PP GEORGE DEA came forward to lead the Pledge, noting that we should be especially thankful for living in the country that we do. LENNIE FRIEDMAN and PP JIM DOWNIE were the song leaders, and JIM accompanied on his harmonica! The song was My Country Tis of Thee, also called America, and it’s what we used to sing in elementary school. FLOYD DEWHIRST provided the Invocation, beginning with a brief history of what started after the Civil War and was first called Decoration Day. He added a quote from President Abraham Lincoln’s letter to Mrs Lydia Bixby of Boston, who had lost four sons in the War Between the States. “I cannot refrain from tendering to you the consolation that may be found in the thanks of the Republic they died to save. I pray that our Heavenly Father may assuage the anguish of your bereavement, and leave you only the cherished memory of the loved and lost, and the solemn pride that must be yours to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of Freedom.”. FLOYD added, “Watch over those in our armed forces and their families as they attempt to keep peace and order in a hostile environment…and the Rotarians around the world who are working for peace and to make a better world”. Well done, FLOYD.

RALPH WOODWORTH could find no Visiting Rotarians, but HENRY TSENG had a Special Guest, Sylvia Wu. Since she has attended several times before, we will circularize her in this issue of the Windmill.

PP TED IHNEN came forward to announce that JIM BECHTEL’S daughter, Ellen, passed away this last Monday. She was 14, and was first diagnosed on July 1st l995. Speaking personally, I was the first person to talk to Jim after her diagnosis, and she waged an incredible fight to survive for the last ten years. JIM’S care for her during all this time has been an example of love and devotion that was wonderful to behold. Her Memorial Service will be on Saturday June 5th, at noon. It will be at the Lighthouse Christian Fellowship, 3353 Old Conejo Road, in Newbury Park. As you probably know, Newbury Park is the last community in the Valley, after Thousand Oaks, so it is about three quarters of an hour from Westwood, off the Ventura Freeway.  Please try to attend – it really is the only thing we can do for the family, and it matters.

After introducing the Head Table, Pres. PETER passed along some ‘information’ from BILL EDWARDS. He wanted us all to know that chocolate is a vegetable! It is derived from cocoa beans, and the sugar comes from sugar cane or sugar beets – again, vegetables. Finally, chocolate candy bars contain milk – so they are a health food. And don’t forget that chocolate-covered raisins, cherries, orange slices and strawberries all count as fruit – thus, you may eat as much as you want!

ANN SAMSON reported on her trip to Osaka, for the RI International Convention. For the eighth year, WVRC has provided information on our PLLUS Program at International Conventions. Our booth was manned by ANN, DON and ROZ NELSON, MIKE GINTZ, STEW GILMAN and RUDY ALVAREZ, and they passed out postcards with lots of source information on how our program works, how to start such a program – and of course we can all to be proud of the results we have achieved. This program was sponsored by HENRY TSENG and WALLY FISCHMANN, who provided major financial support. This is one more example of how we, as Rotarians, can make a difference in people’s lives – those with Parkinsons can all benefit from participation in our PLLUS program. ANN concluded by noting that while there is still no cure for Parkinsons, research continues and our Honorary Member, Dr. JEFF BRONSTEIN, is a leader in this effort.

DON NELSON reported on the Convention itself – the first RI International he has attended. There were over 40,000 present, and the Plenary Sessions were at the Osaka Dome, which is similar to the Superdome in New Orleans. Rotary today has about 1.2 million members worldwide, organized into 31,000 clubs – and over 4,000 of those clubs were represented in Osaka. It was reported that the average age of Rotarians was 57, they had been a Rotarian for 15 years, and their average income was $121,000. The Convention after our 100th next year in Chicago will be held in TWO cities – Malmo, Sweden, and Copenhagen, Denmark These cities are adjacent to each other, and connected by both a tunnel and bridge.

DON now switched to a report on the status of our ‘housing’ – that is, where we will be meeting henceforth. The Bel Air Hotel is suggesting a luncheon price of $29, retroactive to May lst, going to $31 on October lst, and to $33 starting in January 05 – this price would be guaranteed for two years, in other words, through 2005 and 2006. There was what might be called a soto voche from the audience (later identified as PP ERIC LOBERG) questioning if these prices included the coming retrofitting. DON appeared rather stumped by this inquiry…As the Board explored other possibilities, the Luxe, where we held our 75th, seemed to be the best alternative. They have offered us lunch at $22, plus $3.00 parking, for a total of $25 – this price will be guaranteed for a year. The Board has now scheduled two trial meeting at the Luxe – July 8th and 15th, and DON suggested that everyone try to attend these meetings. After that time, we will decide between these two locations by a written ballot.This is not a decision to be taken lightly – we have been at the Bel Air for forty two years and it certainly is a classy location. However, their price of $33 seems out of sight – so, let’s look at the Luxe, and then decide. On the general subject of meeting places, the Bel Air will be moving us to their regular Dining Room on June 10th, since they have a conflict and must use our usual location that day. And in honor of President RUDOLPHO ALVAREZ, for his first meeting on July 1st, they will provide a Mexican buffet, which should be excellent.

Prior to the introduction of our Speaker, PP MIKE NEWMAN suggested that having TERRY M. WHITE at the head table provided an excellent opportunity to ask TERRY why HE hadn’t married. – that being the Speakers topic today. Pres. PETER allowed as how this was part of his reasoning in asking TERRY to be at the Head Table. At this point, TONY MARRONE rode to the rescue with his intro of Jean Torrey. Jean is a Kentucky-born horsewoman, and she has taught a number of celebrities to ride – among them, Brook Shields, Farah Fawcett, and Joan Woodward. She was the fashion editor for Movieline Magazine, and is a personal shopper for Saks Fifth Avenue. Her book is entitled, “Why Men Marry and Why Men Don’t”.

Jean pointed out that she usually speaks to women’s groups, and was looking forward to a mixed audience. One of her early statements was that men are all women talk about!

Women no longer need to be married, since today they control most of the money. She believes women should do the choosing, but admits that they don’t always make wise choices. In her book, she lists 35 reasons why men marry, and 28 reasons why they don’t. Men, she says, marry for love, out of lust, because they can afford a trophy wife, or sometimes just for financial reasons, or maybe just to settle down. They don’t marry, for fear of getting hurt, or because they have a Don Juan complex, or they may just be afraid of making a change. “She” doesn’t exist, or they are overly attached to their previous family, and of course they can avoid financial responsibility by staying single.

You should never ask a man if he is married, but it’s OK to ask if he is single. Other questions – how does he like to spend Sundays – what does to want to do ten years from now. These often elicit useful information, she says. A couple of far-out questions –

How do you feel about inviting your ex to lunch with us, and Do you still sleep with your former wife? As a bonus question, is there anything you want to tell me? On that one, the man probably assumes you already know the answers.

Q&A – LENORE MULRYAN, Jackie Kennedy invited all Jack’s former girl friends to lunch.(that’s a statement, not a question). ED GAULD, why do 50% of all marriages end in divorce. “Lie down here on the couch”. But people are living longer, they see and meet more people, and they often expect more than they now have. MAX LICHTENBURGER, Pick someone in good health and with a good job. RAY ZICKFELD, how do women CEOs find a husband. (no recorded answer) TONY MARRONE, my wife says women are running the world – to which Veneice, who was in the audience, jumped up to point out that that was not exactly what she said…PP MIKE NEWMAN, what advice should I give my teenage daughter as she starts to date. (again, no recorded answer). DON NELSON, it seems for for seniors, it is better NOT to get married. Yes, in some cases that is true. CLARK McQUAY, where whould you meet a good woman. Go where your interests are, and tell everyone you know that you want to get married. The word will spread. BOB FLICK, it seems more difficult now to have reasonable expectations. I pointed out that some men marry because their new wife can drive at night. PP JOHN SINGLETON pointed out that ANNIE and HENRY TSENG have been married for SEVENTY YEARS! PP JIM DOWNIE, will these new conditions affect women’s health. And last, ED GAULD, why are youngsters not getting married earlier. Because they seek instant gratification. I think you can see from the above that the subject was board, and we looked it all over.

Two final thoughts – it was great to have BILL MICHAEL back with us – we missed you, BILL. And remember Ellen Bechtels service on Saturday, June 5th, please.

YOE, Ernie Wolfe