WVRC at the end of November 2001
Yes, it's November 29th, and we almost could have called
our meeting today the Membership Meeting. We not only had two excellent
craft talks, but our two newest members were also introduced. BRUCE
ROLF led us off with the Pledge, while we had a SOLO Leader/Accompanist
for the song. PP JIM DOWNIE stepped forward; with harmonica in hand.
and we joined him in The Halls of Montezuma - particularly fitting
since JIM is a former Marine himself. A nice touch, certainly. The
Invocation was next up with KEN LEVER. first with some thoughts about
this special Thanksgiving, and then a prayer. Ken thanked our supreme
being for all the wonderful comforts we enjoy, plus asking that one
day we will truly once again have a Happy Thanksgiving.
RALPH WOODWORTH introduced our visitors, starting off
with Francis Lichtenberger, son of MAX and Anita - he is a computer
consultant who lives in Massachusetts. BRUCE ROLF brought his wife,
Marie, and PP TOM LENEHEN noted that his wife Elinor who, upon questioning,
had remarked that they seemed to be doing OK these first 31 years,
at least so far! Our two newest members, CATHY MARIE REZOS, who does
business consulting and is sponsored by RUDY (RUDOLFO) ALVAREZ, plus
KACY ROZELLE, who manages private equities - he was sponsored by SLOSS
VIAU - and both were welcomed aboard by PP HOWIE HENKES.
PDG ANDY ANDERSON reminded us all of the important good
work carried on by the Salvation Army. Using their 2500 officers plus
9000 volunteers, they have counseled over 58.000 New York area residents
in the wake of the terrible events of September 11th. HARLAN LEWIS
announced that BOB TROXLER had a heart attack this last Monday but
is now back at home, and would welcome visitors and cards, please.
We were reminded that the Christmas Shopping Party, organized by MIKE
YOUSEM, is set for December 13th - and it really is a nice way to
spread some Christmas Cheer - call MIKE, please. PP HOWIE HENKES will
be coordinating the Braille Institute Christmas luncheon, on December
15th - give HOWIE a ring.
A major event is set to officially debut next week -
AIDAN'S PLACE will be inaugurated, and will open to participants.
You will recall that this playground for disabled and able kids is
only the second such facility in all of Los Angeles, and we are one
of the sponsors. It is located just south of Wilshire Blvd on Sepulveda.
This first gathering is on Monday the 3rd of December, at 1130, and
is just for members of WVRC - it will be a Photo Op, and all who can
attend should do so - All Board Members are expected to attend, by
the way. Then on Wednesday the 5th, the official opening will take
place, starting at 10 a.m. Please plan to be there, as we want WVRC
to be well represented.
Pres. GEORGE then awarded two hundred Dea Dollars to
PP RON LYSTER, who has been active in advancing the computer reputation
of WVRC. In addition, on last evening's West Wing program, Rotary
was mentioned several times - and RON was credited with 'planting'
this favorable mention on national TV! This prompted senior partner
in the firm of Scherer, Bradford and Lyster, PP STEVE SCHERER to remind
us all that Michigan lost to Ohio State, thus awarding
the Big Ten championship to the Fighting Illini. But alas, they won't
be able to play in the Rose Bowl, since it has been preempted by some
other championship event, and will thus play in the Fiesta Bowl in
Tempe, Arizona. This 'self promotion' by an alumnus cost PP STEVE
one hundred big ones. It also apparently encouraged PP BOB WESSLING
to suggest, soto voce (that means as an aside), that his beloved DePauw
Tigers were negotiating to schedule UCLA in BOTH football and basketball,
based on their recent game performances! YOE is forced to remind one
and all that you cannot compare schools which allow the students to
play to those who have other priorities…
Pres. GEORGE then related the sad tale of his visit
with Jan to Las Vegas this past weekend. Drove up there easily in
just five hours - but the return trip took NINE hours! GEORGE, YOE
has to remind you that those are the "wages of sin". MARK BLOCK came
forward to report that we have collected over $500 by selling our
flag pins, as donated by PP JOHN SINGLETON - next week is your last
chance to participate; so bring your ten bucks then, OK? Since he
was already at the mike, he then called on PP TOM LENEHEN to introduce
JAYNE SPENCER, one of our two Craft Talkers today.
PP TOM first reminded us all that several of our members
only work ONE hour a week - this list includes Pres. GEORGE, RUDY
ALVAREZ, and the Rev DAVID MATTSON, at least - but JAYNE SPENCER is
not among that group. She began by relating that she was born in Chula
Vista, worked as a lifeguard, and was quite athletic. Her life changed
radically when she was in an automobile accident in 1969, breaking
her neck and causing major paralysis. Her family is quite supportive,
and she has several brothers and sisters. JAYNE eventuality graduated
from San Diego State, where she also received her MA. Briefly, she
worked for the State of California, as a Rehab Counselor - but felt
she was always considered a patient, and thus decided to change careers.
With teaching as her goal, she moved on to UCLA, achieving her Ph.D.
in Communications early in the '90.s
Starting in 1991, her major subject emphasis was South
American history and culture, and she presently lectures on Latin
American studies, plus some general survey courses. Her most popular
seminar is on Guerrilla Activities - which of course provided some
offbeat questioning when she concluded her talk…She has become active
on the south campus, working in the developmentally disability department.
She is the Chair of the Chancellor's Committee on development disabilities,
and became well known during the unfortunate handicapped parking scandal
of two years ago. So JAYNE wears several hats, and YOE has to conclude
that this is a new WVRC member who has overcome obstacles that most
of us cannot even contemplate. We thank PP TOM LENEHEN for bringing
her into our membership, and we appreciate your being with us, JAYNE.
HENRY TSENG sponsored BURLEIGH ARNOLD, and BURLEIGH
was introduced by PP HOWIE HENKES. BURLEIGH began by telling the story
of the interview for a position, conducted by the head of the Human
Relations Department. Apparently, the personnel person had a major
misplacement of his ears, about which he was very conscious. This
caused the first two candidates to very pointedly stare at him when
they met. Thus, when the third candidate appeared, and seemed to be
studying his eyes (rather than his ears), the Human Relations person
was favorably inclined toward him. However, he finally had to ask
why the candidate was staring at his eyes so carefully, and the reply
was to ask if he wore contact lenses. Yes, but so what? "Well, I just
wondered how you would wear glasses if you DIDN'T have contacts? "
YOE has to confess that he was worried about how this story might
come out - but all's well that ends well!
BURLEIGH next told us of growing up in Missouri - born
in Lewiston - and attending local schools. His dad was the postmaster.
He received his law degree from the University of Missouri, then served
in the Korean War, and upon discharge had an opportunity to join either
the IRS or the FBI. At this stage, he introduced the phrase, "The
road not taken" which came up several times as he outlined his life
history. He accepted the FBI position, wrote a letter of acceptance,
and mailed it. By this time his wife had serious second thoughts,
and begged him not to go with the FBI. Since his dad was the postmaster,
he was able to intercept his acceptance letter - who knows where an
FBI career would have taken him?
A couple of local phrases came to mind - "You are in
tall cotton", meaning things were going well, and "That dog won't
hunt ", another way of saying it won't work! Anyway, this change led
to his appointment as Assistant to the Governor of Missouri, and he
enjoyed the work. However, banking called, and he became General Council
for the local bank. This led to his being appointed General Counsel
in Receivership to the Transit Casualty Company, where he has been
since 1987. Transit Casualty was first thought to have debts of $300
million, but eventually it became clear that the actual shortfall
was FOUR BILLION dollars. This has become his lifetime job, obviously.
Burleigh moved west when he took on Transit Casualty, and now lives
in Westwood with his wife, Rebecca and four children. Welcome aboard,
and we thank HENRY TSENG for bringing you to WVRC.