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Jody Jacobs

Southern Belles, Beaus at Magnolia Ball

April 25, 1985|JODY JACOBS

Last year it was the samba beat and Rio's carnaval that had members of the Auxiliary of the Hathaway Home for Children stepping high. This year the auxiliary is in a more mellow mood as it re-creates the old, gentle and romantic South on Saturday night at a Magnolia Ball. "Gone With the Wind's" own Melanie, a k a actress Olivia de Havilland, is honorary chairman. With the help of Linda Reed (she's also serving as benefit chairman) who has done extensive interior restorations in historic Natchez, Miss., and Raul Rodriguez, who has designed many a Rose Parade float, the Sheraton Grande's ballroom will look like a Southern plantation. A river boat, azaleas and, of course, magnolia trees in full bloom will add to the "you-all" ambiance. There'll be a bit of gambling going on Saturday aboard that river boat and the Dixieland music will come from Dave Bourne and the Resurrection Brass Band.

Everything, but everything, goes the Southern route including the big prize, Delta Airlines and Hilton Hotels' gift, a trip to New Orleans, and Williams-Sonoma table favors, Chef Paul Prudhomme's "Louisiana Cajun Magic" spices.

Getting their crinolines and hoop skirts ready are auxiliary president Emily Peck, and auxiliary members like Lisa Bloomingdale Bell, Kathryn Klinger Belton, Jill Morse, Bitsy Jennings, Donna Wolff, Carolyn Murphy Milner, Marcia Wilson Hobbs, Geri Gleason Chutuck, Lucy McBain and many more. And lending their support to Hathaway as members of the honorary committee are Mayor Tom Bradley, Carol and Walter Matthau, Binnie and Mike Frankovich, Victoria and Ed McMahon, Andrea and California Atty. Gen. John Van de Kamp, Mrs. Thomas Wachtell, Burt Reynolds, the Vince Scullys, Pat and Lawrence A. Hyland and Arthur Park.

The Hathaway Home provides residential therapy for boys and girls whose emotional problems are too severe for rehabilitation at home. The Hathaway Children's Village, the residential facility, is located on the 300-acre Cecil B. DeMille Paradise Ranch in the northeast San Fernando Valley. The property was donated to Hathaway in 1963 by the DeMille trust in 1963.

Glenda Hamilton stood at the ready waiting to translate Mayor Tom Bradley's welcoming statements into French for the mayor's guest of honor, Algerian President Chadli Bendjedid. In the midst of a mob of guests filling the living and dining rooms, the patio and garden of Getty House, the mayor's residence, Mrs. Hamilton explained that "I'm a last-minute replacement. The president has his own interpreter (part of his large entourage) and the mayor wanted his own."

Holding a portable mike, the mayor made a nice Chamber of Commerce kind of speech. "I hope this visit (the first to the United States by an Algerian head of state) will strengthen the ties between our two peoples," he said. Algeria's president, who speaks French and Arabic, spoke in Arabic "for myself, my wife and my delegation." He praised "the simplicity of this reception and the lack of heavy protocol." And he added that "this meeting will open a new page in our economic exchange. . . . I am ready to open talks and I am interested in seeing your agricultural areas." The next day the president and his entourage left for San Francisco where Mayor Dianne Feinstein hosted a dinner party for them at the Pacific Heights home of Ann and Gordon Getty and Mayor Bradley left for a trade meeting in Japan.

Protocol for the buffet reception was indeed relaxed. After the mayor (Mrs. Bradley was in bed upstairs because of a bad back) greeted the president and his party at the end of a long red carpet that led from front door to curbside, the two men moved easily through the group of people clustered in the main hall and in the patio. Then the official party, which included Mrs. Bendjedid, a handsome brunette wearing a deep russet and black tunic over slightly draped harem pants, went into the dining room to snack on Rococo's lavish buffet. From there the Bendjedids and their host moved into the living room where they sat on adjoining sofas while they waited for some business leaders (among them Eckart Hubner) and celebrities to approach.

"The Champ, the Champ, C-H-A-M-P" sounded out from the garden as Muhammad Ali and his wife Veronica arrived at Getty House. Later, the Champ sat across from President Bendjedid as they chatted via the interpreter. Mrs. Bendjedid asked to meet actor Brock Peters, there with his wife Didi. The Peters' daughter had lived at the home of the U.S. ambassador in Algeria for a while. Jackie and Clarence Avant, president of Tabu Records, brought presents.

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