TONY DERYAN led the Pledge, to start us off. LENNY FRIEDMAN and JACK HARRIS took us through America the Beautiful, which is one of our more reliable numbers. Next up was PP RALPH WOODWORTH quoting from Andy Rooney, who always has some wisdom to impart. He started off by allowing us to sit – and then began by “I’ve heard…” and giving a whole bunch of good reminders. Among them, “When just one person says, “You made my day, it makes my day”, “Never turn down a gift from a child”. “Everyone wants to live at the top of the mountain, but the real joy is in striving for the top” and “Ignoring the facts doesn’t change the facts”. Rooney is always worth listening to – thank you, RALPH.

Next, a question of SOME moment – “Did everyone read the Windmill?”. Planted therein were some new Greeting Instructions and Pres. PETER put us to the test. Our Visiting Rotarian was Bill Bestman, from the Marshalltown, Iowa Club, and he is in the Securities business. We followed PETER’S lead, and first greeted the Introducer, TERRY R. WHITE, with a “Hi, Terry” and when he in turn introduced our Visitor, we done good, belting out, “Hi, BILL”. This will be how we do it the rest of the year, so if you weren’t sure how to proceed, now you know! BRIAN BUMPAS introduced his guest, Duke Russell, who founded the Abraham Lincoln Remembrance Center. They provide a star-studded program every 12th of February in the annual celebration of President Lincolns’ actual birthday. We were reminded of what a great role model Abraham Lincoln was, and this quote: “I see what I read, then hear it so I can remember it better. Writing is the greatest invention in the world” and this, with less than one year of formal education! This year, sad to say, his birthday falls on the same day as our meeting next week. Starts at 12 noon at the LA National Cemetery, 950 S Sepulveda, and our own MYRON TAYLOR will give the Invocation.

Some dates that coincide with today’s’ – Adlai E. Stevenson was born in 1900. Norton Simon came along in 1907. And a revelation –Zsa Zsa Gabor admits to 1917, with this quote, “I never hated a man enough to give his diamonds back”! February birthdays were next, starting with LEO TSENG, who picked Shanghai on the 3rd. LENNY FRIEDMAN liked Chicago on the 8th, while ART HENRY came along in Cambridge, Mass on the 11th

Fullerton was where KEVIN KOMATSU arrived, on the 13th (and next week it will be FRIDAY the 13th!), while PDG BILL GOODWYN waited ten days, until the 23rd, with Louisville, KY as the site. Last in February was DONN CONNER, coming in on the 25th in Tulsa.

Some upcoming dates – please note:

All in March – the 4th, Hobby Day – call LEE DUNAYER. 5TH and 6TH, Corazon House project, KACY ROZELLE. On the 26th, Host Hostess for all Visitors, prior to the 75th.

And then the Main Event, our 75th Celebration, at the Bel Air Summit Hotel on the 27th.

But March isn’t done – the District Breakfast will be on the 30th.

April 17th, Rotary Club of Hong Kong Island East (our Sister Club) holds their 50th Anniversary. SHIRLEY and PETER MORE will be there – please join them!

The next day, but back in LA, the Geffen Playhouse, “The Underpants” as adapted by Steve Martin. April 29-May lst, District Conference at the Costa Mesa Hilton, and last, May 23rd to the 26th, the Rotary International Convention in Osaka, Japan. This area of Japan is most historic – and was granted immunity from bombing during WWII so the many ancient wooden structures could be spared. At the Convention, for the 6th consecutive year in a row, we will be showing our Parkinson’s Exercise Program, and all who attend will be asked to mind the booth. RUDY ALVAREZ is the man to see.

Our Wine Tasting, scheduled for this May 16th, has been postponed until next year.

Two final notes – I NEED HELP, PLEASE!

We are seeking addresses for a number of people who we would like to invite to the 75th Celebration. They will be listed in a separate email today, and I urge you to give me ANY addresses you may have – either phone (310) 277-3910 or Erniehisself@aol.com.

And, I am missing three Windmills – if you collect them, I would like to make a copy for the following dates; 25 Sept 2003, 4 Dec 2003 and 8 Jan 2004. Thanks in advance for any help you can provide, OK?  [Note from Webmaster:  Obviously, YOE hasn't looked at the website!]

Our Honored Guest was District Governor John Colville, who spoke next. DG John gave some advance info about the District Conference starting on April 29th in Costa Mesa. The Theme will be the Fifties – and as John pointed out, many of us were in our prime at that time! It sounds like a lot of fun, so save the date – and next week I’ll bring along the Applications. The District Governor also had two presentations to complete – these were set for his Official Visit to the Club on August 21st, but the recipients could not be present then. These were Elder Statesmen Awards, furthering his Theme of Lending a Hand. Our two most deserving candidates were SANDY SANDERSON and PP HOWIE HENKES. This presentation was very well received, with prolonged applause for each of them. Pres. PETER then presented DG John with our present collection of used cell phones, which will be refurbished and passed out to women who have been abused by their partners. So keep the cell phones coming, please.

KACY ROZELLE came forward to introduce our Speaker, Mike O’Hara. Mike has had a hobby of repairing and building houses in Mexico for twenty five years. His earlier career was as a probation officer, and when they started volunteering in Mexico, they only repaired existing houses – most of which were really just poor shacks, made of pallet trays, tar paper and often, cardboard. They began to tear down the shacks, and that is when Corazon really started. For the last twelve years, Mike has been coordinating the work of Corazon, going down at least once a month, etc. The houses that are now being built are on a pre-poured concrete slab, 16 by 20 feet, but they have no water, or electricity. Still, they are wonderful improvements over what the families are now living in. Home Depot has opened in Tijuana, so the needed lumber and other materials are delivered to the building site.

Q&A – Someone asked how the families are chosen to receive a house. There are several Community Centers which are operating, and they need volunteers to help. They have a Preschool, and there is a waiting list to be a helper there, since they have running water and a wash machine, which the volunteers can use. All volunteers have an ID number, and their working hours are kept in a computer. Those who work the most, plus those who have the greatest need, get the houses. Mike pointed out that what they are building is illegal, even in Mexico – only one door, wire over the windows (to keep them from being broken) and the lack of sanitary facilities – but again, a vast improvement over what they have now. JACK HARRIS – What tools are needed. Corazon provides some power tools, so all you might bring along would be a hammer (and gloves). Someone asked, do you build one a week. Yes, and Rotary has been very helpful, along with the Episcopal Church, who pay many of the building supply charges. DON NELSON – Do you have a plan for the house. Yes, there is a lead builder, plus ‘blue shirts’ who are experienced Corazon workers. PP JIM COLLINS –What is the cost of building? Each house costs $5500, and the actual lumber and supplies cost about $2000 – the rest is overhead. Mike told the very touching story of a 16-year old girl who kept bugging her parents for a phone in her room. She went on a Corazon project, and now sends them a check for $40 every month, in lieu of her phone – she saw real need in Tijuana. BRIAN BUMPAS – Do there families come to the U.S. Yes, most of them do. DAN PRICE, telling a story about Mae West – the punch line being, “I didn’t work in Tijuana for nothing”. SALLY BRANT – Is there any landscaping. No, since they must buy their water – it’s too expensive. STEVE LORE – Do you build outhouses. We used to but it didn’t work – they now just dig a hole, and it seems to work OK. Corazon doesn’t build in January or February since the rain makes the roads impassable. RAY ZICKFELD, Are there serious health problems. No, they are healthy people, but that need is simply not being met. Mike O’Hara, thanks for being with us – your message was well received.

YOE, Ernie Wolfe