The wildly colored dragon slithered over the red carpet leading from Madame Wu's Garden to the red-and-white tent that covered part of the parking lot. The sound of the drums was deafening.
No, it wasn't another Chinese New Year celebration. This time co-chairs Madame Sylvia Wu and Mrs. Richard Wolford plus UCLA Chancellor Charles Young, Chinese Consul General Gao Younian, Chinese-American astronaut Dr. Taylor Wang, Sheraton Hotel's Joe Guidice, the Coca-Cola Bottling Co.'s Lucille Boswell, Barbro Taper, Jean Coleman, hotelier Peter Sun, and Mario Machado and Nancy Kwan, who were acting as masters of ceremonies, were all gathered along with about 300 other guests to help promote the Beijing Self-Study University in China. It was founded in 1981 but it's a school without a campus and without a permanent staff. Given the status of university just last July, further financing is needed to continue and expand its mail-order curricula, President Shi Zong-Shu said. Shi made his speech in Chinese, which was translated into English by Peter Sun.
Sunday night, Helen Wolford handed Shi a check for $25,000 (proceeds from the dinner) and Madame Sylvia Wu and her husband King added theirs for $10,000. In turn, Madame Wu received an honorary degree from the university and Helen Wolford was named to the university's board of directors. And since it was the restaurant's 25th anniversary, Bee Lavery, Mayor Tom Bradley's chief of protocol, presented the Wus with the mayor's proclamation (Sunday became Madame Wu Day). Santa Monica Mayor Christine Reed presented the Wus with a commendation from her city, and California's Secretary of State March Fong Eu had special scrolls for the four chefs.
The distinguished gathering included UCLA Dean and Mrs. Ray Orbach, Nat Dumont with Maureen Womack (he hosted a table that included Terry Moore), Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Chairman Jack Atwood and his wife Lupe, June and Fred MacMurray, Grace and Merrill Lowell, the Vernon Underwoods, the Franklin Shaffners, Dick Wolford, Terry and Dennis Stanfill (they arrive in Peking today), Mary Anita Loos with Jay Allen and Bantam Books' Charles Bloch and Grace Bechtold, Merle Kingsley, Steve Konow, the Harry Volks, Herbert Boswell, Steve and Maureen Tobia, Dale and Charles Snodgrass, the Maurice Harwicks, Ray and Doris Ramey, Philip Salet, Sachi and Larry Irwin, the Robert Kramers, Eric Marx, Mike and Betty Noling, the Delbert Wongs, Peggy Parker with Walter Grauman.
And quite a few more like Kathy and Chris Matsumoto, the Lester Korns, Senegalese Consul and Mrs. Joseph Bolker, Abe and Muriel Lipsey, Berny and Ellen Byrens, Monterey Councilwoman Lili Chen, Monterey Park Mayor Rudy Peralta, Raoul Aglion, the Howard Allens and the Wus' sons Patrick and George. Happiest of all were Dr. Marcus Wong and his wife Ann, who won the door prize--round-trip tickets for two on Singapore Airlines to Peking and Singapore, a week's stay at the Great Wall Hotel and spending money.
Monday night the chefs from Peking were back at their woks preparing a similar banquet for the KCET Associates.
"Say si !" took the place of the more familiar "RSVP" on the invitations Gladyce and David Begelman sent out for their autumn moon fiesta. A lot of people si - si 'd and Saturday night the Begelmans' patio was full of would-be senors and senoritas.
Gladyce greeted guests wearing a white Mexican wedding dress and lots of turquoise beads. David wore a double-breasted jacket and no tie. And around them were children--Gladyce's daughter Beth and her husband James de Woody, the artist, and their son James III and Gladyce's son William Rudin and his wife Ophelia.
Candy Spelling wore the tightest white jeans in existence. On her they look good. Aaron Spelling had his pipe in mouth at all times, even when conversing in a trio with the
host and former partner Leonard Goldberg, who is ultra thin these days. Suzanne Pleshette wore a flamenco suit (like a male dancer's) and a flower in her hair. " Ole ," she shouted as she spotted pals Ruth Berle and Tina Sinatra. Suzanne's husband Tom Gallagher had shaved off his mustache.
Milton Berle, looking fine after his June bypass surgery, is going out on the road again. Rona Barrett and Bill Trowbridge had been to two weddings that day. Ava Ostern and Chuck Freis were back from a wedding on one of those bateaux that circles the island of Manhattan. Ava and Chuck laughed about their own wedding (maybe soon?)--especially after they'd both consulted the psychic working in the patio.