'Reason' To Believe
Janet Langhart Cohen is renowned for her beauty and charm, but now this unlikely Cinderella is sharing the rest of her story. Kuwaiti Ambassador Salem Abdullah Jaber Sabah and wife Rima opened their embassy residence Wednesday night for more than 100 friends to celebrate Cohen's newly released autobiography, "From Rage to Reason: My Life in Two Americas."
"I thought this book was talking about race," said Cohen. "But I'm just realizing that it's talking about women across racial lines."
The crowd -- including newly reappointed Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan, newsman Sam Donaldson and actress Lynda Carter -- peppered Cohen with questions about the book's revelations such as Cohen's age (62 -- really!), that as a young black broadcast journalist she was told she was "too black for a white television audience and too light for a black one," her fiery friendship with Martin Luther King Jr. and her interracial marriages.
The book's publication came on the heels of the 50th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education. "That decision ended apartheid in America," said Cohen. "It allowed us to sit here together. It allowed Bill and me to get married." Her husband, former senator and secretary of defense William Cohen, looked on with pride. "She was more Malcolm X than Martin Luther King," he said. "You have to know her, but she has this spirit."
"It talks to your heart," said Rima Sabah. "It is a real testament to the American dream."
Meanwhile, Backstage at the WHFStival
The weekend's biggest party was off the hizzy at 4 p.m. Saturday. More than 50,000 teenagers were crowd-surfing and moshing with their pushy, sweaty peers -- and loving it. The WHFStival rocked RFK Stadium with performances by the Offspring, Violent Femmes, Jay-Z, P.O.D. and the Cure, to name a few.
The rock star anger, angst and edge vanished as soon as the musicians left the stage and entered the backstage Elephant Room. In the blue-clad VIP oasis they ate mac-and-cheese and chicken kebabs, drank as much free beer as they could, and partied with celebs including Redskins linebacker LaVar Arrington and Brad from MTV's "Real World San Diego."
But these rockers weren't exactly fraternal. "I don't give a [bleep] about Jay-Z or anyone else. There really isn't anyone I want to see," said Andy Strachan, drummer for the Aussie group the Living End. Fellow band mate Scott Owen was willing to make an exception. "I want to see Beyonce," he said without shame.
When the luscious pop star whizzed by on a golf cart with boyfriend Jay-Z (the VIP room wasn't VIP enough) even the security guards chased after them with cameras. But in the end, the only people partying like rock stars were your children.
Nothing Bugging Them
The dire predictions of cicadas crashing Saturday's Birds & Bees Ball proved wrong -- the bugs were on their best behavior. But the lawn party at the McLean home of Al and Claire Dwoskin contended with Washington's annual bugaboo: heat and humidity. A few clever men chose comfort instead of heat-seeking tuxedos.
"My wife said 'creative black tie,' so I got busy and got creative," said the host, sporting a Hawaiian shirt with palm trees. "More men would go to events if they were more casual." The 250 guests at the Discovery Creek Children's Museum benefit doffed their jackets, sipped raspberry martinis, used auction paddles as fans and raised $120,000. But sadly, no one jumped in the pool. Next year.
With Laura Thomas