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1st Quarter Program Chairs:
Christopher Gaynor and Tony Marrone
 AUGUST 18, 2005   

August 25:
"101 & 405 Interchange"

September 1:
"Students Run LA"

Program for August 25
"101 & 405 Interchange"
Ed Andraos & Marco Ruano, CalTrans

Coming Programs
September 1st - "Students Run LA"
Marsha Charney & Paul Trapani

Sunday, September 25th, 2:00 to 5:00pm
Annual Rotarian picnic in the gardens and by the pool at the home of Eloise Siskel. Swimming, Games, Refreshments and Fellowship. Just relax and  have fun. Please bring salads for 4 if last name A thru M. Dessert for 4 if last name N thru Z.

Yes, we began with a full house – so full, that the supply of lunch tickets gave out (although a full roll was sitting in my office – but that’s another story).  Anyway, CATHY REZOS led the Pledge.  Next up was LENNY, and accompanying him was JACK HARRIS – the song was America the Beautiful, so chosen by LENNY because we had so many beautiful women with us today!

PP MIKE NEWMAN gave the Invocation, and it begins to appear that this gives one license to broaden the subject matter, one might say. MIKE started off with some remarks about his long-standing devotion to BILL BLOOMFIELD JR, who of course was present. This led to a long and touching tale dealing, I guess, with pre-marital fidelity, or something like that. This rambled on to the start of a comparison between Baptists and Catholics, but ended up Methodist, and the prayer was from their pre-school.  “Thank you, God, for food and friends. Amen.”

President DON then explained why there was no head table. As RI President Carl-Wilhelm Stenhammar noted in his opening remarks when he spoke at UCLA last week, he finds that most clubs do not have head tables, thus allowing the ‘brass’ to sit among those less exalted, all together below the podium  Whether this change will continue I don’t know, but, speaking personally, you may have noticed that I seldom list those seated ‘above us’. Stay tuned.

We had at least four Visiting Rotarians with us today. They included Fernando Michaels, whose category is not-for-profit Organizations, and who belongs to the Bogota Centro Historico Club in Columbia.  Also present was Danny Kim, from the Sherman Oaks/Studio City Club – he is in financial services and is a partner of LEE DUNAYER’S. The other two belong to the Manhattan Beach Rotary Club – one is our PP, BILL BLOOMFIELD JR, and the other is his Brother-in-Law, Jim Hunter. They have to do with the laundry business, it appears.  Wayne Spencer was with us – he is the Chief of Police in Inglewood, belongs to that Club – He is hosting one of our Japanese students.

There were enough other visitors that they deserve a paragraph of their own, I believe. PEGGY BLOOMFIELD stood to introduce her several guests. First came two grandchildren, Rory Hunter and Mandy Hunter Gregory. Joanne Hunter is PEGGY’S daughter. PEGGY’S good friend, Marilyn Allaire, was there, along with another good friend, MARIE ROLF, who is BRUCE’S wife.

PP PETER MORE brought Shirley, and PP GEORGE DEA was accompanied by Janice,who is also the current President of our wonderful Rotary Auxiliary. JACK HARRIS, in addition to his piano-playing, brought along his wife, Pauline. PP RALPH WOODWORTH was accompanied by his wife, Bettye, and they were with Eloise Siskel. President DON reported that he had spoken with Pat Anderson, and she reports that PDG ANDY is doing very well after his four-way heart surgery this past Monday. He is at Santa Monica Hospital, 1250 16th St, SM 90404 and cards would be most welcome. No visitors yet, please.

CHRIS BRADFORD rose to remind us of the Rotary Picnic, hosted as always by Eloise Siskel – it will be on Sunday, Sept 25th.  And, as a past winner of our very competitive Golf Contest, I would remind all who are so inclined that practice does, indeed, make perfect. PP PETER MORE, who is still the undisputed Champion watermelon seed spitter, suggests that private lessons are still available, but the remaining instruction slots are fast disappearing.

NICK KAHRILAS was called on the carpet to explain his recent generosity to the Badge of Honor Memorial Foundation. NICK explained that the Foundation was created to assist the widows of Firemen and Policemen who died in the 9/11 tragedy in New York.

ED GAULD rose to introduce our five Japanese Exchange Students, who have been visiting WVRC today. They are Yuku Yokomatsu, 20, Yurie Komoruya, 15, Shouno Nishime, 17, Masae Koharazawa, 17 and Yui Kojima, 15.  This morning they toured UCLA, with ED estimating their interests and choosing visits to the Hall of Fame, Pauley Pavilion, watching some football practice, the Tennis Center and the Gym with its myriad weight and strength machines. They did get to the Library – and if any of you haven’t seen it since its major facelift after the earthquake, it is worth a visit to the Main Reading Room, in particular. Due to a screw-up by YOE, their sweatshirts and WVRC flags were missing, but that was corrected before the end of the day. After lunch they toured the Getty, which was enjoyed by all. Several of us combined to drive them back to their homes – President DON, PEGGY BLOOMFIELD, ED, of course, and YOE. The two Turkish students called in sick, so we didn’t see them. One Editorial Comments, if I may: We must involve more members in hosting these students. The real objective of any exchange program is for the guests to meet local people, and there wasn’t enough participation by our members. We can – and should - do better than that, OK?

President DON has come into possession of a Thank You letter from the Chairman of the Foundation which is very complimentary to NICK and his donation from his firm, Charitable Ways.  Apparently there were five paragraphs in the letter, and DON was asking guidance on what might be appropriate to charge for each paragraph. The established Advisor in such matters is GEORGE COX, and somehow the figure of a hundred bucks PER PARAGRAPH came forth. This comes to five hundred big ones, and NICK apparently agreed – Good For Him!

PP STEVE DAY was called forward – and that is always scary, since it usually costs money.  In this case, President DON presented PP STEVE with the Plaque naming him as our Rotarian of the Year – for which he was nicely applauded.

TONY MARRONE then introduced our Speaker, PEGGY BLOOMFIELD.  He was asked to make it short, so he noted that she was a native Californian, and had been active in WVRC as a member of our Auxiliary since her husband , BILL, joined the club in 1966.  Named an Honorary Rotarian after BILL died, she was sponsored for active membership by PP STEVE SCHERER.

Peggy began by thanking the Club for asking her to join. She was born in Escondido, on a citrus ranch. She attended the local schools, then received an honors scholarship to Occidental College, where she started with a major in drama. This didn’t appear to have very promising economic prospects, so Peggy transferred to UCLA and switched to a business major.  When she graduated, she enrolled in Wright/McMahon Secretarial School, and landed a job with a defense plant as an assistant to the Purchasing Agent.

When the War ended, her boss, Frank Baum went into independent sales management. Peggy ran his office – she WAS his office! About this time she met BILL. He was older, had been married and was now divorced, and had a daughter, Carol.  They started dating, and “He treated me like a Queen.” Four months later they were married.

Both of them were interested in going into business for themselves. BILL had worked his way through UCLA by working for the Telephone Company, and they happened to meet the local sales manager for Westinghouse Washers. The only other company making this new product was Bendix, and the Bendix tended to skate around the room on the spin cycle.  Besides, the Westinghouse model was adaptable to coin operation. So they scraped together some money, and bought fifty machines. BILL then took off for Westinghouse, to learn as much as he could about the equipment. (He was such a quick study that he soon began helping them with the instruction course).  By the time the fifty machines arrived in LA, they all had a 'home'.

This was the start of Web Service Company – named for BILL’S initials, that is.  They grew quickly, opening a branch in San Diego, then in Las Vegas, and soon up and down the entire West Coast. Hawaii and the Sun Belt were added – all the way to Florida.

At this point they had 300,000 machines on location, and they had built a new headquarters in Redondo Beach. Of course, when dryers appeared, they were added to the coin operation.

PEGGY particularly remembers two events as they expanded. One of their good customers liked to complain – and he always chose PEGGY to hear him out.  She finally tired of this, and said (this is an exact quote), “You are not a nice man and I will not speak to you again” and she hung up on him. He didn’t quit ordering, but he DID switch to BILL with his complaints. The other event was when she was the one who discovered that their accountant (and she quickly pointed out that this wasn’t DON NELSON) was playing games with the books. He was fired immediately.

Web Service is a closely held company. Many family members have worked there, and some still do. The firm has recently sold off about one third of their machines, planning to concentrate on the markets in California, Hawaii and Nevada. They have hired an outsider, for the first time, to be President, since BILL JR is now semi-retired. PEGGY is still on the Board of Directors, attends meetings, and maintains her long-time interest in the company.

They own some real estate, under the name Baron – which is the name of one of their dogs. Joanne Hunter, PEGGY’S daughter, is married to Jim Hunter, who is a Past President of the Manhattan Beach Rotary  Club. – she attended the University of Arizona (and some of you may remember the elaborate schemes both she and BILL JR tried to pull on each other’s birthdays)  BILL JR graduated from the University of California at Berkeley, and while there he started a profitable sideline renting window refrigerators to college students. He is married to Patty Jones of Tennessee. Carol attended the University of Kansas, and lives in Topeka with her husband, Jim Hensel. These three have provided EIGHT grandchildren, along with some great-grandchildren.

She and BILL did lots of travelling. BILL had his own plane, and they flew with our beloved PDG SAM WANOUS and his wife, Martha – the stories are legion. Travelling as much as they did, the Bloomfields were stranded in Egypt, for instance, when war broke out with Israel. They tried to be the first group to circumnavigate Greenland, but were stuck in the ice and thus didn’t make it all the way around.

PEGGY was active with our Auxiliary as soon as BILL joined WVRC in 1966 – she has served as President, in 1974. One of her fond memories of that year when SAM WANOUS was President, was their decision to switch jobs for one meeting. This, of course was before women were permitted to join Rotary. She has been a Board Member of the State Central Committee of one of our major parties, and is now a Trustee at her church. She also chairs the UCLA Chancellor’s Cabinet, and is a Board Member of the UCLA Women in Philanthropy. She and BILL were honored two years ago by the Concern Foundation for their efforts to fight cancer, plus BILL was recognized for his anti-smoking billboard which still operates on Santa Monica Blvd.

Her final comment was to point out how many of her relatives have belonged to Rotary. This includes her father, her uncle, brother, son and son-in-law, all of who follow the Service Above Self theme. She is proud to be a Rotarian – and PEGGY, we are proud to have you with us.

Earlier this week, President DON had spoken with Fernando Michaels, who belongs to the Bogota Centro Historico Club   He asked permission to present their plan to combat Chagas Disease, which is endemic to Columbia. This terrible disease is spread by small blood-sucking insects, who land on any bare skin of  persons who are sleeping at night. These insects inject a tiny amount of a novocaine-like substance which keeps the person unaware of the insertion of their blood-sucking proboscis. This allows them to gorge themselves with human blood, but also infects the ‘donor’, and can be fatal over time. Mr. Michaels is seeking our help in providing a Rotary Matching Grant to help the people of Columbia subdue this disease.  It is certainly a worthwhile project, and we agreed that our Board would seriously consider joining this effort.

—YOE, Ernie Wolfe


Don A. Nelson

President Elect
Michael Gintz

Vice President
Christopher Bradford

Sean M. McMillan

Gordon A. Fell

Executive Secretary
Ernie Wolfe

Past President
Rodolfo Alvarez

Community Service Chair
Margaret Bloomfield

International Service Chair
Edwin S. Gauld

Membership Chair
Shane Waarbroek

Vocational Service Chair
Lee J. Dunayer

Youth Service Chair
Cathy Rezos



Carl-Wilhelm Stenhammar

    Ingo Werk