We had another bunch of visitors, but before we get
to that, the basics: TODD GURVIS led us in the Pledge, followed by
PP STEVE DAY and BILL MAXWELL, who took us through My Country Tis
of Thee - as was noted, a song we used to sing in grammar school.
But we recalled it OK, and RUDY ALVAREZ was up next with the Invocation.
He recited a poem he has given us before, starting "I live for those
who trust me", and ending with "living for the good that I can do".
Good thoughts, and they certainly bear repeating.
P BOB LUSK was tapped to introduce Visiting Rotarians,
first of whom was former WVRC and now S.M. member, BRUCE BLICKENSDERFER.
Yoshio Sasarachi from Japan was next, followed by our incoming District
Governor, Rick Mendosa, who hails from the Redondo Beach Club. Guests
of Rotarians included Brent Hamlet, who came with our newest member,
ATHENA JACKSON. ANN ELKIN brought along Akuyoe Graham, Executive Director
of the Spirit Awakening Foundation, plus her administrator, Paul Guthrie.
GEORGE DEA brought Umi Hara forward, she being Co-President of our
very active Rotaract chapter. MARK BLOCK then presented her with a
$100 check for their recent participation in the Aids Walk LA, the
sponsoring group having raised a huge sum for their efforts. PP STEVE
SCHERER brought along Joe Woodward, Director of Development of the
Webb School, plus the lovely Deborah May Scherer, who may be related
to the introducer.
PP STEVE DAY reintroduced our Honorary Member, URI HERSCHER,
President of the Skirball Cultural Center. Before URI was presented
with a Paul Harris Fellow award. PP STEVE reminded us once again of
what a gift of $1,000 to the RI Foundation can provide. STEVE'S favorite
is a cow for a war widow in Uganda, where many children still suffer
serious malnutrition. The same amount can provide school supplies
for 1200 children in Guatemala, or 25 disabled Polio victims in Calcutta
can be surgically restored to walking. In accepting his Paul Harris
Fellow award, URI first reminded us that an award such as this is
not directed at the individual, but at the organization he represents.
Uri then told us of several expansion projects going on at the Center,
especially mentioning their new Music Hall. He did ask a 'trick' question
about Noah's Ark, but none of our many recognized Biblical Scholars
was willing to venture an answer, somehow… Anyway, all this growth
is no surprise when you see the kind of leadership he is providing.
Many of you were present at a Club Assembly there, and it is certainly
worth another visit to keep up with their development.
Next, ANN ELKIN reintroduced us to Akuyoe Graham, a
talented and vivacious actress who has founded Spirit Awakening. Their
theme is "Building Character, Raising Self-Esteem - One Child at a
Time" which they accomplish by helping teenagers gain inner focus,
learn to discipline their time and actually move toward the realization
of their dreams. Akuyoe reminded us that her organization is one of
just a few such groups recommended by the government as actually helping
a large number of students in their development.
PP BOB WESSLING came forward to remind all that the
next Rotary Auxiliary meeting will be next Wednesday, Nov. 8th, starting
at ll:30 from the Westwood United Methodist Parking lot. Lunch at
the UCLA Faculty Center, followed by a tour of the Fowler Museum,
and shuttle service will be provided. But then, continuing to push
his luck, he had to report his latest coaching success - seems that
DePauw played Center College, site of the recent vice-presidential
debate, trampling Center by 30-23, and incidentally bringing BOB'S
coaching record to 4-0 since his mid-season talk to the team. Last
season, his record was 6-0, which in YOE'S book totals TEN victories.
Without getting any more specific than that, a per-diem assessment
has to be forthcoming soon, right? However, to be fair, it must also
be reported that we are all invited to DePauw on the 11th of November
- and there's just time to get an advance purchase airline ticket
- to see former Vice President and noted Alumnus Dan Quayle inducted
into the DePauw Athletic Hall of Fame. YOE, however, has to wonder
if PP BOB is angling for some similar recognition in their coaching
category. Just asking, of course.
YOE reminded all that next week's program was chosen
for Spouses Day since it should appeal to that more diverse audience
- Charles Capplemen, Senior VP of West Coast Operations for CBS, will
offer "The Changing Face of TV Production at CBS". This obviously
stunning announcement was greeted with what could politely be called
'desultory 'applause, but that's OK - it didn't hardly bother me at
PP STEVE SCHERER reappeared to introduce our Speaker,
Dr Don Lofgren, Director of the Raymond M. Alf Museum of Paleontology
at the Webb School of California (located in Claremont). His capsule description of what they do
is "Study Bones" - and they have 70,000 fossils in their 'library'!
Mr. Alf, for whom the Museum is named, was a teacher of Geometry in
1929, when he discovered some fossils near Barstow. In 1937 his team
found the skull of a pig - the first such discovery of its kind, and
this put them on the map.
The Museum building was dedicated in 1968, and each
year up to 15,000 younger students tour the facility. Dr Lofgren specifically
mentioned cutting 4-foot slabs out of the walls of the Grand Canyon,
hauling them up to the rim, and then reassembling them back at the
Museum. They offer many tours, some for younger kids. This type of
hands-on study began in 1940, and has continued and increased each
year. This overview was well illustrated by a series of excellent
The Q&A session was lively. Are the bones we see real,
or cast - you see both, and real bones are often quite fragile. How
can you tell if a fossil was a mammal - their teeth give them away.
What is the history of Webb School - the boys school was founded in
1922, and girls were admitted starting in 1981. About 65 % of the
student body are residential, and the rest are day students. What
about permission to remove fossils - on private property, no problem,
but on federal land, you do need permission. This whole subject of
the ''rights of ownership" of fossils continues to this day. The problem
is that in private hands, where will they end up? And with private
collectors, they often do not provide excavation records when they
are donated (many don't even HAVE records) and that is a severe handicap
in studying the donation. Dr. Lofgren, thanks for showing us one of
the best-kept secrets of fossil scholarship - keep up the good work,
A reminder, please - Program Chair SALLY BRANT is actively
seeking suggestions for speakers - give her your input, OK?. Thought
for the Day - Please be sure to cast your vote in our national elections
next Tuesday, November 7th. It's your privilege as an American.
YOE, Ernie Wolfe