Daily Archives: October 17, 2010

The Luncheon Society Flashback/ Dr. Steven Squyres and the 5th anniversary of the Mars Rover landings/January 2009/ Morton’s Steak House Beverly Hills

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Folks, this was a piece written in May 2009 by an old pal and LA writer Blair Tindall and it captured the essence of The Luncheon Society when we celebrated the 5th anniversary of the Mars Rover landings in Beverly Hills back in January 2009. Blair is probably best known for her memoir Mozart in the Jungle, which captured the harrowing life of the free-lance artist trying to make a career in the music business.

One Night at The Luncheon Society/Blair Tindall

“The best conversations always happen after the second glass of wine,” laughed Bob McBarton as he strode into Morton’s Steakhouse in Beverly Hills and began leaving a thick pile of biographies at each seat. 

Collated and stapled, they detailed the diverse backgrounds of thirty members of The Luncheon Society  a private assemblage of people with almost nothing in common, except their love for the lost art of conversation. They gathered to celebrate the 5th anniversary of the landing of both Martian Rovers on the Red Planet with Dr. Steven Squyres , the mission’s Principal Investigator, leading the conversation. 

Waiters served cocktails as unlikely alliances emerged between scientists, politicians, lawyers, entrepreneurs, actors, writers, and academics alike. A concert cellist who designs chips for Microsoft discussed the state of filmmaking with a major film archivist in Southern California.  Several attorneys found themselves talking with two men who sent unmanned spacecraft to the surface of the Moon during the early 1960’s that paved the way for those first steps by Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin.   Space architect John Spencer, who helped design parts of the International Space Station,  walked though his plans for to recreate the Martian surface in the Nevada desert to the Senior Counsel at MGM as well as a West LA political activist who raised funds for President Obama, long before he emerged on the national scene.  Vanity Fair writer Cari Beauchamp, who nursed a well-deserved cocktail after receiving great notices from her biography of Joe Kennedy’s Hollywood years, regaled tales from the hurly–burly days of the mid 1970’s when she served as Jerry Brown’s Press Secretary to a pair of wide-eyed entrepreneurs and a doe–eyed UCLA law professor. Continue reading