The good news is that we had about the same attendance as our average at the Bel Air Hotel – and I confess to being worried that our regular attendees wouldn’t all get the word about going to the Luxe these next two weeks.  There is no bad news, but some sad news, which we’ll get to shortly.


PP MIKE NEWMAN led the Pledge, preceding it by expanding on the known political affiliations of Senor RUDY.  This went on long enough that some were heard wondering if this was the program, or whatever.  Anyway, for what I think may be the first time, we had FOUR song leaders, all of who were working a cappella.  These included PP JIM DOWNIE, LENNY FRIEDMAN, Rotaract member RONEN NAZARIAN, and JACK HARRIS. True to his announcement last week, Senor RUDY had us sing the first TWO verses of  America, helped along by song sheets – and I leaned that the chorus is different on Verse Two!  TONY MARRONE gave the Invocation, first allowing us to be seated.  “So far today, Lord, I’ve done all right”, then listing the many unnice things all of us slip into doing.  “But in a few minutes, Lord, I’m going to get out of bed”.  Well done,TONY, and all of us can identify with these thoughts. 


LENORE MULRYAN – who was the first person to arrive at the Luxe today - couldn’t, however, find any Visiting Rotarians – not surprising, since how in the world would they have known where to look? BRUCE ROLF brought Marie, our only guest but a welcome addition, of course.  There began a series of announcements, and this was the only sad part of the meeting, as I mentioned earlier.  I brought to everyone’s attention that Timmy Collins, grandson of Carol and Jim, has passed away yesterday.  Timmy, son of Kelly and Patricia, had battled Leukemia for the last twenty two months – was even in remission earlier this year – but the disease resumed recently.  He was seven years old, and Jim and Carol were there.  Memorial donations should be made out to LLUCH Foundation, 11234 Anderson St, Suite 1816, Loma Linda, CA 92354, and an acknowledgement will be sent to Kelly and Patricia.  PP HOMER NEWMAN next came forward to announce the passing of our Rotary Angel, VIRGINIA GANDY.  VIRGINIA had been ill for some time, and these last six months she was confined to bed.  She asked to be cremated, and her ashes will be deposited in the Garden at Westwood Cemetery, alongside the ashes of her father, JOHN SANDMAN, one of our Charter Members who died just after he turned one hundred.  She has specifically asked that no memorial or service of any kind occur, please.  Westwood Village Rotary was one of her many charities and we will continue to be remembered in her will. We have lost another good friend.


In a needed change of pace, CHRIS BRADFORD was asked by Senor RUDY if he had anything to say about the upcoming District Breakfast.  His specific reply was, “No, I don’t, Rudy” – which got a rousing reception.  Anyway, there WILL be a District Breakfast, maybe even this month, so stay tuned, please.  Senor RUDY then began what to me was an unclear explanation of something he is planning to put on our website, apparently.  He wants us to send him photos of local places, which he can then publish and choose someone each week to identify the specific place shown.  If the answer is correct, well and good – if not, a fine!  He asked those who have email to raise their hands, and at least six of us complied (amid mutterings of “This is risky”).  However, the joker here is that there are degrees and degrees of “having email”, with the knowledge level of the email participants varying widely.  He fingered PP JIM DOWNIE, asking if he had looked at the website recently. JIM said he had – but the acoustics were such that the rest of that conversation was not clear to me, I’m sorry to report.  It did come out at the end that PP JIM was fined ten bucks as the first culprit of the email project.


Señor RUDY then reminded us that he wants to increase the participation of our wonderful Rotary Auxiliary in our activities, and suggested that anyone with ideas on that subject should talk to Board members, please.  Should they, for instance, all become Honorary Members? Note that the Board will be meeting before our next regular meeting, specifically on Tuesday the 13th of July.  Señor RUDY then instructed us at each table to discuss where we stood on the issue of our meeting place.  This engendered some worthwhile conversation, and of course we will be discussing nothing else at our meeting on the 22nd, which will be a Club Assembly. It bears repeating that this is a very important decision, and we urge everyone to attend on the 22nd, plus of course voting after that.


PP PETER MORE was recalled to the podium, in order to receive two mementos.  I gave him a loose-leaf bound copy of all the Windmills during his tenure, and RALPH BEASOM presented his annual Album.  This is an amazing and delightful record of all the meetings and other highlights of the year, bound in a lovely album – and it represents a great deal of work on RALPH’S part.  It is a souvenir of great value, and RALPH should be aware that we recognize the effort and ingenuity that goes into its production.  His dedication to this project is one more example of the selfless devotion that so many of our members put into making WVRC the great club that it is.  Thank you, RALPH.


Program Chair SHANE WAARBROEK introduced our Speaker, Dr. Sarosh Motivala.  Dr.Motivala received his BA in Psychology at UCLA, then went on for his PhD to the University of Miami, and returned to UCLA for postgraduate study.  He is associated with the Cousins Center for Psychoneuroimmunology, where he is an Assistant Research Psychologist. This falls under the umbrella of the Neuropsychiatric Institute at UCLA.

His department was started by the publication of a book by Norman Cousins, entitled Anatomy of an Illness.  This was the detailed story of Mr. Cousin’s descent into depression, followed by his working his way back to normal mental health.  He codified a number of helpful attitudes and procedures, and the UCLA Psychiatric staff was so impressed that this soon led to his being given a Professorship.  Speaking personally, I can recall my wife, Clare, going to see him after she was diagnosed with lung cancer in 1984, so this is not a new area of interest in that department.  Among the attitudes and activities that he advocated were assuming a positive attitude about your illness, maintaining an excellent relationship with your physicians, and not keeping any of your feelings bottled up.  In other words, he was teaching and advocating the coordination of psychology issues as they interact with the patient’s health care.


Three years ago the UCLA program received a new Chair, and he led his team in a detailed study of chronic illness and its relationship to depression. With some severely depressed persons, there seemed to be no logical reason for the seriousness of their illness.  Symptoms included their not enjoying life, not being interested in their family, plus poor sleep and eating habits.  They could not concentrate at work, and essentially were unable to function.  This condition can last from just a couple of weeks to many years, and one of the dangers is the risk of suicide.  The questions the Department was pursuing included, how do parts of the brain communicate with each other?  What is the relationship of Immune Cells to this communication?  They are known to be “talkative” so are in touch with the brain – but is this helpful or not?  How do our natural Alarm Systems interact with clinical depression? In Cardio-Vascular studies, it appears that foreign matters tend to accumulate in the arteries.  Thus if the patient is sufficiently depressed, Cardio-Vascular problems can develop.


Stress is a confusing topic.  Most people are stressed from time to time, but they do not become depressed.  In their research, the team found that a thirty to sixty minute exam could show the interaction of blood pressure, heart rate and the amount of adrenaline in the patient’s system.  Apparently, stress response was different many years ago – energy was not shunted to help, as it now tends to do.  The effect of Alarm signaling returns to the question of How to do they talk to other parts of the body?  A phrase that kept coming up was Cytokine, which refers to a signaling molecule of the immune system that allows some cells to communicate with each other and with the brain.


I strongly wish this all made more sense to me than it apparently does.  I can blame it partially on the poor acoustics, but certainly the subject was complex – and of some interest to all of us.  It was unfortunate that there was no time for Q&A, but we do thank Dr. Montvale for introducing us to his special field of Psychology.

                                                                                                YOE, Ernie Wolfe