Elliott Turner & Friends
Elliott Turner and Friends on Mortages
What went wrong? Who's to blame? Fixes?
Boys & Girls Challengers Club
Major Cramer, UCLA ROTC
Literacy Breakfast, Lawry's
WVRC-Auxiliary Summer Picnic, Eloise Siskel's home
District Breakfast - LAX Westin Hotel
Paul Harris Celebration, Medieval Times
TWO CRAFT TALKS, by D and A, at WVRC on July 3lst
ED GAULD led the Pledge. LENNY settled on America for the song. PP BOB WESSLING gave the Invocation.” Blessed are you, Lord of Creation. You feed the whole world with your goodness, your grace, your kindness and your mercy. You nourish and sustain us and do good to all. Bless this food to our use and to your Rotary service” A good choice, BOB thanks.
We had a bunch of visitors and guests. ELOISE SISKEL and PAT ANDERSON were the guests of ANDY. DAVID FRIEDMAN brought his wife, Gail and his two daughters, Jordana and Risa, and SUNNY was there with LENNY. We had two guests from Cypress Elise and her mother were with us, and Elise would like to join Rotaract. They were nicely introduced by ED GAULD. There were several Visiting Rotarians. Ken Dickensheets is an Acoustical Consultant from Austin, Northwest. Terri Florio provides Children’s Services, at San Marco-Jacksonville. Rick and Marcia Brouse were with us once again, from the Madison NJ Club. Corinne Van Rensselaer belongs to St. Thomas East, and handles fine art.
The word about not wearing your Rotary pin is getting out SHERRY DEWANE arrived without, and bought TWO! SEAN located FIVE others then admitted that he didn’t have his own, so he paid the fines for all. Those seated at the Head Table were given the usual ‘free speech’ time. SAROSH MOTIVALA reminded us that he teaches in the Psychology Department at UCLA. LENNY FRIEDMAN was asked by SEAN how long he had been a Rotarian, the answer being 17 years. CURT SMITH noted that he was the Vocational Service Chair, thanked SHERRY DEWANE and YOE for joining his Committee, and pointed out that he would welcome other members to come aboard. He reminded us to bring in our used cell phones, along with their chargers these will be passed on to our military. CURT first announced, of course, that he “could sell earthquake insurance”.
ERIC LOBERG strode forward with his Spirituality contribution. A Spanish teacher was speaking to her class, and reminded them that, unlike in English, Spanish nouns are either masculine or feminine. Accordingly, how would they classify Computers? The class was divided into boys and girls, and then preceded to list four conditions that would support their decision. The boys easily decided the Computer should be feminine. 1. No one but their creator understands their internal logic. 2. The native language they use would integrate with anyone else. 3. Even the smallest mistakes are stored in long-term memory. 4. As soon as you make a commitment to one, you find yourself spending half your paycheck for its accessories. The girls group concluded that the Computer gender should be masculine. 1. In order to do anything with them, you have to turn them on. 2.They have a lot of data, but still can’t think for themselves. 3. They are supposed to help you solve the problem, but half the time they ARE the problem. 4. As soon as you commit to one, you begin to realize that if you had just waited a little longer, you could have had a better model. Well done, ERIC!
Sean suggested that we try a small time change, starting to eat at 12:15, which gives the Speaker more time and has been discussed before. This will begin next week, although ELLIOTT TURNER tried to scuttle the idea, claiming he was against ANY change. CHRIS BRADFORD was asked to come forward by RALPH BEASOM. RALPH then presented a wonderful historic record of CHRIS’S entire year, which he compiled from two Windmills and other sources. This is a major piece of work, and CHRIS thanked RALPH very nicely. This in turn led to our History Lesson, that now being explained as anything significant that happened in Ireland in the past on the date of our meeting.
On July 31st 2007, the Occupation of Northern Ireland by the British Empire ended. That was the longest campaign in English history, with over 300,000 serving in the British Army during that time. Our present District Governor, Chuck Anderson of Redondo Beach Rotary, came from Northern Ireland. And for those of you who don’t know, there were people in Ireland who actually came from Scotland with a Mc preceding their surname, this marked them as Catholic. And Mac meant that they were probably Presbyterians. This group was expelled from Scotland when William of Orange married Mary, Queen of Scots. William was sometimes called King Billy, and those who supported him were called Billyboys. When they came to America, they became Hillbillys. (I hope I got all this right!)
Our first Craft Talk was by our newest member, DAVID FREIDMAN, who was given a nice introduction by PP STEVE SCHERER. Two jokes How many men does it take to change a roll of toilet paper? Answer, no one knows its never been done. And, What is the difference between men and Government bonds? Answer, Government bonds mature. DAVID began at the beginning he was born at St. Johns on July 22nd, 1958. He grew up in what he described as the Ghettos of Sherman Oaks, along with his brother, Don, and his sister, Linda. He graduated from Van Nuys High School in 1976, and graduated from UCLA in 1980 with a BA in Political Science.
He met his wife, Gail, at UCLA, and they were married in 1981. That same year, he and Gail graduated from the Gemological Institute of America. Their son, Aaron, is 21. After attending ASU, Aaron graduated from the Cordon Bleu Culinary Institute of Scottsdale, and he is now a chef at a fine restaurant in that same city. Daughter Jordana has earned a full academic scholarship at ASU, majoring in earth and space science and there was mention of an interest in boys. She is 19, and her sister, Risa, is 16. She will be a senior at Granada Hills Charter School, and is interested in dance and cheerleading. So after this coming academic year, the Friedman’s will be undergoing the Empty Nest syndrome.
And now, a word about business. DAVID started doing something useful at the family store at age seven. He and Gail are now the owners of Sarah Leonard Fine Jewelers, and of course Sunny and Lenny are still involved. Other members of the family, including his sister, 2 brothers-in-law and a nephew are also there. They are the oldest business in Westwood Village, having opened there in 1946. At first, the other merchants in the Village were taking bets on how long they would last. There are ten graduate Gemologists on staff, which is more than any other independent jewelry store in California. The Los Angeles Business Journal recently presented them with the Family Business of the Year Award. They handle everything related to jewelry the list is inclusive. They also enjoy a specialty in selling Estate Jewelry, and their clientele starts with UCLA students, and up to a very long list of sports super-stars and major entertainment figures.
They have traveled the world in search of special treasures and exceptional values. Stops included South America, Germany and Africa for gemstones, the Australian Outback for opals and in an aside, they also enjoyed both Kangaroo and Crocodile! Israel, Africa and Belgium provide the best in diamonds, while China and Japan have the best pearls. Italy remains the best for gold designer pieces. Everything is handpicked by a family member-usually Gail. Sarah Leonard belongs to the prestigious American Gem Society, and David is a past president of the Southern California Guild. Only 2% of the jewelers in the United States are admitted to this Society, and they must be re-tested and re-certified annually. David has served on the Board of the American Red Cross, and in 1981 he was the youngest President of the Kiwanis Clubs in California. His wife, Gail, is currently on the Board of the California Jewelers Association and served on the Board of Directors of Kadima Hebrew Academy for twelve years.
David describes himself as an avid Lakers fan, and a very avid UCLA Bruin fan. He claims his favorite color is blue, and his dog is named Reggie.
Any questions? Who is Sarah Leonard? Sunny’s real name is Sara perhaps you can guess the rest. While Sunny and Lenny are ‘natives’ his grandparents came from Bulgaria, Turkey, Hungary and Germany. PP STEVE SCHERER asked what it was like growing up in the Friedman family. It was a happy time, with few rules they didn’t shout, or spank, and they provided a very loving, caring environment. Was your Dad interested in Music? Yes, and I even took guitar for a couple of years, but was released after that. I asked what was his first car? It was supposed to be a 1971 Pontiac LeMans with a 350 V-8 engine., but it instead became a 1967 Fiat 131 which he bought from his brother-in-law. Did you get a discount on your wedding ring? (I’ll let you imagine on this one).
Next up was MARSHALL (ANDY) ANDERSON. He was sponsored into Rotary by PP HOWARD SISKEL, and ANDY’S first words were of his gratitude to HOWARD for bringing him aboard. He recalled the many strange things that have happened during his long life, including thirty years with the Los Angeles Police Department. He has arrested bank robbers, been shot at by street thugs, found over a half million dollars in unclaimed bank notes at the airport, and forty years ago was interviewed by a Los Angeles Times reporter and then married her. You all know PAT.
But one of the really odd things happened last January he became an Octogenarian. Turning eighty years old was really a shock to him. He never thought he would get that old his parents died at a relatively young age, so making eighty was a surprise. He became a Senior Citizen an odd title, since he doesn’t think of himself as senior, but as old, and you are supposed to be the same citizen that you were at 21. You harbor a very keen sense of responsibility to your nation, your neighbors, and your family.
It now seems almost unbelievable that he could once jump over the net after playing tennis now, at the gym when up in the air, he finds his feet are still on the ground. Jumping is a skill that somehow vanishes with age, the same as running and he used to be able to run for miles, not even pausing for breath. These days, he has to shuffle as he walks, and if it’s more than a block away, he uses the car. Those safety rails on stairs - why were they needed? Now, he finds he takes a tight grip, on both sides. His old body is not what it used to be or at least, not what he remembers it to be.
There was a time when he could handle a 12-hour shift, take a few minutes off for a cup of coffee, and then do another 12 hours, change into a fresh shirt, and go out for an evening with friends. The next morning he wasn’t even tired! But no more. Now, there are days when he slowly rolls out of bed, reads the Times, has a cup of coffee and goes back to bed for a nap. He’s not sure just when all this happened, but it sure makes a difference in his schedule. Things are slower, times are more reflective, and he likes to be with family and friends.
He is delighted that his eight grandchildren are gathering college degrees, and some are starting on careers. Sometimes they even ask him for advice. Computers, blackberries, cell phones, credit cards today’s young adults can do so much more with what they have than was available to him. A young grandson recently asked him how a typewriter works and why we had to use them. But they are still a lot of fun.
Another joy that fills his days in volunteer work. He gets great pleasure out of using his experience and knowledge for such organizations as the YMCA, the Salvation Army, and Rotary. In all these activies he enjoys meeting with a dedicated group of men and women who are trying especially to improve the lives of young people. He suspects that for the rest of his life he will continue to share his talents and funds with such organizations.
One of his special favorites is the Salvation Army’s Alegria. It is basically a home for families with one or more members suffering from HIV or AIDS. Let’s get a group together and go down and look at it. It’s a stunning apartment complex on Sunset Blvd in the Echo Park area, and it houses sixty families. They offer parenting, learning classes, banking knowledge, and their child-care facilities are open to the community. It is mainly a Latino community, and their waiting list is long. The structure was built to the spefications of the Salvation Army, and it is administered by them. The families are learning to cope, and some of them have moved on, to admit more families.
Another organization he enjoys is PACT, Police And Community Together. with volunteers aiding the WLA Police Department. They supply things the City does not This includes ink replacement packets, new computers to replace old ones, fax machines, ammunition for training days, and money for officers to go to special Training events.
He has recently joined the Brentwood Homeowners Association, a group where citizens can get help to improve their neighborhoods. They helped to get Left Turn Lights on Sunset Blvd, and to install speed bumps on interior streets to slow traffic. A very special event involves the Westside Family YMCA they have outgrown their building, and have been approved to build a new structure on the southwest corner of University High School. This will include more facilities, plus adequate parking. All this is good news for some of his Y friends, including HENRY TSENG, ELEANOR MORE, ELOISE SISKEL, BOB WESSLING, DON PARK, DON CONNER, AL BELANCA, RON LYSTER, and both TERRY WHITES. There also is an early morning cardiac rehabilitation class, which ANDY and Pat attend on MWF. This may be the only place in Westwood where they wear special costumes and have special dancing and snacks on such special days as Christmas, 4th of July, Bastille Day, Flag Day, and Groundhog Day. Everyone in the Class is a Senior Citizen, of course.
The years of retirement also give us time for hobbies. He profits from attending cooking classes at local high schools, and he and Pat attend the Napa Valley where he learns many new recipes from some famous chefs. So a decade from now, he can look forward to whatever they call the ninety-year-olds. A few years later, he will be able to join HENRY TSENG at the 100-year mark. Such persons should perhaps be called a Centurion, and it’s a title to which we all can aspire.
Q&A Andy, what kind of costumes do you wear on Groundhog Day? You look like a groundhog. I couldn’t resist asking what was HIS first car? It was a 1934 Plymouth four door, and it lasted for quite a few years. What suggestions do you have for the Beijing Olympics security, since you served in that capacity for the LA Games in 1984? Get some good people to work for you.
President SEAN McMILLAN presented DAVID and ANDY with new full-size portfolios, as a Thank You for their talks today. He then reminded us all that we would start early next week, with the Japanese Exchange Students here. And a final warning Don’t ever be irreplaceable it you are, you can’t be promoted!