OCTOBER 5, 2010


 President, Mark Shirley, resplendent in his chamoisee shirt with a smashing Frank Lloyd Wright tie (do you think that the erstwhile Master Builder with questionable sartorial sense - but a lot of flair - ever really designed a tie ?) opened things up with a gentle tapping of the bell. He then called on Patty to lead us in the pledge, which she did. For her Thought for the Day, Patty talked to us about Letting Go, something she'd recently experienced a lot of when clearing out her late Mother's home. Patty gently suggested that the rest of us probably had some clutter in our closets (and lives?), which we might consider letting go of ourselves. A thought which was certainly appropriate for all of us.


Chapter Two: Visiting Rotarians. We had two this evening. A young lady from the Rotary Club of Moncton, New Brunswick, who kindly brought with her a banner from her Club to exchange with us. Moncton, for those of you unfamiliar with the region, is located pretty much at the geographic center of Canada's Maritime Provinces, resulting in its nickname, "The Hub City." Our second Visiting Rotarian was semi-perennial visitor, Rich Benson, who as we all know is running for County Assessor in the upcoming November elections.


Next up we had visitors. First was Lea Schwartz, who missed us for a while, as she was out in Colorado visiting her son and grandchildren who helped her celebrate her birthday. Learning that Lea had a birthday, we struck up the band and sang her our own version of the Happy Birthday song to her. A second visitor was a young lady from the Novato Rotaract Club who was with us this evening to promote her Club's Halloween Fundraiser which will be at the Novato Horsemen's Club on Saturday, October 30. A third visitor was our speaker, Rick Sweeney, though he's also a visiting Rotarian from the East Bay.


Chapter 3. Good Times. First up was yours truly who began by thanking Club members who'd expressed kind thoughts and get well wishes for my wife Gail, who happily is now OK. I then reported another good time, being a two week vacation Gail and I had taken to northern Spain last month. Next up - Gene and Jayne who reported that they had enjoyed a wonderful 1st anniversary trip to Hawaii, where, amongst other things, they bought some bling for each other. Having later examined the bling at close range, I'd call it more like bling-bling ! Next the owner of the Frank Lloyd Wright tie told us that he and Siefra had just bought themselves a house - in Corte Madera, just down the road from Martha. Congratulations, Mark and Siefra.


Chapter 4. Announcements. First up was Jayne who reported that our members' contributions to the Rotary Foundation were doing very, very well this year. In fact, at this point we are #2 in the District in contributions/member. Jayne put in another pitch for the Foundation Event, Puttin' On The Ritz, on November 7, where she was hopeful that the Club would send at least 10 members, for this entitled us to some additional goodies. Jayne also pushed the District Celebration on October 24 entitled End Polio Now, which will involve, among other things, a mass walk across the Golden Gate Bridge. Sort of like 1987, when about 800,000 of us tried to elbow our way across (and failed) on the bridge's 50th anniversary. Shifting gears from events to recognition. Jayne then announced that Patty Wolfe had earned herself a Paul Harris +2 pin, while President Mark earned his PH +1. The pins were awarded to a nice round of applause. Running out of things to say (??), Jayne gracefully yielded the floor to Larry who expressed his disappointment with the CBS television network for giving Rotary such short shrift while covering the Gates Foundation's contributions to Polio Plus. Larry urged us all to sound off to the network about it.


Mark then referred us all to the orange Events Calendar and Announcements sheets which were on our tables. He mentioned that the date of May 7 was tentatively being considered for this year's Lobster Fest. And then as he ran out of things to say, Mark invited moi up to the podium to give my Past President Rotary Minute. Club President in 2001-2, I covered one highlight from my year which was the Club's achievement of 100% Paul Harris status. Once given, the achievement becomes permanent, such that even if the Club has members who have not yet earned their Paul Harris awards, the Club continues to be recognized as a 100% Paul Harris Club. And we then adjourned the meeting in favor of dinner, which was a standout tonight, a very nice piece of plump grilled salmon with accompanyments.


Chapter 5. Chomp, chomp, chomp...........


Chapter 6. The meeting was reopened by Patty who conducted - and contributed - our evening's raffle. The raffle items were two tins of Patty's home made brownies. Yum, yum.  And a nice bottle of wine from Montes Alpha in Chile, contributed by our speaker, Rick Sweeney.

The raffle was conducted. And three people won. Fortunately for the rest of us, the folks who won the cookies shared them with everyone, so we all won !!


And then our speaker, Rick Sweeney, a 20 year police veteran from Walnut Creek gave us a talk, entitled How to Avoid Traffic Tickets. Our own Ex-Police Jefe, Frank, asked the speaker some tough questions, but Rick came through with the answers. Rick concluded his speech, was given (so to speak) a children's library book, Mark rang the bell, and the meeting was adjourned.


Next week's program is entitled Safe Routes to School, presented by Wendy Kallins, Director of the Marin Bicycle Coalition. See y'all there......................