GEORGE DEA stood up once again, and took the place of YOE last week.
I was auditioning to be the Poster Boy for the Diarrhea Association,
but as always, GEORGE stepped forward when asked, and saved the day.
Thanks, GEORGE - and I think we should all be aware how fortunate we
are that he is once again in the lineup for the Chairs. Kudos aside,
we moved to the Pledge, ably led by RAY ZICKFELD. A "Floating Threesome"
of JACK HARRIS, BILL MAXWELL, and LENNY FRIEDMAN then blended their
talents to produce "America". Actually, one of the trio made
a public statement beforehand that they would like to both start and
end together, and this worthy goal was well accomplished. Next up was
new member BOB YOUNKER (who feels pretty 'old shoe' to YOE). BOB gave
a thoughtful prayer dealing with the diversity of our beliefs, and giving
thanks for our ability to help others less fortunate than ourselves.
We are always looking for good new members - and BOB has really waded
in, which is nice to see.
There were three visiting Rotarians, according to RUDY ALVAREZ.. They
were David Sanchez, an International Financial Advisor from Beverly
Hills, and two from Santa Monica, Harmon Sieff in Law - Litigation,
and Larry Maher, a CPA. The sun having come out once again in that profession,
Prez BOB re-introducted PP CHRIS GAYNOR and PP STEVE DAY to their fellow
WVRC members - good to see you guys again.
This in turn allowed PP STEVE to elucidate us (that means instruct)
in the intricacies of being a Benefactor. If you make a gift - or provide
in your will - for $1,000 or more to Rotary, you join 33 others in the
Club who already so qualify. JOHN SANDMAN FELLOWS are those in our Club
who have made the same arrangements with WVRC being the Beneficiary,
and we now have 43 in that category. As I'm sure you know, JOHN was
a Charter Member of WVRC, and his daughter, Virginia Gandy is our Paul
Harris Angel. Incidentally, it was good to see VIRGINIA back with us
- she has had a spell of illness, but seems fine once again.
More on the health front - BILL BLOOMFIELD is glad to have visitors,
but please call in advance. The news on BOB FERGUS is not good - he
is back at Country Villa on Overland, but seems to be slipping away.
Cards (to home) would be welcome, of course. And one final note - I
ran into PP JOHN KUHL the other day. Lynn is still with him, but he
has two helpers with her care now. Give him a ring (3l0) 454-485l -
and I'm sure he would be available as a visitor to WVRC, so keep that
in mind, please.
LENORE MULRYAN next introduced her Westwood Village Ambassadorial Scholarship
Interview Committee - and she has some good ones, including DON NELSON,
SUSAN ALLEN, PETER MORE, RAY ZICKFELD and our real Renaissance Man,
DR RALPH BEASOM. YOE is glad he doesn't have to be gone over by this
bunch! And one housekeeping note, please: the Foundation Committee wishes
to apologize for grammatical errors in the flyer soliciting attendance
for the Foundation dinner this coming October. HOWEVER, they would appreciate
your immediate response, please.
PP DAVE MORE gamely stepped forward with the well-nigh-impossible task
of pumping up the Rotarian Magazine. He quoted from an article by Cliff
Dockerman, R.I. President of a few years ago, outlining what would be
decided by the International Convention in 2001 - and it was an impressive
list of current and future concerns At this point, you would almost
predict that PP ERIC LOBERG would have a comment or two to interject
- and of course, he did. ERIC, you are a genuinely funny man, but your
target in this instance was not a fair one - you can do better another
Prez BOB invited those with birthdays to come forward, first noting
that they had no chance of getting any kind of gift - but they were
still welcome to be serenaded!
In some sort of sequence, birthdays in April were achieved by ELLIOTT
TURNER, BILL MICHAEL, CLARK McQUAY, RON KLEPETAR, DICK ROBINSON, RALEIGH
SHAO, ERIC LOBERG, ANN ELKINS and DON PARK - but the topper was JIM
GREATHEAD, who turned NINETY just four days ago!
Prez BOB introduced his long time friend and law partner, Barry Sanders.
Barry has already had a most distinguished career in public service,
including serving on the Los Angeles Olympic Organizing Committee, Co-Chairing
the major Rebuild LA project after the riots, and serving in several
significant capacities within the music community. He is currently Chair
of the Los Angeles Philharmonic - and has already been designated as
lead man for the 2012 Los Angeles Olympic Games Bidding Team. But his
first love remains music, and thus we could not have had a better representative
to describe Disney Hall. He was assisted in his presentation by Kristen
Kenyon of the Disney staff.
Designed by Frank Gehry, Disney will seat 2,280 in the main concert
hall, thus forming our fourth performing arts center, next to the existing
Dorothy Chandler, Ahmanson, and Mark Taper venues. It will be devoted
solely to music, and the major donor has always been the Disney family
and organization. The entire cost is pegged at $225 million dollars
--all privately funded - and when you compare that to the present cost
of just one new Boeing 747 at $300 million, it puts the numbers in better
The Dorothy Chandler seats 3200, and is presently an all-purpose venue,
used by the Philharmonic, the Opera, and other tenants. With such a
structure, you necessarily have to make compromises and concessions
-but this will not be the case with Disney - it is for the Philharmonic,
period. (Opera will become the basic tenant at the Chandler).
Starting from scratch, as he did, enabled Gehry to design a classic
Concert Hall - that is, a wooden box with the stage surrounded by seats
- almost a theatre in the round, you could say. Sound was primary and
thus everything is wood - floors, walls, ceiling, and intimacy must
be preserved. It contains 230,000 square feet of interior space, on
three levels, and will be sheathed in stainless steel. There are five
performing areas inside, and two on the Garden Level outside. The Red
Cat Theatre for 200 will be devoted to Cal Arts presentations, which
is another Disney operation. The stage in the main concert hall will
be brought forward, leaving 25% of the space behind, and lots of seats
on the side, all designed to bring the audience into closer contact
with the musicians. There is of course major new space for rehearsals,
and a separate interview room is provided.
Q and A - There are twelve stories of parking directly underground
- this has already been completed, and the exterior will be completed
in 2001. Once finished inside, the fine-tuning will begin, which is
accomplished by having people present, then adjusting screens and fabrics
to produce the true sound desired.
Currently there are 87 symphonies annually - Disney will provide 108,
plus 20 other orchestral events and 20 recitals, for a new total of
153. Ticket sales provide about 60 to 65% of the running costs of the
Philharmonic - the cash shortfall is made up by donations of about nine
million dollars annually. As a comparison, the Metropolitan Opera in
New York has an annual shortfall of eighty million dollars - so we must
be doing something right! Thank you, Barry Sanders - you may not be
the famed pro running back, but you sure as hell know your stuff about
music, and Disney in detail.
YOE, Ernie Wolfe