April 13, 2000




At the sound of the bell, President Bob noted that this was his 38th meeting as our leader. The crowd, sensing the beginning of a lame duck smell in the air, continued to socialize until Sergeant-At-Arms Lenehen roared out "Quiet!" His authoritative voice must have intimidated Lenore Mulryan so much that we could barely hear her leading the pledge. Maestro Jack Harris and PP Jim (the fingers) Downie felt patriotic enough to lead us in singing the Battle Hymn of the Republic. PDG Bill Goodwyn's invocation pointed out to us that we are never too young, or too old, or too limited to accomplish things. It's not when you do it, it's what you do that counts!

Sandy Sanderson introduced Rotarian Ed Brody, a contractor from the Beverly Hills Club. Dan Price introduced his guest, Sante Moramarco of Palm Springs who, in turn, brought two guests from Italy. Other guests included the President and Vice President of the West Hollywood Rotary Club, Neal Zaslavsky and Todd Gurvis, respectively. Todd, we can't thank you enough for inviting a Hollywood celebrity and Academy Award nominee, Robert Forster, as our noon speaker today.

Forster's storytelling from real life experiences provides us his theme on how to deal with life each and every day and his advice on how to deal with certain situations. His recurring theme seems to be if you deliver excellence in anything that you do, you will get a reward by learning self-respect and respect for others and satisfaction. Advice, for example, on cheering yourself up when things aren't going well is to follow his 3-Step Program which is (1) having a good attitude, learning to accept all things; (2) deliver your excellence in whatever you are asked to do; and (3) lastly, never quit. It's not over till it's over. His advice to his son regarding sex is to learn how to take "NO" from a woman gracefully, and sex is a gift from a woman and you must give back your best. He also talked about the techniques that Marlon Brando uses to intimidate studio executives (You can get respect two ways: one with a hammer or the other with love.) Working with John Huston taught him that if you want to be excellent in what you do, you've got to learn it yourself and to not depend on others.

Just as interesting in listening to his stories is his interaction with the audience. Robert does not use microphone to amplify his voice, uses the entire stage, and lets the audience pick the situations they want to hear about from a printed menu. It shows different categories of topics such as A-List, Actor's Corner, Parenting, Performance Piece, and Grab Bag. Under each category is a bunch of situations with tempting titles such as "JFK Conspiracy," "9 Out of 10 Women," and "Whistling Boy." It is from these chosen situations that he begins to deliver his message.

Robert Forster, thank you for using your finely honed craft to tell us your stories and lessons in life. It truly was an uplifting and enjoyable experience.

YOE, Jr.