Two of my greatest delights–the public library and bottomless bottles of Veuve–came together last week to raise some serious dosh to secure books and computers for the downtown Los Angeles central word temple and its 72 neighborhood branches around Los Angeles.
The Literary Feast is the Council of the Library Foundation’s biennial fundraiser benefiting the Los Angeles Public Library, specifically educational programs targeting literacy and technology education. And at 53 homes around the city on November 4, 53 authors were feted and some $500,000 were raised. Terry McMillan was the guest of honor at the Brentwood home of CAA's Bruce Vinokour; Pultizer-prize restaurant critic Jonathan Gold held court at attorney Tom Kranz's in Bel Air; politico/feminist advocate Susan Estrich was at the Holmby Hills manse of chick-lit pioneer Judith Krantz.
This being the doing of the city's social wives, the fundraising fest couldn't be limited to a single evening. It all began the night before for all of the authors and hosts with a cocktail party hosted by Eli and Edythe Broad under the Dean Cornwell murals in the Cook rotunda hall, followed by supper next door at the California Club, underwritten by Wallis Annenberg. The highlight? The class picture with all the authors.
While Werner Herzog, a participating author whom Andy and I had hoped to meet was a no show, our pal Dana Thomas, the author of must-read "Deluxe: How Luxury Lost its Luster" arrived with her fantastic brother Brian in tow (husband Herve having returned to Paris days before). The four of us ran rampant through the Cali Club after everyone was gone, checking out the hallowed halls of this private throwback to old L.A.
Also there for the class pic? Me.
Yep, I, too, was among the invited authors, and Fred and Betty Hayman opened their Beverly Hills home the following evening, complete with live mariachis filling the salon and dining areas with their exuberant songs and an old school menu of lobster thermidor and roast beef and, yes, lots of Veuve. Fourteen paying guests came to listen about the old days of Beverly Hills, including Bonnie Brae, whose father founded Pacific Theaters including the Cinerama Dome, and Sally and Michel Perrin, scion of the leather-goods house Perrin Paris 1893. (The pair opened their new Beverly Hills boutique only the week before.)
The tome being toasted that evening is the yet-to-be-released biography of my host, a book that is also a history of Beverly Hills. We're looking at a Spring 2010 release for "Fred Hayman – The Extraordinary Difference: The Story of Rodeo Drive, Hollywood Glamour, and the Showman Who Sold It All." Stay tuned.
Leave a Comment