PDG ANDY ANDERSON, a SENIOR CRAFT TALK at WVRC on Sept 3rd.
NICK KAHRILAS led the Pledge but NICK, next time give us time to all start together, OK? MARK ROGO provided the Invocation: “May it be Your will, Lord, our God and the God of our ancestors, that You lead us toward peace, guide our footsteps toward peace, and make us reach our desired destination for life, gladness, and peace. May You rescue us from the hand of every foe, ambush along the way, and from all manner of punishments that assemble to come to earth. May You send blessing in our handiwork, and grant us grace, kindness and mercy in Your eyes and in the eyes of all who see us. May You hear the sound of our humble request because You are God, Who hears prayer requests. Blessed are You, Adonai, Who hears prayer.” Well done, MARK and even though you kindly provided me also with the Hebrew text, I wasn’t temped to use it, for two reasons. First, I cannot read it, and second, my elementary typewriter doesn’t produce Hebrew characters! LENNY came forward somewhat hesitantly, persisting in his duty as Conductor despite not being sure what he might be compared to THIS time. Turns out his known lack of major stature was to be corrected by a snappy Top Hat, which Prexy ED discovered as LENNY was conducting the Philadelphia Symphony. It was explained that this was to make him visible to the Piccolo section… We then sang “I Love to Go to Rotary” for which song sheets. fortunately, were provided.
We had two Visiting Rotarians, PP Gloria Herrera from Century City, and PP Veronica Martinez from Latinos Unidos. Sunny of course came with LENNY, and PP PETER MORE was accompanied by Shirley. MARK ROGO brought his daughter, Lisa, who was enroute back to college for her second year. And Pat was there in support of PP ANDY. PP MIKE NEWMAN accompanied Misaka Nabsada, who is an Ambassadorial Scholar studying Computer Graphics here at UCLA. STEVE PETTISE introduced David Shenassa, his Special Guest, who is a partner in the Insurance field, specializing in employee benefits. At this point, Prexy ED could no longer resist his normal humanitarian characteristics, and fined that known troublemaker, PP ERIC LOBERG but only for ten bucks! A final note here for the first time, I received a makeup by email seems that PP CHRIS BRADFORD was in Kansas City on or about the 16th of July, and they claim he attended their meeting. This was new to me but I think it is probably safe to assume the honesty of the email, considering who the subject was…
Those at the Head Table included RALPH BEASOM, PP JIM COLLINS, YOE, plus PAT and ANDY. I was eagerly looking forward to my ‘chance’ to make a Fine Free statement, but since I wasn’t called upon, here is what I was going to say - my thanks to MARK BLOCK for writing the Windmill in my absence last week he can always be counted on to step up as needed. And since I have your attention anyway, this READING TO KIDS is set for next Saturday, Sept 12th, from 0900 to noon. I’m counting on the usual suspects, MARCIA and RICK BROUS, ED JACKSON, and first timers PAT ANDERSON and SCOTT FITCH, to join me in an activity that is really fun! I’m available for questions, and we all would love to have more of you join us, of course. And speaking of the HT (that’s Head Table), Prexy ED had his usual riddle why were the four of us up there, anyway? PP STEVE SCHERER was disqualified from this contest, since he always seems to win, but CURT SMITH came up with the answer, which is that all of us were former Rotarians of the Year. For this feat, CURT received a bottle of wine, which Prexy ED described at Chateau Peyraud, the same wine Victor Hugo drank while he was writing the Halfback of Notre Dame! Numerous questions as to how they got Hugo’s wine back into the bottle remain unanswered.
Pat Anderson provided an overview of some of the upcoming Rotary Auxiliary Programs. All Rotarians are always welcome to Auxiliary events, and the first one comes up this month, Tuesday the 29th a backstage tour of the LA Opera! We gather at Westwood Methodist at 0930, their underground parking is now operative, and car pool downtown to the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. The tour will be conducted by Rupert Hemmings, son of the founding director, and will begin with an overview of life at the opera. The Ring set will be onstage, and the Elixir set will be backstage - thus we can see both! We will visit the wig make-up room, and with luck may even be serenaded by one of the performers. Lunch at Kendall’s will follow all this for twenty five bucks! Forty of us can be accommodated, and half that number has already been sold, so send your checks to Margie Downie right away, please. Looking ahead, there will be a book discussion at Carol Collins home on October 13th The following month, November 11th, will be a jewelry display by Guess Who, at Eloise Siskels.
The Paul Harris Celebration Dinner is coming up on October 3rd. You all have both dinner tickets and raffle tickets, and we are holding ten seats each at two tables. WVRC does have a long and fine tradition of supporting the Raffle. so get those checks in please. And they are still seeking Silent Auction items PP STEVE DAY is your contact. Gloria Herrera came forward to alert us to a meeting sponsored by Century City. They have a woman who is speaking on AIDS at the Century Plaza Hotel, on Friday the 25th of January. Their club is opening up this meeting to all the Rotarians in District 5280. You can reach Gloria at (310) 552-0096.
The San Francisco weekend is set for October 9th and 10th, organized by GEORGE DEA. Lunch on the 9th will be at GEORGE’S Club, in Chinatown, followed by a visit to the Chinatown Historical Society Museum and a walking tour of Chinatown. The following evening, George and Janice will host a Fellowship Dinner at their home. Guin Lyster has all details, but the deadline to sign up is Sept 14th, please.
Before lunch, Prexy ED provided another joke. While this may not be new to some of you, I now endeavor to present it fully, in my continuing effort to present ALL the news, ALL the time. A man joins a Monastery, where the monks swear an oath of silence. Every ten years the bishop comes by and permits each monk to say two (and only two) words. After the first ten years of his silent service at the Monastery, our monk is asked if he has anything to say. He does he says, “Food bad”. Another ten years slips by and the bishop again asks our Monk what, if anything he wishes to say. Our Monk says, “Bed hard”. On the 30th anniversary of service to God, the bishop once more asks our Monk if he has anything on his mind, and our Monk says, “I quit.” Whereupon the bishop replies, “I should have known all you have done since you’ve been here is complain.” And once again, I remind you that, yes, that’s the end of the story.
PP JIM COLLINS introduced our Speaker, PDG ANDY ANDERSON. ANDY joined WVRC in 1982. He became President in 1989, and District Governor in 1994. And PP JIM was quick to remind us that if you ever get picked up by the Police, be sure to mention that you know District Chief MARSHALL ANDERSON. This reminder was greeted with various remarks and noises, but needless to say, none of us here alive will ever forget it! PP JIM also announced that PDG ANDY has just become a great-grandparent for the second time, which of course was greeted with applause! ANDY serves with JIM and several other WVRC members on the Westside YMCA Board, and he and PAT are enrolled in the 0830 Class at the Y to keep in shape. JIM’S final note was a reminder that Pat Anderson is a really loyal Bruin, which of course was well-received by the audience.
ANDY began by recalling his first meeting kin 1982, where he was the guest of HOWARD SISKEL. He had a lot of questions, and HOWARD had the answers, of course. What is the Object of Rotary? He explained the ideal of Service, high ethical standards, good fellowship and increasing international understanding. ANDY learned that our symbol, the wheel, was adopted in 1923. He and PAT became involved with the Club when we gave a Christmas Party for low income kids from the Valley. They went to dinner, and then were given money to buy gifts for their families. This program has been run for a long time now by MIKE YOUSEM. ANDY remembers that on this first dinner, some of the kids had never been inside a restaurant in their life they had been to Take-Outs, but never seated inside. “Did you see the walls around the toilets?” “Why do they have so many sinks?”
His first experience with a Club outside the U.S. was provided by JOHN SINGLETON. JOHN had learned through correspondence that there was a Girls School in Guadalajara, who needed lots of help. A group of members and spouses went down, bringing canes, and Braille Books, and tapes. The girl’s families were ashamed of their children and their visible blindness. While there, MIKE YOUSEM found what was then an abandoned swimming pool, and quickly figured out how to get it up and running. Still today that pool is being enjoyed by the girls. We learned that there was a School for the Deaf, and they needed hearing aids. Another group went down, and they were present when these kids heard their first sound! Some children cried, others screamed their parents were trying to kiss our hands.
Later, at a District Conference, with RALPH WOODWORTH as the Manager of Chasens. We began serving Chasen’s Chili and then they closed. So we simply made our own, and continued to serve Chasen’s Chili! ANDY would like WVRC to once again be active in the District Conferences. It’s fun, and can be productive. Later, he and PAT attended an International Convention in Munich. They had dinner with a Rotarian whose company made glasses. It was a Palace, really huge, with towers and ramparts, surrounded by a private lake. He remembers the huge steins of beer served it took two hands to pick one up. Yet the little waitresses managed to carry THREE steins in each hand!
What can we do to make our club more fun, and more productive? We used to have an annual hobby day, where members brought their hobbies to be shown. Did you know that RALPH BEASOM is an expert wood carver, for instance? We used to be involved much more with foreign students again, a lot of fun. Host/Hostess dinners fell out of favor a few years ago can we revive them, or maybe something similar? What could we do here, at UCLA? ANDY didn’t have any particular ideas, but maybe someone else does. Could we become involved in a Group Study Exchange? KEVIN KOMATSU is preparing a project in Latin America MARK ROGO is looking in the same area let’s talk to them. Can we put together something that our Club can do?
DAVE WHITEHEAD and KAREN spent time in New Orleans, helping to rebuild we should have been involved there. For many years, we had a very active Interact Club at UniHi, and maybe we can restart that. (Editorial Note) DR YOSH SETOGUCHI was a Rotary member-in-attendance as Student Body President at UniHi! ANN SAMSON has restarted our Interact Club at Unihi give her a ring! Could we be helping to build the Rotary Float for the Rose Parade? ANDY took grandkids to that, and they still talk about it. Each of us should look around and see if we can provide a grant to someone. Let’s get something done!
Polio Plus is one of our proudest moments when we started in the mid-80’s, 300,000 people were coming down with polio every year. Last year, there were 1,000 new cases that’s progress, and we should all be proud of it. PP HOWIE HENKES ran our original program, in which each member pledged $1,000 to PolioPlus, and WVRC raised over $100,000 all by itself toward this wonderful effort. PAT and ANDY went to India to help the program they went to hospitals, and even gave drops to some of the children. The places they visited had no paved road, no sidewalks these were the poorest of poor places. ANDY would like to see our Club be as active as we were ten or fifteen years ago and we WERE active!
Q&A Are you aware of any programs fighting Malaria? There was an article about buying nets, as a basic step toward some control. Rotary is completely involved with Polio at present maybe President ED can look into Malaria. MARCIA BROUS asked what we might be able to do to help the wonderful firefighters who are working so hard, and such long hours. ANDY will make a note and call the District. (And a little bird tells me such a call, from a PDG, is apt to be listened to, right?) As MARCIA says, there has to be a need here. And of course some unnamed person (fortunately anonymous) wanted to know if ANDY had ever been involved in a ‘shoot-em-up event? Huge laughter here. And the answer, “Yes, several.- but that was before I was involved with Rotary!” John Singleton wanted some details on ANDY’S tussles with Mama Rose. Without going into detail, ANDY admitted he had lost the arm-wrestle with her! LEE DUNAYER recalled that in his first two years with WVRC, we had a Sister City relationship with Guadalajara. What happened to that? JOHN SINGLETON was the contact, and he had to report that one of their senior members defrauded the club in a major way, and the whole thing folded, sad to say. Relatively new member STEVE PETTISE rose to say that stories such as this, of past major events could be told by several of our older members, and this idea was well received. I think it was ALY SHOJI who asked what started ANDY into the Law field as a career? ANDY got out of the Navy, and was working in construction. His partner pointed out that working with masonry, it was likely that one of both of them would fall off a ladder, and maybe they should consider something else. They both applied to the Police, and ANDY was chosen, while his partner was not. He was there for twenty eight years! It was a great choice, and a great life. Last question tell us about that lady reporter who interviewed you awhile ago. Amid some apparent confusion, ANDY finally zeroed in on PAT, and their story is a wonderful saga. Needless to say, his final comments were greeted with much applause!
Prexy ED has these words of wisdom:
Attitude is everything in life. Some complain that roses have thorns, while others give thanks that thorns have roses…