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Valentine Day Nuptials Planned in Phoenix by Astronaut Aldrin

December 04, 1987|ANN CONWAY

On Valentine's Day--exactly 14 months after the Dec. 14 party that announced their engagement last year--platinum-haired socialite Lois Driggs Cannon will marry former astronaut Buzz Aldrin in the Western Savings Corporate Center in Phoenix. Both reside in Laguna Beach.

Cannon's father, Douglas Driggs, a Phoenix resident, founded Western Savings in 1929. "I decided on the center because it looks so much like a church," Cannon said. "It's like the Crystal Cathedral--lots of glass. And stained windows."

Cannon won't discuss her gown, or the couple's invitation list. But the music will probably include "Fly Me to the Moon," aher favorite since she started getting serious about the second man to walk on a lunar surface.

Cannon is glad the couple has not married sooner, she said. "After a year of engagement, Buzz and I have become a team. It hasn't always been that way. But now we have boundless energy together."

To say the least. In recent months, the couple have been about as easy to spot in Orange County as a lunar eclipse. "We've been out of town since September--all over the world," Cannon says.

Most recently, they've enjoyed Perrier--neither imbibes--in the home of Vice President George Bush and a 40th high school reunion at Aldrin's alma mater in Montclair, N. J.

Also at the Bushes, where guests gathered before a benefit for the Challenger Center for Space Science Education in Washington was Walter Cronkite--like Aldrin, a Medal of Freedom winner.

"Mr. Cronkite admired Buzz's medal at the party," Cannon said. "And he told Buzz his had been stolen. So Buzz asked the vice president what could be done about it, and he told his aide to get Mr. Cronkite another one."

While Aldrin and Cannon are currently on the charity circuit, don't look for them to be around long. "We'll probably spend Christmas in Sun Valley," Cannon said. "And then it's back here for the Rose Parade. Buzz is going to ride in it this year."

Passing on the 'Rat Pack'

While Frank Sinatra invited pal Joey Bishop to accompany him, Sammy Davis Jr. and Dean Martin on their recently announced "Rat Pack" tour, Bishop, a "Rat Pack" original, had to decline. "I would love to have joined them for old time's sake," said Bishop, a resident of Newport Beach. "But, I'm busy producing a game show."

The Party Line

Harriet Nelson and Pilar Wayne--whose book "John Wayne: My Life with the Duke" (McGraw Hill) is steaming up best-seller charts--will be among guests at a Christmas party hosted by Toni Armistead on Dec. 12. Armistead is the widow of Mark Armistead, for years a buddy of the late John Wayne. "My husband's company leased camera equipment to the film industry," said Armistead, of Newport Beach, who has known Pilar Wayne for 25 years. "Of the four friends Pilar acknowledges in her book, I'm one," Armistead said. "I couldn't believe it when I saw it. When I asked Pilar: 'Why me?' she said it was because I'd been a real friend. That made me very happy."

Also saying yes to Armistead's champagne, caviar and crepe bash are Orange County Supervisor Thomas F. Riley and wife Emma Jane, Virginia Knott Bender with husband Paul, and Beverly Thompson and Bob Bucci, a member of the board of governors at the Balboa Bay Club.

Chef's Special

Dr. Eugene Spiritus, medical director of respiratory services at St. Joseph Hospital in the city of Orange, was among six local gourmands to be inducted into the Confrerie de la Chaine des Rotisseurs, an international gourmet society--at the Ritz-Carlton in Laguna Niguel on Tuesday night.

Whipping up dishes such as chestnut soup with loin of roast farm rabbit and squab chartreuse with truffle sauce were Michelin chefs Jean-Louis Palladin of the Watergate hotel in Washington (who regularly concocts comestibles for Nancy Reagan, Placido Domingo and Kathleen Turner) and Guenter Seeger, chef for the Ritz-Carlton Buckhead in Atlanta.

Henry Schielein, vice president and general manager of the local Ritz, presided over the affair, which, at 1 a.m. was going strong with dessert yet to be served.

What They're Seeing

Thomas R. Kendrick, president of the Performing Arts Center, and wife Judy, Center general manager: "Cry Freedom" and "Suspect."

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