A Wonderful Intro to 2007
WVRC on January 4th, now at UCLA
We had a large and enthusiastic group of “first-timers” today over 70, and they were rewarded with a lovely musical program. It was our first time at the Faculty Center at UCLA, and exceeded our expectations, certainly. No one seemed to have problems with the parking, and the music was excellent.
PP HOMER NEWMAN led the Pledge, and that was appropriate since he was part of that gutsy group that landed the first Allied troops on Omaha Beach. Just to be safe, HOMER had a copy of the words, and it went well he commented at the end that he noticed that “God” was still included!
That reliable team of LENNY FRIEDMAN and PP JIM DOWNIE led us in America the Beautiful and maybe it was the new venue, but we really sounded good! That brought up LEO TSENG for the Invocation. Before he began, LEO reminded us all that we are drinking water from wells dug before we were here and suggested that we should be digging wells for those who are yet to come. Rotary will provide the picks and shovels to do the job let’s make that our New Year’s Resolution. ”We thank you for the New Chapter that is beginning for this club. Bless this new venue, situated in the middle of abundant resources and rich traditions. Open our eyes to the opportunities you have laid before us, and grant that we may use them wisely to further the objectives of Rotary” Nicely, done thank you, LEO.
PP MIKE NEWMAN began by introducing our Visiting Rotarian who is the daughter of a former member, Yvette Ache. Her daughter is Stephanie Ache, an MD who belongs to the Dar Es Salem Club in Tanzania. Yvette is still in LA, working at UCLA and the VA in research, and may be able to rejoin us sometime soon. Both MIKE and I remember Yvette, when her two daughters were attending: Leola François on Pico Blvd. PP PETER MORE introduced his wife, Shirley. Our Roraract President, SEEMA PATEL, brought along their Webmaster, Stephen Gardiner, and Josina Ahoudt, who handles their PR. Prexy MIKE had his daughter, Whitney with him, plus his soon-to-be accompanist, Larry Liebenbaum. Honorary Member DEBBIE HEAP was able to visit it was good to see her again. HENRY TSENG was with Annie it was a good group.
Secretary PEGGY BLOOMFIELD announced the coming District Breakfast. It will be this Tuesday, the 9th, at the Crowned Plaza, and there may be space call her if you can make it, please. Prexy MIKE reminded us of the Ethics Meeting, also on the 9th he has all details. And in two weeks, January 18th, District Governor Scot Clifford will be making his official visit so all Officers and Service chairs should be there early. ELLIOTT TURNER made a presentation of the banner he received at Rotary in Buenos Aires, saying he was well-treated but had no clue as to what the hell they were talking about! PP DON NELSON announced that our Rotary Auxiliary will be meeting this Wednesday, the 10th of January, at his home. It will be a luncheon meeting, and the speaker will be from the LA Times, explaining what has been going on recently there.
DON also announced that we will be able to use fifteen parking spaces across the street from the Faculty Center, starting next week. The cost is only $5.00 which beats the tab of $8 at UCLA. I had them ready to sell after the meeting, and only five were taken maybe there isn’t much demand for closer parking? And on that subject, if you are using Parking Structure Two, at Westholme and Hilgard, there is probably more space on the roof and the elevator works just fine.
Prexy MIKE had a quick story: John was a clerk at the local drug store. However, he was having trouble, since he couldn’t seem to get the orders right. This concerned his owner, of course, and he finally told John that one more screw-up would be his last. This got his attention, and when the next customer asked for cough drops, John made a special effort to be helpful. However, despite his best efforts, he couldn’t find any cough drops. So, in desperation, he gave the customer a box of laxative pills, suggesting he take the entire box of pills at one time. The customer did, then went outside and leaned against a nearby lamp pole. The owner saw this transaction, and came over to ask what had happened. John explained what he had done, and why. “ExLax won’t cure a cough” the owner shouted angrily. “Sure it will”, the clerk said, pointing at the man leaning against the lamppost. “Look at him he’s afraid to cough!”
When the meeting resumed, PEGGY BLOOMFIELD came forward to introduce the Program. Prexy MIKE was to play his cello, with the aforementioned Larry Liebenbaum on the piano. Larry pointed out that this was a piece written by Beethoven when he was nineteen years old, and that the piano would predominate, since it was named before the cello, in this instance. As background, Prexy MIKE studied cello under JoAnne Johannsen, Beverly LeBeck, and Peter Rejto. Larry, whose father was a cellist in the LA Philharmonic, is a retired attorney, and they have performed together for several years.
Two confessions by YOE must be made before I continue. First, I don’t know much about music, and second, I’m almost completely ignorant about music on the piano. This is based on my still being in the second-year book after three full years of effort…Having said that, I was one of the first to give them a standing ovation they really made the music come alive! Watching Prexy MIKE as he handled his instrument, and then the two of them as they played together, was a real thrill they made the music sing. MIKE, we thank you and Larry for your lovely presentation. Come back again, soon, please!