WVRC RESUMES, on January 8th, 2004!

Yes, we are still functioning, after a couple of weeks off due to the Holidays. And for me, it’s been THREE weeks, since I was still laid up from pneumonia on December 18th and thus missed that last meeting of 2003. DON PARK was up first, with the Pledge, followed by JACK HARRIS with PP JIM DOWNIE on the keyboard – America was the choice, and it was well done. MICHAEL GINTZ first allowed us to be seated, and then gave the Invocation – this was used at our first meeting in 1999, and the thoughts still apply today. He concluded with a hoped-for few doses of good luck and grace, for which we can all be thankful.

PP DAVE WHITEHEAD was unable to locate any Visiting Rotarians, but when we sought other visitors, who should turn up but IGOR! He was greeted enthusiastically, and his first move was to entice Pres. PETER into the chair storage room. Igor then proceeded to explain that he still had his Hump, which was why Hump Day was not yet scheduled – it will occur, so stay tuned, please.

LENORE MULRYAN, who always seems to be involved with students, came forward to report on the twelve U.S. members of the Ship for World Youth. They are staying at the Marriott, courtesy of PP JIM COLLINS (and breakfast is included) with WVRC providing shoulder bags for the group. They will leave from Singapore, and the cruise will cover two months, stopping at various ports in the Pacific. Ryan Ingrassi leads our twelve – who are the only Americans aboard – and they will be discussing peace and conflict resolution in-between port stops. All the students are between 20 and 30, and he Japanese government is funding the cruise. We thank JIM for his generosity, once again.

Our history course continues, and we learned that Charles Osgood of CBS was born on this day in 1933. Elvis Presley and his twin were born in 1935, but the twin did not survive. And in 1942, Stephen Hawking, the English physicist was born. Further, the New York Fishing Company was the first Corporation formed in the U.S. – on January 8th, 1675! And finally, the Dow Jones closed above 2000 for the first time. Note that next week is group picture day – which prompted the showing of some past group photos.

First was our 5th anniversary, in 1934, and we were able to identify FRANK REDMAN, father-in-law of PP JIM DOWNIE, JUSTUS HENKES, CHASE WANGLIN, HAP GILMAN, BOB LEONARD SR – father of CAROL COLLINS, ANGUS CAVANAUGH (our Charter President), JOE VALENTINE, who owned and operated Desmonds, and BOB CAMPBELL, who for so long wrote the Windmill. From where I was sitting, I couldn’t see the photos, but I do remember being in one where I had a mustache. Nobody liked it but me, and when my daughter – then about fifteen – told me it made me look older, off it came! Buffet lunch will start at noon, with the photo set for 12:30 – so don’t be late!

The first meeting of the month is Birthday Time, with the following suspects: SANDY SANDERSON led off on the 2nd, in San Antonio. HARLAN LEWIS choose Redlands, on the 8th – and since that is today, his fine would have been doubled had he been present! PP RON LYSTER also liked the 8th (and somehow escaped the double fine), arriving in Whittier. Our Honorary Member BOB LUSK came along in Los Angeles on the 10th, while BOB FLICK choose Buffalo on the 21st. DENNIS CORNWELL arrived in St. Johns, Michigan on the 26th, while BRIAN BUMPAS got us back to LA on the 27th. Last of the January’s was LILLIAN KLIEWER, and she choose New York, on the 28th. All those present were suitably serenaded, plus being gifted.

PP BOB LUSK, now an Honorary Member, came forward to outline his term as President in 1968/69. BOB began by stating how proud he was to be a Rotarian, and added that WVRC was the best club, period. The International Convention that year was in Mexico City, and the Theme was Law and Order. During the period 1962 to ’68, crime had increased by 40%, so there were several speakers who dwelt on that subject. When the Boy Scouts of Mexico paraded in with the flags of all the countries represented, it was a real thrill. Two major subjects came up – first was a loosening of the requirement that your business had to be in the Club’s geographic area – this was expanded to include either your residence OR business address. The subject of women joining came up – but it took another twenty years for that to finally happen.

BOB arranged for a Mariachi Band to serenade us at his first meeting, with MAX LICHTENBERGER seeing that we had an excellent Mexican buffet. One of the changes since that time is that we are finally starting to publicize the good works of Rotary – and we have a lot to be proud of. That long ago, RI had about 625K members – today we have twice that many. We had 125 members, lost five, and brought in ten, so we had a net gain of five overall. Classification was strictly enforced at that time, with only one member of a given business category allowed – and of course that is no longer the case.

Bob noted that we averaged five Visiting Rotarians per meeting – but PP JIM COLLINS reminded him that lunches were cheaper then!

Of the sixteen high school students who were chosen for the Japanese Student Exchange that year, WVRC had three – Nancy Blickensderfer, Janet Lusk, and Andrea Wolfe. Two years earlier, BOB’S older daughter, Linda, and Cathy Collins represented WVRC – this was the first year of that Exchange, and BOB chaired that program for three years. That long ago, the principals of both UniHi and Emerson were members – and the Student Body President at UniHi was an Honorary Member – this is an idea that should be revived. Social events included an eggnog party, the picnic at HAP GILMAN’S home (complete with ponies for the kids) and two bus trips to Las Vegan – with an open bar in the bus. It was a busy and successful year, and we thank BOB for reminding us of how things were in 1968/69.

Some quick reminders:

We are collecting old cell phones – they will be turned over to a battered women s shelter, where they are really needed. Turn them in to YOE or DON NELSON.

Save April 18th – that’s the date for our Afternoon at the Geffen. It’s a Steve Martin adaptation of the classic comedy “The Under Pants” It’s at 2 p.m. and the tab is $40 including refreshments afterward.

And don’t forget – the group photo next week is at 12:30!

SHANE WAARBROEK was up next with his Craft Talk. I introduced him briefly, noting that he was born in Glendora, where I attended the Glendora Military Academy.

SHANE began by quoting “The Man in the Arena” which was written by Teddy Roosevelt, and stresses the need to strive, whatever the final result. The man who fails while daring greatly is a man to be commended. SHANE attended Glendora High, where he was on the track team, and at UCLA, became a member of the same fraternity that I belonged to, Delta Sigma Phi. He held six different positions within the fraternity, including President, but was interrupted when the driver of a car he was riding in went to sleep, and off the road. His neck was broken, so he spent six months in a neck brace, unable to turn his head. This gave him time to contemplate where he was and where he was going, plus lots of time to watch TV news and read.

There were three major reasons why he joined Merrill Lynch. First, he enjoys helping people, and that is certainly an important part of his job. Taking time to understand the needs of his clients, bearing in mind what their future needs may be, is a challenge he enjoys. And he feels that financial teaching is almost ignored, and this basic knowledge needs to be emphasized. He loves to ski, and has had a condo in Mammoth for the past 13 years. Photography is a major hobby, having been in 46 of the 50 states. His grandmother, now in her 70’s, has driven him across country several times. They are planning a book on the Oregon Trail, for which he has taken the photos, and she will write the copy. He climbed Mt. Whitney, with just the one overnight enroute, getting back down at 8 p.m!

Why did he join Rotary? SHANE wants to be involved with the community, and my telling him of our leadership in the eradication of Polio was an example he particularly liked. He likes our big goals, and is seeking closer involvement. At this point, LENNY FRIEDMAN pointed out that he had a nice engagement ring which SHANE should be considering for his girlfriend of the past three years – and when LENNY mentioned it again, someone in the audience noted that he really wanted to sell that ring! This did seem like an opportunity for a fine, but none was immediately forthcoming – stay tuned, maybe? Seriously, SHANE, you gave us some insights into what is important to you, and all of us in WVRC should find some ways to harness all that energy.