corn made it a triple-header, first off to his medical class reunion in New Haven, then Southampton, and on to Aspen for the music festival.
Bill and Lynda Webster were in Montana to try for that elusive“REALLY big fish” as Lynda put it, and then squeezed in a bit more trout fishing in Ireland when Bill’s speaking engagement took him there. Lynda misses her fishing buddy, Sandra Day O’Connor, remembering the many hooks they have baited together.
Christine Warnke got back to her Greek island roots when she and her international children joined a party cruising the Ionian islands on a 150-foot yacht.
Nini Ferguson was often at sea this summer, with three trips sailing in and out of Nantucket with her children. Frequent traveller Carlota Pardini took off with Jill Smart Gore to visit Jill’s daughter Celeste in bay-area Portola, California, where Celeste lives with her husband and children.
Mary and Mandy Ourisman also wound up their summer in California, in La Jolla, but after two really spectacular trips abroad. In St. Petersburg, Russia, they danced in the blue and white palace of Catherine the Great, at the “White Nights Ball,” where for a span of days each summer, the “white nights” stretch daylight to midnight and beyond. The Kennedy Center trip included, among others, Wilma and Stuart Bernstein; Samia and Huda Farouki; Catherine and Wayne Reynolds and Kennedy Center President Michael Kaiser.
In London, the Ourismans danced at Buckingham Palace, along with Prince Charles and his bride Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, amid other supporters of the Prince of Wales Foundation. Next day, before dinner at Highgrove, the country home of the royal couple, came a polo match for the Burberry Cup, with Prince William riding with his father for the Highgrove team.
Nancy Reagan had an accidental fall down the night before, so could not be there to enjoy the thoughtful touches in her honor, including songs from Reagan-era movies, and menus sporting reels of film painted by hand. She did manage a short visit with Mrs. Thatcher, Ronald Reagan’s friend and colleague, during her stay.
The Prince of Wales foundation, assisted by Washington man-abouttown Robert Higdon, furthers health care and educational projects, especially for disadvantaged children. “Remember,” Mary points out, “funds from the trust also come back to disadvantaged areas here at home.”
One special moment: When Mary congratulated Prince Charles on his marriage, he answered with a warm “Thank you,” then added wistfully, “it was just thirty years late.”
SULTRY, SEXY (AND SWEATY!)
Betty Knight Scripps, the chairman and benefactor, sailed though the evening (her sixth record-breaking chairmanship) with every hair in place, as Brazilian Ambassador Roberto Abdenur and his wife Maria welcomed guests to their historic residence.
Most romantic gown of the evening: the dreamy, air-light flowered chiffon worn by Rim Abboud, wife of the Lebanese ambassador.
Should we mention that much of the evening’s fun was surely caipirinha-fueled? The drink, which has recently become the smart-set’s chic libation, is based on cachaca, the sugar cane brandy long a drink of Brazil’s poorest. The version sold here is much lower in alcohol than it is at home, and is a cousin of schnapps, French marc, and Italian grappa, all throat-searing white brandies.
ON THE WING
“Now that Mr. [Vladmir] Putin has promised gas to the villages, we need to start the changeover from coal at Berenzichi.” She was referring, of course, to her husband Alexis’ ancestral country estate, long ago seized by the Soviets to use as a youth center, which Alabama-born Selene helps fund through the Russian Ball, the balalaika tea dances and group tours to Russia she tirelessly organizes. She is hopingto start a summer music camp next year to benefit the youth there.
BEYOND THE PYRAMIDS
Jordan’s national day drew a big crowd to the Library of Congress at a reception hosted by Ambassador Karim Kawar and his wife Luma.
Ironically, two Scandinavian embassies held back-to-back evenings. Norway celebrated its 100 years of independence from Sweden, dating from June 7, 1905, when Norway’s parliament declared the union with Sweden dissolved. Sweden’s reception was to say farewell to Ambassador Jan Eliasson before he departed for his new post as a U.N. honcho. Both ambassadorial couples, the Vollebaeks and the Eliassons, attended each other’s receptions, as 1905 was then and this is now.
SHAKESPEARE AT YOUR DOOR