Sally Phelps, Odile CrickSally Phelps, Odile Crick
Peter Salk, Molly Maine, Michael Salk Symphony at Salk
Peter Salk, Molly Maine, Michael Salk Symphony at Salk
 OLÉ, OLÉ, OLÉ: The ninth annual Symphony at Salk boasted a number of advantages as a party. For starters, one would be hard-pressed to find a more impressive site for an event than the Salk Institute’s central Gildred Court. Add the San Diego Symphony. And for good measure, throw in the Romeros.

We’re simply smitten with the Romeros—the Spanish classical-guitar quartet of Celin, Pepe, Celino and Lito. First, they play like that. Second, they look like that. Third, word has it they make paella! What more could one possibly want?

Betty Vale was wearing a dramatic embroidered scarlet shawl. “In honor of the Romeros,” said Vale, who’s chaired every one of these annual concerts under the stars. “My daughter brought [the shawl] from Spain.”

The night was dedicated to the memory of the late Francis Crick, discoverer of the DNA double helix. His widow, Odile, and their daughter, Gabrielle, were there, as was Rita Bronowski, widow of the late Joseph Bronowski. Honorary chair François Gilot Salk, widow of Dr. Jonas Salk, was unable to attend but created the artwork for the program and invitations.

Also in the crowd of 800 were Dick and Judi Freeman, Karen and Andy Kohlberg, Karen and Walter Eckhart, Judith and Neil Morgan, Marilyn and Doug Sawyer, Peggy Matthews, Lorna and Chris McKellar, Sally and Dick Phelps, Susan and Peter Mallory, Ed and Martha Dennis, Jean and Steven Hamerslag and Elaine and Richard Murphy (he’s president of Salk Institute).

 Pat Freeman
Pat Freeman
Jeannie Williams, Cindy Soriano
Jeannie Williams, Cindy Soriano
MISSION BEAUTIFULLY ACCOMPLISHED: While we’re on the subject of fabulous sites for a party, consider the Mission Basilica San Diego de Alcalá. When you’re there on a warm summer night within the adobe walls of the old courtyard, with the fountain splashing and luminarias glowing under the draping pepper trees, you could easily imagine yourself celebrating a fiesta in California’s early days. Pre-mall. Pre-stadium. Pre-freeway early days in Mission Valley.

Then some lovely waiter appears with a Margarita and a tray of delectable little grilled lamb chops, and you are suddenly, happily in the 21st century. All the romance of the past, with the comforts of the present. That’s a great party.

Those stalwarts of the mission who call themselves Los Patrones celebrated the mission’s 235th birthday with a dinner and dancing to the big band sounds of Society Beat. Cheryl Doss and Julie Lohnes were the cochairs. Monsignor Thomas Prendergast welcomed everybody. Mariachi Fiesta Mexicana got everybody into the spirit of the evening.

Denise and Fire Chief Jeff Bowman were there, and Joy and Jim Furby, Rita and Van Fritzenkotter, Sue and Dick McGrath, Maria and Paul Stanley, Sister Mary Jo Anderson, Lee Maturo, Mim and Al Sally, Rebecca Heyl and Doug Minshell, Dede and Ron Carlson, Marti and Frank Panarisi and Maria and Paul Stanley. The French Gourmet provided grilled filet and giant prawns for dinner. Dessert was, fittingly, flan. Guests took home clay mission bells handcrafted by Roy Ruiz Clayton.

 Peter Webster, Mary Lou Aleskie
Peter Webster, Mary Lou Aleskie
Marilynn, Boesky, Marie Burnett, Virginia Monday, Diane Clarke
Marilynn, Boesky, Marie Burnett, Virginia Monday, Diane Clarke
 FUSS AND FEATHERS: Autumn in San Diego means Santa Ana winds and 80-degree weather. This does not stop hundreds of women from stampeding to the Globe Guilders’ annual Oscar in Autumn fashion show. The clothes, accompanied here by the utterly suave Boaz Mazor, aide to designer Oscar de la Renta, are fabulous creations of wools, tweeds, fur, lace and leather. Unwearable in Southern California, but just the thing for Oscar’s New York. It’s all for a good cause—the Old Globe Theatre— and it never hurts to look.

This 14th annual luncheon and show at the Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina was chaired by Jane Cowgill. Actress Annette Bening, honorary chair, came and sat with her mother, local Shirley Bening. Volunteer Jill Holmes escorted Annette and reports, “Yes, she really is that beautiful.”

START THE MUSIC: La Jolla Music Society launched its 2004 SummerFest with a gala dinner and concert for 220 at the La Jolla home of patrons Joan and Irwin Jacobs. Dinner around the pool, music in the Jacobs’ party room. Joan Jacobs and Margaret Stevens Grossman were chairs. Rita and Dick Atkinson—he’s the former UCSD chancellor and UC president—were honorary chairs. SummerFest musicians, under the direction of artistic director Cho-Liang Lin, played Dvo`´rák, Bolcom and Liszt. If you missed it, it was recorded by National Public Radio.

 Kristianne Kurner, Francis Gercke
Kristianne Kurner, Francis Gercke
Micki Olin
Micki Olin
 HITHER AND YON: White being the perfect foil for summer tans, the ladies of Las Patronas dubbed their annual Jewel Ball “Rhapsody in White.” This 58th annual gala at La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club was chaired by Wendy Segall and Sarah Burton. The Hyatt Regency La Jolla catered dinner, and the Bill Hopkins Orchestra played for dancing. The evening netted some $800,000 for local charities . . . The New Village Arts Theatre staged a dramatic fund-raiser: performances of Twelfth Night at the La Jolla home of Judith and Walter Munk. All a benefit for the Carlsbad company’s Shakespeare in the Park. Chuck Samuelson’s Cuvee Restaurant provided the chocolate buffet, and music came from the ZannaJazz Trio, so the culinary and musical arts were represented, too . . . The San Diego Press Club and UCSD pitched in to pay homage to San Diego’s longtime editor, author and columnist with “A Celebration of Neil Morgan,” subtitled a “picnic to end all picnics.” The Sun God Lawn on the UCSD campus was the site, and an alfresco feast by 10 local chefs was the fodder. “The San Diego Gastronomically Correct Chefs,” a pantry posse led by the Marine Room’s Bernard Guillas and including Paul McCabe of the Star of the Sea and Trey Foshee of George’s at the Cove, dished up luxe nontraditional picnic foods like poached lobster with shaved summer truffles. What, no potato salad?

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