Reprinted from yesterday's lte editions.
Washington hostess Allison LaLand says that while some people are interested in collecting movie stars or theater folk at their parties, she goes after "ambassadors and achievers."
As a result, LaLand's party Tuesday night at the Georgetown City Tavern Club for Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Tourism Fabian Chavez Jr. and his wife, Maria, was heavily sprinkled with both.
But LaLand, who lectures on "the art of party giving," said even the best-laid party plans can go a bit astray.
"Let's see now, 15 ambassadors accpeted, but only 12 are here, because you always lose a percentage at the last minute. For instance, because of the U.N. General Assembly opening today I automatically lost two to the U.N.
"As for congressmen - and I have only representatives here tonight because my boat party last June was for senators - well, six congressmen were invited but I lose one. Oh, no I didn't after all. Here comes Lindy Boggs in the dooor right now, so that means it's a full house. Wonderful."
Chavez, who recalled he met LaLand only three months ago through mutual friends, said he thought the first party in his honor in Washington was not that much different from parties in his native New Mexico - except that there "You wouldn't have all the ambassadors who are here tonight as well as congressional members . . ."
Among the congressional members was Mississippi Democrat Sonny Montgomery, who said that the rumors about him having a face lift weren't true.
"All I had was an eye adjustment," said Montgomery. "You know, a little tucking. Yes, I guess you would say it was for cosmetic reasons, but I had this tuck over my eye which eventually would impair my vision so I had it taken in. And while she was at it, my doctor also took some in under the eye. There was no problem there, But I guess it will keep wrinkles from forming later on. I believe in doing anything for good health."
Many of those present, especially Carter administration types, such as Community Services Administration Director Grace Olivarez, also from New Mexico, came because of Chavez. "You don't live in New Mexico for 24 hours without knowing Fabian," said Olivarez. "He IS the Democratic party in that state."
Oliverex added that the Bert Lance affair "boiled down to a morality question."
And on the subject of morality, she had a few comments about the President's stance against living in sin.
"Can you imagine anyone coming out and telling people they shouldn't live in sin? Hell," she quipped, "I wish I was. I should get so lucky. I'm not, of course, but should I decide to, it's nobody's business if I do."
Secretary of Commerce Juanita Kreps stopped in briefly with Under Secretary of Commerce Sidney Harman, both on their way to a working dinner with economists White House types included director of scheduling Tim Kraft and his wife, Judy, who said he was there because "I'm from New Mexico, and no, I have nothing to say about (Budget director Bert) Lance."
The President's secretary, Susan Clough, also stopped in briefly before rushing out, she said, "to unite myself with my children who haven't seen me in two days."
When asked if her boss seemed overly anxious the last two weeks, Clough replied amlost defensively, "No. The President is not overly worried about anything - that's why he is where he is today."
As for LaLand, she said she was not trying to be Washington's new Perle Mesta, as someone at the party suggested. "Oh, no. In the first place Washington's first hostess is, of course, the President's wife and the second, the Vice President's wife. The rest of us just gives parties for our friends."