ELLIOTT’S NOTES FROM Feb 20th, plus YOE’S on the 27th at WVRC.

Yes, I’m transcribing from last week, plus a report on today. PP MIKE NEWMAN gallantly stepped forward for Prexy TED, who spent the week at his family’s farm in the suth (that’s Southern for South, OK?). PP MIKE was surrounded by fellow scholars. PP CHRIS GAYNOR, LENORE MULRYAN, PP GEO. DEA, Susanne Karpilovsky (our speaker) and DON NELSON, her counselor, at the Head Table. PP RON LYSTER led the Pledge, and then a special Song, composed by who else than PP JIM DOWNIE, which I now quote:

Oh give TED a gun where the turkeys do run, and he’ll shoot at the fowls all the day…But often is heard some despicable words only feathers float down in the hay…Bang Bang goes TED’S gun, but the turkeys continue to run…where often is heard some despicable words as nude turkeys run safely away!

The song leader was JACK HARRIS, and the composition of course was in anticipation of TED’S teaching his ten-year old twins how to turkey hunt - I’m sure the kids were properly impressed. If there were visiting Rotarians, they were introduced by KEN KILPO.

PP MIKE allowed as how he was looking forward to returning TEN YEARS after serving his time, and accordingly moved the podium to the center of the stage, etc. MIKE noted that he had run the inbound scholar program for the past nine years, and last year he chaired the outbound scholar selection committee. His fellow Head-Tablers were each involved with Rotary Scholarship, and PP CHRIS GAYNOR commented on his time as inbound scholarship chair. PP CHRIS noted that during his year as President, PP RON LYSTER rewrote our WVRC Foundation By-Laws (this in spite of RON’S MIT and USC training, apparently), and of course our continuing Foundation Guru is none other than PP STEVE DAY. LENORE MULRYAN continues to do her excellent job as coordinator of the selection process, holding several information meetings and then helping to select those who are chosen. As a quick reminder, these Rotary Scholarships are better than a Fullbright, and thus, most well worth achieving. PP GEO. DEA has long been involved with these scholars, and his interest continues today. DON NELSON, now that he has been released from his FOURTEEN YEARS as Treasurer at Westwood Methodist, is serving as Suzanne’s Counselor, and thus introduced her as our Speaker.

DON noted that Suzanne was born in Australia, but moved with her family to South Africa when she was five. A few years later they immigrated to the U.S., settling in Chico where her father was a professor. She is now a naturalized U.S. citizen, and graduated from UCLA Cum Laude in English Literature. Her expectations upon being selected were of living the student life in Paris – but her actual experience was much more far-reaching. She thanked both her Counselors, LENORE and DON, for their continuing support while she was in France, and her host counselor, Dr. M Parizot, was always available when called upon. She spent her first month in an intensive language program in Tours, and even stayed with the Parizot family during her stay and before beginning her studies at the Sorbonne.

She spoke at three Rotary Clubs, her host club being Bois-Colombes, with about 25 members. They were quite interested in her reactions to the events of 9/11, and later in her views about the problems in the Middle East. She also spoke at her dorm, explaining what Rotary is all about – since most of her fellow foreign students had no clue. This led to other speaking engagements at other college dorms and gatherings – she indeed was a Rotary Ambassadorial exponent! As a published poet, she was invited to read her compositions, and this led to the formation of the Poetry Group, which she enjoyed during her stay. She participated in several Rotary fund-raising events, which she enjoyed. Her studies at the Sorbonne were on French Literature and Philosophy, and these will be most helpful as she proceeds toward her doctoral studies.

One of her most rewarding experiences was to vacation with a French family in Scotland. Later, she learned that they were skeptical about Americans – but after being with her for a few days, they accepted the fact that we really were OK, after all. This was of course very flattering to her. She came home even prouder of the U.S. than when she left, since she missed our genuine desire to help people, our solid work ethic, and our unbridled creativity. Suzanne, thank you for sharing your wonderful Ambassadorial adventures with us – you are an example to all of us stay-at-homes.

AND NOW, to the events of Feb. 27th! Prexy TED asked AL BELLANCA to lead the Pledge, and he started right off by getting us all to stand at Attention! PP JIM DOWNIE provided a reprise of his song of last week, assisted by PP STEVE DAY. (and we never did get a report on how the hunting actually went…) PP BOB WESSLING provided a thoughtful Invocation, noting our need to continue to carry out the Four Way Test, and we can certainly heed that admonition. PP BOB LUSK introduced several Visiting Rotarians, among them our previous member, Dave Long, who now belongs in Manhattan Beach. Roger Perry and Joyce Bulifant Perry were with us, from Carbondale Aspen Glen Rotary – she is the President-Elect. Among the guests were Veneice MARRONE (who will probably be back next week to hear Art Linkletter) and Carol COLLINS. HENRY TSENG brought back our former member, King Wu – and he told me the building now going up on their former property will be both for offices and a lower-level mall. We had two representatives from Angel Flight, Jim Weaver, their Executive Director and Cheri Cimmarrusti, their Mission Coordinator. This group flies patients into local hospitals from outlying areas – and they need our help in driving them to their hospital destinations. It’s certainly a need – and one we can, and should, meet.

During these introductions, Dave Long admitted to being surprised at his warm reception, after being a ‘defector’, so to speak. But ELLIOTT TURNER (or was it PP MIKE NEWMAN?) rose to the occasion, reminding Dave that “it wasn’t over yet”. This well-intentioned and helpful bit of caution cost whoever it was a hundred clams – so be careful what you say – someone may be listening! Despite this advice, former member Dave did give an excellent report on their upcoming Corazon project. Their club – with ten members from WVRC – will spend a day in Nuevo Milenio, an hour south of Tijuana. The project is to build a 16 by 20 foot home – in that ONE DAY – and the date is March 22nd. Our members will spend the night before in San Diego, and be back by the evening of the 22nd. We have a waiting list, so check with KACY ROZELLE if you would like to be considered, please. Prexy TED then read parts of a Thank You letter from R.I. President Bhichai, saying how much he enjoyed his time with us. He asked PDG BILL GOODWYN and Judi to be his Presidential Representatives at the District Conference of District 5050 in British Columbia this coming May. A nice touch, and well deserved, Bill and Judi.

February is a special Rotary month for PP JIM COLLINS. It was FIFTY YEARS AGO that Jim joined WVRC (then called WLA Rotary, by the way). And FORTY YEARS AGO, JIM served as WVRC President. Also, it has to be admitted that he felt somewhat short-changed when all he received for attending the R.I.International Convention that year was carfare – it was held at the LA Convention Center! There were some wonderful slides of JIM and family, and JIM is quoted in the Golden Anniversary Book “I’ve met and made many lifelong friends in Rotary” plus his advice to new members “That old adage is so true – you’ll get out of Rotary what you put into it”. JIM, you are a wonderful example to all of us of Service Above Self. Our continuing thanks to you and Carol.

PETER MORE reported on his recent visit to our sister club, the Rotary Club of Hong Kong Island East. We are invited to their 50th Anniversary next year – and of course, that will also be our 75th Anniversary. PP JOHN SINGLETON and YOE were welcomed back, after a brief hiatus on the medical shelf. Now, if we can both just keep from drinking in the afternoon, we’ll certainly continue to be present and voting…

KAREN MASON began her craft talk by telling us she was born in Fresno. Her father was an engineer with the railroad. She has a sister – but KAREN was the tomboy of the family. Her grandmother finally put sort of a stop to all this, giving her a perm when she was thirteen! (And she certainly looks like a girl to YOE!). Anyway, she married early, attended night school – and learned to drink, and enjoy, wine. She moved to Venezuela in 1980, and had some early difficulties with Spanish. While I won’t try to give you the Spanish version, she was told to keep her head down and say “Thank You, Just Looking” in response to inquiries from shopkeepers. An early effort caused her to look up, and she saw the clerk staring at her shoes. Seems she translated seeing to peeing…She met Marty, the love of her life, and they have melded her Heidi and Stephen with his Cara and Greg, so they now have two boys and two girls.

She took a stab (perhaps not a fair word, considering the sport) at golf, and in her FIRST tournament came away with the High Gross award – and since nothing else was said, YOE isn’t sure if she continued this sport or not…However, she did become involved with boats, living five years on a 55 Ocean in Huntington Beach. They moved back to Marina del Rey, and another boat. Karen loves living aboard.

She is with Aon Insurance, in Private Risk Management. Her clientele are mostly high-net worth individuals who depend upon insurance for their peace of mind. On that subject, Karen remembers a time awhile ago when she was in the desert, and was concerned about where she was, exactly. She learned then to breathe deeply, to calm herself – and she keeps reminding herself to do the same thing during this craft talk. Karen, you did well - (in spite of no expected instructions from YOE) – and we all know you better as a result.

SEAN McMILLAN began by stating that he wears a suit every day – in his firm of 900 lawyers, there are only 3 or 4 others so garbed – but he is old-fashioned, so there! His passions are skiing and flying, and he combined the two in 1983 when he tired of driving six hours to Mammoth to ski. He was a true vagabond student, flitting from England, back to the US for two years of high school, on to Tufts, then to Boston, and so to the Sorbonne. After one semester there, he realized he didn’t like the French people, so moved to Munich. Apparently they have a saying, “Eat where the French eat, but sleep where the Germans sleep – it’s clean”! Back in LA, he got a boat, began teaching at USC Law School, then moved to Harvard. After Harvard Law, meanwhile teaching at Harvard medical school, he returned to LA in 1970.

He married a stewardess in 1976, and they had three sons. All three boys were Senate pages – a demanding academic schedule combined with political activity. During this period, he had a 12-year marriage, then another for 5 years – and while his present status was not given, he does admit to being Relationship Challenged…His middle son, who is now 21, has had a terrifying history of cancers. These began when he was 17, but during 2002, just after he joined our club, his son was hospitalized almost the entire year. UCLA has a policy of encouraging relatives to stay at the hospital with patients, which SEAN found to be most helpful. His son will soon be returning to classes at UCLA. As a kid, his Dad took SEAN to the UCLA football games – he knew Red Sanders – and that’s why he is still a UCLA fan. Without giving away my own preference, it all sounds OK to YOE…

YOE, Ernie Wolfe