PP MIKE NEWMAN was the head honcho, and while today IS Tax Day, and thus CPA’s are the likely members to target, PP MIKE felt it might be more interesting to honor our lawyers. Now, let it not be said that this was perhaps self-serving, since the theme was returned to several times, but it was, indeed, fun.

First up was – surprise – an attorney, PP STEVE SCHERER, who was to present an Invocation. PP STEVE began be noting that in the many times he had been at the podium, he was missing PP HOWARD SISKEL – and he will continue to be missed.

STEVE first pointed out that the Internal Revenue Code is about ten times the size of the Bible – but it doesn’t contain even one word of Good News! Next to being shot at and missed, nothing is as satisfying as an income tax refund. He then quoted Will Rogers, “The income tax has made more liars than golf”. His prayer, which followed, was well done, asking for wisdom for our leaders, and that those men and women in uniform can come home safely. SALLY BRANT led the Pledge. The song was led by PP JIM DOWNIE on the keyboard, assisted by LENNY FRIEDMAN and JACK HARRIS. But before we began, some really strange noises emanated from his keyboard, which led PP MIKE to point out that JIM had a new toy, and it seemed only fair that this should cost him a hundred big ones. The song was When Irish Eyes Are Smiling, and for those not familiar with the words, the aforementioned Mr. HARRIS stood at the mike and told us each line. We needed the help.

CHRIS BRADFORD could locate no Visiting Rotarians, but RUDY ALVAREZ introduced Sylvia Fogelman, who is the Founder and Executive Director of the Southern California Foster Family and Adoption Agency. You will recall my earlier report that RUDY has ‘adopted’ Jaime Navarro, and has been helping him for almost three years. RUDY, again I must tell you that such support and encouragement is wonderful to see.

We were reminded that Bill Michael took a couple of falls, but is back home and getting better – give him a ring, anytime. And this Sunday at 2 p.m. some WVRC members will be attending the Geffen to see “Underpants”. This will be followed by refreshments at a local law firm, nearby, whose name escapes me at the moment. DON NELSON reminded us that the District Conference is coming up, the weekend of the 30th of April through the 2nd of May. It will be at the Costa Mesa Hilton, and our club is hosting the opening session on Friday the 30th. We will be needed between 9 a.m. and 10:15 to act as welcoming hosts and to support Pres. PETER who will be making a presentation. Please contact DON if you can go. OK? RUDY then noted that there is a District Assembly this Saturday, 0745 until noon, in Carson. It is important for all new Board Members and Officers to attend, as the training provided will be most worthwhile.,

PP MIKE then returned to his Lawyers theme, reminding all that the Auxiliary had their monthly session downtown this past Tuesday, touring the Courthouse and visiting a couple of trails which were underway. He then pointed out that lawyers, if they do their job well, see a client only when wills need to be changed – whereas accountants get you EVERY year. And this isn’t just once a year, but several times. Indeed, it does become obvious that CPA’s have a much stronger hold on their clients than do lawyers – and such holds cost money, of course.

This talk of money led to our three-man panel of attorneys coming forward to tell lawyer jokes. First up was MARK BLOCK, who contended that his clients could claim reduced capacity, since HE was their attorney. He then announced his second joke…PP RON LYSTER was up next, and he claimed he was reporting on some questions and phrases used by MIKE NEWMAN in cross examinations. “Is it true that when a person dies in his sleep he doesn’t know about it until the next morning?” “Were you present when your picture was taken?” “Was it you or your younger brother who was killed in the War?” “How far apart were the vehicles at the time of the collision?” – but you get the picture. BOB FLICK stepped forward as the final panelist. While there may be some question if Mark Twain actually said this, “The fundamental problem with lawyer jokes is that lawyers don’t think they are funny – and no one else thinks they are jokes.”. With a doctor, engineer and lawyer debating who had the oldest profession, the lawyer came on last, asking “Who do you think created the chaos?”. There were two guys ballooning across the U.S., but they finally had to admit they were lost. They agreed to drop down closer to earth so they could ask directions, and the first man they saw told them, “You’re in a balloon, about a hundred feet in the air”. One of them immediately identified their ‘guide’ as a lawyer, and his companion asked why. “Because the information he gave us was 100% correct, but totally useless’. This was followed by some lawyer jokes from the audience, some of which were quite good – and it was certainly an entertaining idea.

TONY MARRONE introduced his friend, our speaker, Dr. James Salz. Dr. Salz got his BA at Ohio Wesleyan University, his medical degree at Duke, and he did his internship and residency at USC. He served in the Navy as a Staff Ophthalmologist, and when he returned to private practice began to specialize in laser surgery. He and TONY are golf buddies, and Dr. Salz has operated on many of TONY’S friends, plus his sons. He roots for Duke in basketball, SC in football, and UCLA when they aren’t playing USC.

Dr. Salz illustrated his talk with some wonderful slides. However, I should confess right now that it is a lot tougher to describe slides than it is to record what is being said – that being off my chest, here goes, OK? The three major eye problems that occur are all associated with getting older – of those over 65, at least one in three have some visual loss. He showed a droopy eyelid, and noted that Medicare will pay for this repair, since it interferes with the function of the eye. The characteristics that tend to put you in line for macular degeneration include aging, fair skin, and a family history of the disease. There are two types – dry and wet, and dry is more common, and difficult to treat. The wet variety is treatable by lazar, and diet helps – stop smoking, eat fruits and vegetables, and take antioxidants.

Glaucoma is the 2nd most common eye problem. One symptom is that you lose peripheral vision, and this can be treated by taking eye drops, just one per day. With acute glaucoma, you know you have it right away, and it can be cured.

The 3rd largest eye problem is cataracts. Surgery is quite helpful here, and he showed a video of what actually is done. This operation takes form ten to twenty minutes, and the results are 90% successful, with most people seeing 20/40 or better. A leading factor here is diabetes. The cost of this surgery is about $2500 per eye, and it can correct both near-sightedness and far-sightedness.

There were some questions, and I asked how much history they have to know if the operation is a permanent cure. Lazar surgery has been used for fourteen years, and for those forty years or older, it works very well. For those in their 20s or 30s, the eye is still growing, and thus they sometimes need a second operation . Only one person in three thousand has serious complications. It is true that cataracts, glaucoma and macular degeneration can all occur at the same time. But the good news here is that our own ELLIOTT TURNER has had lazar surgery, and thus if you have any really tough questions, just ask ELLIOTT.

Seriously, Dr Salz gave us lots of great information, and we appreciate his being with us.

YOE, Ernie Wolfe