The Beginning (and end, for YOE)
of the last month of the year December 2nd at WVRC
Yes, I don’t want to spoil your week, but I’m skipping out off to Perth in Australia, back after the 1st of the year. Two stalwarts will replace me, one for the inside, and one for the cover. But they both agreed to assume this major responsibility on condition of anonymity, since their skins are even thinner than my own and thus they cannot handle adverse reactions, or even worse, complaints. So, be gentle!
This week began with Senor RUDY quieting us down somewhat, his apparent intention being to either quiet down, or perhaps prevent, GEORGE COX from sitting down. This accomplished, PP HOMER NEWMAN stepped forward to lead the Pledge, first reminding us of those men and women overseas who were protecting and defending this same flag. LENNY FRIEDMAN and PP JIM DOWNIE combined to lead us in America the Beautiful, although PP JIM seemed uncertain that his fingers would uncurl enough to perform. He did, and we did. ART HENRY gave the Invocation, starting perhaps before some of us were paying attention. He asked the Lord for Wisdom when we walk in darkness, and for strength to continue until the light comes, adding that we pray for Health, and for Success to which we can all agree.
LILLIAN KLIEWER, when asked, was unable to locate any Visiting Rotarians, but we did have several guests. PDG ANDY ANDERSON introduced the Commanding Officer of Patrol in WLA, Capt. Kenneth Hillman. Senor RUDY then fingered RICK LIVERMORE to see if he was listening, I guess asking him who was just introduced. RICK answered, but RUDY persisted, suggesting that RICK should be fined to which ELLIOTT TURNER rose quickly, asking for what RICK was being fined. There was some interplay, which ended with a consensus that Senor RUDY had goofed, and thus should be fined himself. Our ‘Fining Consultant’, GEORGE COX, allowed as how this maybe wasn’t a finable offense, or something like that. PP JIM COLLINS had a Special Guest, Nick Kahriles, a former member who is now in the Insurance field (and a fraternity brother of JIM’s, but that shouldn’t be held against him). And we were pleased to have Rotaract President Tori Henningter with us once again.
PP STEVE SCHERER had a guest, Sharon Bradford, who is related to CHRISTOPHER THOMAS BRADFORD, sometimes identified as Secretary/Treasurer of WVRC. Sharon and STEVE wanted to jointly announce that today is the 50th birthday of CHRIS! This not only provided the requisite bd Song, but PP STEVE provided CHRIS with a Paul Harris Fellowship. This was a nice touch, and all was well received by CHRIS until he was informed that he had to wear the Medallion around his neck to every Rotary function henceforth! However, PP STEVE DAY handled the presentation in his usual competent manner, so all came away well pleased.
This led, naturally, into the introduction of the Birthdayers for December. Turns out that RICK LIVERMORE actually preceded CHRIS, since he came along on the 1st of December, in Crown, PA. PP RALPH WOODWORTH was next, choosing the 4th in Milwaukee. This led to PP DAVE WHITEHEAD, who claimed the 6th, in Glendale. Next up was ANN SAMSON, (who I just learned is a twin, along with RALPH BEASOM) and her date was the 14th, in Tacoma, WA. NORA AQUINO also preferred the 14th, but the scene was San Luis, Pampanga, in the Philippines. PP HOMER NEWMAN brought us back to California, in Brawley on the 18th. This brought forth PP JIM COLLINS, on the 20th, in Huntington Park. ELOISE SISKEL came along next, on the 23rd, in Gosport, and I’m sure you all know that is in Indiana. BILL PIERCE had the bad luck to be born on Christmas Day, and that sure must play mischief with any expected presents but since he was in LA that was some consolation. PP TED IHNEN picked St. Louis, on the 27th, and last, but far from least, was our 2nd Twin of the Month, RAPLH BEASOM on the 29th in Seattle. And at the conclusion of our bd song, PP ERIC LOBERG was heard asking if the birthdayers were to receive the Stress Relievers which used to be provided. Obviously, this is an area that is, should we say, underserved at present! (We like ‘em)
Dec. 7th, Tuesday the Election Committee meets at PP BOB WESSLINGS home.
Time is 6:30, and supper will be provided.
Dec. 9th the Holiday Shopping Trip 5:30, meet at the Salvation Army on Sepulveda and please be prompt, OK? MIKE YOUSEM has room for two more helpers.
Dec. 10th the Braille Institute Holiday Luncheon 10:30 at Braille, downtown.
PP HOWIE HENKES can use a few more servers please call.
Dec. 15th To celebrate the holidays Rotarians get to have lunch twice with their spouses and significant others next week. The Rotary Auxiliary’s holiday lunch and musical program is on Wed, December 15th, 11:30 at Peggy Bloomfield’s home. And the next day is the regular Rotary meeting which is SPOUSES DAY on Thursday, Dec 16th at the Bel Air Hotel. CATHY REZOS noted that this is being produced by the Rotaract Club, and there will be a Musical Scholarship Contest, with substantial prizes. Starting at 11:45 you can have your picture taken with Santa, so plan to be there early and enjoy the holiday atmosphere. And while all this was being described, CATHY started the bidding to determine what Senor RUDY should contribute to the Music Prize. Several of us put in early bids (it was safe, since RUDY was tagged for TEN TIMES what we bid) and TERRY M. WHITE provided the final bid of twenty bucks thus costing Senor RUDY Two Hundred Big Ones!
Jumping way ahead to February, the Rotary Ecuador Centennial Project Fair is scheduled. It will be in Guayaquil, Saturday and Sunday the 4th and 5th of February. Many Ecuadorian Rotary Clubs will have their own Projects featured some 150 booths are already reserved. Following the two-day event, there are several tours offered. A 5-day excursion to the Galapagos Islands, 4 days covering the cultural and artistic treasures of Quito, and an exciting 5 day excursion to the Amazonian jungle will be among the tours available. For further info, http://www.rotarydistrito4400.org/
Captain Vance Proctor, who is the Commanding Officer of the WLA area covering 65 square miles, gave a detailed report on what is going on in the Westside. He first spoke of how helpful Captain Hillman had been in the WLA division. Crime in WLA is down 10%, and we have the least violent crime in the city that’s the good news. The bad news is that he started this year with 248 officers, and now has only 213, due to budgetary cutbacks. The city is $300 million dollars in debt, and we have only nine thousand police officers. Way back in 1975 a commission recommended we have ten thousand and we certainly have a lot more people now to cover, with less officers. Proposition A failed, which would have put more officers on the street. As one way to help this sad situation, the WLA Division has created PACT, Police And Community Together, which is a private corporation. This year they have provided $25K and the total since it began is $360K! That represents a major boost but it doesn’t provide more officers on the street. He outlined the Police Explorer Program, which takes in at-risk youth, starting at age 10 to12. When they finish, between 18 and 21 years of age, they go on to college, or into the Military. PACT provides annual scholarships to their graduates, and to re-qualify, they must write a letter each year telling why they should be continued in the program. The letters are a real testimonial to what scholarship help can mean to a disadvantaged youngster who is struggling to get that degree. This has enabled them to break the cycle of poverty, illegitimate birth and the vicious cycle in which they find themselves. He thanked us for our past support, and asked that we continue to help these programs. At this point, President RUDY noted he has had personal experience with the Police Explorer Program, since he has sponsored a young man who has participated in it for the last four years. It works RUDY has seen it in action.
I have to editorialize here for a moment this was a powerful presentation, outlining a real, local need. They certainly deserve our support is this an area where we can tap the substantial endowment funds we now have? Let’s consider it, OK?
CHRIS BRADFORD was up next, and he first thanked STEVE and SHARON for their lovely surprise presentation. He then introduced Siska Ludwig, our Ambassadorial Scholar from Germany. She is studying Costume Design at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandizing, which is located in downtown LA. It is internationally recognized, and they offer Fashion, Visual Arts, Interior Design and Entertainment areas of specialization. They have over five thousand full-time students, from all over the world. Her sponsoring Club while here is the Rotary Club of Palos Verdes.
Siska comes from the Province of Saxony, one of 16 ‘states’ in the Federal Republic of Germany. She arrived in LA last March, and will be returning to Europe in just two weeks, so her presentation today had been given several times. It was augmented by excellent graphics, and became a bit of a Geographic Tour of her homeland. She described how the Ambassadorial Scholarship Program works, and much of this was already known to us, but for many audiences it would be most educational.
She showed a number of slides of the costumes she has designed. They are targeted for movies, opera, and stage, and were certainly colorful and attention-getting. As a real neophyte in this area, I have never understood if those are real people modeling those clothes, or just sketches. We did have a very brief Q&A, as follows: BRIAN BUMPAS reported that the German Government provided reconstruction funds after the 1994 earthquake to the Los Angeles Unified School District. As you know, he is very close to the administration of Hamilton High School., and he was pleased to report that Hamilton received $20,000 from these funds. SLOSS VIAU asked where Siska would be returning to in Europe, and London is her destination. Two reasons they have a much more active stage and screen program than does Germany and her boyfriend is working in London!
As the designated Toastmaster, PP STEVE DAY first referred to his traveling companion, Dr. Goodlad who provided such great help on their eye surgery mission to Ghana several years ago. Dr. Goodlad has asked STEVE for help with a local project, and this will be reported on shortly.
STEVE’S toast, “Here’s to a friend. He knows you well and likes you just the same!”
And now, just to leave you with a Guilt Trip over the Holidays, those listed below have NOT replied to our written inquiry about how they want their Windmill delivered!
Susan Allen, Nora Aqino, Mark Block, Sally Brant, Jeff Bronstein, Jim Collins, Steve Day, Lee Dunayer, Gregg Elliott, Wally Fischman, Chris Gaynor, Stew Gilman, Bill Goodwyn, Art Henry, Regina Herrick, Uri Herscher, Hank Heuer, Ed Jackson, Tom Lenehen, Rick Livermore, Lenore Mulryan, Mike Newman, Dan Price, Sharon Rhodes-Wickett, Sandy Sanderson, Steve Scherer, Nevin Senkan, Yosh Setoguchi, Bob Thom, Bob Troxler, Ron Wanglin and Madame Wu. Lemme hear from you, by mail, please.