Some of Orange County's glitterati joined the presidential push for Vice President George Bush on Saturday when Walter H. Annenberg opened his shrubbed and barbed-wired Sunnylands estate in Rancho Mirage.
Among guests for the $1,000-per-person twilight reception were Newport Beach attorney Timothy Strader and his wife, Susan; developer William Lyon and Willa Dean of Coto de Caza; developer and Seattle Mariners' owner George Argyros and his wife, Judie, of Newport Beach; developers Kathryn Thompson (sporting a dazzling diamond brooch) and Gus Owen of Laguna Beach; Irvine Co. Chairman Donald Bren; Irvine Co. Senior Vice President Gary Hunt, and Jack Flanigan, the Irvine Co.'s vice president of government relations.
Never mind that it was sizzling outside, guests were given the opportunity to pose for photographs beside the fireplace with Bush. Afterward, they enjoyed appetizers and cocktails and toured portions of the mansion and its sweeping grounds.
Susan Strader was fascinated by the guest house (for years a hideaway for Republican presidents) where the Reagans hole up when they visit Walter--ambassador to the Court of St. James during the Nixon Administration--and his wife, Leonore, first chief of protocol during the Reagan administration.
Susan, stunning in electric purple by Guy Laroche, noted that the guest house was "a work of art, as is every piece of crystal, lamp, and vase within it. Such a beautiful blend of treasures from all over the world."
Her husband found the men's room in the guest house fascinating. On the walls are photographs of presidents playing golf on Annenberg's breathtaking 18-hole course.
Speaking of the Straders: Susan and Tim will do some reception-giving of their own April 13 when they throw a cocktail buffet for 250 pals at the Center Club before attending Toni Tennille's concert at the Orange County Performing Arts Center.
The event also marks a celebration of Tim's 50th birthday. (Invited guests are getting a giggle out of the party invitations: A sepia-tone picture of baby Timmy graces the front.)
And speaking of the Lyons: Willa Dean and Gen. William Lyon--board chairman and CEO of the William Lyon Co.--will open the doors of their new, 20,000-square-foot (plus) mansion at Coto de Caza for Sunday supper April 17. On the guest list are the underwriters of the Orange Blossom Ball, the benefit for the Orangewood home for dependent children, set for June 11 at the Irvine Hilton hotel. "Annie"-themed entertainment will include a tour of Lyon's Classic Automobile Museum, which is home to the 1929 Duesenberg Dual Cowl Phaeton driven by Daddy Warbucks in the movie "Annie." Lyon is president of the Orangewood board.
Good afternoon, Vietnam: On Easter Sunday, you may be digging into the potato salad, but Anne and Rep. Robert E. Badham (R-Newport Beach) will be enjoying afternoon tea in Hanoi. The congressman will join members of the House Armed Services Committee and Hanoi officials to discuss veterans' affairs and the status of POWs and MIAs. The couple will spend Easter night in a government guest house, then embark on a tour of China the following day.
Morsels: The world premiere of "Arthur on the Rocks," the sequel to Dudley Moore's "Arthur," will be at Edwards Cinema in Newport Beach on July 7, according to Chris Hopper, chairwoman of the benefit for Hoag Memorial Hospital's Cancer Center. The premiere rights were secured through Jim Edwards Sr., owner of Edwards Cinemas. Tickets will sell for a mere $30 and $75. . . .
Shocking-pink invitations, the inspiration of dress designer Bob Mackie, were mailed recently to guests who will pay $125 each to attend Mackie's fashion show on behalf of Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Orange County at Amen Wardy in Newport Beach on May 19. . . .
Developer Bill Lusk was host to officials of the Orange County Office of Protocol on Saturday when they boarded the luxury yacht Mojo at the Balboa Bay Club for a harbor bay cruise in honor of Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, prime minister of Malaysia. Among those on board: Pat Neisser, vice chairwoman of the Protocol Commission; Wes and Mary Bonino Jones, Orange County chief of protocol, and Scott and Mary Lou Hornsby, president of the Protocol Foundation.