December 13, 2001


Mid-month, WVRC on December 13th

SLOSS VIAU started us off with the Pledge, followed by LENNY FRIEDMAN leading, and LYNDON PARKER accompanying both Silent Night and Jingle Bells. Once again Jingle Bells was reinforced by several ingenious 'jingles' played on glasses and pitchers. Who knows, we might even get the hang of this (but the sad truth is that with just one more meeting this Season, there probably isn't time to really perfect our technique). Certainly it's something to look forward to during later opportunities. FLOYD DEWHIRST provided the Invocation, preceding it by some thoughtful comments.

BILL MICHAEL was unable to locate any visiting Rotarians, but we certainly had plenty of other guests. MARK BLOCK brought Bob Shapiro from his office, since he's a known Bruin fan. DON NELSON claimed Warren Dodson as his guest, but Warren, who is known to many of us - and known to be a stickler for "just the facts" - pointed out that he had paid his own way, and thus really wasn't DON'S guest! RAY ZICKFELD brought Sean McMillan as a Special Guest, and we learned later than he is a former member of Century City Rotary. Dick Dulgarian, a longtime fan, was with LEO TSENG, and TED IHNEN introduced Bruce Johnson. Janice Dea was there in support of Pres. GEORGE, of course. PP BOB LUSK had as his guest, Todd Singleton, President of a local sales firm, who was also accompanied by his father, but since you can only have one Introducer, this person remained silent, which in only proper. SALLY BRANT was accompanied by Mary Toman, who is a candidate for State Treasurer.

You will recall that BOB TROXLER has been hospitalized, but will be home soon. Please give him a ring, or stop by if you check in advance. PP STEVE SCHERER reminded us of the coming Memorial Service for Marion Jeffries, 3 p.m. Sunday the 23rd at the Westwood United Methodist Church. Marion's husband, JOHN JEFFRIES, was a longtime member of WVRC, and their sons, Mike (a Federal Judge in Alaska) and brother John Jr. will also be present.

PP STEVE DAY chairs the Election Committee - which falls to the Past President who served as President five years ago. Members include the other less senior PP's, plus the present President and President Elect. PP STEVE first convened a Special Club Assembly, whose sole purpose was to elect next-years officers. The slate announced was headed by TED IHNEN, President, PETER MORE, VP, and Secretary/Treasurer KEN LEVER. Filling the Avenues of Service are KEN KILPO, International, KEVIN KOMATSU, Community Service, JIM BECHTEL, Youth, and Vocational Service, under HANK HOYER. GEORGE DEA will be on the Board, as PP. Following these announcements, PP STEVE moved approval of this slate, and YOE was pleased to second the nominations. A quick vote - there you have it! YOE cannot resist recalling that when his five-year Nominating Chairmanship came up, we selected YOSH SETOGUCHI - who remains as the standard by which all Past Presidents should be judged. Congratulations to this new group, who will carry on the fine traditions and activity of which WVRC is so proud.

Pres. GEORGE brought PP JIM COLLINS to the podium, and, having heard that PP JIM would like nothing more than to have some Dea Dollars, presented him with ONE THOUSAND of this fabled currency! Unfortunately for PP JIM, it now develops that he and Carol flew to New York briefly, for no justifiable reason. For this capricious act, PP JIM was fined FIFTEEN HUNDRED dollars. So the delivery of his Dea Dollars was in the nick of time, enabling the true fine to be only the overage of $500!

A couple of notes for the future, please: Next Thursday is Spouses Day - please notify PP DOUG DESCH if you are bringing your spouse or significant other. It promises to be Special, with music provided by Harold Kaye and Friends. Alas, YOE has to admit that he won't be there - but the Windmill slot will be capably filled by RUDY ALVAREZ. And note - we are dark the last week in December and the first week in January, OK?

PP JIM COLLINS, having recovered sufficiently from his $1500/$500 fine, then introduced Steve Lavin, Head Basketball Coach at UCLA. JIM recalled being with Lavin when UCLA advanced to the Elite Eight in San Antonio - that was 1997, Lavin's first year at the helm (and YOE was also present). In his five years, Coach Lavin has taken the Bruins at least to the Sweet Sixteen four times, which is an impressive record.

Lavin is pleased with this year's team. They are a good combo of youth and experience, with four seniors, one junior, and one sophomore plus four freshmen. He thinks they are farther along at this time than last year's team. Their defense has been good, using both the full-court press and matchup zone - and knowing when to use either one is a basic skill a good coach must have. He quoted Pete Newell (I think it was) "November, December, Show. March, Dough." He admits to having a bit of a reputation for losing some in November.

Looking at the season, Lute Olson at Arizona has to be the favorite. His guard, Jason Gardner, is averaging 26 points and has been sensational, while the four new starters all fit in well. Lavin points out that it took a Bruin - Bibby - to turn USC around. Stanford is always tough, and he thinks a 14-4 Conference record should win. This year we again have a playoff - in Los Angeles - and that may confuse the standings a bit. The pressure to win it all is huge - 2nd best could cost you your job! He notes that Ben Braun at Cal is the only Pac Ten coach in the upper echelon who will be OK as far as job security if he doesn't win the Championship.

Q&A - DAVE MATSON, how do you survive all these pressures. Lavin listed having a team of lawyers, even a death threat against his dad. This in turn caused his dad to remark, "Apparently the apple didn't fall far enough from the tree". Rick Pitino was somewhat waiting in the wings, and then to top it off, there was an anonymous letter to UCLA making various charges, delivery of which was threatened "or else". When UCLA did not deign to reply, the letter was sent anyway, and this episode has just now been finally researched and discarded by UCLA and the NCAA. Lavin did point out that, yes, he DOES go to practice, and yes, we DO work on fundamentals. PP JIM COLLINS then quickly volunteered DAVE MASON'S help, should Lavin feel the need. DON NELSON, do you keep track of what cars the players drive. Yes, they are all registered with us - and the downside of all this is that it is used against you in recruiting - "Hey, if you go to UCLA they'll have someone looking over your shoulder, etc.". YOE was curious as to the status of Josiah Johnson, son of Marques. He redshirted last year, and thus will play this year, but probably not very much. The other players who are ahead of Josiah are Dan Gadzuric, T.J. Cummings and frosh Andre Patterson. PP CHRIS GAYNOR, we saw last year's senior, Earl Watson, playing well for the Seattle Supersonics - your comment. He is an example of staying the full four years, and remember that even of those who make it to the NBA, their average tenure is only three years. So they may have 50 years left AFTER basketball, and that's why a UCLA education is so important. Special Guest Sean McMillen, what about Cedric Bozeman?

He has a torn meniscus, and will miss several weeks. But he has as much potential as anyone Lavin has ever seen, including Jason Kidd and our own Baron Davis. Ryan Walcott is also available at point guard, as is Dijon Thompson - we are deep. RALPH BEASON, are there any new rules. No - but you have to watch what you serve as snacks, since the rest of the student body doesn't also get snacks! SALLY BRANT - did Randy Johnson (of the Yankees) play basketball - after all, he is 6'10". Lavin didn't know - (and we all thought coaches should know EVERYTHING). Anyway, Coach, thanks for being with us - looks like an exciting season coming up.

YOE, Ernie Wolfe