|CLOSING OUT AUGUST at WVRC - the 28th, that is
Yes, we had a retread standing in for Pres. PETER - none other than BILL
BLOOMFIELD JR, who early on reminded us that he had been President of
WVRC a mere seventeen years ago. I told BILL afterward that his program
showed some preparation, and he acknowledged this by saying he had the
full seventeen years to get ready. Seriously, BILL - you done good.
TERRY R. WHITE led us in the Pledge, which was followed by some real
For those of you who aren't in on this hip terminology, that means the
joint was Rockin, Babe. GREGG ELLIOTT and PP JIM DOWNIE combined on
their keyboards for Home On The Range, as led by PP STEVE DAY. I mean,
the whole place was jumping - (rousing is just not a strong enough word
to capture what was going on). A good time was had by all, needless to
say. But RETREAD BILL had to then announce the death of KEVIN KOMATSU'S
mother a few days ago. She and her husband were driving in San
Francisco, and a woman on her cell phone ran the signal and hit them
broadside. KEVIN is taking a temporary one month leave of absence. Cards
or notes to the family would be appropriate. CHRIS BRADFORD gave a brief
and thoughtful Invocation.
RETREAD BILL then introduced our Visiting Rotarian, Sandy Weisberg - a
former member, now with the Lodi Sunrise Club, and his classification is
Classic Cars. He gave us one of their banners, and I will be sending him
one of ours, since they are now in the process of being reprinted - we
have added the phrase, "Chartered in 1929" to the present copy. RUDY
ALVAREZ brought along his guest, Jaime Tatenco, who is a tenth grader at
Fremont High School. RUDY has been helping Jaime for over a year, and
visiting WVRC was a way of thanking him for his continued academic
improvement. When they met, Jaime had all F's, and now he has 3 A's, 2
B's and a C. Good work, RUDY. I then rose to explain the slight disarray
in deliveries of our Windmill.. Jan Cipolla, who prints it, was in the
east with her ill mother, and we are now only missing the meeting date
of the 14th - and that should arrive soon. I pointed out that there was
hope for all of us - and in retrospect, I was probably lucky as hell not
to get fined for this minor screw-up (fortunately, that possibility
didn't come to a vote…)
PP JOHN SINGLETON rose to announce that since he outranked RETREAD BILL
by five years as a PP, that gave him (JOHN, that is) the legal right to
fine others less senior than himself. JOHN then proceeded to try to
outline a recent raffle, apparently won by someone who was present, in
the amount, again, apparently, of $l0K. This attempt was not greeted
from the podium by what we might define as gratuitous acceptance, and
several partial exchanges of opinion took place. There seemed to be some
consensus among those present that a fine would indeed be appropriate,
with the amount varying between one and ten thousand clams. At this
point, JOHN let it slip that the winner of this raffle was none other
than RETREAD BILL. Alas, there apparently was no denying the essential
facts of this raffle incident, so BILL finally conceded that he would
fine himself whatever JOHN was willing to pay. Whether this exchange
will indeed result in a net fining income of two thousand dollars (not
clams, note) coming from RETREAD BILL and PP JOHN is yet to be
determined. Stay tuned -
The Head Table was then introduced, and I should confess that I don't
usually print this particular bit of trivia. However, they were all up
there for a variety of reasons, so here is what I gleaned from my notes.
MIKE YOUSEM was first, and RETREAD BILL noted that the only way he could
get MIKE up front was to promise that he wouldn't fine him.
After a series of three questions - none of which MIKE seemed to be able
to answer -BILL then announced that he, Sheila and Otto (the Maitre'd)
had found a way around BILL'S pledge not to fine MIKE. Henceforth and
for the rest of this Rotary Year, MIKE is to be served a hamburger
patty, fruit, and non-fat milk - all of which costs $9.75. That allows
the balance of the regular $27.00 to be available as a donation to the
Club - and this menu item was then served to MIKE. This immensely
popular solution was greeted, as you might imagine, by thunderous
Next up was PP HOWIE HENKES. During RETREAD BILL'S actual term of
office, one of our annual events took place, that being the announcement
of those with perfect attendance - and it was PP JIM DONWIE, then and
still today, who led the pack. However, PP HOWIE at that point had
thirty two years of Imperfect Attendance - and if you add the
intervening seventeen years, that now gives PP HOWIE forty nine years of
being imperfect! This milestone deserves some recognition, and so PP
HOWIE and the others at the Head Table were being given the Club's
highest honor - today that got DESSERT! (And while I can't think of any
reason, offhand, why I wasn't included, it must be noted that a day
without dessert is indeed a day lost forever) But moving right along,
GREGG ELLIOTT was next memorialized. As BILL pointed out, GREGG embodies
all the attributes that make for a perfect Rotarian, and of course the
fact that GREGG'S company faithfully uses the services of a certain
laundry company has nothing to do with this being declared HIS day. In
other words, whatever GREGG wants today, GREGG gets - the only exception
being, apparently, imposing a fine on PP JOHN SINGLETON. RETREAD BILL
seemed to feel that this particular wish was perhaps beyond his reach.
Next up was PP DAVE WHITEHEAD, and it was a generally accepted fact that
he would HAVE to be fined. However, BILL had a lot of trouble with this,
based on DAVE'S just being elected as Rotarian of the Year. Seems that
RETREAD BILL, who after all has had TWENTY THREE YEARS in TWO Rotary
Clubs, has never been so honored, and this apparently gave him pause.
However, BILL did excoriate (that means he jumped all over DAVE) over
what BILL felt was perhaps the dumbest move made by any Rotarian in this
new Century. DAVE VOLUNTEERED to spearhead our recent Club Assembly!
After a series of questions by BILL to DAVE, some of which were even
answered, BILL then levied a hundred big ones on DAVE for volunteering.
He added that this proved that what DAVE really should be doing was
becoming our District Governor - and again, there was much applause
following this suggestion.
Almost last was RUDY ALVAREZ, and BILL focused on the changes that have
occurred in the seventeen years since he was President. BILL wondered if
it was true that RUDY had become a Republican (no), but he was further
concerned that RUDY was sort of a Dave Letterman while the majority of
our members were more comfortable with Jay Leno. When BILL mentioned
that RUDY becoming President worried him a bit, RUDY allowed as how
there were some WVRC members who had the same concern! BILL then invited
RUDY to come forward and help him read Letterman's Top Ten statements
overheard during George W. Bush's vacation. BILL figured this would
offend everyone in the Club, and doing it now was probably better than
waiting until next July. These statements ranged from George W. allowing
as how the month had flown by - it didn't seem like thirty three days
had passed, and his final comment, sitting around doing nothing reminds
him (George W, that is) of being President. This led to PP ERIC LOBERG
supplying the Joke of the Day. There was this talking dog, and when
directed to fetch a newspaper, he was given a dollar to buy it. When he
didn't return promptly, they found him otherwise engaged with a female
he had just met. The owner was surprised -his dog had never acted this
way before, to which the dog replied, "I never had money before".
KACY ROZELLE, who was sponsored for membership by RETREAD BILL, was
asked to stand. BILL noted that in checking KACY'S resume, he learned
that while he had been senior VP of Jeffries, and a Managing Director of
St. Cloud, and on the Board of the Jonsson Cancer Center at UCLA, it
turns out that he had NEVER been a President! Inasmuch as the success of
non-profit organizations is inversely proportional to the age of their
President, BILL wanted to know, right then, if KACY would consider
coming into the Chairs, should he be asked. There was mention of a
thousand dollar fine, and since this didn't materialize, one assumes
that KACY, put on the spot, agreed to be considered.
BILL, you did indeed put some fun thought into your brief term back here
at WVRC - and we enjoyed it.
Quick announcement time:
Remember next Thursday - Salvation Army collections will conclude.
And starting at 11:15, Vocational Service Committee meets, with CHARLES
MAGNUSON in charge.
Spouses Day - September 11th, two weeks away. Jim Warren, a talented
Magician, will be featured.
October 13th - our Annual Golf Tournament at Los Angeles Country Club.
This maintains the continuity of SUNNY JIM SUMNER'S success with this
event which he chaired for so long. Sign-ups by Sept 25th, see CLARK
McQUAY or PP STEVE SCHERER.
Paul Harris Foundation Celebration - November lst, at the Crowne Plaza
Hotel in the city of Commerce. PP STEVE DAY passed out envelopes with
all the details, including a book of eleven raffle tickets (you only pay
for ten), and a stamped envelope for your reply. Please get them back to
STEVE right away, if you will.
CHRIS BRADFORD introduced our Speaker, Paul Payne, whose title is
Liaison to Executive VP of the NRA. Paul is a Life Member of the NRA,
and has worked with them for the past fourteen years. He volunteered for
eight years, and for the last six has been on staff, concentrating on
Membership Development. From 1977 to 1983 he was on active duty with the
U.S. Marine Corps.
Mr. Payne discarded his prepared remarks, to tell the following story:
Jim was a 17-year old, who joined the Marines during the Korean War. He
was decorated for bravery, and wounded four times in Vietnam. Jim
retired after 21 years as a Gunnery Sergeant. He joined a security firm
which picked up cash receipts in an armored car, and became a
supervisor. One night he became a 'jumper', meaning he left the car to
pick up the receipts, since the regular man was absent that shift. As he
was picking up the bag of receipts, a man stepped forward and shot him
twice in the back, grabbing the bag as Jim fell. Despite these wounds,
Jim struggled to his feet, and tackled the man as he tried to leave the
store. He was shot twice more, and died forty minutes later. This story
was featured in many papers, including the Chronicle in San Francisco
and the LA Times.
Paul Payne is Jim's only son.
With this introduction, Mr. Payne called for Q&A
GEORGE COX - Where does the NRA stand on banning rapid-fire weapons? You
probably mean the AK 47 and similar weapons. Machine guns have been
banned since 1934, and these semi-automatic weapons are in a different
category. CNN showed a film where results of firing two types of weapons
were compared, except that one target was not shown fully. The NRA took
them to court and they apologized. PP DAVE WHITEHEAD - Can these
semi-automatic weapons be converted to being machine guns? No, they
cannot easily be converted. And here, Mr. Payne asked why the public
accepts the media version of events, without questioning their accuracy.
SALLY BRANT - What is the ratio of the sale of hunting licenses over
time? There are more licenses issued today. PP STEVE SHERERE - Can you
parse the Constitution? The 2nd Amendment was quoted, 'the right of the
people to keep and bear arms shall not be (taken away). Mr. Payne didn't
feel qualified to get into the legalities of what this meant. He noted
that the Colonies had overthrown the British, and thus they had reason
not to trust the government. Guns empowered people. GREGG ELLIOTT - Is
the biggest concern the Registration of firearms? Castro insisted that
all guns be registered, and then confiscated them. They were to be
stored in an armory, but later the owners were simply thanked for their
donations. PP STEVE DAY - Do you need a permit to carry a concealed
weapon? Yes, in California you do, but in many states it is easier to
get the permit than it is here. Vermont has no laws regarding firearms,
and also has the lowest crime rate, nationally. MIKE YOUSEM - What are
the numbers as far as who can carry a concealed weapon? In 36 states,
you can carry with a permit, and in the rest, it is possible but more
difficult to get a permit. Mr. Payne, you have a position to defend, and
we appreciate your being with us.
YOE, Ernie Wolfe