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Pterodactyl Proves Ptops at Ball

March 25, 1993|MARY LOU LOPER

Pterodactyl is pronounced with a silent p . That's why the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County and its Dinosaur Ball chairwoman Joan Wrede could capitalize on a claim that a "ptotally pterrific pterodactyl ptops the Dinosaur Ball."

She was right. The oversized flying model of Paul MacCready's flying creature for The National Air and Space Museum and the IMEX film "On the Wing" hovered over the 700 guests dining under a gigantic white tent at the George C. Page Museum of La Brea Discoveries Friday evening.

MacCready had spent hours safely wiring it. The bird looked sort of smiley for the affair, enhancing the tall white spring bouquets on tables.

MacCready, remember, is the man whose Gossamer Condor was the first human-powered airplane and whose Gossamer Albatross flew across the English Channel.

Over cocktails, Elizabeth and Craig Black, the museum's executive director, and Fred Christie, president of the board of trustees, and his wife, Sue, greeted guests at the Discovery Center.

The mood was definitely educational: Docents walked among guests with trays of bones and relics for touching. James and Carolyn Cheney listened to a description of how a baleen whale sifts out its diet of baby shrimp. Examining the American mastodon were newlyweds Janet Davidson and her husband, Richard Plat; Bob Wrede; Raoul and Mary Ann Balcaen; Elaine Laventhal; Katie and Al Osterloh (he's president of the museum's Alliance Board); and (new Alliance Board member) Lynn and Doug Brengel.

Kate Regan and James Klawiter announced they'll wed June 18 in a small ceremony in San Ysidro. Her sister Nancy and husband Ray McCullough, ball supporters, will be there.

The museum's curator of history Janet Fireman sat at Neal and Molly Brockmeyer's table with Kevin (of the Rand Corp.) and Susan McCarthy.

During the evening Bob Attiyeh was exuding enthusiasm about his efforts with David Comsky to raise $45 million to add to the $15 million car collector Bob Peterson already has pledged to the museum's new car museum. The car museum site, the old Ohrbach's department store building on Wilshire Boulevard at Fairfax, is scheduled to open in 1994.

TRIBUTE: Dr. Howard P. House, founder of the House Ear Institute, is a special man and dear to the hearts of the many who have sought his care for their hearing problems for more than 55 years. Guests turned out in droves for the black-tie tribute dinner at the Beverly Hilton, chaired by Nina O'Hern and Peg Edwards, respectively of the Sonance and Associates support groups.

Nanette Fabray emceed. And Bob Hope, Phyllis Diller, Norm Crosby, Roger Williams, Ralna English, Arthur Duncan, Eddie Albert, Kathy Buckley and the Cal State Northridge Prism West Dancers, a deaf group, entertained.

For the finale, the audience sang Williams' words to "Wonderful Guy" from "South Pacific," ending with "We're in love with a wonderful guy." House beamed.

Surrounding him: Lynn and Clement Hirsch and her three daughters; Barbara Bowie; Joyce and Fred Hameetman; Maggie Edwards and Gene Croft; Richard and Eileen Eamer; and Bill and Gay Banowsky.

Comedian Crosby got great laughs with the joke: "Do you realize that if anything ever happened to Hillary Clinton, Bill Clinton could be President of the United States?"

DR. MURPHY: The 20-month citywide celebration of their contributions to the arts ended Sunday evening for UCLA Chancellor Emeritus Franklin D. Murphy and his wife, Judith.

On the UCLA campus, near the Franklin D. Murphy Sculpture Garden and at the doorway to UCLA's Wight Art Gallery, 100 friends joined for strawberries and wine to celebrate Franklin Murphy's 75th birthday.

UCLA Chancellor Charles Young spoke of the "enduring and endearing legacy" of the 25-year-old sculpture garden. Wight director Henry Hopkins noted major gifts to the garden, including those from the Ahmanson Foundation, Roy and Carol Doumani, and Eli and Edye Broad. Hopkins also introduced the Wight's current exhibition featuring 95 art works related to the 72 sculptures in the garden.

Ever philosophical, Murphy, who is chairman emeritus of Times Mirror Co., called the '90s the "payback decade for the '80s," and commented: "It is more exciting to plan and build than it is to streamline and see if you can do more for less. I hope that process does not distract from the commitment and belief that the future will always be more exciting."

BRISK: Tall red tapers on red cloths with U.S. and Marine Corps flags in abundance put zip into the Marine Scholarship Ball Saturday at the Century Plaza. Gen. Carl Mundy of the Marines was described as "a leader's leader and a warrior's warrior" as he entered to the gust of the Marine Drum and Bugle Corps, spiffy in their red jackets, gold buttons and white trousers.

The night, chaired by Richard J. Stegemeier, chairman and CEO of Unocal Corp., will net $110,000 for Marine scholarships. Last year the Los Angeles ball, with those in New York, Philadelphia, Chicago and Washington, provided grants of more than $1.1 million for 895 recipients.

The night's Semper Fidelis Award went to Northrop Corp. chairman Kent Kresa, whose company makes the F/A-18 Hornet fighter which the Marines fly.

Raoul (Rod) Dedeaux, USC's former baseball coach who led the Trojans to 11 national championships, received the John Wooden Sportsman Award. The Globe and Anchor Award went to Daniel L. Hernandez, executive director of the Hollenbeck Youth Center and creator of the Inner City Games, which have involved 100,000 kids.

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