November 29, 2001


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.

YOE, Ernie Wolfe