JUNE 9th at WVRC - ABE LINCOLN FEATURED
Senor RUDY showed some shots taken just today a nice touch. KACY ROZELLE led the Pledge, noting that we were honoring President Lincoln. LENNY FRIEDMAN and a somewhat hesitant JACK HARRIS took us through America the Beautiful. NICK KAHRILAS gave the Invocation thoughtful, and well received.
There were several guests. PP STEVE SCHERER introduced his secretary, Belinda always pleasant and helpful on the phone. GORDON FELL brought along a Special Guest, Rick Cullen, who is an Investment Banker. ELLIOTT TURNER had a Special Guest, Norm Goldenberg. ELLIOTT tells us that Norm, who he has known for 25 years, is currently in the business of designing jewelry this after a number of earlier careers. SHANE WAARBROEK had two guests his girlfriend, Rebecca, and Jake Newburg. MIKE GINTZ had a Special Guest, Nancy Adel. She is Personal Injury attorney and commented that she hadn’t seen any other personal injury attorneys in the club.
DON NELSON reminded us that Senor RUDY’S Demotion is set for June 25th, at the Riviera Country Club. Reservations are coming in but he needs to hear from you soon, since the Riviera will want a count shortly. Guin LYSTER is Chairing the Hollywood Bowl Night, which will be July 31st... It’s a great program, topped off with fireworks, and the cost is $25.00. Guin has to turn in unused tickets soon, so let her know if you are going, please.
Our Speaker was Johnny Dark, who was introduced by BRIAN BUMPAS. Johnny Dark is his stage name, and he has somewhat specialized in Abraham Lincoln. I should confess that Mr. Lincoln is, to me, our most important American. BRIAN pointed out that our Speaker had gotten his first taste of ‘performing’ when he shined shoes as a very young boy he made up sayings, and used them to draw clients. “If you have the time, I have the shine”. I had heard Johnny speak at the Veterans’ Cemetery recently, and he certainly gives meaning to the many aspects of the Gettysburg Address.
He began by imitating Johnny Carson one of his many impersonations, apparently. He was born in 1943, and served in the Vietnam War. He grew up in a small town in New Jersey, and waited impatiently for the summer-time tourists, since they were his best shoe-shine prospects. He identifies himself as a comedian, and reminded us that President Lincoln used humor often it literally helped him to maintain his mental balance. On April 14th, 1865, during the performance of Our American Cousin, Actor Harry Hall provided a joke and knowing that it would produce a good laugh, John Wilkes Booth chose that exact moment to shoot the President. Thus the sound was not heard, and allowed Booth a few extra seconds to escape after firing the shot. Booth was part of a cabal who also planned to kill General Grant, Secretary of State Seward, and Vice-President Andrew Johnson, but their efforts were unsuccessful. Thus our 16th President of the United States was assisinated the first President to be killed, but sadly, not the last.
At an earlier Cabinet Meeting, Mr. Lincoln told a silly story and it so offended Secretary of War Edward Stanton that he burst out “How can you tell these silly stories when you know our boys are dying?” Stanton then got up from the table and left the room. The President quickly followed him, took him by the arm, and said, “Stanton, if it were not for these silly stories, I would, indeed, go mad”. President Lincoln was subject to deep depression, which he called “the hypo” short for hypochondria, and it plagued him during most of his adult life.
When asked why he had chosen Grant to lead the army when he was a known drinker, Lincoln replied, “Can you tell me what brand of whiskey he does drink? I’d like to send a barrel of it to all my generals. I cannot spare this man he fights”. After McClellan had drilled his new army into shape, but done nothing further, Lincoln asked him if he could borrow his army, since he wasn’t using it, just for a little while. Someone accused him of being two-faced. His reply, “If I did have two faces, I don’t think I’d be wearing this one”.
The Governor of Pennsylvania asked the famed orator, Edward Everett, to be the speaker at the Dedication of Gettysburg. President Lincoln was asked to make a few concluding remarks- but nothing humorous, certainly. The date was November 19th, 1863, and the Presidential party took the train it was some 80 miles away. The President had about two weeks to prepare his remarks, but he welcomed the opportunity. Edward Everett spoke for about two hours, and then Lincoln came forward. His talk was composed of ten sentences, 272 words and lasting about three minutes. Everett told him he had come closer to why they were there in his three minutes than he, Everett, did in almost two hours. “We here highly resolve that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, and for the people shall not perish from this earth”.
Thank you, Johnny Dark, for a most meaningful message.