David Patrick Columbia recalls an early holiday party.
Question: What is the most lavish party you’ve been to?
David Patrick Columbia: I’ve been to actually some very lavish parties. And actually when you talk about lavish parties, it becomes sort of what your experience of parties are. Because I’ve been to so many parties. I’ve probably been to 1,000 parties or more in my life, and lots of them were the result of lavish expenditure. And I’ve been to parties at Versailles, which Versailles itself is so lavish that any party there would be lavish.
In America, the most remarkably lavish party that I’ve attended – and it was attended at a time in my life when I hadn’t had as much experience going to parties, so it was new for me – was in Beverly Hills. It was a holiday party, a Christmas party given by a couple named Barbara and Marvin Davis. And they used to give a very, very big holiday party. This was in the late 1980s. And they lived in a very, very grand house.
They had very grand entertainment. They had Santa and Mrs. Claus and all the elves and the reindeers there. They served the best champagne. The house was enormous and it was full of very famous faces – so many famous faces I can’t even remember them all. The dinner tables were of 10 or 12 were surrounded by very famous people. And the party itself was set in a very, very large tent behind a very, very large house. And to me, that was just absolutely end in lavishness.
Question: What was your favorite Society moment?
David Patrick Columbia:Oh golly. I don’t know how to answer that question. I don’t know what to say to you. I do so much of what I do by going to parties and meeting a lot of people that a lot of it is almost routine. And I don’t mean to make it sound as if it’s dull or boring because it’s not dull or boring. But in terms of a favorite moment is concerned, it usually has something to do with other people’s talents. And that talent might be listening to somebody very, very brilliant speaking. Or listening to somebody who is very talented singing or playing. Or seeing people get very excited about raising a great deal of money that definitely will have an impact. For example in New York, there’s the Central Park Conservancy. And these people, mainly women, who put together the conservancy have had a huge impact in making Central Park and other parks really wonderful places for us in the metropolis to go and have some respite from city life. I think those are really wonderful things, and those things really turn me on.
Conducted on: October 29, 2007