A Great All-in-the-Family Program
WVRC on January 26th
Alas, I must begin with a mea culpa! LEE DUNAYER pointed out to me that I really messed up what he said last week and I cannot deny it but the upside is my stock pick may be better than his, so there!
ED WRIGHT, our newest member, led the Pledge today. That team of LENNY and JACK took us along on the Railroad plus some verses that probably don’t even exist. LENORE MULRYAN gave the invocation, and it was based on a nautical theme.
While I’m at it, a minor familial correction, if I may. Lawrie Pane was married to the Mulryan’s daughter, Patricia, who passed away. Their son is Ryan, who was on the trip, and Carole came along as his teacher. They got married enroute and certainly worked well together in presenting the story of their 6 1/2 year adventure.
But back to the Invocation. It was a poem by Henry Van Dyke, “Seabirds” and it really was themed on those who stay at home, watching and waiting for their return. You chose it carefully, LENORE, and it showed. Thanks for your thoughtfulness.
Rotary guests included Joe Mulryan, from LA Five he is related to LENORE, as you might imagine. She in turn had a guest, Don Soames, who is from Minnesota.
PP HOMER NEWMAN brought Sally, and PDG BILL GOODWYN brought Sherie Dewayne, a former member. ELLIOTT TURNER was with Special Guest Florence Sampson who is being circulated today and he also invited Eliana Pires and her mother. BRIAN BUMPAS was with Duke Russell, who organized the Annual Abe Lincoln Remembrance. This will take place on President Lincoln’s birthday, Feb. 12th, Sunday, at the Los Angeles National Cemetery, in Westwood. The time is 2 pm, and based on my attending last year. I’d certainly recommend it. The District Governor Nominee for 2007-08 was introduced from Alaska, that is (didn’t get his name). And who else but PP PETER MORE has agreed to serve as Assistant Governor under District Governor Elect Scot Clifford. Congratulations, PETER you will represent WVRC well.
16 year old Eliana Pires came forward on crutches, yet. This dynamic little girl has founded Operation Thunder Storm, which she described as an effort to be in touch with our troops overseas. Specifically, she has adopted the 3rd Battalion of the 1st Marines, who are now serving in Iraq. They went over in September, and will return to the US this April. She is recruiting people here to write on a weekly basis to a specific soldier, thus insuring that he will get some mail. I’ve signed up, and now she needs to get the name of my correspondent, so I can get going. I’ll let you know how it goes. You can reach her at (310) 398-2108, and if you are looking for a really useful thing to do, this may be your ticket.
Several of us had a lovely dinner last evening, hosted by LEO and MARIAN TSENG.
The Yearlings who attended were REZA BUNDY, MARK ROGO, FLORENCE SAMPSON, ED WRIGHT, RICK CULLEN and PETER TOMARKEN. LEO was the emcee, and we went over the many programs available and ongoing for WVRC. You may remember the “Opportunities” list of 36 activities passed out recently. (59 Rotarians were in attendance, and we had 48 returns that’s 81%). In a compilation of the results, fourteen of the programs got 20 or more responses! We are indeed an active group, and I think the Yearlings got an excellent overview of what is available. Our thanks to LEO and MARIAN you guys are great hosts!
President DON had a poker story. Seems this group of six had been playing together for a long time. One of them lost $500 that evening. After writing a check to cover, he dropped dead! They of course finished their game, and then began to discuss who was going to tell his wife. The man selected was carefully coached he was told to be discrete, be gentle, and not to make a bad situation worse. He assured the others that he could do this as a matter of fact, he modestly admitted that he would do an excellent job. So he went over to the man’s apartment, and knocked on the door. The wife drowsily wakes up, and asks what he wants. “Your husband just lost $500 and he’s afraid to come home”. “Five hundred dollars tell him to drop dead”. “I'll tell him”.
Lawrie and Carole Pane were introduced by SEAN McMILLAN. Their adventure started at Marina del Rey, and Ryan Pane, who was then eight years old, was the third member of the group. Carol was hired to be his tutor, and he turned out to be an excellent student. Their round-the-world voyage lasted six and a half years, sailing 44,000 miles and visiting 56 countries. (Sam Balter would have called it, One for the Book).
They had some wonderful slides, and Lawrie was the main narrator, but Carole chipped in from time to time. They were on a 53 foot sailboat and as he began to talk, he welcomed questions. His report was based on the questions he had been asked, but of course the members of WVRC had a few of their own. “What do you wish you had known about before you left?” Carole jumped in, “We wished we knew we would survive”. When they set sail, they knew they were facing 19 or 20 days before landfall probably their longest time at sea without landing anywhere. That did require a certain amount of soul searching.
Ryan’s first adventure was swimming across the Equator 3000 miles from land, and the ocean was five miles deep. Lawrie opined that their biggest problem was getting the hook out of Ryan, when the sharks didn’t show up and he then commented that WVRC was a somewhat slow group, since others had reacted much more quickly to that particular statement... Enroute, they spent almost nine months traveling in Indonesia it was their favorite landing. In most cases, the three of them were the first white persons the residents had ever seen. They loved the markets, and found the local food to be the freshest ever.
Question, “Did you have any security problems?” He said the only two places they even chained the rowboat to their boat was in the Caribbean and in Mexico. They never secured anything on deck, for instance, although the boat cabin was of course locked. I asked what had been his sailing experience before this voyage. He referred to his experience as coastal, which I assume means he hadn’t done much point to point (you can tell from this that I’m one of the great authorities on sailing terminology).
You learn to enjoy the local food, since that’s all there is. Bargaining is expected, and while he enjoys it, Carole does not. He gave this example: The asking price was 3000, so Carole offered 2000 they agreed, she gave him 5000 and said, “Keep the change”. Someone asked if they had to pay ‘bribes’. “Yes”. Again, it is expected, and the ones you usually have to pay are the customs agents, no one else. How do you know what to pay? There is a network among sailors, and the word gets around, apparently.
They found Ryan to be a great help, in many ways. First, he was usually the first to meet locals, particularly kids, and this helped them to get acquainted with adults. He was their fisherman, who was expected to catch dinner, or whatever, within five minutes of trying. They stood three hour watches, and this was easier once Ryan was old enough to stand watch on that schedule, they all could get six hours of sleep. And of course they always had someone on watch when underway.
“Did you ever have trouble with pirates?” They never sailed where pirates were known to be, and besides, pirates tend to go after bigger boats, since the prize is much more worth taking. Someone asked if they carried a gun. At first, they had a shotgun, but found they had to declare it every time they made landfall. If it wasn’t declared, and the authorities found the gun at a later time, they simply took your boat away. In addition, the pirates, in particular, often mounted a 50-caliber gun and you can imagine yourself waving them off by brandishing your shotgun, with its range of less than a hundred yards. While they still had the shotgun, they entered a port where they knew the gun could be safely stowed. However, to get permission to do this, the storage place had to be secure. He asked if they could put a tape seal on the storage cabinet, and was told they didn’t have one with them. Several days later, it turned out they had no such tape. So they gave the gun up, early on.
There was great merriment during the talk. When LENNY left for what he described as a doctor’s appointment, he received several suggestions, some of which shouldn’t be repeated. This level of interplay, combined with Lawrie’s Australian accent, caused me to miss some of the really humorous things he said. But it was a really fun talk, and everyone loved it. Thanks, to the whole extended Mulryan family.
To ponder brain cells come, and brain cells go but fat cells live forever.