Excuse Us, May We See Your ID?

By Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts
Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Ain't it nifty? Look who's 50 . . . or older! The celebs who came to Monday's AARP the Magazine Inspire Awards were in a buoyant mood, making the red-carpet thing much more fun than usual.

Glenn Close, in a sparkly gray jacket, was being honored for mental-health advocacy and seemed happy to be 61: "I was a very late bloomer. You only start to get some kind of inkling of what's going on when you're 50."

Peter Gallagher, 53, with the thick, glossy mane of a 23-year-old, said hurrah for AARP: "It's the one tiny corner of our popular culture where it's not a sin to be over 25," he told our colleague Marissa Newhall -- though he did enjoy his time on the teen drama "The O.C." "It was such a good story to be telling, about an outsider family who doesn't lose themselves or their sense of humor." Does he watch "Gossip Girl"? "No."

Quincy Jones, 75, was still in the afterglow of the previous night's Kennedy Center Honors. "So many friends who were there last night. . . . Peter Townshend, I knew him when he had hair. A lot of hair. Roger [Daltrey] still has his hair." He was musing that President-elect Barack Obama should appoint "a secretary of the arts" when up walked a jovial Colin Powell (wife Alma was an honoree) for some red-carpet banter.

"I was trying to talk to these people, but I was interrupted," Jones joked.

Hey, here's an idea: How about if the general lets Jones rent his house for the inauguration?

"Heck, no! I wouldn't let him in my house," said Powell.

"He thinks I'm a terrorist," Jones said.

Vernon Jordan's Book Club

Which came first? The friends or the book?

In this case, the answer is clearly the friends, judging by the 200-plus guests (George Vradenburg, Tony Welters, Joe Allbritton, Franklin Raines, Michael Beschloss, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Elizabeth Drew, Ann Walker Marchant, Roger Sant, Don Graham, Ann Stock) who gathered Monday to celebrate Vernon Jordan's new tome.

"We are here under a mathematical impossibility -- each of us thinks he is Vernon Jordan's closest friend," said Atlantic Media owner David Bradley, who co-hosted the party with his wife, Katherine, and Jim and Maxine Johnson.

D.C.'s consummate insider (civil rights leader, BFF of Bill Clinton, senior managing director with Lazard Freres & Co.) had plenty of serious reasons for penning "Make It Plain: Standing Up and Speaking Out," a collection of his speeches from 1971 to 2008. "It's my interpretation of the crucial events in the civil rights movement -- much of which is not recorded from a personal viewpoint," Jordan explained. "It's my view, my take, my experience, and what I learned."

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