Clive David is the life behind the parties

In 1957, Clive David went to Philadelphia from England for a short visit. For him, the United States was love at first sight.

Thereafter, he was guided to work on President Kennedy’s birthday party at Madison Square Garden (Marilyn Monroe sang “Happy Birthday”). Then, projects all around the globe came his way. Among them: Israel’s 25th anniversary, the bicentennial of Los Angeles, the wedding of John and Patricia Kluge at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York, The Masked Ball in Venice, Italy, which was attended by Prince Rainier and Princess Grace, Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton and many of their renowned peers.

When working at The Ritz-Carlton in Boston on a party to benefit the Leukemia Society, the Boston Globe’s society editor created his title as “party architect,” not party planner. That is a title that stuck. The party architect now lives in La Jolla.

What brought you to La Jolla?

A suggestion by Bill Thompson of Realty Experts that my parents and I should visit La Valencia, at which point we were hypnotized by every aspect of La Jolla.

What makes La Jolla special to you?

It is “paradise on the planet!” Everything is unique - the nicest people, the weather those in other cities dream about (especially in winter), and so many assets too numerous to list.

If you could snap your fingers and have it done, what might you add, subtract or improve in La Jolla?

The awful condition of street surfaces, especially those used by tourists, such as Coast Boulevard. Also, the street lighting.

Who or what inspires you?

Spirituality and my parents have always been my inspiration. A life where all your dreams come true is not a coincidence.

If you hosted a dinner party for eight, whom (living or deceased) would you invite?

To invite eight is very few for me. Husbands, wives and couples come in pairs, so eight guests is only four invitations. First and foremost of eight “couples” are my parents, Claire and Willem Kattenburg. The others who would be invited are: President John F. and Jackie Kennedy, Golda Meir and David Ben Gurion, Patricia Kluge and Bill Moses, Rabbi Paul and Susan Citrin, Bill Thompson and Jim Sandifer, Esther Nahama and Lee Campbell, Barbara Walters and John Kluge.

What are you currently reading?

The Book of Psalms, a book I read every day in my life.

What is your most prized possession?

My dream home come true! The location, setting and view are indescribable.

What do you do for fun?

Fun is dining with friends at Roppongi with cuisine by the brilliant chef Stephen B. Window, and lunching at Francois and Diana Goedhuys’ Girard Gourmet. Ecstasy is attending services at Congregation Beth Israel every Sabbath.

Describe your greatest accomplishment.

Forty-three years in business without one failure or disaster along with “Party Planning par Excellence,” my 16-year topic in the national lecture circuit.

What is your motto or philosophy of life?

Let go, let God - especially at Thanksgiving when every one of us can count and appreciate everything in our lives.