- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 24, 2009

Parks and perks

Ken Burns‘ latest documentary, “The National Parks: America’s Best Idea,” premieres Sunday night on PBS. But one fan of the unrivaled beauty contained in our 58 national parks got a sneak peek, courtesy of the director.

Mr. Burns told our colleague Kelly Jane Torrance that he screened the film at the White House for President Obama last Thursday. “He remembered when his grandmother and mother took him to the mainland from Hawaii. Their idea of making him more of an American was taking him to the Grand Canyon, taking him to Yellowstone,” Mr. Burns reports. “What’d he do this summer? He took his daughters there.”

It seems the president enjoyed the film. “He was so visibly moved and communicated how important it was to take his daughters to the place his grandmother and mother took him.”

See tomorrow’s Show section for more of Kelly’s interview with Mr. Burns.

Anchors aweigh!

What’s better than a party?

A party in a room filled with randy, big-mouthed sailors!

G2 was at the National Building Museum on Monday night for the Navy Memorial Lone Sailors Award Gala, an annual event that honors Sea Service veterans who have distinguished themselves in civilian life while still abiding by the Navy core values of honor, courage and commitment.

This year’s award recipients are Estee Lauder Chairman Emeritus Leonard Lauder, Federal Express founder Frederick W. Smith and baseball legend Yogi Berra.

At the gala’s prereception, Mr. Lauder and Mr. Smith formed a mutual admiration society. It seems Mr. Lauder helped Mr. Smith through the years by loyally selecting FedEx to ship his cosmetics all over the globe, and Mr. Smith, as the father of seven daughters, says he certainly kept the makeup man from ever worrying about going out of business.

We could not help but ask Mr. Lauder, a New Yorker, about his beleaguered Democratic Gov. David A. Paterson, who many in the Democratic Party have suggested should not run for re-election next year due to his tanking poll numbers.

“I do know the governor, and it’s an embarrassment all around, and that’s all I have to say,” volunteered Mr. Lauder, a generous patron of the arts and philanthropy in Manhattan.

• To contact Stephanie Green or Elizabeth Glover, e-mail [email protected] times.com.

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