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Magazine Looking at County Beauties

April 15, 1988|ANN CONWAY

Calling all cover girls. Well, almost all cover girls.

Town & Country magazine is in the county searching for a "beautiful and well-connected woman" to grace its October cover. Now, before you limo off to your beauty guru, think instead about zipping off to your printer and getting your year of birth changed on your you-know-what. If you're over the big four-O, that is.

"The magazine seldom uses someone over 40 on its cover," says Sandy Sheehy, a contributing editor of the glossy monthly that enjoys a circulation of more than 400,000.

Well now, that virtually eliminates most of Orange County's town-and-country set, doesn't it?

Doesn't it? "We're looking into photographing a (young) Coto de Caza woman whom we hear is absolutely gorgeous," says Sheehy, who's holing up at The Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel to pen the 25-page cover-story spread. "We want to photograph her with her horses."

Sheehy was feeling iffy about the magazine's chances to snare her, however. (Seems she's ultra-moneyed and naturally concerned about how the notoriety would affect her family.)

"But we're confident that with all of the beautiful women in Orange County, we'll be able to find someone," Sheehy says.

Whoever she is, she'll be photographed by Robert Phillips, revered in society circles for making even the mousiest socialite look like a love goddess, Sheehy says.

Women being considered for the magazine's inside pages include: Floss Schumacher, who presides over the board of Opera Pacific and tossed the bash that christened the Orange County Performing Arts Center; Melinda Moiso, wife of Santa Margarita Co. President Tony Moiso ("she isn't eager," Sheehy confesses); Judie Argyros, wife of Seattle Mariners owner George Argyros, and Renee Segerstrom, wife of Henry Segerstrom, the managing partner of C.J. Segerstrom & Sons, which owns South Coast Plaza.

Men on the magazine's wish list include OC's only billionaire, Donald Bren, owner of the Irvine Co., and Santa Margarita rancher Richard J. O'Neill.

Couples include Baseball Commissioner Peter Ueberroth and his wife, Ginny (besides a condo in Manhattan, the couple live in Emerald Bay), and developer Jim Warmington (the debonair yachtsman-commodore of the Newport Harbor Yacht Club last year--owns the luxurious Tigris, a 76-foot Swan).

Midday at the Oasis: Just when they thought it was safe to go sans black tie. After a 20-mile trek on the second day of the Portola Ride--the historic horseback ride into southern Orange County made last weekend by more than 200 of OC's male heavy hitters--the men spotted what looked like a white tent looming amid the treetops.

"Is it a mirage?" one rider says he asked himself. "I was a little hung over," he admits. "And I couldn't believe my eyes. There we were, on horseback in the middle of nowhere, and I'm seeing the top of a white tent.

"We ride through a grove and sure enough, there it is, along with a 16-piece orchestra playing Big Band tunes from the '40s and '50s! The tent is carpeted, linen cloths are spread on tables, the waiters are in tuxedos and there are black-and-white balloons and an anniversary cake." (The Portola was celebrating its 25th.)

"We were all given T-shirts silk-screened to look like tuxedoes with a red carnation in the lapel. And, we dined on spinach salad, barbecued swordfish and fettuccine. Then, an outrageous comedian entertained, gave all the ride leaders a bad time.

"It was incredible, a black-tie gala on the prairie."

Happy, Happy Birthday, Buddy: Buddy Ebsen celebrated his 80th birthday Tuesday night at the Balboa Bay Club with his wife, Dorothy, and close pals Donna and John Crean (who left for Cabo San Lucas that night aboard "Bounder," the 68-foot yacht that is the centerpiece of the club's take-your-breath-away "yacht row"). "It's the best slip in the world," John Crean says. "Probably the only place in the world where you can valet park your car and walk across carpeting onto your boat."

Actually, Ebsen turned 80 on April 2, but he plans to celebrate "all year," he says. "I don't feel any different than I did when I was 79. I feel wonderful."

Schuller on Ted Koppel Special: The Rev. Robert Schuller, pastor of the Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove, says "the era of the celebrity evangelist is over" in an appearance on "Forum on Television and Religion," a Ted Koppel special that will air May 12 on ABC.

Until Schuller taped the special recently, he had not gone on record to address the furor that has surrounded certain TV evangelists in recent months.

But he decided to speak up on the special, along with Billy Graham and Jerry Falwell, after Koppel "spent 50 minutes on the phone convincing him," says Mike Nason, Schuller's "Hour of Power" executive producer. Nason is married to Vikki Vargas, a news correspondent for KNBC in Orange County.

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