March 15, 2001


Our first official act was the Pledge, led by DONN CONNER. Next up was the song, which was first introduced by PP HOWARD SISKEL. HOWARD alluded to the fact that SLOSS VIAU had a guest, Les Fielsend; and Les had volunteered to play the piano.

We soon had a quartet, composed of JACK HARRIS, ART HENRY, SLOSS VIAU, SLOSS'S guest, Les, and HOWARD on the violin. First number was When Irish Eyes are Smiling, followed by That Wild Irish Rose, and YOE has to confess that it wasn't entirely clear whether we in the audience were to join in the singing or not. Since it was suggested that we sit down beforehand, probably we weren't expected to join the chorus.

(After all, did you ever see Pavrotti sing while SEATED?)

ART HENRY was already on stage, and thus led us in the Invocation. He mentioned that some people were having trouble telling the difference between wants and needs, and he asked our Maker to fill us all with inspiration and hope and love. JIM GREATHEAD announced that there were no visiting Rotarians, but there were certainly other guests.

Les Fielsend has already been mentioned, and RUDY ALVAREZ spoke for Marianne Callahan, who accompanied our Speaker - note that both these ladies are active members of the WLA Chamber of Commerce. BRUCE HARRIS offered photographic proof of the recent visit of Marilyn Monroe to the Harris abode, but it was OK since Caroline was also present. TODD GURVIS was accompanied by Special Guest Patrick Kibby, who is in mortgage banking and he is also on the Board of the West Hollywood C or C. While ANN ELKINS couldn't make the meeting, she did arrange for her guest, Minette Siegel to be present.

Birthdays were next, led off by JIM BECHTEL on the lst, in Philadelphia, WALLY FISCHMANN in St. Louis on the 3rd - same date as PP MICHAEL NEWMAN, in Santa Monica. Next was Terry R. White, Oceanside on the 4th, followed on the 5th by BRUCE HARRIS, this taking place in Chattanooga (and made even more memorable by the visit of Marilyn, as noted above). PP CHRIS GAYNOR came along on the 11th in Pacific Palisades, and JULIETTE THOMPSON is from Las Cruces, NM on the 12th. Honorary Member URI HERSCHER was born in Tel Aviv on the 14th, same day as PP JOHN SINGLETON but JOHN arrived in Salt Lake City. SHARON RHODES-WICKETT began in La Grande, Oregon on the 20th, while PDG ANDY ANDERSON calls Buffalo, N.Y home, on the 21st. Last March birthday was REVEREND MYRON TAYLOR, from Goodwill, W.Va. on the 26th. Quite a group - and YOE hopes that next month we'll have more actual bodies on hand so we can serenade them - maybe warn them in advance, or whatever.

As some of you knew, the UCLA Basketball team was playing Hofstra in the first round of the NCAA Championships, and perhaps that was in Prexy STEVE'S mind when he introduced the next member of the audience as DAVID WATSON. While it is true that he had the first name right, Earl Watson is the senior guard on the UCLA team, and he wasn't present at the Bel Air today - the person who spoke was DAVID MATSON, and he outlined what is expected of a minister in his everyday activities. Taken from an Ann Landers column, this included a large number of worthwhile daily activities, which could easily be accomplished by anyone really trying in perhaps 72 consecutive hours! DAVE mentioned that Westwood Hills Christian Church actually does have some WVRC members attending, and since it's true that we need all the help we can get, that's good news. At this point, YOE was called upon to report the latest in the UCLA - Hofstra contest, and the half-time score was Hofstra 33, UCLA 29. Next called upon was KEN KILPO, who is with Windward Capital Management. When asked about their most popular program, KEN allowed as how it was called Risk Averse Management - sounds good to me! Of course, such a slogan is somewhat akin to advocating Motherhood, and that's a sure winner also.

SHERRY DEWANE was then asked for a brief pitch on what she does as a Private Banker with Wells Fargo. In summary, she provides the full range of financial services for the high net worth individual. Seated next to YOE was SHARIN KLISSER, who first thought she might be spared, but was indeed asked to speak about how she liked the Laker tickets she bought at the raffle a couple of weeks ago. SHARIN allowed as how they were indeed good seats - it was her first Laker game, and she enjoyed it.

There were of course announcements, to wit: March 27th - District Breakfast at LAX Marriott - JIM GREATHEAD
March 29th - Yearling meeting, right after our regular lunch - SUSAN ALLEN
April 26th - District Conference, Hyatt Newporter - TED IHNEN
May 19th - District Assembly for all Officers, in Carson - GEORGE DEA
June 24th - RI Convention in San Antonio

And before we get to the Speaker, a Piteous Plea (that means SERIOUS), if we may:
We are actively seeking one or more additional piano players - this of course comes with the usual stipend, and JACK HARRIS will welcome your calls - PLEASE!

RUDY ALVAREZ introduced our speaker, Ann Thomas. And before I go on, it was at this point that I began struggling with the radio, trying to get the station that was covering UCLA/Hofstra. I spent most of the speaker's time on this fruitless search, and I apologize twice - first, for my failure, and second, for providing background noise that was probably distracting to everyone in the audience. Anyway, here are some scattered notes I was able to scribble down.

Ann Thomas is the owner of The Sports Mind, and her company provides sports - and business - competitors with counseling so they can develop to their fullest potential. She has a Masters from the University of Tennessee, and has provided services to UCLA, Florida State, Vanderbilt, DePauw (which pleased PP BOB WESSLING, needless to say), and a number of individual members of amateur and professional sports teams. While in college, she lettered in volleyball and basketball, and was a world-ranked tennis player, so she knows whereof she speaks. And since she was one of NINE kids, she knows a bit about competition, I'm sure.

Her aim is to improve your overall average performance, eliminating the lows that bedevil us all. This often comes down to evaluating how you handle pressure.

At this point she 'selected' ELLIOTT TURNER to come on stage and show some examples of her teaching technique. I say 'selected' since ELLIOTT was mentioned early on as the recipient (or was it originator?) of some salacious e-mail material. But I digress - ELLIOTT willingly came forward, stood in his assigned space, and then was coached about how to improve his golf game.

First, he was to relax - learn how to loosen his back (a series of upper body twists were suggested) and arms (mainly through making believe he was rinsing the water from his hands after washing, YOE gathers). Breathing was discussed, and the true nature of a deep breath was shown - if you lie down flat on your back, put a book on your stomach, and it moves, you are truly taking a deep breath. Ann then reminded ELLIOTT that he needed a target for his eventual golf shot, and he wisely selected PP DAVE WHITEHEAD'S nose. And since DAVE was at my table, I was able to directly observe DAVE"S growing terror as this lesson progressed - he truly was in some danger, or so he assumed. Further instructions on ELLIOTT'S coming swing included the admonition to Keep It Smooth, or to paraphrase, Don't Jerk! Finally, ELLIOTT was to remember that he must have a Goal - and some clown from the audience suggested putting the ball in someone's mouth. Anyway, those are my notes …and the good news is that UCLA did win, by 11 points, benefiting from a final 20-3 run as the game wound down.

Thought for the Day - "Civility costs nothing, and buys everything" by Lady Mary Wortley Montagu.

YOE, Ernie Wolfe