Two kinds of parties show up in The Solomon Scandals, my D.C. media novel: the private variety (“party-parties”) and “name-in-the-paper parties” (where the givers and the guests want publicity).
For both, the location is still the Georgetown section of Washington, famous over the years as home to the liberal elite. I’ve never applied for “elite” membership. In fact, I live and work across the Potomac in Alexandria, Virginia.
Georgetown, however, in an odd, amusing way, has come to me. I’m just two letters away from being the editor at large of The Georgetowner (“the newspaper whose influence far exceeds its size”).
The real one is named David Roffman, and in past years I received a few of his phone calls. Nowadays I’ve started getting his Facebook and Twitter invitations. It’s an easy mistake to make. When it happens online, I confess to being the Virginia Rothman instead, but sometimes end up dropping by the virtual parties anyway.
Today more of the powerful live in the suburbs than in past decades, and fewer wives enjoy the time to make a career of party-giving for its own sake, but the real Georgetown parties go on, lovingly chronicled by such sites as Washington Life (actually a magazine, too) and Hollywood on the Potomac (a blog run by Janet Donovan the columnist-publicist, and very definitely not to be confused with a book of the same title).
In a Georgetowner Q. & A. published by Executive Editor Beth Solomon (can’t get away from that name), Sally Quinn, now co-moderator of the Washington Post’s lively Web page on religion, recalls that John McCain told followers during his presidential campaign: “You won’t find me at any Georgetown parties.” Trouble was, McCain does go. “He’s certainly been a guest in my house,” she remembers, “and I sat next to him recently at a Georgetown party and he was a delightful dinner partner.” Could this be an exception? In the old days socializing was far, far more bipartisan than in these unfortunately more polarized times.
Related: The Watergate editor and the society legend: A loving look at them by their son who lives ‘A Different Life’ and ‘The Solomon Scandals’ vs. Dan Brown’s latest, ‘The Lost Symbol’: Same city, different books (the place where I mention the Solomon name overlap).
Scandals’ other Georgetown connection—beyond Roffman-Rothman: It’s on sale at Bridge Street Books.
Correction, Nov. 6: Whoops: I briefly and very accidentally married off Quinn Bradlee and Pary Williamson ahead of time—fixed—and now comes word that they have set a date for their wedding, November 3, 2010. Also, the Q&A link seems to have vanished from the Georgetowner as a matter of routine, though you can temporarily see the story via the Google cache (probably gone by the time you’re reading this).