Stem Cell Research
Rotarian Alonzo Bell
Dr. Owen Witte
Stem Cell Research Chief at UCLA
Dark for Thanksgiving
Dark - Joint Meeting with Santa Monica
Rotary Club on Dec. 5
Joint Meeting with Santa Monica Rotary Club
Christmas Shopping Trip - Contact Mike Yousem
TMARCIA and RICK BROUS at WVRC on November 6th
MARK BLOCK led the Pledge. The Invocation was by ED WRIGHT.
“As we gather here today as members of Rotary, we pray that we are ever mindful of opportunities to render our service to fellow citizens and to our community. Keeping in mind always the enduring values of life, exerting our efforts in those areas and on those things upon which future generations can build with confidence. Let us continue to strive to make a better world”.
There were no Visiting Rotarians, but we did have guests. They included SUNNY with LENNY, of course. PP STEVE SCHERER introduced Christina Atanassov, a former Rotarian from Bulgaria, who attended with her husband, Bogdan. She is a Special Guest. Although not introduced, since they got there late, Robin Miller was the guest of ELLIOTT TURNER. Special Guest Julie Ware was introduced she is sponsored by JR DZUBAK.
November Birthdays were saluted. The first date preferred was the 4th, by both Dr. SUSAN ALLEN and STEVE LORE. SUSAN liked Detroit, while STEVE favored Los Angeles. The next duo was PP TOM LENEHEN and MIKE YOUSEM, on the 6th. (And since that’s today, shouldn’t they rate a double fine? See, that’s what happens when you don’t give the dates for each one!) Anyway, TOM chose Evanston, and MIKE preferred Omaha. STEVE PETTISE selected the 10th, in Elgin, which I’m sure you know is in Illinois. JOHN WOODALL preferred the 13th, back in good old LA. Meanwhile, HENRIETTA KNAPP-LIAN went for the 16th, in Santa Ana. Dr JEFF BRONSTEIN favored the 18th, in Albany, NY. NEVIN SENKAN moved us to Ankara, Turkey, on the 20th. LEE DUNAYER liked the 21st, back in LA, and while PP RON WANGLIN also chose LA, his date was the 23rd. AL BELLANCA and DWIGHT HEIKKILA both liked the 27th, AL did his thing in Buffalo, while DWIGHT favored Waukegan, IL. PP DON NELSON liked the 28th, in San Diego. And our newest member, MARCIA ROUSE, came along on the 29th, in Newark, NJ. LENNY FRIEDMAN led us in our rendition of Happy Birthday, and they all signed the books being given to the library.
Those seated at the Head Table included PP TOM LENEHEN, MARK BLOCK,
and GORDON FELL, plus MARCIA and RICK BROUS. PP TOM reminded us of the special collections being shown at the Getty, where he is a Volunteer. As you probably know, admission is free, with the only charge being for parking. MARK BLOCK reminded us that UCLA, in particular, and the community in general, owes the University of Tennessee. First, we beat them in football, and now, their assistant basketball coach has taken over as Head Women’s Coach for the Bruins. Mark then made a piteous plea for help in finding a new Football Coach. I suggested PP BOB WESSLING, who is not only available but would come cheap. To say that he is waiting by the phone might be a minor overstatement, but just look at his experience with DePauw he’s obviously an impressive one might also say, dark horse contender!
GORDON FELL provided some history of our association and support for the now 3-year old Westwood Library. We began with a $10K contribution to the Friends of the Library, plus providing them with several books each month as birthday presents from our members who continue to age. Most recently, we have given them another $1,000, along with the monthly books. And our library is now the tenth busiest in the whole Los Angeles system of over seventy libraries. (An editorial comment here, if I may the only trouble with these three announcements is that they could have been made WITHOUT producing a fine at any time we oughta have some more racy stuff when it’s fine-free time!)
PP STEVE SCHERER came forward to ‘pass along’ two stalwart new members who have escaped the dreaded Yearling Table. They are RON KLEPETAR and MARK KRAUSE, who have served their appointed time and thus are released to other tables. Each of them repeated the words of our immortal WVRC song, which now allows them this freedom of choice. Perhaps it is not asking too much if we could hope they will not bring any of the known rowdiness of that table from which they have escaped when they settle in elsewhere…Next up was JOHN HEIDT, who survived his ten-day ‘open-season’ and thus becomes our newest member. He was greeted with a standing ovation and YOE joins everyone is chorusing, “Welcome Aboard, John”.
NOTE Westwood Village Rotary Auxiliary Meeting
Wednesday, November 12th, 11:30 at the home of Sally and Homer Newman, 1074 Chantilly Road in Bel Air. Dr. Victoria Steele of UCLA Library’s Special Collections will discuss this unique collection and bring along letters from Queen Victoria and Abraham Lincoln. Margie Downie will take your reservation.
Our first Inspirational Moment came from President SEAN. Walking into the pub, Paddy said to the bartender, “Pour me a stiff one, Ian.." I just had another tiff with the little woman.” “Oh yeah, “ said Ian. “And how did this one end?” “Well, I’ll tell ya now when it was over, “Paddy replied, “herself came to me on her hands and knees, she did.” “You don’t say? Now that’s a switch! What did she say?” She said, “Come out from under that bed, you gutless weasel!”
At this point we were rescued by PP DON NELSON, who provided more Spiritual Enlightenment. It seems that the President of France was sitting in his office when the phone rang. “Hello, Mr Sarkozy” a heavily accented voice said. “This is Paddy down at the Harp Pub in County Clare, Ireland. I am ringing to inform you that we are officially declaring war on you! We voted to reject the Lisbon Treaty!” Well, Paddy,”Sarkozy replied, “This is indeed important news! How big is your army?” “Right now” says Paddy,” there is myself, me Cousin Sean, me next door neighbor Seamus, and the entire darts team from the pub. That makes eleven”. Sarkozy paused, “I must tell you, Paddy, that I have 100,000 men in my army waiting to move on my command.” “Begoora” says Paddy. “I’ll have to ring you back.” Sure enough, the next day Paddy calls again. “”Mr Sarkozy, the war is still on. We have managed to get us some infantry equipment!” “And what would that be, Paddy?” Sarkozy asks. “Well, we have two combines, a bulldozer, and Murphy’s farm tractor.” Sarkozy sighs, amused. “I must tell you, Paddy, that I have 6,000 tanks and 5,000 armored personnel carriers. Also, I have increased my army to 150K since we spoke.” “Saints preserve us!” says Paddy. “I’ll have to get back to you”. Sure enough, Paddy rings back again the next day. “Mr Sarkozy, the war is still on! We have managed to get ourselves airborne! We have modified Jackie McLaughlin’s ultra-light with a couple of shotguns in the cockpit, and four boys from the Shamrock Bar have joined us as well!” Sarkozy was silent for a minute and then cleared his throat. “I must tell you, Paddy, that I have 100 bombers and 200 fighter planes. My military bases are surrounded by laser-guided, surface-to-air missile sites. And since we last spoke, I have increased my army to 200,000!” “ Jesus, Mary and Joseph!” says Paddy, I will have to ring you back”. Sure enough, Paddy calls again the next day. “Top o’the mornin’, Mr Sarkozy. I am sorry to inform you that we have had to call off the war.” “Really, I am sorry to hear that” says Sarkozy. “Why the sudden change of heart?” “Well,” says Paddy, “We had a long chat over a few pints of Guinness and packets of crisps, and we decided there in no way in hell we could feed 200,000 prisoners”.
But there was still time for some history, as we all waited breathlessly. Probably the outstanding event on this particular day in Irish history is that in 1929 the Gaelic League announces expulsion for anyone who attends ‘foreign jazz dances’. But along with this stunner, there were several events worldwide, which make November 6th memorable. 1860, Abraham Lincoln elected as 16th President. 1869, the first formal intercollegiate football game, Rutgers beat Princeton, 6-4. 1917, the Bolshevik revolution began in Russia, Somehow, their calendar made it known as the October Revolution. 1921, the cult of Rudolph Valentino was launched with the release of the silent film, “The Shiek”. I could go on, but mercy deters me…
Lunch then intervened, but we were recalled to the present by the announcement that LENNY and SUNNY have had their THIRD Great-Grandchild, Paige Sloan Walker! And with that, craft talks by MARCIA and RICK BROUS;
RICK was first, since as he explained, we all know that women get the last word!
He reminisced about growing up in Manhattan taking his bike up in the elevator, for instance. He went all the way through high school in Manhattan, and then entered Columbia which wasn’t far away, at 116th Street. (YOE went to Columbia for Midshipmen’s School, so that makes me a great authority, right?) Anyway, Rick graduated with a BA in Economics in 1958, then directly into their MBA program. Finishing his MBA in 1960, he first talked to Saks Fifth Avenue. When they offered him $200 a week, he figured that for a man with an MBA from Columbia, that wasn’t worth considering.
So he started with Abraham & Straus, known in the trade as A&S. They were the most profitable brand in the entire Federated Chain. His first promotion had him in charge of ladies sweaters and scarves, and he went on from there, for a total of ten years. In 1970, after he and Marcia were married, her family company (Gordon’s Appliances) suggested he could do better with them than with A&S. At the time he changed, they had ten smaller stores, all selling major appliances. Under his leadership, this evolved into three ‘Big Box’ stores that being the then NEW concept in retailing. (Local examples would be Best Buy or Circuit City.) As an example of what that huge space could provide, his company had 300 different refrigerators on display! Why go anyplace else we have it all, right here.
Parenthetically, it should be noted that his brother, David, who later joined Macy’s, was the first large national retailer (E.J. Corvette, a major discounter, with 18K employees) to open stores on Sunday. This was in direct opposition to the then-prevalent Blue Laws, which specified what hours and days were permitted for retail activity. Again, YOE has to add that in 1948 I was working as a Trainee for Sears right after college, and even working on Saturdays bothered me but I suspect I wasn’t cut out for retail, anyway
As you probably know, both of them were members-and the first married couple both there and here in the Rotary Club of Madison NJ. Rick was President in 1985-86, and Marcia held the same post in 2006-07. Their club had 104 members, so is similar to our own, which is why they choose us! As an aside, Marcia’s Dad was also a member and Past President of the Madison Club. - guess you could say it runs in the family.
Marcia and Rick moved to Los Angeles this past June, since all three of their children are now here. The oldest is Devorah, who for fourteen years worked in Israel in their developing Green Movement. Once here, she is now a free-lance Green Consultant, advising NGO’s and others who ask how they can best adapt to this new necessity. Their middle daughter is Sharon, who became a fully accredited Rabbi in 2001. She then started her congregation from scratch. Congregation IKAR had over 1,000 worshipers at their recent Holy Day services! Their son, Michael, has been with Yahoo for 2 ? years, and is now a senior executive in their Business Development department.
At this point, Marcia took over. She began by pointing out how she and Rick had raised their children, by example and a lot of table talk. Synagogue activities and traditional reform religious participation were expected. Marcia was active in Brownies, Girl Scouts, Hillel, Take Back the Night, Breast Cancer, Aids and the many related programs. The family took part in marches to DC on social issues. It was a happy and busy time.
Marcia joined Madison Rotary in 1993. They of course continued participating in district activities, and attending international conventions. She told a wonderful story about a ski trip, which began with their new 4-wheel drive Jeep. All was well until they were ready to come home and it died! They were in a relatively remote area, and there wasn’t a local Jeep dealer. However, there WAS a Rotary Club, and sure enough, they were put in touch with someone who could provide access to the parts they so desperately needed.
So wearing your Rotary pin everywhere does make a difference. Both Marcia and Rick are multiple Paul Harris Fellows but in the Madison Club, you don’t buy your membership you earn it. Thus by their active participation, both of them earned more than just one Paul Harris Fellowship. You are rewarded by doing, rather then by just paying. This wonderful expose was followed by a duet, including The Four Way Test and Paul Harris Taught Us How - another FIRST for WVRC!
A final YOE comment we’ve got ourselves a couple of real boomers here!
Let’s consider it our challenge to try to keep up with them.
And two Closing Words of Wisdom
Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity, AND
Just remember that when you don’t know what to do, walk fast and look worried.