JOHN VALLELY at WVRC on August 11th
PP STEVE DAY led the Pledge. PP MIKE NEWMAN provided some Rotary thoughts around the subject of why we are here. He reminded us that SALLY NEWMAN was earlier given just six months to live - she has done better than that, but the end is now approaching. To all the families who have gone through this, hold good thoughts, please. And then LENNY came forward to lead us In God Bless America - which we do well, and even better when he leads.
There were a number of guests. PEGGY was with her helper, and SUNNY of course was with LENNY. Eric Davidson, Principal of UniHi was there, as was Karen Vallely, wife of our Speaker, John. Diane Cruz, who will be moving on to UC Merced, and Edgar Mendoza were with us as short speakers. They both reported on what Rotaract was doing, and these students are busy. It’s fun to see them so involved! JOHN O’KEEFE brought Lesya Polotanianka, a woman he met working with a Muslim group. And Police Chief JAMES HERREN was accompanied by his chief deputy - whose name I didn’t get, I’m sorry to say.
President ED reminded us that the remains of the Brentwood Rotary Club would be putting on a fishing trip this weekend starting at the Pier in Malibu. They do need help so if you are available, call ED right away. Our annual Summer Fun Party will be Saturday, August 27th, at the home of LEO TSENG. This will be a CANNIVAL, with clowns and costumes. The cost is $40, and MARGIE DOWNIE will take your check - made out to Westwood Village Rotary Auxiliary, please. And a few weeks from now, our annual visit to San Francisco Chinatown Rotary will take place, over the weekend of 7-9 October. PP PETER MORE is the contact.
PP STEVE DAY provided packets for each of us regarding the forthcoming PAUL HARRIS CELEBRATION. This will be on Sunday November 6th, starting at 1 pm. The location is Del Amo Fashion Center, 3 Del Amo Fashion Square. 3525 Carson Street, in Torrance. Tickets are $65 for adults, and $35.00 for kids under 16, and include food items and drinks. Also enclosed was a booklet of twelve raffle tickets, costing a hundred bucks - thus you get two free when you buy the booklet. PP STEVE has answers to questions - give him a ring!
Ere I forget, here is the CORRECT phone to reach AVE PEPLOW. (435) 901-0662.
STEVE PETTISE introduced our Speaker, John Vallely. STEVE confessed that he had to overcome an inborn antipathy to John because it was John Vallely who beat Drake in the NCAA Tournament, thus keeping them from playing for the National Championship that year! STEVE pointed out that Vallely only played for two years at UCLA, coming up from the JC ranks. Coach John Wooden didn’t seek JC players but he picked a good one here, since Vallely was an All-Tournament player both years.
John began by telling the story which we all had heard in one form or another that their first practice began with the Coach telling them how to fold their socks! LEW ALCINDOR, a senior, tried to complain, having heard this same lecture three times before, but to no avail. Apparently, Coach Wooden felt that if you didn’t put your socks on right, you might get a blister - and that wouldn’t be good! There were a number of rules to be remembered, and since John started out #five on the depth chart at guard, he apparently picked them all up. In their very first practice, someone asked about winning and the Coach made the point emphatically that winning wasn’t to be discussed if they followed his rules, winning would take care of itself
Vallely was so impressed by Wooden that he glommed on to every tenet. While he didn’t see the point of some of what was offered, he didn’t let that get in the way of learning each rule. I remembered one rule, where it was always necessary to signal to the man who had touched the ball before you scored, thanking him for his help. Someone asked, how do you know the player will be looking for the signal - and the Coach pointed out that they always did! As his familiarity with the rules increased, he began to recognize that all these rules worked.
Vallely was going with his Karen when he transferred to UCLA, and he told some great stories of several tests that came along. One time, he asked how she would feel if they didn’t try to stay close when he went on the road. Her reply was very simple ask me when you want to know!
John told of two serious bouts with cancer he had endured. Each one was a serious threat, and in both he carefully followed the regimen that was suggested and the times, it worked. He then outlined the Dribble For The Cure. This is an annual event, and this year it will take place on Sunday October 30, starting at 0830. Both the men’s and women’s team will be there, and everyone will be loaned a basketball. The group will move around campus, dribbling as they go, and raising money for two causes Pediatric Cancer Research and Mattel Children’s Hospital at UCLA Cancer Research Program. Each year they have raised over $100,000 for cancer research for more information, call (800) 354-7273.
John, your talk was wonderful, and we appreciate your coming to see us. Come back anytime!