Hollywood on the Potomac
Nothing says ‘you’re in for a good time’ faster than being greeted at an event with a glass of Russian Standard Vodka! Such was the case at the 2014 Russian Gala: Photojournalism to Cinematography 1914-2014 held at the National Geographic Society building honoring Karen Shakhnazarov, Chairman of the Board of Mosfilm, and National Geographic Society’s Gilbert Grosvenor, Chairman Emeritus.
“For me it has been a steady pleasure in dealing with Russia no matter who is in charge of the place,“ TH Jim Symington, Chairman of the Board, told Hollywood on the Potomac. “I went there as a student in 1958, learned some Russian, took my guitar and met a lot of wonderful people and began sharing ideas with them. When I got back to the States, I began taking a message to Congress.” After a series of Government positions, Symington was elected to four terms representing Missouri in the US House of Representatives, where he chaired the subcommittee on International Cooperation. He was part of a group that founded the nonprofit American-Russian Cultural Cooperation Foundation in 1992, to support increased cultural exchange between the US and Russia, of which he is now Chairman of the Board. “It’s been a labor of love,” he added.
"John had a wonderful practice in law,” said Diane Rehm at a dinner hosted by the National Parkinson Foundation at Cafe Milano in Washington, DC. “He worked for the Kennedy and Johnson administrations. He became the first legal counsel to the office of the Special Trade Representative under Governor Christian Herter and I can remember Governor Herter saying to John, ‘Remember, family is first no matter what. Family is first.'”
And so it was for John and Diane Rehm who were married since 1959. Together they wrote a book: Toward Commitment: A Dialogue About Marriage. John Rehm died from Parkinson’s disease on June 23, 2014.
Diane Rehm has been in the radio business since 1973. She began her radio career as a volunteer intern at WAMU, then taking over the morning show in 1979, later renamed The Diane Rehm Show in 1984. Since then, she has been an institution in the business. It was only fitting that the foundation chose to honor Diane.
“Shortly after he retired, he would wait for me to come home from the office so that we could walk together. I happened to be a medical reporter for two years. As John walked with me, all of a sudden, this man who was six feet tall with these gorgeous shoulders and tiny waist – you could hear him shuffle. I knew something was wrong right then and there. Then he began having minor automobile accidents and by the third one the insurance company said they would’t carry him anymore. With testing, it turned out to be very negative.” John Rehm had Parkinson’s Disease. “Parkinson’s disease is a progressive disorder of the nervous system that affects your movement. It develops gradually, sometimes starting with a barely noticeable tremor in just one hand.. Although Parkinson’s disease can’t be cured, medications may markedly improve your symptoms,” according to the Mayo clinic.
“Everyone is sick of me,” said Emily Rymland at a party in her honor hosted by her parents Richard Rymland and Cathy Wyler at their home along with their other daughter Amy Lehr. “All my friends are sick of me because they say ‘let’s go to dinner’ and I say ‘instead of dinner can you write a check.'” The check she wants you to write is to support the Kiryabiocooli Health Center in Uganda, a division of The Buseesa Community Development Centre (BCDC).
“No, I don’t want to go on vacation, I want to go to Uganda,” said Rymland while inviting us to join her. “If any of you want to come with me, I’m leaving on January 2nd.”
Don’t expect guests at the occasion to be showing up at La Chaumiere anytime soon. Judging by the response to Emily’s passionate plea, they’ll be writing their checks to the project instead.