September 28, 2000

 

 

              MY APOLOGIES TO THE PICNIC CHEFS

In singling out PETER MORE tonight, I erroneously identified him as one of
the Chefs at the Siskel Picnic.  Turns out the actual Chefs were TED IHNEN
and LEO TSENG, but the fact that we failed to include the Seed Spitting
Contest at this Picnic still had to be admitted, and many of you may not have
realized what a disappointment this oversight was to PETER.  Shirley tells me he keeps his trophy from last year on the mantle, and I'm sure the Board
Members will be able to admire it when they meet at the MORE"S on Tuesday the 10th.   And speaking of the Picnic, the SISKEL'S were their usual wonderful hosts, greeting over 100 attendees.  Eloise's twisted knee was an unfortunate
accident, but she is now doing well, we are glad to report. Others who helped
significantly at the Picnic included SUSAN ALLEN, PP JIM DOWNIE with his
music, and Shirley MORE as Auxiliary Coordinator, plus DICK LITTLESTONE, who introduced the Ambassadorial Scholars. Those of you who didn't attend really missed an excellent event - next year, OK?

The Club Assembly tonight was very well done.  In retrospect, of course, when
you have two terrific speakers on the same program, it's bound to be a winner - but this particular Assembly stands out. But to begin at the beginning, the Pledge was led by newlywed and PP HOMER NEWMAN.  Next up was PP STEVE DAY, substituting for PDG ANDY ANDERSON, who provided an Invocation/Thought, about Great Knute, a legendary King who eventually pointed out to his admiring subjects that he, Knute, really wasn't all that powerful.  As best I can recall, there was no song - a blessing, if true.

A number of luminaries were present and introduced by GEORGE DEA, including PDG'S BILL GOODWYN (85-86), ANDY ANDERSON (94-95), Carol Wylie (98-99), and Jack Jones (99-2000).  Others who were introduced were Governor Vicki Radel, her Executive Aide Dick Moon, Asst. Guv. Lew Bertrand and Area Rep. Abbas Satrap.   Leonard Wasserstein of Beverly Hills is the DG Nominee for next year, and will be followed by Rick Mendoza.  GEORGE also recognized BILL BLOOMFIELD for making the extra effort to attend, plus it's always good to see SALLY PHILLIPS.  Those from Rotaract who were present were Co-Presidents Yumi Hara and Yvette Garfield, with Alumni Scholar Beth Caldwell and Outbound Scholar Lee Broekman also with us - these kids are great.

And speaking of great young people, we were treated to a report by Diana
Ross, who was introduced by LENORE MULRYAN.  In addition to her many other credits Diana was the sparkplug in forming our very successful Rotaract Club at UCLA.  She spent a year in Cairo - speaks Arabic, of course - and she really gave us a feel for the everyday life of the ordinary citizens there. 
Early on, Diana was kicked by a horse while visiting the Pyramids (and seeing the Pyramids was the greatest thrill I had in my 25 years in the travel
business, by the way).  She fell off her own horse, and was immediately
surrounded by about 20 small children, whose parents worked as horse tenders.   This was an awakening - she realized that these kids were the main body of Egypt - and their parents were begging for one Egyptian Pound (worth about 30 cents US)! Shortly afterward, Diana met Affas, when they became entangled with a loose goose (literally) on a bus ride - she became her close friend.  Affas is a teacher of Arabic, and provided great insights into what is going on with the mostly poor and illiterate peasantry of Egypt.  The figures show 34% of men and 52% of women are illiterate, and these are undoubtedly low estimates.  The rich, by the way, are the only persons who learn English - it is not taught in the schools.

Diana also visited Ethiopia, where she witnessed the polio corrective surgery
program, and was impressed by how different teams of foreign doctors and
helpers worked together so well. Finally, their bus, departing for the return
trip home, was hit head-on by a loaded cement truck.  After scrambling out of
the bus, they were faced with serious choices - turn back, or trudge ahead,
since there was no way of asking for help with transportation.   One of them
offered a funny story, and they all began laughing.  This cleared the air,
and they picked up their gear and walked on - an example of the value of
humor in any tough situation (ask PP DOUG DESCH - he knows how).

A number of local chairpersons reported briefly on their activities,
including MARK BLOCK, BRUCE ROLF, SUSAN ALLEN, ANN ELKIN, RUDY ALVAREZ, KEN KILPO (did you know he used to be a Rotaract member?), Shirley MORE for the Auxiliary, and PDG Carol Wylie, reporting for PDG ANDY on the Polio Corrective Surgery Program plan.  GEORGE DEA concluded this section by reporting on the wonderful growth overseas of our PLLUS progam. Each chair was allowed one minute - and they mostly conformed to that time constraint, which ain't easy to do. And now, since I don't know where else to fit this in, a report to YOE from PP DOUG DESCH - seems that someone named Clinton was at Riviera a couple of days ago, and they didn't have a flag to fly on his car.  Borrowed the flag of WVRC, which happened to be there, so Mr. C. was properly identified. There - I've said it , and now that it's out in the open, I, personally, do not plan to brag to anyone on how our flag was usedů

PDG BILL GOODWYN introduced Governor Vicki Radel, who is from the Redondo Beach Club.  She joined Redondo Beach in 1989, was President in 94/95 - and she has to be a winner since she graduated from UCLA! Vicki was accompanied by her Rotary partner, Dr. Steve Friedman. Vicki has a Ph.D. in Psychology/Stress Management, and is a consultant for a very broad range of companies.   She and Steve are inveterate travelers.

The strength of the 1.2 million Rotarians worldwide is our Spirit of
Volunteerism. This is the foundation of Rotary, and when mixed with
compassion and the need to take action, it can be very effective.  A prime
example, of course, is our leadership in the coming complete eradication of
Polio worldwide.  Volunteerism is developed through practice, and once
established, it can provide the extra time needed to give to others, who are
less fortunate than ourselves.  Guv. Vicki strongly urged us to read BOWLING
ALONE, by Putnam - the book says, in so many words, "People should join
Rotary"!  It will give you a worldwide viewpoint, which we all need - and we
need to be reminded of this, also.

Her pride in Rotary is self-evident.  We should stand a little taller, since
we are, indeed, a cut above others - we put our money where our mouth is. 
Rotary International has just established a Peace Scholarship Program at
seven Universities, designed to encourage and teach conflict resolution  -
another forward move.  Our Matching Grant Program enables us to share our
need to help others. In a very nice touch, Vicki then surprised the recipient
of her Unsung Hero Award - she named PETER MORE, and there can't be a better choice.  Congratulations, PETER.

Vicki specifically listed several foreign countries she has visited on behalf
of Rotary.
In Berlin, she was the only woman present - and the whole program was in
German, of course (this happened to YOE in Athens, where the speaker
traditionally talks for a full hour!).  Barcelona - again, the only woman in
attendance, but she has always been well received and is most welcome, even though many foreign clubs have few, if any, female members. Tangier followed, and then in Taipei they sang Besame Mucho!  On her first visit to Rio de Janeiro, essentially to visit her son, she was assaulted less than an hour after getting off the airplane.  The police learned of her Rotary
affiliation, and within twenty minutes a Rotarian couple came and picked her
up.  They took good care of her, and the bonus is that her son then had a
Rotary connection while living in Rio. Her visit to Prague convinced her that
they should be the source of our next Group Study Exchange team - and so they are!  (Trivia note - Prague was the venue for all the outdoor town scenes in the movie AMADEUS ). Her most recent visit was to South Africa, for a meeting in which she led a group meditation for World Peace. Nelson Mandela opened the meeting and the Dali Lama later closed it.

Vicki, your pride in Rotary really shows, and we can be very proud of you at
our Governor. Thank you for sharing your unbounded enthusiasm for how Rotary can help to change the world.

And lastly, we mustn't forget the Thought for the Day - "To listen well is as powerful a means of communication and influence as to
talk well" Chief Justice John Marshall.

                                YOE, Ernie Wolfe