Hats, Hares, and Honors

by Editorial


As the emcee was announced at the Folger Shakespeare Library Gala dinner, a large white rabbit ambled onto the Elizabethan stage, climbed stairs to a small platform, stretched up to place both paws on either side of the microphone, and in a deep baritone (by remote) told of the acts to come. The announcement – a long one – finished, he left the mike and hopped offstage, his work done. The show featured “buskers,” or street entertainers (known since Shakespeare’s time and a millennium before), some comedy fishwives, magic acts, the Guiness Book of Records’ “fastest balloon artist,” and a spectacular juggler. Seen: co-chairs Ken Ludwig and Adrienne George, Folger director Gail Kern Paster; John Irelan,Mary Weinmann, John Gleiber, Susan Bower, Evelyn Nef and Jim Kimsey.


JoAnn Mason honored the wives of two former ambassadors briefly in town, Anne Bujon de l’Estang (France) and Annamarie Salleo (Italy), inviting a score of D.C.’s A-list ladies for luncheon, including Mirella Levinas, Lucky Roosevelt, Alma Powell, Barbara Harrison, Alma Gildenhorn, Jacqueline Leland, Alexandra DeBorchgrave, Mary Ourisman, Aniko Gaal Schott, Isabel Ernst, Sedi Flugelman, Ina Ginsburg, and Hilda BrillemburgVeronica Valencia-Sarukhan, the wife of the ambassador of Mexico, hosted members of Arts For the Aging at the Mexican Cultural Institute. Co-chairs were Nazan Kirdar and Anna Maria Via, who had a busy week, as she and husband Giorgio entertained most of the Italian embassy for dinner at their home, including the ambassador of Morocco and his wife, Maria Felice, who is Italian …. “She’s the sexiest 92-year-old I know” said a guest (male) at Richard and Mary Moore’s patron’s party for the Georgetown House Tour, speaking of Frieda Burling, who makes no secret of her age. The tour’s longtime organizer, she gently commandeers display homes. “You can’t say no to Frieda,” said one householder.”


A gala dinner previewed a ground-breaking exhibit at Decatur House, displayed in the building’s former slave-quarters. It sheds light on the joys and sorrows of the historic African-American community in this shadow of the White House. Many African-American artifacts are included from sport’s star Chris Webber’s extensive collection. Guests were welcomed by Thomas R. Pickering. Togo West, Jr. (co-chair of the dinner with wife Gail) spoke eloquently on the significance of the display on this 145th year of the Emancipation’s signing. Supporters included Marcia and Frank Carlucci, John Irelan, Janet Howard, Sally and John Chapoton, as well as Tricia and Frank Saul, who co-sponsored the exhibit with the Coca Cola Company.


The 140-voiced Washington Chorus has seldom sounded as magnificent as one recent afternoon at Kennedy Center. The late Gogo (Mary Louise) Kiplinger, a wise and witty woman, beloved of all her friends, was a staunch supporter of the chorus, which dedicated this concert to her. The many friends who gathered were greeted by her husband Austin and son Todd, while son Knight, a longtime chorus member, and wife Ann, whom he met there, added their voices to the moving tribute.

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