Koreagate figure Tongsun Park, back in the United States to fight the Internal Revenue Service for possession of millions of dollars' worth of personal property, was telling friends at dinner the other night that he has discovered too late what brought him "so much bad luck."
Many Koreans still believe an ancient ritual which claims that an individual's fate can be determined by the burial position of a particular ancestor. Park said that he has learned one of his had been buried facing north instead of south. Hence, his predictable misfortune.
Park had a word of warning for the Madison Hotel's Marshall Coyne, who bought Park's 32nd Street mansion after it was seized by the IRS.
There is another Korean superstition, Park said, which says that a previous owner's luck, good or bad, will be passed along to a house's new owner.
Sen. Harrison Williams, the New Jersey Democrat who is the only member of the Senate named so far in the FBI's investigation of political corruption, is a man who moves on the highest levels of society and is accustomed to the finer things in life.
It was the most elaborate and expensive birthday party anyone present could ever remember, when Williams turned 60 in December.
Details were so perfect that the butter has been molded into the shape of yellow roses, attached to the stems of leaves of real roses which had been debudded and tossed away.
The U.S. Equestrian Team performed as the evening's entertainment and transported the 120 guests from the stables to the house in carriages for dinner and dancing.
A special floral designer had been hired to create table settings in each room. Valuable porcelain Boehm birds peeped out of flowers, color-keyed to match the priceless Savonnerie carpet in the drawing room.
Porcelain figures of Revolutionary War soldiers stood guard among the flowers at the tables of guests who sat in the paneled library.
Williams' host was New Jersey financier Finn M. W. Caspersen.
Caspersen is chairman of the board and chief executive officer of Beneficial Corp., the nation's fourth largest independent financial firm.
The dinner in New Jersey was one of a weekend series of three celebrations. His staff gave one in the Senate on Friday. Jane Englehard, widow of minerals tycoon Charles Englehard, came down for that. Then she staged a brunch herself at her Farr Hills estate for Williams and a group of his Washington friends the morning after the Caspersen affair.
Washingtonians who flew up to help Williams celebrate and spent the weekend house-guesting with his millionaire constituents included the secretary general of the OAS Alejandro Orfila and his wife, Moroccon Ambassador and Mrs. Ali Bengelloun and the Madison Hotel's Marshall Coyne.