Nobody would ever accuse Secretary of State James Baker of being a romantic guy. Who would have had time for romance on his recent hopscotching-around-the-world schedule? But Baker did find the time Monday to take his wife, Susan, out for dinner at Maison Blanche, celebrating their 17th wedding anniversary. Baker had his usual steak tartare while his wife, eating more sensibly, had the salmon.

Last week, Baker cut short his visit to Mongolia and flew to Siberia and then on to Moscow. He arrived home in Washington at 3 a.m. Saturday, planning to fly down to Houston Monday for his mother's birthday, said to be her 96th. That visit was canceled because of the turmoil in Kuwait, keeping him near the White House, close enough to Maison Blanche for an anniversary dinner. But he leaves tomorrow for Turkey and Belgium. Maybe that's why no one ever calls Washington a romantic city.

Out and About For those who thought the Miss America pageant was never the same after Bert Parks was fired, things are looking up: Mr. Miss America may be back. The 75-year-old Parks is to be asked to come back and at least sing the song he sang for 25 years: "There She Is." Parks, a wonderfully campy presence at the nation's premier campy event, was unceremoniously dumped 10 years ago by now-deceased pageant director Albert Marks Jr., who wanted a younger presence. He hired minor actor Ron Ely, a former TV "Tarzan," for the hosting duties. Gary Collins and former Miss America Phyllis George are to host next month's pageant. They could probably use Parks to sing to the weeping winner as she wanders the runway. Parks, who lives in Greenwich, Conn., hasn't been heard from on this latest turn of events ...

Rep. Bill Gradison and his wife, Heather, must believe in the adage "cheaper by the dozen." Yesterday, Heather Gradison had a son, named Andrew Kirk, at George Washington University hospital. It is Bill Gradison's ninth child -- five from a previous marriage and four with Heather ...

Hospital Report: Composer-conductor Leonard Bernstein, who has been out of action for months with a variety of respiratory ailments, is said to be well enough to take on his annual conducting and teaching duties at the Tanglewood Music Center in Massachusetts. He is also scheduled to lead the Boston Symphony Orchestra on Aug. 19 ...

Marlon Brando's son, Christian, appeared in court in Los Angeles yesterday to enter a plea of not guilty in the murder of his pregnant half-sister's boyfriend. He also pleaded not guilty to possessing an illegal weapon, a machine pistol. The 32-year-old welder remains in the Los Angeles County Jail despite the $10 million bail put up by his father because his passport cannot be found to surrender to the court. Christian is charged with the murder of Dag Drollet, Cheyenne Brando's Tahitian boyfriend. He admitted shooting Drollet, but said it was an accident. Cheyenne, who had Drollet's baby in June, remains hospitalized in Tahiti with physical and psychiatric problems ...