JUNE 23rd at WESTWOOD VILLAGE ROTARY
Senor RUDY started us off by showing a nice collection of slides taken at the Chicago Convention. Several members and spouses were shown, plus the overall scene. There were between 42,000 and 50,000 Rotarians registered, making it by far the largest Rotary gathering ever. He even covered the Parade, and some of our Motorcycling Rotarians were perhaps shown. Some appreciation for the demise of RUDY’S WORLD was evidenced. Once underway, ED JACKSON led the Pledge, followed by the threesome of JACK HARRIS, PP JIM DOWNIE and LENNY FRIEDMAN, who took us through God Bless America. It should be noted that there was good interplay between our two pianists. ART HENRY provided the Invocation, thanking our Lord for our health, our sound minds, and our working hands, all of which we should use to improve the world in which we live.
RALPH BEASOM reported there were no Visiting Rotarians, but we did have some guests. Incoming President DON NELSON brought Roz, and Rudy escorted Hilla Dotal, a grad student at UCLA. She spoke briefly, telling us what a pleasure it was to be among a group who cared about the world in which we all live. ED JACKSON introduced Tina Purcell and Justin Wei, who were the co-recipients of the top scholarship average at nearby Emerson Middle School both had 4.0 plus! Tina will be attending Brentwood School, and Justin is moving on to North Hollywood High. There was a third recipient who could not be present, but we thank ED JACKSON for setting up this presentation. PP RALPH WOODWORTH brought along his nephew, Steve Gray. He and his wife arrived yesterday BY MOTORCYCLE and of course it was suggested to PP RON LYSTER that this made them eligible to be Motorcycling Rotarians. MADAME WU had as her guest Jerry Huang, who recently finished her Masters study in England and has now joined her husband here in Los Angeles.
PP STEVE SCHERER and CHRIS BRADFORD made a joint presentation to Senor RUDY of a flag from Rotary Headquarters, which they both toured while in Chicago.
Tori Hettinger, who was with us in Chicago, then spoke briefly. She thanked the club for our support, and was warmly applauded. While not noted during the meeting, I did want to make a special point of how effective our Symposium on Parkinson’s was. The presentation was attended by almost 200 registrants, and it turned out that almost half of them either had Parkinson’s or were caregivers for those so afflicted. Dr JEFF BRONSTEIN was very effective in outlining the scientific status of Parkinson’s. ANN SAMSON then spoke about how the YMCA has put together several groups that use our exercise program. Rachel McCoy, who supervises the exercises, then demonstrated a number of them, with the audience participating very actively. I have to speak personally here this was, for me, a very moving presentation. Indeed, it made my trip to Chicago, and I will henceforth be a ‘pusher’ for more participation by WVRC in spreading the word about not only the exercises, but how to start your own exercise group. As I told our group in Chicago, we have available cash in our Foundation and this is a most worthwhile way to spend some of it!
PP JIM COLLINS came forward to introduce our newest member, NICK KAHRILAS. JIM and NICK were both Betas at UCLA, and JIM first tried (somewhat unsuccessfully) to suggest that they closely followed each other on campus. He also pointed out that NICK’S wife’s maiden name was Collins, which gives JIM another reason to be a fan and friend. NICK first noted that he figured the only reason he got into UCLA was that they figured he was marrying JIM’S daughter! NICK was born in New Hyde Park NY, but shortly after they moved to Lexington, Mass where he grew up. Both his parents were born in NY. His dad was with Raytheon, and was in charge of their radar systems.
NICK’S oldest brother was a wrestler in college, and NICK took this up, since it was somewhat compatible with the asthma he had. In the mid 70’s there was a terrible family tragedy his oldest brother was murdered. This was very hard on the family, and among other things, caused NICK to change his plans to go to college in Boston, instead choosing the University of Rochester. While there, he well remembers five straight days of below 40 degree weather and this gave him a reason to consider going elsewhere. He ended up at UCLA, became a Beta, and worked for a small paint company while he was in school and after he graduated.
Shortly after he graduated, he was offered a chance to buy the company, which he did and business was good! They supplied most of the paint for the entertainment industry.
NICK was married in 1990, and they honeymooned in Hawaii. He had a very serious allergy to most nuts, and on their first night, dinner was on a plateful of them, which he didn’t realize. This put him into intensive care for a couple of days and his wife was probably wondering what she had gotten herself into! He recovered, of course, but back in LA, his business partner was doing him in. In effect, he started over again, but still in the entertainment area of the paint business. He started a chain of Painter’s Warehouse Stores, but in the late 909’s he began to notice that the studios were trading advertising for paint, rather than buying it.
At this point, his original partner reappeared, and he began raising capital for a new operation. There was a secondary market for life insurance policies. This soon developed into a few field, and NICK was involved. (Editorial note at this moment, I was called out of the room to take a call from my wife. An older friend was dying, and we both were needed to make some calls, etc. So I didn’t hear more on NICK’S craft talk!
I was told that Senor RUDY gave a brief summary of his year. He noted that we should be thinking more about diversity, and what would be best for WVRC. Again, I apologize for not being able to stay until I had heard all that was said, but it couldn’t be helped.