Reprinted from yesterday late edition.
They painted pink spots on her cheeks dressed her up in a ruffled satin suit and sat her atop a box on the East Room stage. She was, they told 500 children from 96 countries minutes after her father the President - had peeked in and left, the new "Littlest Crown."
But at the end Wednesday, when the Pixie Judy theatrical troupe from New York asked 10-year-old Amy Carter to sign on permanently, she smiled, shook her head vigorously, declining with a firm "no." Clowning, as anyone could see, wasn't her bag.
"There's one thing I have to say to you, Miss Amy Carter," said Helen Hayes, the First Lady of the American theater and the production's narrator, to the First Kid of the White House: "You're a real trouper."
Her mother, Rosalynn Carter, thought so, too, applauding loudly the way mothers do but ruling out any career in clowning for Amy with. "I'm not going to let them have the littlest clown."
It was the 1977 edition of the traditional White House party for diplomat children, the cookies-and-punch highlight of the 5-to-11 age group's social calendar.
This year, however, there are a difference. American children of volunteers on the coordinating organization. The Hospitality and Information Serivices (THIS), were not invited. The diplomatic contingent had grown so large that there "simply wasn't room," said Mary Hoyt, press secretary to Mrs. Carter.
"Our volunteers always know that all the things we plan are for the diplomatic children and, if there is room, their own children can go," said Mrs. John Carter Good, president of THIS.
"They understood very well. There was no discussion about it." [WORDS ILLEGIBLE] arrived in car pools on buses, many of them in native dress - all of them wearing their best diplomat manners.
"I'm so glad Jimmy Carter is President," tiny Ernestine [WORDS ILLEGIBLE] of The Netherlands, told Mrs. Carter, adding, "Would you give Amy a kiss for me?"
Mrs. Carter said that she had an even better idea and led the child off the [WORD ILLEGIBLE] hall in search of Amy to claim the kiss first-hand.
David Colvin, 7, of Great Britain, handsome in red tartan kilt, knew who Amy Carter was even before he was introuded. As for partying it up at the White House: "I like the food," he said.
Not that he'd ever be apt to do anything like it back home. "I don't know anybody at Buckingham Palace," he said.