President Elect MIKE GINTZ, subbing for President DON, introduced PP RON LYSTER, who led us off with the Pledge. This was delivered at Riviera Country Club, since we were temporarily displaced for this one-week. LENNY then got us together for America the Beautiful, which he claims is one of our best numbers. After deciding NOT to stand on a chair to lead, LENNY did get us through. PE MIKE (and you know what the initials stand for, right?) then gave a short prayer, which was well done. His thought for the day pointed out that perseverance and hard work pays off, even though it is hard to be consistent in doing the donkey work every day.
Anita LICHTENBERGER, wife of MAX, was present with us. ED GAULD had a Special Guest,. Mark Rogo. SLOSS VIAU was accompanied by his older son, SLOSSON E. the 3rd does that mean that SLOSS is a Junior? Stay tuned. CHRIS BRADFORD reminded us that the District Breakfast is coming up on October 18th we have ten places reserved, so check with CHRIS or SEAN if you are planning to attend, please. Apparently the Speaker that morning is known to the Inner Circle, but his name cannot be publicized and PP RUDY was able to maintain this secrecy. It will be a media event having to do with Hurricane Katrina, I suspect. On that subject, PE MIKE was pleased to announce that we sent in a check for $17,875 to the District this started with our Board Approved $10K, but was supplemented by individual contributions to get to the almost 18K and we should all be proud of this additional help on the part of those who stepped forward.
PP STEVE DAY spoke on behalf of the Paul Harris Celebration, which is coming up on November 12th aboard the Queen Mary! He reminded us to get our checks and raffle ticket stubs in to him. Note that we have space for only thirty members and guests to attend, so do notify PP STEVE if you are planning to attend. There is a block of rooms available for those who wish to spend the night. We continue to collect Auction Items for the event again PP STEVE is the contact. And while we are on Announcements, two notes, please:
1. Once again, we are collecting Cell Phones if you have any that are no longer being used, please bring them to our next meeting on the 13th back at the Bel Air. They will be turned in at the District Breakfast.
2. The ‘slightly used’ clothing drive for the Salvation Army is underway. Please bring items to our meetings on the 20th and 27th, where they will be collected. SLOSS VIAU is the contact here, and he reminds us that Rotary is based on Service Above Self.
Two excellent tickets for this week’s UCLA game with Cal (on Saturday the 8th,) plus a parking pass were auctioned off. SHANE WAARBROEK and PP RUDY ALVAREZ both were bidding, with PP RUDY prevailing for $100.00!
The substitute Joke of the Week, from PE MIKE: A guy is exploring a cave, finds a bottle. Sure enough, out pops a Genie. She will give him three wishes, but notes that his ex-wife will get double whatever he asks for. First he wants a Mansion and there it is, with his former getting an even bigger one. Next, he asks for a million bucks, which appears and the ex get two million. His final wish is that he be scared half to death.
Good subbing, MIKE - and his efforts were warmly applauded. Our newest member, RICK CULLEN was introduced he is a Portfolio Manager for First Regional Bank, and was sponsored by GORDON FELL. RICK responded by pointing out that this is Pledge Week (as with fraternities) and that he now has to mow GORDON’S lawn. This sounds to YOE like a matter that should be referred to our Board of Directors, at the very least, for a ruling. And speaking of the Board, we will be meeting at my home, 2338 Century Hill, this Tuesday the 11th at 6:30. If in doubt about directions, please call me.
PP RON LYSTER introduced our Speaker, Bruce Sievers. He has spoken before over 8,000 groups across the country, 700 Rotary Clubs, eight District Conferences and has been invited to the White House to present some of his poetry. He has been awarded the GEORGE WASHINGTON Medal of Honor, plus many other awards, and has been featured in People Magazine, and the LA Times again, plus other media. He has published five books of his poetry and some of them were available after the meeting. He served in Special Forces during his time in the Army, and then engaged in a 45,000 mile hitchhiking trip around the country, where his notes formed the basis of much of his poetry.
Bruce started by announcing that Ricardo Montelbaum had recorded his latest work, An American In Love With His Country he was chosen since he is not from America, but chooses to live here. Before his army service, he had been accustomed to asking questions but this tendency was not well received in Special Forces. There was no need to explain, by their lights, and it took him awhile to learn this lesson. His father was a general in the army, and he had been taking orders from him for a long time, so he began asking questions. Eventually it became clear that wasn’t the way to go but when he got out, he needed some time by himself hence the 45K hitchhiking trip.
He traveled all over the country, visiting more than forty states, and maintaining his diary. He claimed that when he was young, his mother would write down what she wanted to say to him thus eliminating the possibility of his talking back. He then gave the first of four recitations of his work and we all agreed that he didn’t fit the image of a poet! His delivery is dynamic, and the message gets across. His final line, this time “I love this country this whole land”.
Bruce pointed out a common expectation of what a poet looks like, etc. He doesn’t fit any of these perceptions and it is refreshing. He gave an example of a speech he gave before 500 California State Police officers. Their expectations were not positive but at the end, they gave him the largest standing ovation the group had ever provided. Afterward, one of them came up to him and said he would buy his book the first book of poetry he had ever purchased.
He produced a tribute to Bob Hope, which was recited. His other presentations were equally good but they are hard to summarize, of course. There were some questions afterward from PP RON LYSTER, ED GAULD, DAN PRICE and LENNY FRIEDMAN who agreed that Bruce had changed his perception of what a poet looked like and does. Bruce Sievers, you gave us a heck of a show we thank you.
President DON’s parting thought Why doesn’t Super Glue stick to the container?