We had a good crowd, including about a dozen visitors the most amazing of whom was a VISITING ROTARIAN! He looked us up in the International Directory, saw the words
BEL AIR, and decided that was the Country Club a pretty good GUESS, right?
We fit snugly into our room, and CLAWSON BLEAK led us in the Pledge. Senor RUDY gave his Invocation, and LENNY FRIEDMAN bravely led us a cappella in America the Beautiful. We had the above-mentioned Visiting Rotarian, Roberto Zavalla, from the Rotary Club of Pueblo Zavaleta, and he is in Printing. There were lots of spouses present, with MARGE DOWNIE taking the place of PP JIM, Carolyn HARRIS and Pauline HARRIS, thus covering the HARRIS boys, Margaret LEWIS, Cynthia LUSK, Sheila YOUSEM, Sunny FRIEDMAN, Adele QUILICO, and Marge VIAU. CATHY REZOS brought Leigh Smith, plus the Vice President of Rotaract, Candice.
GORDON FELL had a guest, Alan Schreibman. LENNY FRIEDMAN had two guests, besides SUNNY. One was Gabi Tolkowsky and the other was his partner, Glenn Markman. Gabi is among the most famous diamond cutters in the world. He cut the Centenary Diamond, 273.85 carats, and the Golden Jubilee, which weighed in at a mere 545.65 carats. Gabi spoke to us briefly, pointing out that he was the 6th generation of diamond cutters in his family. 85% of his family was killed by the Germans, so he is a survivor. He wanted to thank the American soldiers who kept the Germans out of what was then Palestine, and we noted that two of our departed members were in that campaign PP’S DAVE MORE and JIM SUMNER. Caroline HARRIS felt it was imperative that she ‘feel’ the larger diamond, even though it was fake and her need was fulfilled. And MIKE YOUSEM felt compelled to ‘balance’ the advertising that was going on, by noting that PP BOB WESSLING had just given him (MIKE, that is) a video of his sewer!
WHAT’S HAPPENING on December 9th, the Christmas Gift program chaired by MIKE YOUSEM will take place. That’s a Thursday night, so save the date, please.
The following day, Friday, in the Braille Institute Holiday Lunch, and PP HOWIE HENKES is the contact. CATHY REZOS announced the Rotaract Program on December 16th it will be a Song Contest, and we at WVRC will be the judges, with the winner receiving a $500 scholarship prize.
It was great to have RAY ZICKFELD back with us, and his comment was, “All shingles should remain on the roof”! RAY has been out for almost two months welcome back!
PDG ANDY ANDERSON has just had knee surgery, and will be back soon. PP BOB WESSLING, Chair of the Nominating Committee, announced that a new ballot would be sent out shortly, since the original ballot was not complete. So hold off until you get the new ballot, and the deadline for returning it is the end of November. And while he was on his feet, he felt we would all like to know that DePauw won last Saturday, 41-26.
Rudy’s World was directed to GORDEN FELL, who correctly identified the scene as a rainbow, or maybe two. At this point, SANDY SANDERSON broke in to tell us why you can’t find the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Senor RUDY encouraged him, and SANDY said something to the effect that you missed it if you were flying over the Grand Canyon in the Hawaiian Islands obviously my notes didn’t get the details. Returning to Rudy’s World, PP RON LYSTER next identified the two rainbows as being over the Getty. The Q&A then switched to RICK LIVERMORE, who was asked how many years Joe Paterno had been at Penn State. Rick had read the article in today’s Times, and he replied 39 but that was how many seasons he had been Head Coach, not his total tenure. Apparently it was 55 years, which does seem like a long time. He has won 341 games, but Bobby Bowden holds the record with 348.
Birthdays were next, even without the usual piano accompaniment. SUSAN ALLEN and STEVE LORE shared the 4th isn’t that today? MIKE YOUSEM and PP TOM LENEHAN elected the 6th, while HENRIETTA LIAN chose the 16th. Our Honorary Member, Dr. JEFF BRONSTEIN, came along on the 18th, and NEVIN SENKAN was on the 20th. LEE DUNAYER picked the 21st, and PP RON WANGLIN elected the 23rd, AL BELLANCA came along on the 27th, and DON NELSON was Tail End Charlie, with the 28th of November. They were appropriately serenaded, of course.
Elmer Dills was our Speaker, and PP RALPH WOODWORTH introduced him. He and RALPH are old friends, through RALPH’S various hotel and restaurant connections, and Elmer was certainly an entertaining, and most informal, speaker. As background, Elmer joined the CIA upon graduation from college, and was with the agency for 23 years. He served in Berlin, Athens, the Middle East and Africa and he managed to sample the cuisine of all these places. He retired early from the CIA, joined KABC TALKRADIO, moving on to KABC TV and KRLA Radio, where he reports on wining, dining, and travel.
Mr. Dills spoke about his time in the CIA 8 years in Berlin, followed by 7 years in Athens and his claim to fame here is that he taught Constantine, later the King, to water ski! Before going to Q&A, he answered two questions that always come up. Who pays for his dinner KABC, period. Who selects the restaurant his wife, usually, and they dine out five nights a week. Of these dinners, one or two qualify for TV coverage. SLOSS VIAU How do you keep from being overweight. He recently had a heart bypass, went from 180 down to 135, and is now at 145, which is his target weight. CHRIS BRADFORD When I was a waiter in 1987, you ate where I was serving. What if the food is bad. They cannot do a restaurant on TV if the food is bad, but radio is easier. JACK HARRIS Why are the servings so large. Because that’s what people want (and YOE agrees with JACK that some of us DON’T want big servings). DENNIS CORNWELL What is your ‘territory’. And did you rate Chasen’s. He covers from Santa Barbara down to San Clemente and yes, he rated Chasen’s as good but not great!
Caroline HARRIS What’s a good restaurant on the Westside. He likes Chez Mimi, on 26th Street in Santa Monica.
Q&A continued, and I may not be able to attribute some of these questions, I’m sorry to report they came too fast. Are there any rules on what to order. They take another couple with them, and he tells everyone what to order, so they can pass around the various dishes. He is concerned about what the staff thinks how they rate the cuisine.
He usually calls in advance to ask what their House Specials are, since sometimes these take extra time to prepare, and he wants to allow for that time. Sunny FRIEDMAN Do you eat the entire dinner. No, we pass it around, for everyone’s comments. What is your favorite dessert. Crepes Suzettes, but if the dessert isn’t made on-site at the restaurant, he won’t consider it. SEAN McMILLAN - What is a good moderate priced and deluxe restaurant on the Westside. Elmer said to check his website. Apropos of nothing, Elmer noted that they have great osso buco in Monrovia (but where?).And speaking of his website, he has about 650 restaurants listed, and the list is updated frequently.
He had a great story about being misidentified while in a restaurant by himself. Seems he was seated, and noticed a handsome older man with a most attractive younger woman seated near his table. They were fawned upon, and when they left, were asked just to leave a tip no charge for dinner. He asked a waiter who that was, and was told that was Elmer Dills, who was known to like young girls! When he confessed that HE was Elmer, there was some consternation, of course. LENNY FRIEDMAN Is meat ever precooked. It depends on the quality of the meat, but not usually. How often are you recognized. Not too often most restaurant owners aren’t up early on Sunday morning when he does his 9 a.m. show. What are the rules about saying you recommend the restaurant. If shown on TV, it becomes public domain and thus can be publicized.
Elmer, we are lucky that RALPH WOODWORTH knows you, and we appreciate your visiting with us. Thanks for your comments.
And now, a quick aside, if I may. Last week I asked for reactions to the current Windmill, and they varied considerably but there weren’t many replies... One serious complaint was that many members cannot figure out how to get a copy off the internet. This is an important, and complex, subject, and your Board of Directors will be talking about it in some detail. Again, I ask that you send emails, or write your opinions and suggestions, please. We NEED your input.