The day after Christmas, Santa Anita was keeping the spirit bright in the Directors Room high above the race track in Arcadia. Chairman of the Board Robert P. Strub and his wife, Betty, of San Marino hosted their traditional opening-day luncheon.
Chatting over Christmas gifts and the expected January slump in parties were Santa Anita President Clifford and Karen Goodrich, Mary and Arthur Crowe and Violetta and Bill Dougherty. Santa Anita's director of racing emeritus, Frank Kilroe, got cheery hellos, along with Dorothy and Ray Rogers, Martha Chandler and William Croxton, Jacqueline and Peter Dailey, Connie and John Gavin, Marion and Earle Jorgensen, Fielder and Lotsie Webster and Philip and Mary Hawley. Mary Frances and Bob Morgan and Candi and Taylor Grant came from Newport Beach, Walter and Sheila Hoffman from Ventura and John and Norma Bowles from Los Olivos.
At the rail watching Moon Madness win the first race were Felix and Barbara McGinnis, Anne Brophy and Carl McGinnis. Lynn and Clement Hirsch were excited about entering their Magical Mile in the Malibu Stakes race.
Among prominent horse owners in the Turf Club were Clarence and Dorothy Scarborough of Midland, Tex. Biggest social days this season are the Charles H. Strub Stakes, Feb. 10; the Santa Anita Handicap, March 9, and the Santa Anita Derby April 6.
OPINIONS: Everywhere this holiday season, people compared invites. The consensus: fewer black-tie events (Barbara and Marvin Davis and Henry and Caroline Singleton canceled their traditional Christmas parties) and more teas.
There was an onslaught of cocktail open houses with mirth abounding, but the serious question everyone asked was, "Do you think there'll be a war?" Worry took the edge off fun.
Nevertheless, among the many hosts and hostesses giving lively parties with guests eating too much and exchanging hugs and kisses under the mistletoe were Debbie and Terry Lanni, Beverly and Larry Thrall, Cheryl and Bill Doyle, Priscilla and Curt Tamkin, Carolyn and Chuck Miller, Barbara and Chuck Schneider, Carolyn and Maury DeWald, Debby and Bill Appler, Gretchen and David Seager, Phoebe and Joe Vaccaro, Liz and Craig Black, French Consul General Gerard and Naomi Coste, Fred Nason Jr. (celebrating his 60th birthday), Veva and Kingston McKee, Jess and Phyllis Marlow, Nancy and Bill Burrows and Connie and Bob Butler. Whew!
DAY LIFE: If the evenings were filled with parties, the days were filled with teas and luncheons. One of the special teas was at the glorious contemporary home of Kitty Moses, with Maggie Edwards, Paty Kouba and Doris Coleman co-hosting. More than 150 ladies attended, receiving little scrolls as they left advising "Take Time." Such as, "Take time to think--it is the source of power." And, "Take time to laugh--it is the music of the soul."
Alice Avery hosted a mammoth tea at the Los Angeles Country Club for 450 women.
At another tea at the club, Louise Griffith and Joyce Stuart sent their guests off with miniature gold baskets containing three tea bags.
In Hancock Park, Suzanne Rheinstein had the silver tea urns polished and gleaming for a friendly affair, and in Pasadena, at Dina Oldknow's tea, daughters and granddaughters in lace and velvet outnumbered adults.
At the tea parties, the most common phrase is "tea food is my favorite food"--as the cucumber and chicken salad sandwiches and the lemon bars, fudge and baklava were devoured.
SITDOWN: One of the most joyous parties was the one Stephen and Jane Ackerman gave upstairs at the Bistro. After good friends dined and danced, they joined hands in Christmas carols and even a few tears, signaling that in almost every family joy and sorrow mix, and friends are awfully nice to be there to help lead you through.
Another night, the fireplaces their home set a cozy ambiance for Jane and George Barretts' sit-down for 50.
HEARTS: Romantic touches have marked the season. Valet parkers had a heavy job parking the cars at Carol and Mike Inman's home in Bel-Air at the party honoring their son, Peter, and his wife, Lori, wed last month in a formal ceremony in Kansas City.
Celebrating the engagement of Melissa Swann Winston and Dennis Victor Alfieri, Edward and Patty Turrentine sent invitations wrapped in gold and burgundy silk cording. The black-tie event also heralded the grand opening of the Turrentines' (he's an interior designer) magnificent Italian ballroom, where dancing continued until the wee hours.
In Pasadena, Amie Lu and John Haake and Jan and Buzz Hanson honored Paul Anderson and Elizabeth Murphy at a shower with holiday pizazz. They'll be married Saturday.
LUNCHEONS: The Blue Ribbon at the Music Center and its president, Joanne Kozberg, filled the Grand Hall of the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion for a Christmas luncheon before the Joffrey's "The Nutcracker."
Roger and Joanne Kozberg brought daughter Lindsey home from Princeton. Andrea Van de Kamp had daughter Diana, Harriet Deutsch had granddaughter Cari Deutsch and Dody Booth brought daughter Stephanie.
Jenny Rutt took over the Pavillion at the Bistro Garden to host 60 for a luncheon. Launched with chat and green ravioli, the affair finished with giggles and ice cream and chocolate. As a surprise, the hostess asked Neiman Marcus to do a mini-fashion show of ball gowns. Rutt provided favors of Christmas red lipsticks and tied-up boxes of lemon drops for everyone.
Over at the Bistro Garden at Coldwater, the Luminaires Juniors (supporting the Doheny Eye Institute), including Mary Milner and Diane Avery, were in the holiday spirit.