How does one get there from the Marquee Lounge of the Shoreham Hotel? Washington's own political satirist, Mark Russell, has a big date coming up. On Wednesday he's giving a command performance in the auditorium of the CIA headquarters in Langley.
As usual, Russell isn't at a loss for words about this historic event: "Only in America. I received a letter from William Casey asking me to come. So I guess I'd better go. If you don't hear from me by Thursday, please send help. I'm really looking forward to it -- how many comedians get to say, 'A funny thing happened to me on the way to the CIA?' However, I plan to take a few precautions, like looking inside the piano for any fruit that is ticking. The CIA people actually told me they would be taping my performance for their own personal use. There they go again."
Back on the Campus
The season of college commencements and building dedications has begun. First Lady Nancy Reagan was in Chestnut Hill, Mass., yesterday to dedicate a renovated library and communications center at Pine Manor College in honor of her friends Walter and Leonore Annenberg. At Hastings College in Hastings, Neb., native son and Washington influence mogul Robert Keith Gray attended the ground-breaking of the C.J. and Marie Gray Center for the Communication Arts.
In both cases, the Annenbergs and Gray had given the schools $1 million challenge grants. In her dedication remarks, Mrs. Reagan described the Annenbergs as embodying "one of the most basic principles on which this country is built . . . people helping people in need." Walter Annenberg was U.S. ambassador to England during the Nixon administration and Leonore Annenberg was formerly chief of protocol for the Reagan administration.
The communications center in Hastings is named for Gray's parents, and he put together an advisory board for the center that includes Walter Annenberg, Walter Cronkite, John Denver, Celeste Holm, Dina Merrill, William S. Paley, Beverly Sills, Grant Tinker and Ted Turner. U.S. Information Agency Director Charles Z. Wick, gave yesterday's Hastings College 104th commencement address.
Famed test pilot Chuck Yeager, who admitted to never having a career plan in his life, was honored this weekend as one of the winners of the 1986 Horatio Alger Awards for turning adversity into triumph. Air Force Brig. Gen. Yeager and eight other men became members of the Horatio Alger Association, a group named for the 19th-century writer of rags-to-riches stories for youths. The other 1986 recipients are Harold Burson, chairman of Burson-Marsteller, the country's largest public relations firm; William F. Farley, chairman and owner of Farley Industries; Thomas S. Monaghan, president of Domino's Pizza; professional golfer Juan (Chi Chi) Rodriguez; Ralph B. Rogers, chairman of Texas Industries; O. Wayne Rollins, chairman of Rollins Communications; William H. Spoor, chairman emeritus of the Pillsbury Co.; and Patrick F. Taylor, chairman and president of Taylor Energy Co. . . .
It will be an Italian spring tonight in a tent in Rock Creek Park. The benefit for the Art Barn is sponsored by Italian Ambassador Rinaldo Petrignani, with Interior Secretary Donald Hodel and Agriculture Secretary Richard Lyng serving as honorary chairmen . . .
Ohio Rep. Mary Rose Oakar, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Policy Michael Baroody and Labor Solicitor George Salem were special guests honored at a reception honoring Arab Americans in political life this weekend at the Park Terrace Hotel. The reception was hosted by Clovis Maksoud, ambassador of the League of Arab States, and James Zogby, executive director of the Arab-American Institute . . .
Singer Willie Nelson fell off a bicycle last week and severely fractured his left thumb. In a two-hour operation, a hand specialist inserted a wire and rebuilt the thumb joint. The wire and cast will remain in place until Nelson's July 4 Farm Aid concert. Even though Nelson is right-handed, the left hand is also important to a guitar player. The specialist, Dr. Bob Walters, said he didn't see any reason why Nelson couldn't play again. "If he had to break one [thumb], that was the one to break . . ."