IMPORTANT: Saturday, June 27
Demotion of President Sean, Beach Club
Saturday, August 8
August Moon Festival Fun Party
SEAN MCMILLAN’s SWAN SONG at WVRC on June 25th
PP JOHN SINGLETON led the Pledge. SUSAN KLEIN provided the Invocation. She began with a bit of philosophy the reason God invented alcohol was to keep the Irish from ruling the world! This was roundly applauded. Next, SUSAN noted that SEAN was obviously a devoted member of the Catholic Church, which reminded her of a story about Mary. It seems that a very devout Catholic gentlemen died and went to heaven. St. Peter said to him, “You have lived such an exemplary life, we’ll give you one special wish. What is it?” “All my life I’ve wanted to meet and talk with St. Mary.” “All right, but don’t tell anyone because we don’t give anyone else that privilege”. She was seated in a small room, answering petitions. “I’m so happy to meet you, and I’ve had one question about you all my life. In every picture, you always look so sad. Why is that?” “OK, but you must promise not to tell anyone. The reason is because I was hoping for a girl!” Methinks it would be fair to say that this set the pattern for the whole meeting and we all loved the story.
And the Invocation itself, “Gracious God, for your love for us, gentle as the shower, healing our pain, binding our wounds, we give you thanks. For your love for us, sure as the dawn, transforming the darkness, revealing your truth, we give you thanks. For your love of us, mercifully steadfast, calling us to you, raising us up, we give you thanks. For your love for us, encouraging questions, open to doubts, making us vulnerable, we give you thanks. Urge us on, Oh God, to find wholeness through serving you, through serving others in the power of your spirit. And now we ask that you bless our departing president SEAN, bless this gathering, and keep us ever mindful of the needs of others, and that you strengthen us to do your work in the world. All this we ask in your name, Amen.”
There was no song, even though I and several others reminded SEAN of last week’s unanimous vote that he solo A CAPELLA with Home On The Range. Pulling Executive Privilege, he noted that by a vote of himself over all the others, he declined this opportunity. We had one visiting Rotarian, Joe Mulryan from LA 5. It‘s always good to have Joe with us, and this time he brought a guest, Lindsey Fyfe. She has just been chosen as an Ambassadorial Scholar, and will be studying Painting next year at the University of Edinburgh. GEORGE COX was again accompanied by his daughter, Mary Elizabeth Johnson.
At the Head Table, ELLIOTT TURNER felt it was appropriate to introduce an almost Visiting Rotarian, PP DAVE WHITEHEAD, who has been on a leave recently. I should add that he was seated at my table, and behaved himself well! JACK HARRIS advised one and all, “Buy low and sell high”. MIKE YOUSEM, who was introduced as having “shined his head…” and I must remind one and all that there are some, who shall remain anonymous, who can be offended at this ‘sport’ of noting degrees of hairlessness! But MIKE gallantly responded that he thought SEAN had done an excellent job, so there…RALPH BEASON echoed these words.
Since he was already up there, JACK HARRIS provided some continuity with some Irish myths. He provided the following preamble you new members haven’t heard this, and you old members won’t remember it. It’s eleven in the morning, and Murphy is standing in front of Muldoon’s Bar, thirsty as hell but without a cent to his name. Then along comes the hearse, and as it passes, hits a bump in the road. The springs open the back doors, and who but the recently departed Clancy falls out on the pavement. Thinking fast, Murphy hoists Clancy up and struggles inside the bar with him. He seats him against the wall, and then shouts out, “Two large whiskies”. Of course, he drinks both of them. “Muldoon, two more”. Muldoon brings them and says, “That’ll be eight pounds for the four whiskies.” Clancy says, “My friend here will pay ya” and he leaves for the men’s room. Muldoon looks at Clancy, saying “You heard what your friend said you’ll be payin for the whiskies.” No response. Muldoon then says, “Did you hear me? I said that would be eight pounds, and I want the money NOW”. Nothing. Muldoon reaches across the bar, grabs Clancy by the lapels, and starts shaking him. Clancy slips out of his hands and goes crashing to the floor, just as Murphy comes out of the men’s room. Murphy rushes over to Clancy, and seems to be feeling for a pulse. He looks up at Muldoon and says, “You’ve killed my best friend!” Muldoon says, “I had to. He pulled a knife on me!”. This was so well received that JACK provided a sequel, or whatever such a follow-up is called…An elderly gentlemen retires, and finds a house overlooking the sea. He likes to go for a walk along the bluff. It’s very windy, and when he makes a misstep, he suddenly falls over the edge. But luckily, as he falls, he is able to grab a young tree that is growing out of the cliff. He was hanging there, and he looked up and said, “Is there anybody up there?” A voice booms out, “There is always someone here for you, my son! All you have to do is let go of the tree, and we will see that you have a safe landing.” He looks down at the jagged rocks and crashing sea below, looks up and says, “Is there anybody else up there?”
PP STEVE SCHERER was called forward to induct our two newest members. JOHN O’KEEFE and his sponsor, TOM BARRON, plus MADISON GORITSAN and his sponsor, JOHN HEIDT flanked (that means they each stood on opposite sides) of the podium, and PP STEVE welcomed them. He reminded us all that WVRC is made up of women and men who believe in the idea of Service Above Self. He noted that many of us give of our time, our service, our money, and full participation, and we know that you agree with these ideals. TOM BARRON spoke first about JOHN O’KEEFE, having known him for 35 years. John is a good Irishman, attended Loyola University of Chicago, and has always been ready to help a friend in need. JOHN in turn spoke, noting that he wasn’t aware that he would be inducted today and didn’t even wear a TIE! He is glad to be a member of Rotary and hopes he can participate and serve. JOHN HEIDT then spoke about MADISON GORITSAN, whom he has known for the past six years. They first had a business relationship, which has developed into personal friendship. He has shown real caring in their relationship, and knows he will enjoy Rotary. MADISON then replied, thanking us all for the privilege of wearing the Rotary pin. The two of them were given a standing ovation and royally welcomed into our fellowship!
PP STEVE DAY came forward to make a presentation, but first felt it was necessary to tell a joke (this seemed to be a day of such necessities…) An Irish family was visiting in the city, for the first time for any of them. The husband and his son were walking around the mall, while his wife was shopping. They came upon something they had never seen it appeared to be a sliding door, but beyond that they just weren’t sure what it did. An old woman in a wheelchair went to the door, pressed a button, and when the door opened, got in. They then observed the dial, showing a clock-like hand moving around. When it reached the top and paused, it then came back. Out stepped a really beautiful woman, and the door closed again. The husband quickly said to his son, “Go and get your Mother!”
PP STEVE then pointed out that, as Club Chair for the Rotary Foundation, Paul Harris membership is given to express appreciation for ways in which the individual exemplifies the humanitarian and educational objectives of the Rotary Foundation. It is named for our Founder, Paul Harris, a Chicago attorney who started us in 1905. The award was started in 1957 to express appreciation for gifts of $1,000 or more to the Foundation, which sponsors programs around the world for humanitarian and educational purposes. These projects enhance worldwide understanding and friendship. Today we welcome DAVID W. FRIENDMAN as a Paul Harris Fellow!
PP DON NELSON was up next, to present our Rotarian Of The Year Award. Traditionally, the last five recipients of the Award select this person they are PP DON as chair, PP PETER MORE, PP STEVE DAY, PEGGY BLOOMFIELD and ANN SAMSON. Since we were already standing, DON then began a process of elimination, first asking all former Rotarians of the Year to sit down. All Rotarians who have been a member for less than ten years, please be seated. All Rotarians who had perfect attendance for the last ten years sit down. All Rotarians who were born west of the Mississippi River sit down. If you weren’t born in Chicago, please sit down. If you WERE born in Chicago please stand up! LENNY, where have you been all this time? This award was very well received, and applauded.
Your Board of Directors has authorized a new, permanent Plaque, which will honor Past Presidents and others who have made major contributions to WVRC since 2000. President SEAN showed it off, and it will be on display at every meeting. We urge you to look it over it’s a nice tribute.
But fear not, Irish history was still available! Near the River Liffey stands Trinity College (officially the University of Dublin). It was founded in 1592 by Elizabeth 1. in an attempt to stop students acquiring revolutionary ideas on the Continent or being influenced by the Pope in Rome. For centuries the college was the centre of Protestant religion and Catholics couldn’t join unless they accepted the Protestant faith. Later Catholics had to get special permission for the bishop to attend the college or else face the possibility of excommunication. These restrictions were not completely lifted until the 24th of June 1970. The world-famous Book of Kells is displayed in the college, and for those of you who do not know, its magnificent 1200-year-old illustrated manuscript makes it one of the oldest books in the world. And I wouldn’t be fulfilling my editorial responsibilities if I didn’t point out that we do, indeed, owe President SEAN some real credit for the many facets of Ireland he has brought to our attention!
And now, some more recent history: President SEAN asked that we honor JOHN O’KEEFE and MADISON GORITSAN for being our newest members, after just one week. 1 year included JOHN HEIDT, DWIGHT HEIKKILA and PP HOMER NEWMAN, while two years is held by MARK BLOCK. PEGGY BLOOMFIELD has four years, and five years are claimed by ED GAULD, SEAN MCMILLAN and PP DON NELSON. PP CHRIS BRADFORD has six years, while PP PETER MORE rates eleven. CLAWSON BLEAK gets fifteen years, and both MARCIA BROUS and LEO TSENG have sixteen years. LENNY FRIEDMAN rates eighteen years, while PP STEVE SCHERER is entitled to twenty two. PP RON LYSTER is one better at twenty three, and PP MIKE NEWMAN claims twenty four. Three of us are at twenty eight, TERRY M. WHITE, TERRY R. WHITE and YOE. DICK ROBINSON has twenty nine, and PP JOHN SINGLETON is entitled to thirty four. The new Champion is RICK BROUS with thirty nine years!
It’s perhaps not entirely clear to me when ELLIOTT TURNER was summoned for some Inspiration, but he did have several submissions. A Polish town had just one cow to its name and its milk ran dry. The townsfolk did some research and bought a replacement cow from Minsk for only 1,000 rubles. It was a great cow, gave lots of milk and lots of cream. Everybody loved it. Then the people decided they would mate the cow and get more cows and would never again have to worry about their milk supply. They bought a bull and led the cow and the bull into the pasture. But things were not that easy.
When the bull came in from the right to mount the cow, the cow moved to the left and when the bull moved to the left, the cow moved to the right. This went on all day. In desperation, the people asked their rabbi what to do he was very wise.
“Rabbi, we’ve tried all day to mate our cow, but when the bull moves in from the right the cow moves left, and vice versa. What shall we do?” The Rabbi said to them, “Now, why did you buy a Minsk cow?” “Rabbi”, they said to him, “you are so wise. We never told you that we bought the cow from Minsk. How did you know?” The Rabbi said, “My wife is from Minsk”.
Next, the Supreme Court has ruled that there cannot be a nativity scene in the United States Capital this Christmas season. This isn’t for any religious reason; they simply have not been able to find three wise men and a virgin in the nation’s capitol. There was no problem, however, finding enough asses to fill the stable.
And yet again. A Dept of Water Resources representative stops at a Texas ranch and talks with an old rancher. He tells the rancher, “I need to inspect your ranch for your water allocation. ”The old rancher says, “OK, but don’t go in that field over there.” The Water representative says, “Mister, I have the authority of the Federal Government with me. See this card? This card means I am allowed to go WHEREVER I WISH on any agricultural land. No questions asked or answered. Have I made myself clear? Do you understand?” The old rancher nods politely and goes about his chores. Later, the old rancher hears loud screams and spies the Water Rep running for his life and close behind is the rancher’s bull. The bull is gaining with every step. The Rep is clearly terrified, so the old rancher immediately throws down his tools, runs to the fence and yells at the top of his lungs…”Your card! Show him your card!”
Not to be outdone, PP ERIC LOBERG entered what was apparently a competition with the following submission: A grandma, 88 years old, still drives her own car. She writes to her granddaughter The other day I went to our local Christian bookstore and found a “Honk if you love Jesus” bumper sticker. I was feeling particularly sassy that day, so I bought the sticker and put it on my bumper. Boy, am I glad I did. What an uplifting experience it provided. I was stopped at a red light at a busy intersection, just lost in thought about the Lord, and I didn’t notice that the light had changed. It’s a good thing someone else loves Jesus, because if he hadn’t honked, I wouldn’t have learned that a lot of people love Jesus. While I was sitting there, the guy behind me starting honking, and then leaned out his window and screamed at me, “For the love of God, Go! Jesus Christ, Go!” And what a lot of exuberant cheerleaders there were. Everyone started honking, so I just leaned out my window and started waving and smiling. I even honked my own horn a few times to share in the level of excitement. There must have been a man from Florida back there, because I heard him yelling about a sunny beach. I saw another guy waving in a funny way, with only his middle finger up in the air. I asked my young teenage grandson in the back seat what that meant. He said it was probably a Hawaiian good luck sign, or something. Well, I have never met someone from Hawaii, so I leaned out the window and gave him the good luck sign right back. My grandson burst out laughing why, even he was enjoying this. A couple of the people were so caught up in the moment that they got out of their cars and started walking toward me. I bet they wanted to pray, or ask what church I attended, but then I noticed that the light had changed. So I waved at all my brothers and sisters and drove on through the intersection. I noticed that I was the only car that got through the intersection, and I was kind of sad to leave all that love behind. So I slowed down, rolled out the window, and gave them all the Hawaiian good luck sign one last time as I drove away. Praise the Lord, such wonderful folks! Will write again soon, love, Grandma.
President SEAN then began distributing Awards. To JACK HARRIS and ELLIOTT TURNER for their Inspirations, to MIKE YOUSEM for his twenty five years leading the Christmas Shopping Trip, STEVE DAY (IGOR) for his work with Paul Harris, PETER MORE, not present , for his website and photography, LEO TSENG for the Easter baskets for hospital kids this year, DAVE WHITEHEAD for stepping in to replace ED WRIGHT in assigning meeting helpers, ELLIOTT TURNER for his many Inspirations (and he even told the one about Washington DC and the Old Rancher at this time, but I’ve covered it elsewhere). He asked STEVE SCHERER to stand, and noted that STEVE has been Membership Chair for the past two years and is responsible for our many new members! CHRIS BRADFORD was cited for his consistent mentoring of SEAN, in addition to heading up the Ambassadorial Scholarship Program. DON NELSON and I were saluted for our sometimes behind the scenes efforts as Executive Secretary and Treasurer and I would have to say, one of the advantages of being YOE is that EVERYONE returns my phone calls!
WORDS OF WISDOM
Just remember, Hell hath no fury like the lawyer of a woman scorned.
And some advice as a corollary:
Don’t get married, find a woman you hate and buy her a house. It’s a lot easier on you.