|OCTOBER SIMMERS DOWN - the 30th, at WVRC
PP TED IHNEN stepped up to the plate, and let the Pledge. JACK HARRIS
and PP STEVE DAY took us through God Bless America, and listening to it
from the audience, we were really pretty good! Pres. PETER then
announced that BOB TROXLER would be NINETY SIX tomorrow! This elicited a
good rendition of Happy Birthday, which BOB enjoyed, I'm sure. PP STEVE
SCHERER came forward to do the Invocation, first offering us the option
of standing or sitting - sitting prevailed. STEVE suggested we applaud
the firefighters, policemen and other public workers who have performed
so admirably during this tragedy we are witnessing - motion carried! He
next asked us to join him in a moment of silence for those who have lost
loved ones, homes, beloved pets and have suffered as a result of the
wildfires. And last, he asked that we join him in being thankful for a
world in which relationships and friends remain as the most important
blessings we all cherish. While not stated, it should be noted that Fire
Station #37 could not be present with us today, as originally scheduled
- they had far larger responsibilities which kept them away. Hopefully,
they'll be with us next week.
PP STEVE DAY admitted that we had no
Visiting Rotarians, but held out hope for next week. Pres. PETER then
noted that our Rotary Auxiliary have been standing at our side and
helping WVRC since 1936 - just seven years after we were chartered - and
asked that the members who were present stand to be recognized. They
were nicely applauded.
LILLIAN KLIEWER rose, in her New York Police outfit, to suggest that she
had been studying our membership, and would soon be ready to submit a
report to her superiors. She asked Pres. PETER if it was true that we
had satellites in other countries, to which he had to admit. Apparently
her report was to be scrutinized by the Dept of Homeland Security -
which led LENNY FRIEDMAN to ask if she worked "undercover". This
prompted a somewhat negative reply, denying the obvious overtones to
such a request - but LENNY was promptly fined a hundred big ones for
such a question! I guess it would only be fair to advise everyone to
Returning to the unique historical perspective that has begun to
appear, Pres. PETER noted that on this date in 1735, John Adams, our 2nd
President, was born in Braintree, MASS. And just 65 years ago, Orson
Welles panicked the nation with his "War of the Worlds" radio broadcast.
Switching to tomorrow's Halloween, these Q&As - (Asked of PP TED IHNEN)
Why was the skeleton afraid to cross the road? TED'S reply - because it
was stuck to the chickens foot - but the correct answer is because it
didn't have the guts. What do you call a skeleton who won't work? - Lazy
Bones, and in the interest of complete editorial honesty, YOE has to
point out that the aforementioned LILLIAN, seated at my table,
immediately came up with this answer! When is it bad luck to meet a
black cat? When you're a mouse. Why does Dracula have no friends?
Because he's a pain in the neck. Pres. PETER, I have to tell you this is
good stuff - keep it up, by all means.
ELLIOTT TURNER was summoned to explain /defend his recent purchase of
a new car.
Pres. PETER first asked how many tires it had - ELLIOTT converted
this to wheels, and said it only had one, since it was a Unicycle. After
some palaver, between them they settled on a hundred buck fine. ELLIOTT
offered to turn over any refund of his $900 license fee to WVRC, should
such occur - but don't hold your breath, he cautioned. KEVIN KOMATSU was
asked about his vacation in Hawaii. He allowed as how it was great - and
this unsolicited admission earned him a FIVE HUNDRED dollar fine.
However, KEVIN went to the trouble of returning on a red eye so he could
attend an Ambassadorial Scholar meeting with Mina Soroosh - he is her
counselor. This Service Above Self earned KEVIN a three hundred dollar
rebate, so his net fine becomes $200.00.
MICHAEL GINTZ reported on a Rotary Interact Symposium he attended
recently in Idlewild. As you may know, Rotary clubs sponsor not only
Rotaract Clubs on the college level, but Interact Clubs in local high
schools. There were 140 students from Southern California in attendance,
and MICHAEL was very favorably impressed with the caliber and enthusiasm
of all the kids. They were dedicated to the Rotary ideal of Service, and
it was a real pleasure to be with them. He ran a video tape telling the
story of one young man - who started his Community Service when he was
in the THIRD grade. Brandon Keefe came up with the idea of a Book Drive
- and since then his campaign has provided more than nine hundred
thousand books to be used in local school libraries! His program is
called Book Ends, and it matches schools that need books with the books
supplied by his book drives. Having graduated from high school in
Chatsworth, he is now a freshman at UCLA - and he continues to
demonstrate how one person can make a difference. Obviously, this young
man should be part of our Rotaract Club at UCLA. Michael announced a
forthcoming Book Drive for WVRC this coming spring, and urged everyone
to start saving books now - He also pointed out that there are many
opportunities to help in this effort - give him a ring, by all means.
Michael, thanks for an excellent report.
I had a call from Ron Block (805)376-1700 who is a Rotarian from the
district north of us. They have arranged for a physician from Rumania to
receive some specialized training at UCLA for six weeks, starting in
mid-November. Ron asked me if we might be able to house this young lady
for one week of her stay - so I'm asking anyone who might be interested
to call me, or Ron, please. She is the Chief Neurological Surgeon at
Bucharest Hospital, and her specialty is Epilepsy. This sounds like a
real opportunity for a doctor to doctor visit, and I'm hoping to hear
from someone, please.
Two other date announcements, while I have your attention -
Our Rotary Auxiliary will be meeting midday on Wed, November 12th.
LENORE MULRYAN will conduct a private tour at the Fowler Museum, of the
Trees of Life.
Lunch will follow, cost is $10, and checks to Marge Downie, please.
A bit further down the road, on Sunday May 16th, we will resume our most
enjoyable Wine Tasting program. Benefiting the Global Neuro Rescue
program headed by Dr. Jorge Lazareff, we will be gathering at the James
West Center to taste and compare, plus looking over the many silent
auction items which will be featured. Save the Date!
TONY DERYAN introduced our Speaker, Barbara Werlin. She is a graduate
of Mills College, and for 27 years taught at St. Martin of Tours School
in Brentwood. She is a Docent at the Skirball. She began by telling us
that her Father-in-Law and his two brothers were active Rotarians in
Houston. She likes to think of the Skirball as the BEST museum on
Sepulveda, being more focused that their larger neighbor just above
They are dedicated to exploring the connection between four thousand
years of Jewish history and the four hundred years of American
democratic ideas. The museum has over thirty thousand total objects in
its collection, but can only display about one thousand at a time - so,
many of their exhibits are changed frequently. The collection started in
Germany, and was eventually sold to the Hebrew Union College in
Cincinnati. In 1972 it was moved to the Los Angeles campus of the Hebrew
Union College. Before this, Jack Skirball became a Rabbi, moved to
California, and became active in land development. Vacation Village in
San Diego was one of his early successes, and Rabbi Skirball's business
provided the money for the construction of the Skirball. It opened in
1996, but Rabbi Skirball passed away just before the opening. WVRC had
an early visit - that same year - built around the District Governor's
visit, and as a result, many of us have an appreciation of the wonderful
displays and history that are featured.
A Synagogue (defined as a place of worship) is one of the holy places at
the Skirball. There is an American Gallery, which features a typical
kitchen of the 1920s. The final Gallery is Israel, and Ms Werlin pointed
out that the Skirball is not a Holocaust Museum. However, it was
certainly necessary to commerate the six million Jews who were killed
during the Second World War The Skirball encourages school visits, and
they have had over a quarter of a million schoolchildren tour the
facility. A major challenge is how to tell their story, and this is
accomplished by a combination of films and displays. They hold four
Festivals each year, and Noah's Park is one of their busy places. Albert
Einstein will be featured at an upcoming exhibit, while two of their
currently popular exhibits are Girl Culture and the Photograph and the
American Dream, 1840-1940.
Q&A - DON NELSON - There seem to be many similarities between Rotary
and what the Skirball stand for, and Ms Werlin agreed. Admission cost is
$8.00 for individuals, $6.00 in a group (and there is some
not-totally-documented theory that if you tell them you are from Rotary,
they will let you in gratis). BRIAN BUMPAS - Alexander Hamilton's mother
was Jewish, and that should be publicized. And here, we had a small
divergence of opinion, Ms Werlin saying she didn't know that and would
use it henceforth in her lectures, while someone (was it GEORGE COX?)
said that should be checked out firstů ED GAULD, What is the Ketubah? A
marriage contract, between the groom and the father of the bride. This
is a very ancient custom, and it specifies how the husband is to take
care of his wife. The Skirball has a large collection of these Ketubahs.
They also have a major collection of Menorahs, the seven-candle
decoration commonly seen during Festivals, etc. BOB FLICK, What is your
outreach program. With school visits, they require that the accompanying
teacher come first to scout the museum. But they encourage ALL to visit
- and it's certainly a worthwhile place to spend some time.
Ms Werlin, we thank you for refreshing us about the Skirball, and
please give our regards to our Honorary Member, Rabbi Uri Herscher.
YOE, Ernie Wolfe