Stars were on the ceilings. Gold stars were on the napkin rings. The rose topiary centerpieces were statuesque. Some ladies who had worn short dresses wished they had worn long. The party, bringing together descendants of two families prominent in the world of oil--the Kecks and Dohenys--may have been the most sparkling of the holiday season.
In the spotlight was a very pretty Mary Shane McCoy, who flew home from Connecticut College in time to dress in Christmas-green peau de soie for the party hosted for her by William Myron Keck II and his wife, Susan, at their home. The festivities were a prelude to Shane's debutante curtsy at the Las Madrinas Debutante Ball Saturday night.
Said Susan: "We don't have any daughters, and this means so much for us."
Proud parents Peter and Kacey (Doheny) McCoy were also centers of attention. Shane's grandparents, Patrick and Pat Doheny, were among the dozens of Doheny family members who came. Clustered at cocktails were Patrick Doheny's brothers William, with wife Onnalee, and Tim, with wife Topsy, and their sister Dicky Washington (Lucy Estelle Doheny Niven), with husband Porter.
Also represented was the younger generation of Dohenys: Will and Libby Doheny, Michael and Susan Niven, Z. Wayne and Cynthia (Niven) Griffin. And the even younger college generation, including Patrick McCoy (Shane's brother) and Zach and Tim Griffin.
Bob Day (William Keck's cousin) and his friend Kelly Gilmore were prominent in the crowd. Michael Niven remembered that Bob's late mother, Willametta Keck Day, and his mother, Dicky Washington, had always been bosom buddies, not only in school but also in later years, when they'd lunch at the Bistro Garden and then go bauble shopping on Rodeo Drive.
Dancing was outrageous and nonstop. John and Helen Mayer, Bruce and Raylene Meyer, Cliff and Judith Miller, Jane and Bill Campbell and Alison and Jim Luckman were vigorous on the dance floor. Having a very good time, too, were Tally and Bill Mingst, Tom and Elayne Techentin and Bob and Janice Carpenter.
Debutantes dancing up a storm to Michael Carney's piano and Colleen Casey's vocals included Heather Stoneman, Liesel Reinisch, Jennifer Martin, Brooke Graves, Gillian Grant and Natalie Conner.
Fashion doyenne Eleanore Phillips Colt, up after knee surgery in Florida, was escorted by Tony Duquette. The cocktail sport was to guess the numbers of red and white tulips in two gigantic bouquets--about 100 in each.
ESCALATION: There may have been fewer black-tie, sit-down holiday dinners in 1991 than in past years, but there were just as many celebrations. It was a season when the potluck was de rigueur . The prettiest potluck must have been the one Chuck and Carolyn Miller and Guy and Aileen Henry co-hosted in San Marino--five elegant tables, each with different china and trimmings . . .
The Christmas open houses were a whirlwind of kisses, wishes, fur coat mix-ups. Staging such events were Richard and Maude Ferry and Robert and Kim Rollo, at the Rollos' in South Pasadena; Beverly and Larry Thrall in Hancock Park; Priscilla and Curt Tamkin in Bel-Air, and Liz and Craig Black in Hancock Park. . . .
In Pasadena, at the Athenaeum, Gordon Pashgian ordered up the champagne for his party to salute the accomplishments of the past and present committees for the Arabella Ball, held annually in June at the Huntington Library. . . .
In Bel-Air, Liz and Thad Up de Graff, Lisa and John Alphson (newlyweds home from Hawaii) and Teresa and Tripp Power honored an engaged pair--Darcie Dickerson and Peter Guyer--at a dinner overlooking the lights of Los Angeles. . . .
This past weekend, the Ho! Ho! Hos! were in abundance at a Christmas cheer party hosted by Joan and Jack Mackey and Joan and Sherm Wagenseller, at Patty and Roger Burschinger's open house, and at Lynn and Doug Brengel's "jingle our bell" festivities.
The same weekend, Barbara and Chuck Schneider dispensed their lovable cheer, and Carol and Jim Collins staged a "Holiday Fling" at the Bel-Air Bay Club. At 10 p.m., Carol gathered everyone around Joe Moshay's band and sang "Mr. Wonderful" to Jim, a surprise for his 65th birthday . . . .
Harriet Luckman baked and stirred up desserts for hours--from favorite recipes for which her friends pine--at the dessert/hors d'oeuvres party she and Chuck hosted in their Sunset Boulevard penthouse.
LUNCHEONS: Friends drove for miles to the North Ranch off the Ventura Freeway for Joan Shumway's delightful luncheon with friends such as Martha Porter, Kathleen McCarthy, Janice Boswell. . . At the Los Angeles Country Club, Joan Williams and her daughter-in-law, Suzanne Williams, were among those hosting tables to hear the Citrus College singers do carols and everyone's favorite--"The Little Drummer Boy" . . .
AND TEAS: Alice Avery's Christmas Tea at Los Angeles Country Club was elbow-to-elbow red plaid suits, red silk dresses, red ribbons and bows, poinsettias and the ultimate red item--rubies. In the holiday fashion, everyone ate too many chicken and watercress tea sandwiches, but who could resist?
In San Marino, Dina Oldknow baked her baklava and other sugary goodies for a mother/daughter/granddaughter event where everyone showed off relatives--particularly if they were tiny and dressed in lace.
GLAMOUR: The Colleagues will welcome new members at a Jan. 22 luncheon at the home of Billie Converse in Holmby Hills. According to Mary Jane Wick, membership chair, and Marjory Miller, president, the new Colleagues are Libby Doheny, Anne Johnson and Anna Murdoch.
GENEROUS: Citrus restaurant partner Marvin Zeidler and chef-owner Michel Richard, in the season's spirit, underwrote the cost of a 200-person dinner at Citrus to benefit the Inner City Arts Center.