Turns out real-estate developer Al Gersten gave the ultimate for a political candidate last weekend. He sacrificed his tennis court. Gersten and his wife, Marilynn, hosted a $500-a-head dinner for Americans for Hart at their Beverly Hills home, with the cash going to alleviate Colorado Sen. Gary Hart's '84 presidential campaign debt. Monsoon-like rains wreaked havoc on the tent constructed over the sunken tennis court, with the AstroTurf acting like a sponge and problems occurring with poles. Coming up: a resurfacing. The black-tie event raised $90,000. And all the contributors got to hear Hart use John F. Kennedy's quip: "I am deeply touched--but not so deeply touched as you are to be here tonight." And certainly not so deeply touched as the tennis court.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, WILLIE--Assembly Speaker Willie Brown turned 52 this week, and so 52 of his "closest friends" were set to gather Thursday night at the Bev Hills home of actor George Hamilton.
YOUNGER THAN SPRINGTIME--That was the style of the lunchtime conversation from Dr. Christiaan Barnard, who met with several dozen socially secure women at Robinson's Bev Hills on Tuesday to endorse the Glycel Skin Treatment. Barnard, who performed the world's first human heart transplant in 1967, admitted that he loved being seen as a playboy, and then was asked if his girlfriend, Karen Setzkorn, used the products. He smiled and said, "Ah, but she is young." Irwin Alfin, owner of Alfin Fragrances, which distributes Glycel, said that the treatment--claims about it have been questioned in newspaper articles and on "Nightline"--would be met with enthusiasm "when we get some of the product in your hands and you decide." Barnard spoke only a little of the product and of his research. He said, "I have been labeled a playboy, and I am a boy and I don't like to play with teddy bears." He spoke about his transplant surgery, then became emotional. "I am not trying to poison people. I'm not trying to hurt people. I'm trying to contribute in a special way." Among those listening at lunch were Marilyn Gevirtz, Barbara Lazaroff and Robinson's president Al Schettini.