DANA WOOD and JIM CRANE at WVRC on March 11th
MARSHA HUNT led the pledge. STEVE PETTISE provided the Invocation, a quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson: “To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; to leave the world a little better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is the meaning of success.” A fine choice, STEVE thanks.
LENNY again strode forward, being advised that this time he was expected to watch all the St. Patrick’s Day celebrations wearing an appropriate, large green hat which ED showed off and LENNY doffed. The song was I Love To Go To Rotary, with song sheets, and we done OK.
We had one Visiting Rotarian, Sally Pai from Santa Monica, and she was the guest of ELLIOTT TURNER. As always, SUNNY was with LENNY. The Head Table was occupied by STEVE PETTISE, DON PARK, JIM CRANE, and DWIGHT HEIKKILA, but none of them wished to make any comments. At this point, MADISON GORITSAN was chosen as having the most appropriate necktie for St. Pat’s Day, and was nicked with a $25 dollar fine. We started off well with March birthdays, when leadoff man PP MIKE NEWMAN picked the 3rd in Santa Monica. However, almost everyone else was MIA, but here they are anyway: TERRY R. WHITE, who seemed to prefer the 4th, in Oceanside. MARIE ROLF jumped to the 9th, in New Orleans, but PP CHRIS GAYNOR brought us back to good ol LA on the 11th that’s TODAY, and it doubles his fine, right? LEAD VRIESMAN preferred the 13th in Janesville, and I know you know that’s in Wisconsin. PP JOHN SINGLETON opted for Salt Lake City on the 14th. PDG ANDY ANDERSON somehow preferred Buffalo, on the 21st. And the string of non-shows was broken by CURT SMITH, who was not only present but admitted to Bakersfield on the 26th. The Rev. MYRON TAYLOR also liked the 26th, but he preferred Goodwill, W. VA. Last was ADELL QUILICO, in Glendale on the 29th. We sang them well, of course.
Prexy ED then announced a number of grants which were approved at the Board Meeting this past Tuesday. $2,000 was for the Westside YMCA, and the actual check was delivered by ED to DON PARK, Westside Y Chairman. $5,000 for Reading To Kids, which will be matched by the same amount from the Jack and Denny Smith Memorial Fund to RTK to promote their Literacy Program. CURT SMITH was pleased with our help and I should add that his Dad’s book is wonderful. CURT still has some copies, just ask, and you will love it. Getting back to money, we voted $1,000 toward Polio Eradication, and I can never resist pointing out that when Rotary undertook this project in 1985, 300,000 people EACH YEAR were contracting Polio. Last year there were just over 1,000! Do you know what that means to almost three hundred thousand people EACH YEAR? Let’s wear our hearts on our sleeves, gang this is truly wonderful. There is a District Project for water supply in India, and we gave $1,400. Our Rotaract Club has over forty members, five of whom are going to the District 5280 Service Project in Ecuador. Briefly, here they are:
- Kency Nittler, President of Rotaract, a former Interactor (that’s the high school club), in her 3rd year in Economics.
- Jennifer Lee, Bio/Anthro Premed major, travelled to South America last year, and this is her 4th year as a Rotaractor, serving as International Chair.
- Diana Gonzalez. Was President of Interact at Venice High. Travelled to Mexico, Guatemala and Europe. 3rd year majoring in Geography/Political Science.
- Tiffany Panlilio. Bio/Anthro major in 3rd year in Rotaract. Was President of Rotaract at El Camino CC. Travelled to Philippines and Mexico.
- Meng Yan Li. Psych/Anthro major in 3rd year second in Rotaract. Has been Professional Development and Social Chair. Studied Frosh year in China.
This trip costs $1,800 we are providing $500 to each of these wonderful kids!
Some health developments:
BRIAN BUMPAS has been very ill with pneumonia, and it is unlikely that he will be able to make any more meetings. His address is The Breakers, 210 E. Ocean Blvd, room 1111, Long Beach, CA 90802 (562) 432-6700. His wife, Pat is also there.
JACK HARRIS is also quite frail. Both DON PARK and CLAWSON BLEAK are taking turns providing him a ride when he can make it. Please be in touch.
Each Rotary Club in District 5280 has been asked to provide transportation for a wheelchair recipient to attend a party this Saturday starting at 11 am, to pick up his own wheelchair. Who else but MARSHA HUNT has stepped forward to be our representative? Thank you, MARSHA!
Two Auxiliary Events-
Tuesday April 13th, a Spring Tea, with PP MIKE GINTZ playing his cello. It is set for the home of CAROL and PP JIM COLLINS, so please save the date. Wednesday May 12th, a Union Station Tour followed by a Dim Sum lunch at the Empress Pavilion in Chinatown. A chartered bus will take everyone, leaving from and returning to the parking next door to Westwood United Methodist Church. Details to follow.
MARCIA BROUS spoke about our newest major project, Water. March 22nd is World Water Day. Walt Parrish of the Fresno Club will be a guest next week, and we will be gathering on next Saturday, the 20th of March, to put together WAPI’s as we have done before. This will be from 0900 until noon in the Library at Marymount High School. Our only problem on this is that UCLA will be on spring break, so we won’t get help from Rotaract so please, SAVE THE DATE, and bring helpers! DEBBY SCHERER is the local contact (310) 476-5946.
RICK BROUS noted that he had just completed forty years of perfect attendance! Since 38 of those years were in another club, he was generously donating a two-dollar bill to WVRC in honor of his time here. This announcement was well received.
DANA WOOD was our first Craft Talker. PP DON NELSON came forward to say something about DANA, but we’ll just let DANA speak for himself, OK? Starting at the beginning, DANA was born in Pasadena on December 24th, 1938. After a couple of years they moved to a ranch in Katella Valley 3 ? miles from Thermal, which is not a large town about 800 residents. His fondest memory of high school was working for a TV repairman, but this led to his transfer to a private school. This is also where he met his future wife, Pat. At the start of his college, he was a double E major, and he and Pat were married after his second year. The next year, President Kennedy suggested he wanted to draft everyone, so DANA outfoxed him and joined the Air Force. He became part of the Strategic Air Command (SAC) flying in B-58s, a Mach Two plane and he worries somewhat about how much he can say publicly about that time. The Cuban Missile Crises cane along as a result, security became a major issue. All the planes were loaded with H Bombs overnight, so watching the Russian ship turn around was a big relief. When his tour ended, having become pretty good at maintaining airplanes, he decided to go back to college and concentrate on photography. He agreed to rebuild the school sound system, since he had good background in Hi Fi and stereo systems - but he knew nothing about the motion picture industry. This came down to problems of synchronization and balancing. The sound and picture are separated right after the shoot, and do not come back together until the final product is assembled in the lab.
He asked for advice on this project from Loren Ryder, of Ryder Sound Service, Inc, and when he came back later, Ryder offered him a job. Dana accepted, figuring this would do until he found something in photography he is still looking! (Laughter here) Ryder Sound was a medium sized outfit, and thus a good place to learn. In movies, the last thing that happens is when the sound is added, and it developed that Ryder needed a lot of rebuilding. He sort of inherited the job. He decided that sound was really provided by a receptor that is very similar to a camera. Seven years later, he then decided he wanted to move on to a major studio, so he went to Warner Bros. Sound Dept.
One of the shooting companies called, and wanted him to come out to the shooting site they wouldn’t tell him why, just to come! When he arrived, he found that their subjects were six attractive models, who weren’t overdressed. The immediate problem was where to hide a mike, which Dana solved by placing it in the small of their back, then to be covered with flesh-colored tape. This solution was greeted with great relief. Dana obviously had solved a highly technical problem.
Another project was with Ella Fitzgerald. Somehow, they needed to determine what frequency would break glass, and in their first six-hour test, at the appropriate time and sound, nothing broke. Since they had hired a PhD and a couple of assistants for this technical matter, Dana first got the Director aside and told him to get rid of these guys. Ella said to him, “I wondered when you would do that.” So she and Dana worked it out.
At some point, Dana met William Friedkin, a very well- known Producer/Director. His first contact with Billie (as Dana called him) was when Friedkin was looking for some kind of sound dampner (EW’s word). He had taken what they had to a lab, and they couldn’t make it silent enough. Dana asked if he could give it a try, and his product worked just fine. Billie said he would be back to see him when they began the final lab work. Two weeks later, Billie called him to the set, and asked if he could make the stage as quiet as his original product. By some legerdemain Dana provided this, and Billie then said he wanted Dana on the set for the rest of the shoot. His boss exploded at this news, but the layer above quickly said, “Give him anything he wants”. This is how Dana found out that Warner’s was doing The Exorcist.
Billie was looking for a strange sound. He didn’t like any of the mikes they had. There was a mobile speaker for use on police cars, and since a speaker could also be a mike, they tried it and when he heard it, he liked it. It was used for the rest of the movie. The devil’s voice was Mercedes McCambridge. Dana claimed she smoked four packs of cigarettes daily, thus get this making her voice very gravelly! Then she wanted to be tied in a chair they did, but she could escape, so that wouldn’t do. They finally succeeded, and while the sound crew was sitting off stage, a tour of Nuns came through. It was the worst possible scene, with language you couldn’t believe, and even the crew wanted to crawl under the table. But the Mother Superior said, “Don’t worry that’s the devil speaking!” (again, laughter). Nothing they did in that movie worked the first time.
Later in his career he moved to MGM. A few months afterward, Sony bought MGM. They wanted to renovate the sound department, which according to Dana, was the most run-down studio of all. They asked for a budget, and Dana came up with seven million dollars! His boss looked at him and said he was nuts. Sony would never go for that much. Dana said they had nothing to lose, so they went ahead. The next day they got an OK for the seven million. He spent the next three or four years updating the place. Digital sound was right around the corner. In addition to getting better dialog, it was quite a bit cheaper. A 70mm sound tape costs $7,000, and a 35mm tape costs $97.00 plus being much quicker to process.
Some thirty years ago he found Westwood United Methodist Church, and even joined the choir. Recently he discovered Rotary it’s full of normal people, and he really enjoys it here!
Dana was allowed to answer two questions first, effect of Avatar. He feels it will change everything, all for the better. Second, his family. His older son, Tim, graduated from Stanford and was interviewed on campus by Microsoft. He went with them, and now he’s with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, living in Seattle. His younger son, Greg, lives in Portland and operates his own movie theatre.
Now we come to JIM CRANE, who was introduced by his Sponsor, PP STEVE SCHERER.
I was born in Columbus, Ohio. I have a brother and sister, both of whom are younger. My parents always had a strong influence, and I appreciate that. When I was in the fourth grade we moved to Phoenix, since my Dad went to work for Motorola there. He actually worked for their Government Division, designing bombs for the Navy! While there, I had the opportunity to design and build a Soap Box Derby Car, and I finished third in the Arizona finals. It was great experience, and my Grandfather then arranged for all of us to go to Akron, Ohio to witness the finals, even though I wasn't competing. In high school, I had a paper route, and it was great - the experience of working with people, and I even made some money. During this time I made some model railroad cars, and this is something I may take up again.
Since both my parents had gone to Ohio State, my going to college was never a question. I choose Arizona State, in nearby Tempe, and got my first degree in engineering. I then went on and got advanced degrees in engineering and business. I'm told that Steve Scherer also went to ASU, but we didn't know each other then. My first job was with Ross Perot's company, Electronic Data Systems - I worked on processing welfare health claims. They assigned me to Los Angeles, which was the very last place I wanted to go - but I'm still here!
I next was with Burroughs Corporation in Pasadena. We built medium sized computers. Then I moved to Computer Sciences Corporation, which is in El Segundo. My slot was the infonet division of the company that eventually got in the global networking business. This gave me the opportunity to travel to many of the business centers in the world, but I should point out that some of them weren't really vacation travel destinations. I moved from engineering into marketing, and spent my time helping commercial business customers improve the efficiency of their global business operations.
I met my wife Paula at First Presbyterian Church in Hollywood, and we were married at the church 35 years ago. Lloyd Ogilvie was the pastor and he helped me grow spiritually (Editorial comment - Lloyd is now married to Doris Sumner, and they live nearby - I see them walking frequently.) At church I served both as an elder and deacon. I joined Gideon's International in 1986 and have been involved in placing Bibles and New Testaments in a variety of countries, including Uganda, Ethiopia, Indonesia, and Peru. These go mostly to students and to some who may only have the Bible presented to them by the Gideon's. Recently I joined New York Life in order to help people with financial services. I am looking forward to being involved with the many worldwide projects of Rotary.
After all this, a bottle of Main Street Winery Cab was raffled off. This was described by Prexy ED as the favorite of the town bullies who frequented Main Street in the town he grew up in. The deserving winner was LENNY, who did not need to undergo any instructions to pick it up!
Things turn out best for those who make the best of the way things turn out.