The white stuff: Denver is no better at predicting blizzards than it is at predicting airport openings. After the flurry of prognostications that called for a big dump last weekend, the city canceled the first official flight into Denver International Airport--a United Airlines Stapleton-to-DIA charity deal that was set for Saturday. (One of the reasons Denver voters were sold on the new airport was because it supposedly could handle air traffic in bad weather.) Actual measurable precipitation: 0. And chalk up yet another embarrassment for DIA.
The flight's been rescheduled for next Saturday. But wouldn't it just be easier for the airline to take the cost of operating that short hop, add it to the $27,000 already raised--and then let everybody forget the whole thing?
The hot seat: The city was flying high a dozen years ago when the Denver Center for the Performing Arts first opened its doors. Now the DCPA is renovating its Stage Theatre and offering to put a bronze plaque on a theater seat for anyone who donates $250 or more to the project. At one time, though, the DCPA was ready to make a considerably larger outlay for its biggest--and we do mean biggest--supporter. Just days before the curtains were to rise on the DCPA's debut performance, staff members realized there were no seats large enough to accommodate oilman and boardmember Marvin Davis. They hastily placed an order for a special row of seats--thereafter known as the "fat" seats--to accommodate the big donor's derriere. Sadly, Davis and wife Barbara were no-shows opening night.
The Davis family, however, continues to make appearances in newspapers across the country. Daughter Patty and developer husband Martin Raynes (they married back in 1983, when the Davises still did Denver) happen to own the 4.7-acre Long Island estate where Vitas Gerulaitis died two months ago, a victim of carbon-monoxide poisoning. At first, reports had Gerulaitis dying of a heart attack--news that didn't keep Patty from attending a charity Chanel fashion show the day after his body was found. It quickly became apparent, though, that the tennis star, who was staying in the pool house, was asphyxiated by carbon-monoxide fumes leaking from a faulty propane heating and air-conditioning system that didn't conform to Southhampton Village code. In fact, according to local news reports, after officials realized that the structure violated zoning rules back in 1990, Raynes had promised that the family wouldn't use the building as a guest house. Now Gerulaitis's family is reportedly considering suing Raynes.
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Meanwhile, on the other coast, daddy Marvin Davis--the "fattest man in Hollywood," according to society scribe Taki--is no longer able to maintain his high-and-wide profile at the local Carnegie Deli. Davis, who was so taken with New York's Carnegie Deli that he used to fly in food to Denver and later Los Angeles, set up his own version in Beverly Hills in 1989. He and wife Barbara sliced a six-foot salami rather than cutting a ribbon at the opening; celebs John Madden, Sidney Sheldon, Jackie Collins and Don Rickles were touted as investors. Alas, even the lure of Rickles didn't draw in the crowds, and the California Carnegie closed this summer. Fortunately, the failure gave the November 16 New York Times the opportunity to repeat the "oft-told tale" of Marvin "calling his wife from La Guardia Airport to say he was bringing back $1,000 worth of pastrami from the Carnegie, then calling again from Denver to report that only $600 worth remained.