Beloved gossip columnist?

Rent these goats to mow your lawn.

Liz Smith, the New York gossip columnist, just laughs when she
reads the title of her new book

Dishing- Great Dish and Dishes from America’s Most Beloved
Gossip Columnist.

Smith, last week’s guest speaker with Silicon Valley’s Common
Wealth Club, quipped,

Who ever heard of a


gossip? That title was conceived by the publisher!

Liz Smith, the New York gossip columnist, just laughs when she reads the title of her new book “Dishing- Great Dish and Dishes from America’s Most Beloved Gossip Columnist.” Smith, last week’s guest speaker with Silicon Valley’s Common Wealth Club, quipped, “Who ever heard of a “beloved” gossip? That title was conceived by the publisher!”

In an effort to learn from the best, I headed up to see and hear Smith as she was interviewed in the top floor of the 4th street parking garage. No, we weren’t seated amongst the parked cars but in the top floor conference room with a spectacular view of the soon to be completed San Jose City Hall. A native Texan, Smith tells it like it is with the wisdom and dry sense of humor of a woman who has spent much of her 82 years as “an observer of the scene.”

Her dishing included those in her own profession, saying, “The media has lost its mind. There’s a problem in the media; everything is overdone.” Smith gave the example of the coverage of the Pope’s death, although she did concede the world had known this pontiff better probably than most previous popes. Locally, I can put a “finger” on some overdone media coverage.

Smith was refreshingly candid about her career and regrets, outlining her lesson over the years in the media. “Your ethics are like the wallet in your back pocket; you have to keep checking it.”

As an appointed “living landmark” in New York, Smith uses her influence and inside knowledge to raise funds for charity. She admits her ability to talk to celebrities and solicit donations is much like “staking a goat to catch a tiger.” Above all, Smith defends the right to free speech with the timing of a world class comedian, “it’s someone’s right to be a horse’s ass in print.”

Got goats? … Is Heidi grazing her flock too close to Highway 101 again? On the way to the Common Wealth Club, we noticed the hundred or so goats grazing against the east side of the freeway. Billed as a natural solution to mowing the plethora of hillside grasses, the goats are for rent by calling (831) 426-4165.

The four-stomached grazers will help you eliminate the fire danger. Caution: remember the goat tied to catch a tiger? If you live in mountain lion territory, I would not provide a food source.

Speaking of food sources … Sinaloa’s makes a great meeting place for the wooing of wonderful people to join our community. On Friday, with the week’s work behind us, margaritas made their way around the table of ladies that included real estate agent Maureen Aning, Gilroyan Camie Brown, San Martin publicist Elizabeth Gordon and the ladies being wooed from Silver Creek, Nancy Naroff and Lisa Kato. Nancy’s sister Maura Butler from Long Island joined the recruitment lunch as the clock ticked on Nancy’s prep time for an evening of entertaining at her home.

As a former employee of Epoch Record’s classical label in Manhattan and a trained violinist, Naroff works tirelessly to promote music in schools and fundraises for the San Jose Youth Symphony. If you have a few bucks to give to a worthy cause, you might want to be included in Naroff’s benefit in-home concerts. E-mail High Society and I will put you in touch.

The notes are rising above South Valley after the bluegrass concert given in the home of Morgan Hill resident Bernie Mulligan. A special style of bluegrass known as “brother duets” was performed in front of an appreciative crowd at the Mulligan home with Tim Edes in attendance. Edes happens to be the director of the California Bluegrass Association and a member of an old Morgan Hill family.

Musicians Matt Dudman on mandolin, Jake Quesenberry on guitar, the group’s leader, Jerry Campbell on bass, and George Goodell on banjo form the group known as The Mac Rae Brothers, reportedly singing some outstanding harmony. Sing on musicians, the world needs you!

Truly, truly I say unto thee, Pacific West Christian Academy knows how to partee! Last Saturday night the Hayes Mansion in San Jose boarded more than 300 parents and supporters of PWC onto their “Captain’s Ball” mock party boat and sailed into an evening of cocktails, food, silent auction, and the most lively live auction I’ve ever attended.

Kim Benjamin, event organizer, has a talent for creating fun and pulled off, along with the many working hands of parents, one of the best school events of the year. Workers at the party, many of whom were teachers from the school, wore sea blue shirts with “deckhand” printed on the back. The bingo game, played after the touching video of the school children reading winning essays on the theme “It’s about time,” promised a three-day Bahamas cruise.

Some of the players included sharply attired Pete Quimby, a testament to the fact you can dress up a Pony baseball coach and take him somewhere (besides the baseball field – sans baseball cap).

The winning card had to have holes punched in the form of a cross. This took awhile for the party goers to understand the instructions as many of us were talking during class!

Ernie and Margaret Camarillo of Hollister listened, followed directions and won the cruise. Even during a brief table fire, the auction continued unabated.

Brian Jackson kept his bid number flying in the air during the live auction, winning bid after bid of orthodontic braces, BBQs, and a Disney Cruise. When asked if he was done bidding, Jackson quietly stated, “We’re not done yet; we need one more set of braces.”

The braces seemed to prompt many parents to get in the game, and with the bidding going higher and higher, guest and donor Dr. Bas Waffelbakker motioned to the auctioneer.

After a brief conference it was announced the good doctor added a second donation of braces. Waffelbakker received a standing ovation for his generosity. For this observer of the scene, the scenery was beautiful and fun. Thanks for the invite and hosting, Arie and Cindy Van Rhijn.

Ciao for now.

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