Sticky in Houston
What to do in humid Houston during the summer? If you’re Lynn Wyatt, you don’t sweat it and ask a couple dozen of your closest acquaintances to a book signing party for your dear, dear friend Candy Spelling, mother of Tori and author of Stories From Candyland.
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It’s that time of year when any Houstonian with any sense and any money left leaves town. (“Have a good summer!” is what people with homes in Aspen, Nantucket, Jackson Hole, and Santa Fe say around now, instead of “See ya later,” or just plain “Goodbye.”) Alas, I am not one of those people, but, so far, neither is Lynn Wyatt, who invited friends and press to a book signing for yet another of her very good friends, Candy Spelling, author of the new memoir Stories From Candyland. For those of you not of a certain age or with fading memories, Candy was Mrs. Aaron Spelling, mother of Tori, and the woman who lived in the biggest house in Los Angeles (she made the “wrapping room”—that would be for gift wrapping—something we are all supposed to have, along with our projection rooms and wine rooms). Like the rest of us, she has scaled down, recently moving from the mega-mansion into a high-rise penthouse in Century City.
Anyway, even on a torrid evening in June, in a small party room at the St. Regis, Wyatt can turn out a crowd: Assorted Houston socialites from various epochs, along with many gay hoity-toits, lots of blondes—some Candy look-alikes—and virtually no straight men. As the crush grew, people talked about their summer plans—Paris, Spain, the Ranch. “I met Charlemagne Palestine,” art dealer Sandy Parkerson told a few friends about his recent trip to France. Everyone nodded as if they knew Charlemagne, and then Parkerson thankfully explained that C.P. is an American minimalist artist and composer whose real name is either Charles Martin or Chaim Moshe Tzadik Palestine. He’s from … Brooklyn.
While Spelling signed books and some of us got a little wilty in the crush, La Lynn remained crisp in an organza blouse with major ruffles and basket woven bracelets made of stone (really) that were very chic if understated compared with Candy’s many large and sparkling diamonds. (See photo.) Wyatt was just back from a visit to Paul Allen’s yacht, which featured, she said, two helicopters at either end and a yellow submarine. She met Dr. James D. Watson and his wife there. (Sometimes I think Wyatt could play herself in a remake of Zelig.) A guest complimented her coolness under pressure. “I never sweat,” she confided. “Even when I was a cheerleader back at San Jacinto High School.” Meanwhile, Wyatt’s gracious son Brad, who works for Geo. H. Lewis & Sons Funeral Directors, confessed that the cemetery visits he is making in his dark wool suits are getting pretty steaming. Apparently, not sweating is not hereditary.
Books were signed—not surprisingly, Candyland sold out in this crowd—canapés were passed, and Spelling sparkled continuously, posing for pictures and reminiscing about Dallas, which she visited often with her late husband. (Mr. Spelling was a native. The couple traveled by train because Aaron famously refused to fly.)
“Where are you going next?” a guest asked about her book tour.
“Home,” Candy said, maybe a bit too enthusiastically.
“Have a good summer!” someone said, by way of goodbye.