CLOSING OUT AUGUST at WVRC - the 28th, that is

Yes, we had a retread standing in for Pres. PETER - none other than BILL BLOOMFIELD JR, who early on reminded us that he had been President of WVRC a mere seventeen years ago. I told BILL afterward that his program showed some preparation, and he acknowledged this by saying he had the full seventeen years to get ready. Seriously, BILL - you done good.

TERRY R. WHITE led us in the Pledge, which was followed by some real R&B.
For those of you who aren't in on this hip terminology, that means the joint was Rockin, Babe. GREGG ELLIOTT and PP JIM DOWNIE combined on their keyboards for Home On The Range, as led by PP STEVE DAY. I mean, the whole place was jumping - (rousing is just not a strong enough word to capture what was going on). A good time was had by all, needless to say. But RETREAD BILL had to then announce the death of KEVIN KOMATSU'S mother a few days ago. She and her husband were driving in San Francisco, and a woman on her cell phone ran the signal and hit them broadside. KEVIN is taking a temporary one month leave of absence. Cards or notes to the family would be appropriate. CHRIS BRADFORD gave a brief and thoughtful Invocation.

RETREAD BILL then introduced our Visiting Rotarian, Sandy Weisberg - a former member, now with the Lodi Sunrise Club, and his classification is Classic Cars. He gave us one of their banners, and I will be sending him one of ours, since they are now in the process of being reprinted - we have added the phrase, "Chartered in 1929" to the present copy. RUDY ALVAREZ brought along his guest, Jaime Tatenco, who is a tenth grader at Fremont High School. RUDY has been helping Jaime for over a year, and visiting WVRC was a way of thanking him for his continued academic improvement. When they met, Jaime had all F's, and now he has 3 A's, 2 B's and a C. Good work, RUDY. I then rose to explain the slight disarray in deliveries of our Windmill.. Jan Cipolla, who prints it, was in the east with her ill mother, and we are now only missing the meeting date of the 14th - and that should arrive soon. I pointed out that there was hope for all of us - and in retrospect, I was probably lucky as hell not to get fined for this minor screw-up (fortunately, that possibility didn't come to a vote…)

PP JOHN SINGLETON rose to announce that since he outranked RETREAD BILL by five years as a PP, that gave him (JOHN, that is) the legal right to fine others less senior than himself. JOHN then proceeded to try to outline a recent raffle, apparently won by someone who was present, in the amount, again, apparently, of $l0K. This attempt was not greeted from the podium by what we might define as gratuitous acceptance, and several partial exchanges of opinion took place. There seemed to be some consensus among those present that a fine would indeed be appropriate, with the amount varying between one and ten thousand clams. At this point, JOHN let it slip that the winner of this raffle was none other than RETREAD BILL. Alas, there apparently was no denying the essential facts of this raffle incident, so BILL finally conceded that he would fine himself whatever JOHN was willing to pay. Whether this exchange will indeed result in a net fining income of two thousand dollars (not clams, note) coming from RETREAD BILL and PP JOHN is yet to be determined. Stay tuned -

The Head Table was then introduced, and I should confess that I don't usually print this particular bit of trivia. However, they were all up there for a variety of reasons, so here is what I gleaned from my notes. MIKE YOUSEM was first, and RETREAD BILL noted that the only way he could get MIKE up front was to promise that he wouldn't fine him.
After a series of three questions - none of which MIKE seemed to be able to answer -BILL then announced that he, Sheila and Otto (the Maitre'd) had found a way around BILL'S pledge not to fine MIKE. Henceforth and for the rest of this Rotary Year, MIKE is to be served a hamburger patty, fruit, and non-fat milk - all of which costs $9.75. That allows the balance of the regular $27.00 to be available as a donation to the Club - and this menu item was then served to MIKE. This immensely popular solution was greeted, as you might imagine, by thunderous applause.

Next up was PP HOWIE HENKES. During RETREAD BILL'S actual term of office, one of our annual events took place, that being the announcement of those with perfect attendance - and it was PP JIM DONWIE, then and still today, who led the pack. However, PP HOWIE at that point had thirty two years of Imperfect Attendance - and if you add the intervening seventeen years, that now gives PP HOWIE forty nine years of being imperfect! This milestone deserves some recognition, and so PP HOWIE and the others at the Head Table were being given the Club's highest honor - today that got DESSERT! (And while I can't think of any reason, offhand, why I wasn't included, it must be noted that a day without dessert is indeed a day lost forever) But moving right along, GREGG ELLIOTT was next memorialized. As BILL pointed out, GREGG embodies all the attributes that make for a perfect Rotarian, and of course the fact that GREGG'S company faithfully uses the services of a certain laundry company has nothing to do with this being declared HIS day. In other words, whatever GREGG wants today, GREGG gets - the only exception being, apparently, imposing a fine on PP JOHN SINGLETON. RETREAD BILL seemed to feel that this particular wish was perhaps beyond his reach.

Next up was PP DAVE WHITEHEAD, and it was a generally accepted fact that he would HAVE to be fined. However, BILL had a lot of trouble with this, based on DAVE'S just being elected as Rotarian of the Year. Seems that RETREAD BILL, who after all has had TWENTY THREE YEARS in TWO Rotary Clubs, has never been so honored, and this apparently gave him pause. However, BILL did excoriate (that means he jumped all over DAVE) over what BILL felt was perhaps the dumbest move made by any Rotarian in this new Century. DAVE VOLUNTEERED to spearhead our recent Club Assembly! After a series of questions by BILL to DAVE, some of which were even answered, BILL then levied a hundred big ones on DAVE for volunteering. He added that this proved that what DAVE really should be doing was becoming our District Governor - and again, there was much applause following this suggestion.

Almost last was RUDY ALVAREZ, and BILL focused on the changes that have occurred in the seventeen years since he was President. BILL wondered if it was true that RUDY had become a Republican (no), but he was further concerned that RUDY was sort of a Dave Letterman while the majority of our members were more comfortable with Jay Leno. When BILL mentioned that RUDY becoming President worried him a bit, RUDY allowed as how there were some WVRC members who had the same concern! BILL then invited RUDY to come forward and help him read Letterman's Top Ten statements overheard during George W. Bush's vacation. BILL figured this would offend everyone in the Club, and doing it now was probably better than waiting until next July. These statements ranged from George W. allowing as how the month had flown by - it didn't seem like thirty three days had passed, and his final comment, sitting around doing nothing reminds him (George W, that is) of being President. This led to PP ERIC LOBERG supplying the Joke of the Day. There was this talking dog, and when directed to fetch a newspaper, he was given a dollar to buy it. When he didn't return promptly, they found him otherwise engaged with a female he had just met. The owner was surprised -his dog had never acted this way before, to which the dog replied, "I never had money before".

KACY ROZELLE, who was sponsored for membership by RETREAD BILL, was asked to stand. BILL noted that in checking KACY'S resume, he learned that while he had been senior VP of Jeffries, and a Managing Director of St. Cloud, and on the Board of the Jonsson Cancer Center at UCLA, it turns out that he had NEVER been a President! Inasmuch as the success of non-profit organizations is inversely proportional to the age of their President, BILL wanted to know, right then, if KACY would consider coming into the Chairs, should he be asked. There was mention of a thousand dollar fine, and since this didn't materialize, one assumes that KACY, put on the spot, agreed to be considered.
BILL, you did indeed put some fun thought into your brief term back here at WVRC - and we enjoyed it.

Quick announcement time:
Remember next Thursday - Salvation Army collections will conclude.
And starting at 11:15, Vocational Service Committee meets, with CHARLES MAGNUSON in charge.
Spouses Day - September 11th, two weeks away. Jim Warren, a talented Magician, will be featured.
October 13th - our Annual Golf Tournament at Los Angeles Country Club. This maintains the continuity of SUNNY JIM SUMNER'S success with this event which he chaired for so long. Sign-ups by Sept 25th, see CLARK McQUAY or PP STEVE SCHERER.
Paul Harris Foundation Celebration - November lst, at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in the city of Commerce. PP STEVE DAY passed out envelopes with all the details, including a book of eleven raffle tickets (you only pay for ten), and a stamped envelope for your reply. Please get them back to STEVE right away, if you will.

CHRIS BRADFORD introduced our Speaker, Paul Payne, whose title is Liaison to Executive VP of the NRA. Paul is a Life Member of the NRA, and has worked with them for the past fourteen years. He volunteered for eight years, and for the last six has been on staff, concentrating on Membership Development. From 1977 to 1983 he was on active duty with the U.S. Marine Corps.

Mr. Payne discarded his prepared remarks, to tell the following story: Jim was a 17-year old, who joined the Marines during the Korean War. He was decorated for bravery, and wounded four times in Vietnam. Jim retired after 21 years as a Gunnery Sergeant. He joined a security firm which picked up cash receipts in an armored car, and became a supervisor. One night he became a 'jumper', meaning he left the car to pick up the receipts, since the regular man was absent that shift. As he was picking up the bag of receipts, a man stepped forward and shot him twice in the back, grabbing the bag as Jim fell. Despite these wounds, Jim struggled to his feet, and tackled the man as he tried to leave the store. He was shot twice more, and died forty minutes later. This story was featured in many papers, including the Chronicle in San Francisco and the LA Times.
Paul Payne is Jim's only son.

With this introduction, Mr. Payne called for Q&A
GEORGE COX - Where does the NRA stand on banning rapid-fire weapons? You probably mean the AK 47 and similar weapons. Machine guns have been banned since 1934, and these semi-automatic weapons are in a different category. CNN showed a film where results of firing two types of weapons were compared, except that one target was not shown fully. The NRA took them to court and they apologized. PP DAVE WHITEHEAD - Can these semi-automatic weapons be converted to being machine guns? No, they cannot easily be converted. And here, Mr. Payne asked why the public accepts the media version of events, without questioning their accuracy. SALLY BRANT - What is the ratio of the sale of hunting licenses over time? There are more licenses issued today. PP STEVE SHERERE - Can you parse the Constitution? The 2nd Amendment was quoted, 'the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be (taken away). Mr. Payne didn't feel qualified to get into the legalities of what this meant. He noted that the Colonies had overthrown the British, and thus they had reason not to trust the government. Guns empowered people. GREGG ELLIOTT - Is the biggest concern the Registration of firearms? Castro insisted that all guns be registered, and then confiscated them. They were to be stored in an armory, but later the owners were simply thanked for their donations. PP STEVE DAY - Do you need a permit to carry a concealed weapon? Yes, in California you do, but in many states it is easier to get the permit than it is here. Vermont has no laws regarding firearms, and also has the lowest crime rate, nationally. MIKE YOUSEM - What are the numbers as far as who can carry a concealed weapon? In 36 states, you can carry with a permit, and in the rest, it is possible but more difficult to get a permit. Mr. Payne, you have a position to defend, and we appreciate your being with us.

YOE, Ernie Wolfe