The "General Lee" wasn't parked out front rarin' to go, but Denver Pyle, who played the bearded, pot-bellied Jesse Duke on the "Dukes of Hazzard," was inside the Vista Hotel's American Harvest restaurant Tuesday evening having a fancy, expensive dinner. You can't get grits and greens there . . .

Theater obviously should not be taken onto the street. Arena Stage actors rehearsing the Emily Mann play "The Execution of Justice," scheduled to open next month, moved to rehearse outside the theater last weekend. Spectators watching actor Casey Biggs, who plays convicted killer Dan White in the show about the murders of San Francisco Mayor George Moscone and city supervisor Harvey Milk, were caught up in the emotions of the scene when the stage gun that Biggs was carrying fell out of his jacket pocket. People in the neighborhood got uncomfortable when they saw the gun, so police were called. It was all resolved a bit later . . .

Barbara Bush, who has been active in Reading Is Fundamental, yesterday presented 6-year-old Taryn Younus of Harleysville, Pa., with a plaque at a ceremony at the vice president's residence. Younus was being recognized for completing 15 hours and 10 minutes of reading in two weeks. Secretary of Education William Bennett and authors Frank Herbert and Tomie dePaola were at the ceremony . . .

There is the president's mansion and the vice president has an official residence, but if Rep. Thomas E. Petri has his way he will try to bar the State Department from accepting any gift of "a grand residence" as the official home of the secretary of state. In the case of George P. Shultz, it's a move that is being seriously considered. The Wisconsin Republican said: "By and by, all major officials, and maybe also the speaker of the House, will hold forth like great lords in grand princely palaces scattered about the city. Before we create a new class of great princes and dukes in our midst, let's stop this residence proliferation before it starts." . . .