President Sean McMillan's Swan Song
Al Osborne, Sr. Asst., Dean of Anderson School of Management
President Sean McMillan's Swan Song
IMPORTANT: June 27
Demotion of President Sean, Beach Club
WESTWOOD LIBRARY and ROTORACT at WVRC on June 11th.
PAT ANDERSON (who is related to PDG ANDY) led the Pledge. Then ANDY was up, for the Invocation. “All of us wrestle with the great questions of life. What is life all about? What is my life all about? What happened to all my dreams? We ask ourselves these questions as we do our best to lead good lives…But that’s not enough…We find ourselves wondering, “What’s the point?” …We are not content…and then what happens when we hurt people whom we love? …But Jesus has taught us that we are meant to love others as much as we love ourselves…Great leaders tell us that each person is valuable and each person has a purpose in this life. ..There is meaning in each of our lives, and there is joy and hope in each of our futures and that is the way we learn to live and to love.” Well done, ANDY Thanks.
There were no admitted Visiting Rotarians with us, but we had guests. SUNNY was with LENNY, Auxiliary President MARIE ROLF joined us, and of course we have already heard from PAT ANDERSON, who was with PDG ANDY. Madison Goritsan suggested that he was trying to set a record for free lunches, but that’s how Special Guests are recruited! He and John O’Keefe will be circularized today, by the way. PP DON NELSON brought along Jim Kim, our Rotary Scholar, who has completed his work at UCLA. In an abbreviated Birthday Recognition, the three who were present were called forward RAY ZICKFELD, who claims the 8th, in Chicago, WARREN DODSON, the 14th in Pasadena, and PP STEVE SCHERER, who liked the 21st, in Rochelle (and that’s Illinois, of course). They were suitably serenaded, and each then signed the June books given to the Library. The only June BDer absent was GENE PRINDLE, who would have claimed the 2nd, in good ole LA. And some good news about two of these guys WARREN DODSON has realized that he can’t do without us, so his earlier action no longer applies, and GENE PRINDLE should be returning shortly. An advance WELCOME to you both!
ED JACKSON brought some winners from Emerson Middle School. Lillian Peng and Donne Cabrillo BOTH achieved straight 4.0 GPAs, and they were given plaques and fifty dollar checks by ED. This is a must-be-continued recognition, named after our former member AL CAMPBELL, who was the Principal at Emerson. They were accompanied by Asst Principal Sherri Quinn. SCOTT FITCH reminded us of the continuing Book Drive, which winds down this month. PP CHRIS BRADFORD and ANN SAMSON were presented with lovely embossed leather cases by President SEAN, in recognition of their help on the Board this past year, as were all the other Board Members at our meeting Tuesday night.
The Head Table used their ‘free’ time to advance several causes. GORDON FELL and MARK ROGO were saluted for their very useful work with the Westwood Library. ED JACKSON was reminded of his own time at Emerson, and was pleased to note that our two honorees were both going on to University High School, where they can join our new Interact Club.
Amid the usual Fear and Trepidation, ELLIOTT TURNER was called upon for Inspiration. It seems grandpa was summoned to the IRS office for an audit, and he arrived with his attorney. The charge was that he explain his extravagant lifestyle, yet showing no full-time employment. His claim of earning money by gambling was not accepted. “I’m a great gambler, and I can prove it. How about a demonstration?” “Ok, go ahead”. “I’ll bet you a thousand dollars I can bite my own eye.” After thinking, “It’s a bet”. Grandpa removes his glass eye and bites it. He now says, “Now, I’ll bet you two thousand dollars that I can bit my other eye”. Since the auditor can see that Grandpa is not blind, he takes the bet. Grandpa removes his dentures and bites his good eye. Whoops the auditor now realizes he has lost three grand, with Grandpa’s attorney as a witness. He starts to get nervous “Want to go double or nothing? I’ll bet you six thousand dollars that I can stand on one side of your desk and pee into that wastebasket on the other side and never get a drop anywhere in between.” (This particular section of the story causes some of those present at WVRC today who shall not be named to want in on the bet). However, the auditor, twice burned, is cautious now, but after looking carefully he figures there is no way this old guy could possible manage that stunt, so he agrees again. Grandpa stands beside the desk and unzips his pants, but although he strains mightily, he can’t make the stream reach the wastebasket, so he pretty much urinates all over the auditor’s desk. The auditor leaps with joy, realizing that he has just turned a major loss into a huge win. But grandpa’s own attorney moans and puts his head in his hands. “Are you OK?” the auditor asks. “Not really”, says the attorney “This morning when grandpa told me he’d been summoned for an audit, he bet me twenty five thousand dollars that he could come in here and piss all over you desk, and that you’d be happy about it.”
With this lead-in, at least two more Inspirations were required. President SEAN stepped nimbly forward. A father passing by his son’s bedroom was astonished to see that his bed was nicely made and everything was picked up. Then he saw an envelope, propped up prominently on the pillow that was addressed to “Dad”. His mind jumping to a worst-case premonition, he opened the envelope with trembling hands and read the letter.
Dear Dad: It is with great regret and sorrow that I’m writing you. I had to elope with my new girlfriend because I wanted to avoid a scene with mom and you. I have been finding real passion with Stacy and she is so nice. But I knew you would not approve of her because of her piercing, tattoos. tight motorcycle clothes and the fact that she is much older than I am. But it’s not only the passion…Dad, she’s pregnant. Stacy said that we will be very happy. She owns a trailer in the woods and has a stack of firewood for the whole winter. We share a dream of having many more children. Stacy has opened my eyes to the fact that marijuana doesn’t really hurt anyone. We’ll be growing it for ourselves and trading it with the other people who live nearby for cocaine and ecstasy. In the meantime we will pray that science will find a cure for AIDS so Stacy can get better. She deserves it.
Don’t worry, Dad. I’m 15 and I know how to take care of myself. Someday I’m sure that we will be back to visit so that you can get to know your grandchildren. Love, Your Son, John,
PS…Dad, none of the above is true. I’m over at Tommy’s house. I just wanted to remind you that there are worse things in life than a Report Card that’s in my center desk drawer. I love you. Call me when it’s safe to come home.
A change of pace seemed to be in order. This involved a really excellent report on the activities of our Rotaract Club this past school year. The report was given by Stephen Gardner, President this just-ending quarter. He brought along Diane Gonzalez, who is their Community Service Chair. Their beginning activity was attending the International Convention, which as you will recall, was in Los Angeles. They next visited Venice Beach and made a clean-up drive, clearing lots of debris from the sand. A Halloween Party ensued, and the photos showed them having a great time. Next, they visited an AIDS kitchen, putting on Project Chicken Soup. This involved cooking breakfast for a large group, and again, it went well. Their next project was called Ugly Blanket, and was designed to provide blankets and bedding for the homeless. They then had dinner with the Rotary District Officers. From all this you can see they had a busy and productive year, emphasizing Service Above Self. As a final act, they gave both ANN SAMSON and President SEAN a lovely gift. During this whole presentation, there was a probably deserved suspicion that PP ERIC LOBERG was frequently misbehaving, but no witnesses were found who would testify!
However, this didn’t prevent President SEAN from a further bit of Irish History. Remember that these significant tidbits are all built around the actual date we are meeting so, on June 11th, 1534, Thomas Garrett (Lord Offaly and grandson of Garrett Mor Fitzgerald, Earl of Kildare) was riding through Dublin with a large band of followers. Known as “Silken Thomas” because of the silk worn on his follower’s helmets, he had heard the false rumor spread by Henry VIII that his father, Garrett Og has been executed in the Tower of London. He enters the Chapter House of St. Mary’s Abbey where the King’s Council is awaiting him and flings down his Sword of State essentially a dramatic act of defiance, by which Thomas Garrett had hoped to forge his claim to power. Henry VIII treated this as an act of open revolt and does confine his father, Garret Og, to the Tower where he dies two months later. And again, June 11th, 1690, the hated William of Orange departed for Ireland. But there’s more on the same June 11th, 1990, The Republic of Ireland plays their first-ever match in the finals of the World Cup, drawing 1-1 with England in Cagliari, Sardinia.
This tale allowed time for a final Inspiration, and since he was already up there, President SEAN provided the following: A Greek and an Irishman were sitting in a Starbuck’s café one day discussing who had the superior culture. Over triple lattes the Greek says, “Well, we Greeks built the Parthenon”, arching his eyebrows. (SEAN didn’t do this, just told us about it) The Irishman then replies, “Well, it was the Irish that discovered the summer and winter Solstices.” The Greek retorts, “We Greeks gave birth to advanced mathematics” The Irishman, nodding in agreement, says, “Irish were the ones who built the first timepieces and calendars” And so on, until the Greek comes up with what he thinks will end the discussion. With a flourish of finality, he says, “The Greeks were the ones who invented sex!” The Irishman replies, “Indeed, that is true, but it was we Irish who introduced it to women.”
MARK ROGO introduced our Speaker, Kerry Perlow, who is the President of the Friends of the Westwood Library. MARK reminded us that our Library is entering its third year, and this support group was formed in 2004, so they have been aboard since before the beginning. Ms Perlow began with a quote from Ladybird Johnson “Perhaps no place in any community is more democratic than the public library!” She felt it was a great opportunity and agreed immediately to help. Both our Library and the Friends have grown considerably since then.
She wanted to thank community volunteers who are on the Board - both MARK ROGO and GORDON FELL have done yeoman work. Both were nicely applauded. Their organization is designed to provide fundraising, scholarship activities, and programs on an on-going basis. There are 21 Board Members, and they have 350 Members. They have raised over $200,000, hold Book Sales, established a Community Website and purchased needed equipment for the Library. A recent addition is called Hot Off The Presses, and provides the latest best-sellers. The Library provides enrichment activities, plays and musical productions, dramatic readings, book discussions and many children’s activities. They support adult literacy programs, and provide free computer usage. Currently the Library serves between 18 and 20 thousand visitors per month! It circulates over 20K publications monthly and remember, this is just the Westwood branch! They have had great success with a recent program which encourages younger children to read.
As to how WVRC has been involved, we have been with them since the beginning. In addition to our active Board Members, GORDON and MARK, we provide large print books and additional books for each monthly birthday. If you haven’t been there yet it’s worth a visit. There is free parking underground, and the staff is unfailingly helpful. Speaking personally, I have used their research department for information on Redistricting, since I’m interested in becoming one of the 14 who will redraw the District boundaries following the 2010 census. And don’t forget these are tough times for public institutions, and our Library can use your donations or volunteer time. It’s a real community activity come on in, the waters fine!
You can reach them at (310) 474-1739, or www.friendsofwestwoodlibrary.org. They are open starting at 10 am on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday and at 12 noon on Tuesday and Thursday, closing at 8 pm most days, except Friday and Saturday. They are closed, as all LA City Libraries are, on Sunday. She concluded with a quote from Peter Hamil, a columnist for the NY Daily News, “In hard times, libraries are more important than ever. Human beings need what books give them, better than any media. Free circulation books are an absolute necessity. For those without money, the road to the treasure house of imagination begins at the public library.” They do accept used books, which they sell and then use the money to buy new books.
A brief Q&A What is the status of the lot next door to the Library? The city owns it, but final decisions as to usage are not yet complete. Do you have Books on Tape? Yes, it is one of our major collections. It’s a going place check it out!
Words of Wisdom
If more of us valued food and cheer and song above money, it would be a merrier world,
Just remember, there are two theories to arguing with women. Neither one works.