Dec 18th GGBC's Holiday Party: Featuring Mike Pritchard


  • December 18th: GGBC Holiday Party (No Breakfast Cards)
  • December 25th: Merry Christmas. No Meeting
  • January 1st: New Years Day! No Meeting
  • January 8th: General Membership Meeting. No Guests. Year in Review by Hon. Mike Hanlon
  • January 15th: To Be Announced
  • January 22nd: Jeff Herndon, The USO Today. Chair of the Day, Bill Buchanan
  • January 29th: Catherine Accardi, Stories Behind the Historical Landmarks of San Francisco


It’s time again for our annual Golden Gate Breakfast Club Holiday Party!  Master of Ceremonies Pete Ratto says all of our holiday favorites will be here.  Noah Griffin, Heather Rogers, Erich Stratmann and big Mike Pritchard are on the program.  Rob DeMartini promises to camp out all night in front of big Mike’s house and bring him directly to the party.  

Most importantly, for the youngsters and those of us who like to think we’re still youngsters, Santa Claus will be landing his sleigh on the Marines’ Memorial’s roof to make his yearly appearance.

After Santa is finished passing out candy to the kids, he’ll be presenting the GGBC’s annual contributions to all our favorite organizations and charities.    

All of our guests will participate in our Christmas drawing and have an opportunity to win one of the fabulous prizes.  Our members will have a special Christmas drawing too.  The winner of which will gain custody of the GGBC’s own signed Blue Angels print for all of next year.

The Marines’ Memorial will be pulling out all the stops to lay out another special Holiday buffet.   So, join your fellow GGBC members, their families and special guests for another great party.  After all, if you miss it, you’ll have to wait a whole year for the next one! 


This morning we moved back over into the Commandant’s Room.  So, we had a lot more room to spread out and the late comers didn’t effect President Harvey’s ability to call the meeting to order right on time.   

We had four guests this morning.  Bert Hill hosted Edward Hasbrock another bicyclist who writes about travel.  Len Stec, who finally returned from six weeks on the East Coast, brought along Anthony Bott from Preferred Apartment Communities.  It appears Catherine Accardi is serious about joining the GGBC because Joel Panzer again hosted her this morning.  If Catherine has turned in her application to Membership Chair Wayne Veatch, she’s met the three meetings requirement.  President Harvey almost forgot about his guest, Aaron Drainle from Terminix.  In the pest control world Aaron struck gold because he has the Recology account.           

This morning’s excuses; via a phone call, Bill Buchanan had an early morning conference call.  Bill also excused Chuck Mills who was called to report for jury duty.  For those of you that received an e-mail purportedly from Chuckles, he is not in the Ukraine.  Chuckles had his e-mail account hijacked and when Bill responded that he hoped Chuckles would make it back for breakfast this morning, the hacker gave Bill the address in Kiev where Bill should send money for the trip.

Bert Hill excused son Eli.  This morning P G & E is having a disaster recovery drill and Eli was required to attend.  After next week’s GGBC Holiday Party, Bert and the family are bound for Las Vegas to celebrate Christmas.  The Hill’s aren’t trying to cash in on a big Christmas jackpot; Las Vegas is Bert’s wife Lorna’s home town.  I didn’t realize anyone actually came from Las Vegas.  Bert also excused Robin Brasso.  Last Wednesday, Robin was ready to leave home for the GGBC when she was hit with severe abdominal pain.  Rushed to Kaiser Hospital, Robin had emergency surgery to remove an obstruction from her small intestine.  Robin is going to be there for a while waiting for her normal digestive functions to return.  Bert did mention, no visitors, but cards or flowers would be welcomed.

Joel Panzer was able to give Robin a call.  Joel says Robin sounds to be in very good spirits and is most appreciative of the flowers (not Ed Flowers, actual flowers) sent by the GGBC.  Robin also mentioned to Joel, clearly in her own inimitable "Brassy Style", she told Bert “no visitors”, or Bert would be a dead man.  Bert follows instructions well when his life is on the line.    

The GGBC’s other father/son combination had a member missing too.  Joel Panzer excused son J. J., as this morning is J. J.’s Rebuilding Together San Francisco Board meeting.  Joel also brought an interesting “bumper sticker” to this morning’s meeting.  A metal plate that encouraged the repeal of the 18th Amendment to the Constitution.  Very timely considering last Thursday was the 80th anniversary of the repeal of prohibition.  Joel asked if any of the membership knew what the 18th Amendment was.  Joel, unlike our speaker Oak Dowling’s College of Marin students, the average GGBC member isn’t a dummy.  So, we all know about the 18th Amendment, we know who Hermann Goring (sometimes spelled Goering) is and we know all about geography too.  And, my knowledge of prohibition doesn’t come from my family being bootleggers or rum runners.  We arrived here in 1936, or three years after the repeal of prohibition.           

Excuses requested for next week; Pat Conley, but he didn’t say why.  Ed Flowers is going to celebrate Christmas in Brooklyn with his son and his family. This will be Ed’s first trip back home for Christmas since 1957.  Wayne Veatch is tired of the cold, so Wayne and wife Janet are going to visit their son and his wife in New Orleans.  Technically Wayne doesn’t need an excuse, since he’s not leaving until after next week’s meeting. John Cribbs and wife Roberta are heading to Atlanta to celebrate Christmas with one of their sons and his family.  John does need an excuse, because he is actually leaving next week.                      

Members that have returned; the aforementioned Len Stec who got back to San Francisco just in time to move into his new office at 201 Mission Street.  Back from Las Vegas and sporting a sling for his right arm, Don Persky.  Did Don have a run in with the Mafia or with Lorna Hill’s family?  Antony Mills returned and asked if we could pray for rain.  I guess rain would be better than this freezing cold and it would assure both Antony and David Dissmeyer have a Merry Christmas.  Although, it might put a damper, get it damper, on Hugh Tuck’s holiday celebration.           

Finished with clean jokes for 2013, Alan Garber.  Plus, no joke from Marty Mijalski either.  Although Marty did give the membership some words of wisdom.  If a cop pulls you over, and you’re not Mike Hanlon, don’t tell the cop to hold your beer, your cocaine or your 9mm.  Also, don’t ask the cop if he’s a member of the Village People.  Who are the Village People?  Steve Shain did mention Marty has a great chicken joke.  Steve didn’t clarify if it’s chicken worthy or a joke about chickens.   

With both Garber and Marty declining to tell any jokes and with Johnson You not in attendance, Goldie the Chicken has been pretty much been conceded to the Master of Disaster, John McKnight.  This morning’s entry; two friends are playing golf and as the first guy tees up and is ready to swing a funeral drives by.  The guy stops his swing, removes his hat and crosses himself as the hearse passes.  His partner says “I didn’t realize you were so sensitive”.  The guy replies, “it’s the least I can do, since we were married for thirty-five years.”  John also mentioned it’s bell ringing time for the Salvation Army.  If you want to try your hand, see John and maybe he’ll give you the prime spot right in front of Macy’s.  No, you don’t get to split the take.

There was a challenger to John’s dominance; Sidney Mobell attempted to win back his chicken with this one; shortly after a British Airways flight had reached its cruising altitude, the Captain announced: “Ladies and Gentlemen, this is your Captain, welcome to Flight 293, non-stop from London Heathrow to New York. The weather ahead is good, so we should have a smooth uneventful flight.  So, sit back, relax, and OH MY GOD!”  Silence followed.  Some moments later, the Captain came back on the intercom: “Ladies and Gentlemen, I'm sorry if I scared you.  While I was talking to you, a flight attendant accidentally spilled coffee in my lap.  You should see the front of my pants!” From the back of the plane, an Irish passenger yelled “For the luvva Jesus you should see the back of mine!”

An interesting fact from John Mathers; women can multi-task twice as fast as men.

Unfortunately, the microphone decided to power down just as Ken Brown started talking.  I think Ken is having a big store closing sale just in time for Christmas.  Might be a good opportunity to get all your shopping done at once.  Ken also says once the store is closed, he’s moving in with Sidney Mobell at 210 Post Street.   

Arlan Kertz is nine days out on the delivery of his new Tesla. 

Thanks to Recology, Hugh Tuck says the tiny fire at our Public Disposal Area resulted in today being a spare the air day.  I don’t think so.  I’ve puffed on cigars that made more smoke than that fire.                    

In attendance at Betty Taisch’s swearing in as the new President of the San Francisco Association of Realtors, collecting toys for the Firefighter’s Toy Program, was Alex King.  It was a great event and Alex says he’s going back next year.  Alex was also very impressed with the size of Betty’s entourage. 

Happy that her German visitors are leaving; Janet Von DoeppJanet says the whole time they were here all they wanted to do was play computer games. 

Madeleine Savit said she realizes how boring her life is when she comes to breakfast every Wednesday and hears of the membership’s activities, travels and adventures.  Although for Christmas, Madeleine is having visitors from Canada and Finland.  I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone from Finland.  See Madeleine, at least your life is not as boring as mine.          

As her recovery is still progressing, Cathy Scharetg will run in two half marathons to compensate for not running in the Marine Corps Marathon.  And, don’t worry, all the monies Cathy collected for the Semper Fi Fund made it to the Semper Fi Fund.

Speaking of raising money, our former member Capt. Martin Cooper from the Salvation Army is now stationed in Medford, Oregon.  Martin will be retiring soon and to mark his retirement and life time of service to those in need, Martin will be riding his bike from Oregon to the East Coast raising money for the homeless.  Remember, it was Martin who started the Harbor Light Center’s Homeless Outreach Program.  The Salvation Army is sponsoring Martin on his ride, but the Army doesn’t cover personal expenses.  So, while it’s not a tax deductable donation, Martin will greatly appreciate anything you can give.  See me and I’ll take care of getting your donation to Martin.

This morning’s minutes were delivered not by Secretary Wayne Veatch, nor his stand-in, Mike Mustacchi, but by Ed Flowers.  Given Ed’s long service in the courts, President Harvey thought Ed was most qualified to deliver the summary of Mike Hanlon’s presentation.  Ed thinks Mike only scratched the surface of his long career and should come back and speak to the GGBC again.

Interestingly, during our speaker Oak Dowling’s presentation, he touched on a number of movies that involved court room drama.  My seat mate, Ed Flowers, leaned over and mentioned he thought “Anatomy of a Murder” was by far the best of the bunch.  After the meeting, Ed posed that question to Professor Dowling and the professor’s response was; “Anatomy of a Murder”.        

With Mike Hanlon not in attendance and Reg Young not prepared to fill in, President Harvey stepped up to announce this week’s birthdays.  Only one….. President Harvey, on Sunday.  Although, technically on the GGBC calendar, Sunday is next week.  I guess since next week is the Holiday Party, President Harvey figured this was his only chance to wear one of the hats and hear that beautiful serenade from the membership.  Len Stec’s guest, Anthony Bott, said this was the worst singing he had ever heard.

Here’s your final reminder; next week is the GGBC’s Annual Holiday Party.  All of our performers are confirmed to appear and it should be a great time.  I have to give the final count to the MMC by Monday, so don’t delay if you haven’t signed up.  No Breakfast Cards, no Gold Cards. Everyone pays $25.00 a head.  Remember, the Holiday Party is our last chance to bump some extra cash into our treasury which will get disbursed to all our favorite charities.

Note: last week’s bolding of the Knuckleheads of the week was editorial license taken by your editor who may have finally realized his reward for all his hard work is a single dinner. [Editor's Note: I also get to make things BOLD! Trying not to let power go to my head.]

Knucklehead of the Week

The guy who was in charge of selecting the sign language interpreter for Nelson Mandela’s funeral.  Most important qualification for being a sign language interpreter is knowing sign language.        



Catherine Accardi, Author, Historian Arcadia Publishing
Sponsored by Joel Panzer

Proposed member's statement:

As I told Joel Panzer after my three meetings, GGBC is the best breakfast I've ever had because of the camaraderie and delightful humor of those in attendance. As a San Francisco native, historian and published author, it was an honor being a part of unmistakable fraternal spirit and goodwill.




Friday set a record SIX STRAIGHT DAILY BANS ON HOME FIREPLACE BURNING this year!  It also made a new record of 10 already since this year's Winter "Spare the Air" monitoring and control program resumed.

Those all closely follow the recent Thanksgiving Holiday bans that  I have come to expect.  Experience suggests that Christmas Eve and Day, and New Years Eve and Day, again all look like likely candidates.

The alert that was issued soon after our meeting Wednesday topped the last consecutive record of 4 daily bans.  The immediate damper on my "Holiday Cheer" prompted me to investigate.  Why are so MANY bans arising right around our favorite holidays?  Is the air quality really that bad?  Could this be instead more like another "Greenest City” agenda?

I crawled through the summaries linked successively on the "Spare the Air” website.  Each new "answer" seemed too general.  Too easy to hide "political" agendas?

I called the “information” phone number for the Bay Area Air Quality Management District.  More transfers and referrals.  I did not really believe the last one assuring me he would have an "experienced expert" get back to me.

In minutes, a technically educated staffperson called to walk me through details of comprehensively archived data with clarity and precision.  He even candidly acknowledged some points of unavoidable uncertainty in forecasting particulate pollution concentrations at the core of my concerns. 

I thought immediately of Tom Smegal's new introduction (calculated to draw weekly laughs):  "I'm from the Government, and I'm here to help you!"

The joke's on me. I can't yet be sure of the fairness or real public health need for the newest consecutive ban alert issued for Saturday, just as I wrote this.  I am still resolving to give benefit of doubts to those who seem sincerely to be trying to help honestly.

This week the World honors Nelson Mandella's lifelong personal sacrifices in search of reconciling bitterly opposed forces of historical magnitude. 

This Holiday Season: Resolve to Try a New Compromise!