last of the first snow and the end of autumn.
3:55 PM. Photo: JH.
closing in on Christmas and Hanukah in New York and now comes
the onslaught of drinks
Sunday night, Bill Reilly gave his annual buffet and drinks party
at his Sutton Place mansion. Mr. Reilly made his impressive fortune
in the publishing business – MacMillan, Primedia and more
recently (although I think he’s sold out already) in the
niche publishing company (a slew of publications).
Reilly's gingerbread house
ago he bought a beautiful brick Georgian house that was famous
to New York society as home of Rosita and Norman
Winston. Mrs. Winston was a popular hostess
here, in Paris, and in the South of France in her day (which was
the 1940s, 50s, and 60s). Their New York
house was considered quite the chic little jewel, overlooking the
When Mr. Reilly bought it he decided he could use a little (or
a lot) more room and so he bought the house next door, joined them
together. and turned it into a Georgian-style style mansion that
is perfect for his holiday party. Family – children, their
spouses, grandchildren, old friends, new friends, business associates
all congregate from six to ten or so for a big buffet, two bars,
lots of champagne, lots of desserts, a band (this year it was a
Salvation Army band), fires roaring in the fireplaces.
The party runs from about six to ten and I got there on the late
side, although the place was still packed. I saw a lot of people
I don’t know and several family faces, including some I have
never met. There was Jim and Ellen Marcus, Sydney and Stan
Shuman, Sandy Gallin the Hollywood entertainment mogul, John
Dobkin with one of his three sons, Rick Marek,
and Paul Beirne.
Paul, who is with Bernstein and Company and cuts a wide swath
through social and philanthropic Manhattan, told me he is spending
Christmas and New Year’s holidays in Rio where it is now
summertime. About thirty people, including our mutual friend Beth
DeWoody, are in the party that travels to Rio for about ten days.
They spend most of their days on the beach and their nights partying.
After a week in Rio, several in the group are going to San Paolo
for a few days before returning to New York.
In the course of the evening at Mr. Reilly’s, I ran into
another who travels to Rio for the holidays also. While it is fun,
he told me that there are the dangers. For example, you never stray
out of the main sections of the city, especially at night, for
fear of being robbed. At night, he said, you never stop for lights
because you might be stopped by bandits who are after your money
and your jewelry. Nice and exciting, no? You wear your fake Rolex
(that is, if you own a Rolex) and leave your valuables at home.
I found all of this unnerving just to hear about but my friend
was unperturbed by that reality, in fact he saw it more as simply
the way of the world and thought my reaction was somewhat quaint – which
I’m sure it is. He seemed assured of his own security in
that kind of environment knowing that there were plenty of armed
guards everywhere. He told me of going to a party at one of the
better apartment residences where each family had their own floor
and their own arm guards (with machine guns!) to keep everything
safe. I found all of this troubling just to hear about. Being the
bumpkin that I remain even at this late stage of the game. However,
since I’m staying in little ole Manhattan over the holidays,
it’s not really my problem, is it?
Yesterday I went to a holiday luncheon at Michael’s given
by Helen O’Hagan. The group included Dominick
Dunne, Casey Ribicoff, Cynthia Boardman, Alex Hitz, Ellin Saltzman,
Jerry Ford, Peter Rogers, Ceil Prendergast, Pierre Durand, and
Ms. O’Hagan is a long standing member of the fashion establishment
in New York, having worked for years at Saks where she was director
of fashion public relations and the a/d/c to the great Sophie of
Saks, a now forgotten but longtime fashion force in New York and
this country. In the course of her career Helen became a lifetime
friend of many of the famous and the fashionable. She is one of
those rare individuals who continually makes new friends and is
vigilant about lending a helping hand to a friend in need. At the
his life, she helped Bill Blass (in collaboration with Michael
Vollbracht) with a book archiving his design history.
Rosenthal, Joe Armstrong, and Cynthia Brill
I was seated between Ellin Saltzman and Eileen Ford. Ellin just
returned from London where she was visiting her daughter Elizabeth
Saltzman who is now London fashion editor for Vanity
who lives there fulltime with her American husband and children.
Eileen Ford and her husband Jerry founded the famous model agency
of the same name sixty years ago next year. When they started in
the business there were only two other agencies – and both
famous in their time: Harry Conover and John
Robert Powers, once
household names in America, now long forgotten (in case you’re
wondering what happens to celebrities over time). Both eventually
went out of business. Harry Conover went to jail for cheating on
his modeling fees and John Robert Powers just quit, leaving Ford
the leading agency. Today it remains an important force in the
business and is run by Eileen and Jerry’s daughter, Katie
Michael’s was packed again. I took
the digital along to catch the faces of the O’Hagan guests.
At the table next to ours was Joe Armstrong, Sarah Rosenthal,
and Cynthia Brill. Cynthia and
her husband Steve Brill started Court TV. As I
was taking pictures of my table, Sarah said, well, aren’t
you going to take pictures of us?! So I did.
Prendergast, Peter Rogers, and Eileen Ford
Dunne, Helen O'Hagan, and Jerry Ford
Boardman, Pierre Durand, and Casey Ribicoff
Saltzman and Alex Hitz
all about the dogs: I got a card in the mail over the weekend
with this dear litlle, slightly
scruffy looking dog on its cover. And underneath was typewritten: “Rescued
in honor of David Patrick Columbia.”
Inside was the following note:
Dear David: Lange Foundation has received a Holiday Gift of Life donation
in your honor from (a friend of mine), requesting we use it to save the life
of an otherwise hopeless impounded pet.
We chose “Sheba” from the pitiful, over-crowded South Los Angeles
animal shelter, where so many go to dispose of their unwanted pets, where so
few go to adopt. Sheba had been brought to the shelter by her elderly owner who
was unable to take care of herself anymore, let alone her beloved pet. Despite
assurances from the shelter staff that they would try as hard as possible to
find Sheba a new home, she was over-looked by the few potential adopters who
visit there as she is 8 years old. After 10 days she came down with the predictable
kennel cough, an automatic death sentence as it is so contagious. Fortunately
we were there when she was being led to the “back room” and her life
turned the corner! After a few days at our Veterinarians, she has recovered from
her infection, and today she will be joining our 130+ other feline and canine “guests” at
our busy Halfway Home kennel. We know we will have no trouble finding her a new
home, and she is a perfect angel. Sincerely, Gillian Lange.
I got this card, I thought to myself that if
I were living in Los Angeles, I’d adopt Sheba in a
minute. All of my dogs have been adopted. I adopted three
different little ones when I lived in L.A. from shelters,
all of whom were eight years and older. Age is irrelevant,
and in fact, the older ones can be easier to adjust because
they are well-trained and mellow.
I don’t know how people give up their pets under any circumstances. It
must have been very painful for Sheba’s owner. I also don’t know
why more people don’t adopt. There are all kinds of rewards and wonderful
companions just waiting to give love and devotion. It’s good for the heart
The Lange Foundation is a non-profit corporation dedicated to rescuing pets from
animal shelters. They are located at 2106 South Sepulveda in West L.A. Their
also got another card with another irresistible image
of cat and a dog, from the Humane Society here in New York. They,
like the Lange, need funds to care for sick and injured animals
in their clinic. You can adopt there too.
The photo is of Kippy (the dog) who was adopted from the Society in October 1995.
The following spring Kit Kat showed up at the door and was adopted by Kippy.
This picture was taken by an Advisory Board Member of the Society, Peter
Simon, who lives with Kippy and Kit Kat. Do you know how much pleasure
and light these dear ones bring to the life of Mr. Simon? It could be true for
you too. The Humane Society’s number is 212-752-4840.
Incidentally, DON’T give a pet as a Christmas
gift unless you are ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN that the recipient
loves animals and has the patience and fortitude to train and love
the animal. There are a lot of us bi-peds who can barely muster
common courtesy for each other in life, let alone these little
who ask very little and don’t deserve worse. And where animals can learn
obedience and live quite agreeably, they don’t naturally understand English
or any other language readily, just as we don’t understand any other language
than the ones we’ve been taught since childhood. And some of us have a
hard time understanding even that, as you know.
friend and fellow friend of animals, Frances Hayward was honored
at the 5th annual Breakthrough of the Year Awards presented by Hollywood
Life Magazine, for incomparable humanitarian efforts on behalf of
needy animals. Hosted by Eddie Griffin, the star-studded awards ceremony
honored some of Hollywood's most respectable artists, causes and
Hayward, looking her stunning self in a red suit, proudly walked
her rescued German Shepherd, Amigo down the red
carpet at the Henry Fonda Theater last Sunday. She joined fellow
honorees and presenters
Felicity Huffman, Jeremy Piven, and Famke
a camera shy Harrison Ford decided to miss the media madness and
snuck in a side
entrance to avoid the paparazzi.
Cavalli, Frances Hayward, and Angelica Bridges
Silverstone, another renowned animal activist
and dog lover, presented Frances with Hollywood Life’s Breakthrough
of the Year Award for her humanitarian efforts on behalf of the
of Hurricane Katrina and the launch of her organization BeKind.
in conjunction with the Humane Society of the US, Frances’ BeKind
organization promotes animal welfare and proposes a new national
awareness toward homeless and displaced animals everywhere, funded
by the sales of the BeKind bracelet and cause collar available
www.bekind.org. The face
of the BeKind campaign is Amigo — a former
stray from Grand Bahama Island — whom Frances rescued.
Leading the applause in the theater when Amigo and Frances took
to the stage to receive their award was Hollywood’s finest
including stars Terrence Howard, David Duchovny, Doug
Savant, and Dakota Fanning. Also seen enjoying a reunion
during the reception was “Lost” star
Naveen Andrews who told Maggie Grace that he misses her on the
Following the awards presentation, Frances and Amigo joined Cheryl
Hines, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Maria Bello, Justin Chatwin, Bradley
Cooper, Isla Fisher, Kristin Chenoweth, HBO Entertainment President
Strauss, “Super Size Me” star Morgan
Spurlock, Samuel Goldwyn and celebrity photographer turned producer David
LaChappelle and some of his “Rize” dancers for the Star Ice after
party on the rooftop.
Silverstone, Amigo, and Frances Hayward
Howard and Amigo
Chenoweth and Amigo
LaChappelle with Amigo and Rize dancers
Grims, Amigo, Frances Hayward, and Dakota Fanning
to r.: Felicity
Huffman, Amigo, Frances Hayward; Amigo; Amigo, Frances
Hayward, and Jeremy Piven.
to r.: Cheryl
Hines, Amigo, and Frances Hayward; John Evans, Morgan
Spurlock, Frances Hayward, and Alexandra Jamieson;
David Duchovny, Anton Yelchin, Frances Hayward, and Amigo.
to r.: Molly
Sims and Amigo; Eddie Griffin and Harrison Ford; Famke