OCTOBER SIMMERS DOWN - the 30th, at WVRC

PP TED IHNEN stepped up to the plate, and let the Pledge. JACK HARRIS and PP STEVE DAY took us through God Bless America, and listening to it from the audience, we were really pretty good! Pres. PETER then announced that BOB TROXLER would be NINETY SIX tomorrow! This elicited a good rendition of Happy Birthday, which BOB enjoyed, I'm sure. PP STEVE SCHERER came forward to do the Invocation, first offering us the option of standing or sitting - sitting prevailed. STEVE suggested we applaud the firefighters, policemen and other public workers who have performed so admirably during this tragedy we are witnessing - motion carried! He next asked us to join him in a moment of silence for those who have lost loved ones, homes, beloved pets and have suffered as a result of the wildfires. And last, he asked that we join him in being thankful for a world in which relationships and friends remain as the most important blessings we all cherish. While not stated, it should be noted that Fire Station #37 could not be present with us today, as originally scheduled - they had far larger responsibilities which kept them away. Hopefully, they'll be with us next week.

PP STEVE DAY admitted that we had no Visiting Rotarians, but held out hope for next week. Pres. PETER then noted that our Rotary Auxiliary have been standing at our side and helping WVRC since 1936 - just seven years after we were chartered - and asked that the members who were present stand to be recognized. They were nicely applauded.
LILLIAN KLIEWER rose, in her New York Police outfit, to suggest that she had been studying our membership, and would soon be ready to submit a report to her superiors. She asked Pres. PETER if it was true that we had satellites in other countries, to which he had to admit. Apparently her report was to be scrutinized by the Dept of Homeland Security - which led LENNY FRIEDMAN to ask if she worked "undercover". This prompted a somewhat negative reply, denying the obvious overtones to such a request - but LENNY was promptly fined a hundred big ones for such a question! I guess it would only be fair to advise everyone to stay tunedů

Returning to the unique historical perspective that has begun to appear, Pres. PETER noted that on this date in 1735, John Adams, our 2nd President, was born in Braintree, MASS. And just 65 years ago, Orson Welles panicked the nation with his "War of the Worlds" radio broadcast. Switching to tomorrow's Halloween, these Q&As - (Asked of PP TED IHNEN) Why was the skeleton afraid to cross the road? TED'S reply - because it was stuck to the chickens foot - but the correct answer is because it didn't have the guts. What do you call a skeleton who won't work? - Lazy Bones, and in the interest of complete editorial honesty, YOE has to point out that the aforementioned LILLIAN, seated at my table, immediately came up with this answer! When is it bad luck to meet a black cat? When you're a mouse. Why does Dracula have no friends? Because he's a pain in the neck. Pres. PETER, I have to tell you this is good stuff - keep it up, by all means.

ELLIOTT TURNER was summoned to explain /defend his recent purchase of a new car.

Pres. PETER first asked how many tires it had - ELLIOTT converted this to wheels, and said it only had one, since it was a Unicycle. After some palaver, between them they settled on a hundred buck fine. ELLIOTT offered to turn over any refund of his $900 license fee to WVRC, should such occur - but don't hold your breath, he cautioned. KEVIN KOMATSU was asked about his vacation in Hawaii. He allowed as how it was great - and this unsolicited admission earned him a FIVE HUNDRED dollar fine. However, KEVIN went to the trouble of returning on a red eye so he could attend an Ambassadorial Scholar meeting with Mina Soroosh - he is her counselor. This Service Above Self earned KEVIN a three hundred dollar rebate, so his net fine becomes $200.00.

MICHAEL GINTZ reported on a Rotary Interact Symposium he attended recently in Idlewild. As you may know, Rotary clubs sponsor not only Rotaract Clubs on the college level, but Interact Clubs in local high schools. There were 140 students from Southern California in attendance, and MICHAEL was very favorably impressed with the caliber and enthusiasm of all the kids. They were dedicated to the Rotary ideal of Service, and it was a real pleasure to be with them. He ran a video tape telling the story of one young man - who started his Community Service when he was in the THIRD grade. Brandon Keefe came up with the idea of a Book Drive - and since then his campaign has provided more than nine hundred thousand books to be used in local school libraries! His program is called Book Ends, and it matches schools that need books with the books supplied by his book drives. Having graduated from high school in Chatsworth, he is now a freshman at UCLA - and he continues to demonstrate how one person can make a difference. Obviously, this young man should be part of our Rotaract Club at UCLA. Michael announced a forthcoming Book Drive for WVRC this coming spring, and urged everyone to start saving books now - He also pointed out that there are many opportunities to help in this effort - give him a ring, by all means. Michael, thanks for an excellent report.

I had a call from Ron Block (805)376-1700 who is a Rotarian from the district north of us. They have arranged for a physician from Rumania to receive some specialized training at UCLA for six weeks, starting in mid-November. Ron asked me if we might be able to house this young lady for one week of her stay - so I'm asking anyone who might be interested to call me, or Ron, please. She is the Chief Neurological Surgeon at Bucharest Hospital, and her specialty is Epilepsy. This sounds like a real opportunity for a doctor to doctor visit, and I'm hoping to hear from someone, please.

Two other date announcements, while I have your attention -
Our Rotary Auxiliary will be meeting midday on Wed, November 12th. LENORE MULRYAN will conduct a private tour at the Fowler Museum, of the Trees of Life.

Lunch will follow, cost is $10, and checks to Marge Downie, please.
A bit further down the road, on Sunday May 16th, we will resume our most enjoyable Wine Tasting program. Benefiting the Global Neuro Rescue program headed by Dr. Jorge Lazareff, we will be gathering at the James West Center to taste and compare, plus looking over the many silent auction items which will be featured. Save the Date!

TONY DERYAN introduced our Speaker, Barbara Werlin. She is a graduate of Mills College, and for 27 years taught at St. Martin of Tours School in Brentwood. She is a Docent at the Skirball. She began by telling us that her Father-in-Law and his two brothers were active Rotarians in Houston. She likes to think of the Skirball as the BEST museum on Sepulveda, being more focused that their larger neighbor just above Sunset.

They are dedicated to exploring the connection between four thousand years of Jewish history and the four hundred years of American democratic ideas. The museum has over thirty thousand total objects in its collection, but can only display about one thousand at a time - so, many of their exhibits are changed frequently. The collection started in Germany, and was eventually sold to the Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati. In 1972 it was moved to the Los Angeles campus of the Hebrew Union College. Before this, Jack Skirball became a Rabbi, moved to California, and became active in land development. Vacation Village in San Diego was one of his early successes, and Rabbi Skirball's business provided the money for the construction of the Skirball. It opened in 1996, but Rabbi Skirball passed away just before the opening. WVRC had an early visit - that same year - built around the District Governor's visit, and as a result, many of us have an appreciation of the wonderful displays and history that are featured.

A Synagogue (defined as a place of worship) is one of the holy places at the Skirball. There is an American Gallery, which features a typical kitchen of the 1920s. The final Gallery is Israel, and Ms Werlin pointed out that the Skirball is not a Holocaust Museum. However, it was certainly necessary to commerate the six million Jews who were killed during the Second World War The Skirball encourages school visits, and they have had over a quarter of a million schoolchildren tour the facility. A major challenge is how to tell their story, and this is accomplished by a combination of films and displays. They hold four Festivals each year, and Noah's Park is one of their busy places. Albert Einstein will be featured at an upcoming exhibit, while two of their currently popular exhibits are Girl Culture and the Photograph and the American Dream, 1840-1940.

Q&A - DON NELSON - There seem to be many similarities between Rotary and what the Skirball stand for, and Ms Werlin agreed. Admission cost is $8.00 for individuals, $6.00 in a group (and there is some not-totally-documented theory that if you tell them you are from Rotary, they will let you in gratis). BRIAN BUMPAS - Alexander Hamilton's mother was Jewish, and that should be publicized. And here, we had a small divergence of opinion, Ms Werlin saying she didn't know that and would use it henceforth in her lectures, while someone (was it GEORGE COX?) said that should be checked out firstů ED GAULD, What is the Ketubah? A marriage contract, between the groom and the father of the bride. This is a very ancient custom, and it specifies how the husband is to take care of his wife. The Skirball has a large collection of these Ketubahs.

They also have a major collection of Menorahs, the seven-candle decoration commonly seen during Festivals, etc. BOB FLICK, What is your outreach program. With school visits, they require that the accompanying teacher come first to scout the museum. But they encourage ALL to visit - and it's certainly a worthwhile place to spend some time.

Ms Werlin, we thank you for refreshing us about the Skirball, and please give our regards to our Honorary Member, Rabbi Uri Herscher.

YOE, Ernie Wolfe