"If Hurricane Allen comes this way, we're in trouble," Phyllis George told her guests as she eyed $100,000 worth of Chinese-export proclain displayed insecurely on stands along the drawing room walls of her rented yacht.
Kentucky Gov. John Y. Brown and his wife had taken over publisher Malcolm Forbes' dazzling new floating Taj Mahal "The Highlander" for a private party.
The boat has gold-plated hardware and plumbing throughout to resist sea-air corrosion.
President Carter's mother, Miss Lillian, was the Brown's ranking guest. She was being chaperoned by presidential assistant Richard Harden.
Miss Lillian was wearing a necklace she said had been given to her "by a young Jewish rabbi." It was a gold charm -- a "Chai," the Hebrew symbol for good luck on a chain.
"Someone said everyone in New York will think I'm Jewish." Miss Lillian said, "but that's all right with me -- doesn't bother me a bit."
She declined to talk about anything political with reporters. "The press," she said, wrinkling her nose and pursing her lips so that her intend could not be misunderstood. "I just LLUUVV the press!"
She and Phyllis George talked about food, instead, and diets. Miss Lillian has put on pounds. So has George, since the birth of her baby, and is now Valkyrian in size.
"We're shrimping it," George announced to Miss Lillian, and ordered them a plate of six shrimp, which they shared.
It was too early in the morning for champagne, and Jacqueline Onassis didn't have anything to celebrate anyway as she moved through the crowd of dispirited Kennedy supporters who showed up for a fund-raising breakfast at 21 yesterday.
As one of the heirs of Aristotle Onassis estate, the former first lady owns enough privately stocked Dom Perignon on reserve in the club's cellars to have boosted the morale of everybody there with a little bubbly.
Apparently Mrs. Onassis is unaware that the cases of ultra-expensive champagne are there. So is her stepdaughter, Christina Onassis.
Neither has laid any claim to the champagne since the shipping tycoon's death, a spokesman said yesterday.
Onassis is only one of several deceased celebrities -- including Joan Crawford -- whose estates have valuable vintage wines collecting dust at 21.
The Rockfellers also keep a private stock of wine at 21, as does former President Richard M. Nixon. (He and his family have been using his wine regularly since he moved back to New York.
The management at 21, which has been booked almost solidly with private parties this week, has been taking VIP Democrats on conducted tours of the wine cellars. The racks lie behind a secret wall -- opened with a coat hanger -- which was built during Prohibition.
Not that they're trying to encourage any more private-reserve business. In fact, they're hoping that if Sen. Edward M. Kennedy wins, Mrs. Onassis might use her Dom Perignon to celebrate. 21 could use the space.
Calling New York "Studio 54 City," Carter-Mondale deputy campaign director Hamilton Jordan had announced to his cronies that he was planning to keep a very low profile while here.
He even drove, rather than fly, because he had more privacy behind the wheel of his own car.
But he has been out and about with brunette Dorothy Henry, and was seen strolling along Fifth Avenue with his arm around her waist, looking into store windows.
When one group of female reporters outside a party asked if Henry was his "girlfriend," Jordan became prankish.
Chucking in a high-pitched cackle, he walked along, squeezing Henry's arm over and over, demanding: "Whoooooo are youuuuuu . . . Whooooo are youuuuu?" o
Former chief of protocol Evan Dobelle went to see "Camelot" the first night he was in New York. But it didn't remind him of the Kennedys.
"That's the Jimmy Carter story," he says, "a king who can't control his people."
Abc's Sam Donaldson, clowning into a dead microphone at Madison Square Garden with Sander Vanocur, announced:
"When I come back in my next incarnation, I'm going to be singer."
Then he burst into the Open-Convention forces' theme song "Please release me, let me go."
Marlo Thomas and Phil Donahue had his four sons in tow, and Thomas was sounding naggingly maternal.
"Kevin, why don't you get something to eat?" she suggested at one party.
Kevin said he didn't want anything to eat.
"I think you really SHOULD get something to eat," she insisted.
Kevin never did get anything to eat.
Instead, he and his three brothers amused themselves mimicking their father, who proudly insisted on introducing them to everyone he considered to be important.
"Kevin, I'd like to introduce you to your brother Philip. Philip, meet your brother Kevin. .
New Jersey's Gov. Brendan Byrne isn't colorblind, but he looked like a rainbow on Sunday, in paisley-printed pants that spanned the spectrum. "When you live in Princeton, N.J.," he explained, "you're bound to get presents like this for Father's Day."
The Secret Service is relaxed, compared to the three state troopers who accompanied Gov. James Hunt here from North Carolina.
They showed up an hour early to check his "security" before NBC's party at Rockfeller Center.
"Why bother?" an NBC staffer inquired. "Nobody knows who he is anyway."
But New York city police who were detailed to Vice President Mondale were alerted to watch out for an unidentified Toyata with North Carolina license plates that had entered Manhattan allegedly carrying shotguns and automatic weapons.