|MARCH 11th – and just TWO WEEKS TO GO until our 75th Anniversary
BOB FLICK started us off with the Pledge. The team of DOWNIE and
FRIEDMAN led us in song, that being It’s a Grand Old Flag. RALPH SMITH,
our Community Service Chair, came forward with the Invocation. Entitled,
“I’m Fine”, there were a number of what we could call statements of
condition. None were favorable in and of themselves, but each statement
ended with “but I’m awfully well for the shape I’m in.” The subject is
“living on aspirin”, and concludes with the thought that saying “I’m
fine” is better than letting them know the shape we are in! Good
thoughts, and well received, RALPH.
PDG ANDY ANDERSON came up to report on PP HOWARD SISKEL. After what
seemed to be a normal week, when HOWARD awoke Friday morning, he was not
well. The paramedics came, took him to UCLA Emergency, and it was
learned that he had suffered a stroke. Several of us saw Howard at the
hospital a day or two after that, and he really didn’t look well at all.
But lo and behold, he is getting better – sitting up today, and tomorrow
he will be sitting up in a chair! Howard is in room 565, on the west
side of the hospital, and brief visits, or cards, are most welcome. Here
is one tough guy, and we should tell him so.
MIKE YOUSEM introduced a Visiting Rotarian, Leandro Carde, who is a Past
President of the Lawndale Club. He prepares Income Taxes, and wanted us
to be sure to remember that Lawndale has had several District Governors.
PP MIKE NEWMAN brought along Julie McClosky, who was a Scholar at USC in
their film school in 1993. She is working in the industry, and teaches
in the Film Department at Chapman College in O.C. LENORE MULRYAN was
with Diana Ross, another Ambassadorial Scholar – and Pres. PETER
reminded her that he had been on the selection committee when she was
chosen in 1995. Diana has been helpful with the Scholars Committee, and
will be a Member this year, helping to choose next year’s winners. RUDY
ALVAREZ once again brought Jaime Tatenco, a 10th grader at Fremont High
in South Central whom he has been working with for the past THREE years!
RUDY has taken Jaime under his wing, helping with homework, and the next
hurdle is getting him into college. RUDY, I have to tell you that such
one-on-one friendship and support for another person is really rare. You
are making a difference in his life, and most of us have never taken on
that kind of challenge.. Keep it up, please. RUDY also had another
guest, Ken Adler, a semi-retired attorney living in WLA.
Pres. PETER gave a push to our 75th Anniversary Sweatshirts. They come
in either maroon or blue, with a lovely logo, and the first one costs
$40, the 2nd and 3rd are $30.
Many of us already have ours, and buyers
today included BRUCE ROLF, HANK HEUER, GENE PRINDLE, STEW GILMAN and PP
STEVE SCHERER. I’ll have more at next week’s meeting, of course – they
come in medium, large, extra large and extra extra large, and it is
suggested that you get the next size above what you might regularly
order, since they can shrink.
The 75th Anniversary is just TWO WEEKS away! Most of you have made
reservations, and everyone who hasn’t will be contacted – but we need to
know soon, to coordinate the Host/Hostess Dinners on Friday the 26th.
Saturday the 27th will really be a special evening - PP RON LYSTER and
his Committee have planned entertainment and fun that won’t quit, (and a
minor note to those who haven’t yet signed up:) Since every member will
be paying for one anyway, attending or not, it makes economic sense to
get your money’s worth and SHOW UP. Anytime you choose a date for
something, there are a few who can’t make it, for good and sufficient
reasons – but missing this one just because you didn’t get around to
reserving your space doesn’t make any sense. Please do respond right
away – you’ll be in good company, and it will be a Great Evening!
PP MIKE NEWMAN showed some slides and described our involvement in the
Bad News Bears Baseball Field, which is located at the corner of Ohio
and Sepulveda. Your Board voted for a $500 donation, MIKE added his own
$500, and Pres. PETER put in $4000! With this total contribution of Five
thousand dollars, the complete lighting system at the Park was installed
and is now operating. We have not only a space on the home-run fence,
but a large plaque memoralizing our support for this community field.
PP RON LYSTER spoke briefly about the Motorcyclers trip to Death Valley,
and showed some pictures taken enroute. In addition to the cycles, Pres.
PETER and Shirley flew down, along with BILL EDWARDS in his plane –
sounds like a great time was had by all. And we’ll get a report on the
Corazon Project soon – stay tuned.
Dr. FLOYD DEWHIRST had a unique relationship with the Richard Nixon
family. In the fall of 1961, then-Vice President Nixon needed some
emergency dental work. This began a long association, and despite what
the press had to say, FLOYD found Mr. Nixon to be quite friendly, easy
to talk to, and he considered him to be an excellent patient – he even
paid his bills on time! He met the rest of the family when Patricia,
then 15, and Julie, two years younger, came in as patients. Turned out
that FLOYD and Mrs Nixon had gone to the same high school, which gave
them things to reminisce over. He found Patricia to be quiet, while
Julie was bouncy and lighted up the whole office when she was there. The
family was referred to Floyd by Virginia Counts, wife of our CURT
COUNTS, so it really does seem to be a small world after all. He again
was in touch with Richard Nixon in 1972, and the Watergate breakin was
much in the news. The press was trying to reach FLOYD for comments, but
fortunately, he was fishing in Canada at the time. FLOYD, thanks for
your comments, and today was the ideal time for us to hear the story.
Here’s a quick heads-up on the next Auxiliary meeting. They will be
touring the Los Angeles Courthouse on Tuesday, April 13th. The morning
tour will last two hours, and the group will talk to at least a couple
of judges. There will be a buffet lunch afterward, costing $10. Since
the group is limited to 25 total, it will be first come, first served.
If you wish to go, send your lunch check for $10 to Marge Downie.
SALLY BRANT introduced our Speaker, John Taylor. Mr. Taylor started to
work for Richard Nixon in 1984, and in 1990, after visiting 13 countries
with the former President, he became Executive Director of the Richard
Nixon Library and Birthplace Foundation.
Over the last five years, he was also able to complete work on his
Episcopal degree, and was just ordained this past January. He and his
wife, Kathy O’Connor, have two daughters and he has two great
John began by revealing that our own FLOYD DEWHIRST helped plan
Watergate. His fishing story was part of that whole scene,
apparently…But, moving right along, John then pointed out that Richard
Nixon’s reputation is in a complete state of flux. Centered around the
Vietnam War, in which 60,000 Americans died and three million served,
there were also three million Vietnamese dead. This War is the major
issue clouding his Presidency, even though it had been going on for
years before he became President.
Historians today expect a new perspective on Nixon, but it will be at
least fifty years before he can be fairly judged, apparently.
Nixon was known for his anti-Communist views when he became Vice
President Before that, he served on the House UnAmerican Committee, and
Alger Hiss was his main target. He continued to believe that Hiss was
guilty, and most scholars today agree. He was sworn in as President in
1969, and at that time there were 540,000 Americans serving in Vietnam.
Thus we were fully there already – his job was to find a way out.
He felt we could not desert our allies, and those we had promised to
stand with. His plan was to turn the fighting over to the South
Vietnamese, and we would continue to be their supply base. In the 1973 –
1975 period, sometimes called the Black Hole of History, he restarted
the air campaign – and unknown to us, we came within inches, so to
speak, of causing the North to withdraw. As an example of the difference
between Vietnam and Iraq, our total casualties after almost a year in
Iraq would equal two weeks of losses in Vietnam.
His closing remarks pointed out that the U.S. faces a major difference
of opinion on foreign policy between President Bush and Senator Kerry,
assuming he is the Democratic nominee. The two competing forces are
peace and freedom, and one impinges on the other invarying degrees. This
led to a brief Q&A.
LEE DUNAYER – What was Kissinger’s role. He was a realist, but believed
in the Wilsonian concept of world government. He favored a balance of
power concept, and Nixon agreed with most of his ideas. They had a good
relationship. RAY ZICKFELD, Did he redeem himself. This is where the
fifty years of history will have to intervene to provide a fair answer.
He felt his major value was to offer advice and assistance to the
Presidents who followed, both Republican and Democrat. And a final YOE
comment – this was a great report, and he only had time for two
questions, which gives some idea of the breath of his replies. Please
come back again, John Taylor.
YOE, Ernie Wolfe