S.F CHINATOWN and DR. COLBY SMITH at WVRC on Oct 28th
DON PARK provided the Invocation thought. Sometimes we make light or even joke about the Four Way Test, and yet no matter what our religious beliefs are or even if we have no significant religious beliefs, the Four Way Test is the basis of life as we should live it and hopefully as we do live it. Last evening many of you joined me at the Westwood YMCA, honoring and recognizing those persons who had contributed significantly to the success of the Westside Y. We heard from various speakers, mostly young people, how the Four Way Test had been vital to their lives maybe not in so many words, but certainly vindicated by their actions. The Four Way Test is the reason that the relationship between the Y and this Rotary Club will continue to grow. Well said, DON Thanks. ELLIOTT TURNER led the Pledge and took us through the Four Way Test. RICK BROUS, substituting for LENNY, led us in a rousing rendition of God Bless America.
We had a number of visitors, among them the five who came down from the S.F. Chinatown Rotary Club. Their President, Jim Allen, was with his wife, Helen. Their immediate Past President, Ron Ginn brought his girlfriend, Liz Mark, and Virginia Sung was also with them. SHIELA YOUSEM was with MIKE. PP MIKE GINTZ was there, and was recognized for having lost FIFTY lbs! Mike Gintz's 50 pounds will yield 50 bucks to our WVRC foundation. JOHN O’KEEFE brought Ed Mirren, who is both the Golf Pro at Bel Air Country Club but also the coach of the UCLA Golf Team. We were reminded that UCLA won the National Championship in Golf in 1988. ED JACKSON introduced Athena Jackson and Brian Whitney, who both are being circularized, SHIRLEY MORE was with PETER, and of course SUNNY was with LENNY. PEGGY was with her helper.
PP STEVE DAY reminded us of the upcoming Paul Harris Celebration Event - a few tickets are still available for November 7th. You do receive points for the cost, which helps toward a Paul Harris Fellowship, of course.
Elsa Gillham, the District International Service Chair, spoke about the trip to the Dominican Republic from February 17th to the 21st. This is the 3rd such District-wide annual trip, the previous ones being to Ecuador and Guatemala. They will be visiting several areas, and the cost is $1,600 which includes air, of course. A little bird told me that President GORDON is feeling lonely since he is the only WVRC member signed up so far…
At this point, TERRY deSOUSA determined that STEVE PETTISE failed utterly to wear or at least bring his Rotary pin, and thus coughed up TEN bucks! Seems the fine is doubled when you are a Committee Chair…
MIKE YOUSEM reminded us all of the upcoming Christmas Shopping Trip which we sponsor for the local Salvation Army kids. Each participant receives $50.00 from WVRC, and they use this to buy gifts for their family and friends. They are accompanied by our members, on a one-for-one basis, and it really is a significant time for all. The date is December 9th, and MIKE can always use more hosts.
Jim Allen, President of S.F. Chinatown, gave a brief report on what they are doing. He told us they meet on Wednesday at noon. They are involved in several projects, and have 31 members.
Of their projects was to provide 400 dictionaries to local school children, which of course was very well received. They physically helped a local elementary school build some workable storage space, since the original construction money dried up before all was complete. Some of the people who originally helped were not members and they have since joined the club. They have applied for a grant to help students in Nepal, where dietary advice is being provided. He particularly thanked us for our early financial support when their club was just starting up. This was because George Dea was one of their charter members, of course. Jim also reported that Janice Dea came home from the hospital today and she will be part of the group when they come down again.
Dr. Colby Smith came forward with his Craft Talk. He is a real local, being born at Kaiser Hospital on Sunset, less than 10 miles from where we are right now! His family lived in Sierra Madre, but his dad had just gotten a job in San Francisco, so they moved shortly afterward. As he grew up, Colby’s mother worked in several nursery schools including a Chinese school, a Korean school, and a school for developmentally handicapped children, and Colby attended those schools. His dad worked under a program developed by Governor Deukmejian, then a job with the Fisheries Biology commission in Sacramento. They lived in Fair Oaks, a nearby suburb. While there, the family did a lot of hiking in the nearby Sierras.
He and his two brothers belonged to a local Boy Scout troop, and all became Eagle Scouts by the time they were 15 (applause here). Growing up, he loved sports, first playing soccer, and later wrestling which he claimed was to get even with his older brother, who out-wrestled him. He continued wrestling, and also in high school played football and ran track. He received seven varsity letters, and was co-captain in football and wrestling. Meanwhile, his mother guided him to taking college prep courses. Thus when he started at the University of California at Santa Barbara, he had almost a full year of college course credit. During this time he was busy as a volunteer, and was soon certified as a scuba diver. Note that at this time, UCSB was rated the #one Party School in the country! It was here he met Stacie Fejtek, who became the love of his life…They have many similar interests, diving, biological research, and the outdoors in general.
Colby had long had an interest in becoming a dentist. He was accepted at UCLA and then Stacie took a five-month job in the Antarctic . So when she returned it was to San Diego State, pursuing a Masters in Science degree-while he was here, learning to make dentures! Colby received top honors in clinical dentistry, and became one of six residents in advanced study. During this time he began a small private practice in Rancho Park, plus teaching at UCLA. He then was chosen to head the UCLA Advanced Dental Residency Team. Meanwhile, Stacie has agreed to marry him this coming January.
Q&A DAVID FRIEDMAN wanted to know what was his first car an inquiry he got from me, but which I don’t feel MUST be asked of everyone else! The car was a 1986 Chevy Suburban, anyway. I don’t recall who asked, but someone was put up to asking if he had bought the ring yet? This caused some laughter, and then to the disappointment of you-know-who, Colby had to confess that yes, he had! Considerable merriment, here, of course. Why do you like scuba diving? I love to eat the things that are down there lobsters, scallops, etc. However, if he hadn’t gotten into dental school, he had set up a standby visit of six months in Antarctica doing research. What are your siblings doing? Eric, the oldest, is a software engineer with a company related to Microsoft. Kyle, who is four years younger than Colby, is a staff sergeant in the U.S. Army, serving in Afghanistan and Pakistan. And Brendan is a senior at UC Santa Barbara. What was the most important influence on your career? UC Santa Barbara fostered his interest in research and technical subjects. How does your teaching schedule work? I’m paid for 2 ? days a week, but spend longer than that. His private practice takes time, also. What are your current sports interests? I still like football and wrestling, but Stacie and I do a lot of running. When will we get to meet Stacie? I’ll be bringing her around soon
Colby, I have to tell you that this has been an excellent craft talk. Thank You..