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Red nails' bad rep may live forever

The red fingernail controversy, a relic from the past, still rages.

This was another of those interesting items we discovered in an interview last week at Get Nailed nail salon. Co-owners Carmen Madison and Margaret Bailey say that never a week and hardly a day goes by when the subject of red fingernails doesn't come up.

"Either it's "Oh, I've always wanted red fingernails!" or "My husband thinks only loose women have red nails,'

" Ms. Madison said.

"Uh-oh!" I thought, looking at my own flaming fingers. This hangup (or hang nail?) still must carry a similar stigma to women who smoked a cigarette while walking across the room, or (horrors!) while walking on the street. That was something that just wasn't done in polite circles. If women insisted on smoking, at least they shouldn't flaunt it, for heaven's sake!

Now smoking carries a totally different kind of stigma, and it's not at all sex-biased.

This past weekend was to have brought the biggest Beachfest ever to St. Petersburg Beach.

Instead it brought rain. And rain. And more rain.

Instead of Friday night's dinner under the stars, volunteers transformed the empty Green Turtle Gift Shop on Gulf Boulevard into a romantic New Orleans setting with tons of greenery, wrought iron street lights, tables, candles, music _ the works.

"Every table was filled, at $50 a head," said Carole Jaquis of the St. Petersburg Beach Chamber of Commerce.

When race-boat drivers were refunded their entry fees because 8-foot seas canceled Saturday's races, about 70 percent of them refused the refund and many stayed around for the festivities. In spite of the rain, 110 runners turned up for Saturday's 5K race. This was the spirit that prevailed.

"Sponsors and participants alike all pitched in," said Carole Clancy, marketing director for St. Petersburg Beach Charities. "It was a real community effort. We had a successful weekend if you measure it in camaraderie and spirit and dedication."

No totals are in yet on the money raised for the Suncoast Children's Dream Fund.

When next you watch The Golden Palace (8 p.m. Friday, WTVT-Ch. 13) in which The Golden Girls have moved to Miami and bought a hotel, pay particular attention to the two paintings in the hotel's dining room. They were done by our own Fred Szabries.

Szabries says he signed on with Gallerie St. Armand in The Quay, Sarasota, in April. The gallery also has a location on Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco and someone from the Golden Palace set saw his paintings of "parrots and macaws with architectural elements" and bought them. They are acrylic and stucco on canvas and measure 24 by 36 inches, says the artist.

Szabries, who has lived in St. Petersburg since 1976, says his paintings sell for $1,000 to $3,000 and that these two, being smaller, were "on the lower end of the scale.'

Bingo friends, Opera Guild friends, Museum of Fine Arts friends, National Council of Jewish Women friends, Jacksonville friends, etc., etc., etc., will attend Florence Lippman's 85th birthday brunch at the Wine Cellar on Sunday. This shows what a busy and diversified life this woman leads. Daughters Elaine Stupp and Lynda Lippman are hosts for the event.

That Children's Home Celebrity Luncheon at the Stouffer Vinoy Resort last Thursday brought more than 450 to the newly restored resort, where the staff proved it could handle the crowds with no problem. The lunch was excellent and beautifully presented, although the former ballroom was jammed and had a runway down its middle.

And two hotel staff members asked how we had enjoyed it as we left. How refreshing!

"Kickoff at The Grove," 11 a.m to 4 p.m. Saturday at Cocoanut Grove, Fourth Street and 30th Avenue N, will be a lot of things. It will be a gathering of the Tampa Bay Bucs who will sign autographs; it will be table sales, store sales, drawings and hot dogs and bratwurst cooked on a grill outside Mulligan's. And one lucky person will win tickets to the Bucs game in New Orleans via Continental Airlines on Nov. 1.

Betty and Ralph Steadman celebrated their 50th anniversary with a trip to England, a gift from their son, Dr. Paul Steadman, who accompanied them on the trip. He served as their driver, and then they joined a tour group while he attended a medical conference.

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