It Will Be 49 Arabian Nights At Big Auction

THE AUCTION OF AUCTIONS: Sotheby's will auction 49 Arabian horses from Loyal and Jack McMillan's Meadow Wood Farm, Snohomish, on July 20.

The McMillans - he's president of Nordstrom - don't ride and use the animals purely as breeding stock. There are more than 200 Polish Arabian horses at Meadow Wood, 350 llamas, a small herd of Alpacas, Vietnamese pot-bellied pigs, cats, dogs and a camel.

When the McMillans bought the 600-acre farm along the Skykomish River five years ago, friends had trouble imagining what it would become. There are several houses on the farm, including one the McMillans use as a weekend getaway.

Said a friend: "Loyal has fixed up the house so cute it looks like something from Ralph Lauren."

MORE MEADOW WOOD: Meadow Wood is the site of a benefit dinner and auction today for ARCS, Achievement Rewards for College Scientists. The stellar list of members, including many members of The Highlands, Madison Park and Broadmoor set, raise funds to recruit top students nationwide to the University of Washington and provide them with fellowships.

Since 1978, ARCS has given $666,500 to 145 UW graduate students.

A horse and llama show is part of the late-afternoon event. The listed attire: "Country casual."

Is that as in English tweed or Eddie Bauer chic?

BACK TO THE OLD NEIGHBORHOOD: Former United States senator and Washington governor Dan and Nancy Evans have bought two adjacent lots in Laurelhurst and plan to either remodel the existing home or build a new one.

Evans said they're not planning a big house now that there's just the two of them. "The big question right now is deciding what we want."

Said one of his new neighbors in jest: "There goes the neighborhood."

SPEAKING OF NEIGHBORHOODS: Ida Ballasiotes is irate about the ramifications of her neighbor's construction project. The neighbor: Paul Allen, one of the Microsoft founders and owner of the Portland Trailblazers.

Her Mercer Island property is on the north side of Allen's megacomplex, which includes a basketball court, 12,000-square-foot indoor tennis facility, art gallery, theater, lap pool, etc. etc.

"The dirt (from excavation) is sifting into my house," Ballasiotes said. There's the daily roar and fumes of heavy equipment and workers arriving by school bus. And 1,500 trees have been removed that Allen has agreed to replace.

"On rare days when it's nice enough to eat outside you can't because of the noise and the fumes."

MUGGING: Environmentally conscious Marilyn Anderson of Kent is annoyed with her local McDonald's for refusing to fill the mug she provided with coffee instead of selling her the usual coffee in a styrofoam cup.

They said "the only cups they could fill with coffee (besides the usual styrofoam) were the ones that they had given away for a short time a couple years ago."

Because there were no more cups like those, Anderson took a Hoagy's cup and painted golden arches on it.

Still didn't work.

ON THE BLOCK: Real estate investor Jim Driftmier, who KOMO-TV's "Northwest Afternoon" last year called Seattle's "Most Dateable Bachelor," will be up for bid 5:30 p.m. Thursday at the American Heart Association's Heart Throb auction of eligible bachelors, at the Sheraton Tacoma, 1320 Broadway Plaza.

Driftmier has done eight auctions, raising about $10,000 for charity.

So is Driftmier REALLY the most dateable?

"Bill Gates wasn't on the show."

QUESTION OF THE WEEK: Retired nurse Emmy Welch called me to ask what happened to NBC News' Arthur Kent, known as "The Scud Stud" during the war in the gulf.

Well, Emmy, he's back at NBC's Rome bureau. A network spokeswoman said Kent's "long hair, good looks and leather jacket" on screen just when "we needed a hero" made him so popular.

The network received a deluge of requests for his photo and bio.

WAITING GAME: Roseanne Barr, who is due in Seattle this week, is keeping both the Sorrento Hotel and KOMO's "Northwest Afternoon" crew in limbo. In the hotel's case, she's not given final confirmation of her reservations.

The folks at KOMO - she's supposed to be on the show June 27 - are aware of her reputation for standing up talk-show hosts and have had to come up with alternative plans in case she is a no-show.

As for the hotel, Barr has reservations for a large suite which, at her request, will be stocked with exercise equipment.

The question remains - will she or won't she do Seattle? Only her agency knows for sure and they're not talking.

About Town by Nancy Bartley appears Sunday and Monday in the Scene section of The Times.