February Ends at WVRC - the 24th, that is
In my never-ceasing efforts to present only the facts, Mam’, I wish to remind you that I touted today’s Speaker, Arnold Shapiro, as One For The Book. He was excellent, and those who were present enjoyed him very much. My immediate question is, what the hell does the Speaker’s Committee have to do to draw a crowd? C’mon, people, let’s be more supportive of their efforts, please
Our next Speaker, on March 3rd, is Stephen Rose, Mayor of Culver City. That city is on the move Sony continues to develop, the Kirk Douglas Theatre is up and running, and they are planning a number of multiple use housing/commercial structures. Part of Playa Vista may be in their city limits, and the whole area is booming it should be an interesting and informative story of progress and development. (Be There, OK?).
SALLY BRANT led the Pledge. JACK HARRIS and PP JIM DOWNIE provided the music and leadership for Happy Birthday to Rotary International ‘nuff said. In their defense, PP JIM attempted to suggest that the several rowdies who tried to start a competing song should be noted, as obvious fining targets but, alas, the moment got away without success. STEVE LORE bravely stepped forward to provide the Invocation.
He thanked our Supreme Being for allowing us to meet as free men, for past and present guidance, and asked help in bringing peace to the world. As an aside, your Board has been concerned that some slobs among us begin to eat DURING the Invocation, and it was suggested that not allowing us to sit down could solve, or at least delay, the problem. STEVE ignored this easy way out, asked us to sit, and held everyone’s attention.
So if you are worried about the content or length of your Invocation, “Keep Em’ Standing”, OK?
There were no Visiting Rotarians, but three of our Rotaracter’s were with us VP Candice Daneshva, plus Jen Ogden and Michele Lee. We love having these youngsters with us please keep it up. NICK KAHRILAS brought his father, Peter Kahrilas. The Speakers assistant, Becky Blitz, was there to do the visuals, which were fun. Candice spoke about the Book Drive that Rotaract is sponsoring, along with Mortar Board, a UCLA Honorary Society. Their goal is to raise $2,000, and your gift of $20 or more will put your name into their Awards Book.
WHAT’S HAPPENING ?
March 4-5, Corazon Project in Tijuana KACY ROZELLE is contact.
March 8th, District Breakfast at LAX Marriott, Kenneth Starr as Speaker CHRIS BRADFORD will sign you up. $22 bucks.
March 9th, regular meeting of the Westwood Village Auxiliary, starting at 11:30 at the home of SHIRLEY and PETER MORE. MIKE GINTZ will bring his cello, and have a few words about how banks operate. All are welcome call Shirley, Eloise or Pat, OK?
April 10th, Magic Castle Brunch and Show, starting at 11 a.m. Contact is PDG ANDY ANDERSON or ED GAULD, cost is $40 per each.
April 12th, Spring Tea of the Auxiliary, at the COLLIN’S home the Speaker will be Dr Irwin Ziment of UCLA, “The History and Mystery of Spices”.
April 28th to May 1st District Conference at the Doral Desert Princess Resort in Palm Springs. Lots of activities good fellowship and they have tickets for the PS Follies. Applications are on RALPH BEASOM’S table at the Bel Air.
May 7th, or thereabouts the Westwood Branch Library OPENS! We’ll have a meeting there before that date (and they need books).
June 18 to 22, Rotary International One Hundredth Convention, in Chicago.
And last, the annual Japan Youth Exchange, June 27th to July 30th. Open to relatives, aged 15 to 21, and it is a life-changing experience! Application deadline is April 1st.
And now, for a Change of Pace POKER! Yes, ELLIOTT TURNER has stepped up to gather a few players to this District Event. Give him a ring (310) 207-3000.
Final advance notice and NOT FAR AWAY on the 10th and 17th of March, we will be meeting at the Luxe. More details to follow but the 10th is only two weeks away!
Rudy’s World was discussed. There were several non-starters, but GEORGE COX lightened everything up by suggesting that many in the audience knew where the main ego was located - as he stated, he was just trying to be helpful. PP RALPH WOODWARD identified the photo as a waterfall which was correct, but not very specific. PP HOWIE HENKES, then PDG ANDY ANDERSON were asked to place the photo, but could not do so ANDY explained that their computer was in a different room! This finally devolved down to GORDON FELL, and since he was the last pigeon, he was fined fifty big ones - DON NELSON please note. At this point, PP HOWIE HENKES rose to point out that John Riatt, who just passed away, was once an active member of WVRC as well as being our designated Song Leader. This prompted PP JIM COLLINS to note that his wife, Carol, sang a duet with Mr. Riatt at WVRC when she, Carol, was sixteen years old! Methinks we should have a small contest among those who now sometimes lead, to determine which one we should sponsor to move upward and outward in this necessary endeavor.
JACK HARRIS reported that LENNY FRIEDMAN is getting a new pacemaker, and once that is stabilized he’ll be back with us. RALPH BEASOM visited BRUCE ROLF today, and visitors to Berkeley West are always welcome.
PP ERIC LOBERG introduced our Speaker, Arnold Shapiro. Seems they met when Arnold became a client of ERIC’S - he was often the only adult in the waiting room!
Arnold sold his first show when he was just twenty two, and has won an Academy Award, six Emmy’s, a Peabody, and many other recognitions of his talents in the TV world. He has produced twenty eight TV series, five TV movies, and over ninety Specials
Among his many productions are “Scared Straight”, the reality series “Big Brother” and the CBS series “Rescue 9/11”
Arnold was an engaging and entertaining speaker. He started out by asking how many people have the honor or being introduced by their Orthodontist? He claimed that ERIC wouldn’t let him speak here until he had his teeth straightened! His two main topics were Ethics, and Humor, both of which are important in TV production. He admitted that a TV Producer talking about Ethics sounded like an oxymoron . But we all deal with Ethics in our everyday lives either we value fairness and honesty, compassion and integrity, or we don’t and he does.
In documentaries, for example, the responsibility of the Producer is to chronicle the event, not to interfere with the action or try to ‘spin’ it. He gave an example of a show he was doing for HBO, on the use of the drug ecstasy. It concerned a 40-year old father and his 18-year old son, both of whom were users. At a party at his son’s home, the father had custody of his two younger children a boy, 11, and a girl, 13. They both wanted to try the drug. His filming crew decided they would stand aside and simply film the action.
Arnold then showed part of the footage they shot, and it was, indeed, riveting. But as a result, the public was so outraged that the father was arrested for child endangerment and served time in jail. Arnold was attacked in the press for showing the footage a result of deciding to run it, of course.
Another general example concerned the subjects that are offered to a Producer and there are many more Producers than available subjects, so the tendency is to take what is offered, if you want to work. He noted at least ten shows that were offered, but which he declined because of the content. A specific example was the ABC show, “Extreme Makeover” in which the subject undergoes cosmetic surgery to improve their appearance.
He and his partner were offered the show and they turned it down, since they were worried that there could be serious injury during the somewhat rushed procedures that were chronicled. It remains a successful show, but he doesn’t regret his decision, since the danger is still there.
Humor was his next subject and he feels it is critical and important to use it when appropriate. In a series called ”Rescue 911” that ran from 1989 to 1996, they profiled both professionals and Good Samaritans who saved the lives of others. As an example of humor, he then showed a 3-minute tape of a man who got stuck coming down a chimney his intent was to rob the house, but it didn’t turn out that way! This would-be burglar became outraged when the family in the house he was trying to burgle wasn’t supportive of his being stuck in their chimney! It was remarkable footage. However, of the perhaps 750 shows he has made, only about ten had this kind of humor.
In the brief Q&A, someone asked about the 7 or 8 present-reality shows. Arnold pointed out that you cannot manipulate this type of show you have to show it as it really is.
When he mentioned Big Brother (one of the shows he still does), GEORGE COX asked if these shows had both sexes in them. Arnold replied that this was perhaps the strangest question he had ever been asked! This is perhaps a good point to quit but Arnold Shapiro was both entertaining and educational he can come back anytime, please!
NOTE this is the first time we are using a new format for the Windmill. Jan will still show it on the Internet, but EVERYONE will now get a printed copy. In case you want that copy sent to a different address, lemme know, OK?