February 13th: Pierre Fournier, Journey to Macu Piccu

Join us in welcoming back our old friend, Pierre Fournier. He'll share his amazing adventures of personal physical training and adventurous ascent up Peru's iconic Machu Piccu.

Mr. Fournier graduated from Rutgers University in 1958 and served as an officer in the Air Force with the Strategic Air Command, from 1958-1962. He joined the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) as a Special Agent, FBI in 1963, with assignments in Washington, D.C., North Carolina, Louisiana, Puerto Rico and California specializing in foreign counter-intelligence. He retired from the FBI in 1987 to become the Regional Director of the Office of Foreign Missions, U.S. Department of State in San Francisco retiring in 1998.  Mr. Fournier is married to Janet Fournier who retired from the FBI as the executive assistant to the Special Agent in Charge in San Francisco after a 36 year career.  Mr. Fournier enjoys tennis, golf, skiing, hiking and travel and is active in several non-profit organizations.


By Pete Ratto
Photos by Betty Taisch

President Harvey had the unfortunate duty of opening this morning’s meeting with a moment of silence out of respect for Red Starr.  As most of you know by now, Red passed away ten minutes after Midnight on Friday, February 1st, his ninetieth birthday.  President Harvey asked Mike Hanlon to come to the podium and say a few words about Red’s time here at the GGBC. Red joined the GGBC, at the invitation of Jack Block, in 1975 while Red was still the commander of the 12th Coast Guard District.  After retiring in 1978, Red stayed on with the GGBC as a Service Member.  Red had a long post retirement career here in San Francisco as a naval architect.  When Red finally retired “for real”, Red maintained a full and active life devoted to the pursuit of his many varied interests and hobbies.  Mike joined Red a few times on those “Dawn Patrol” trips from Santa Rosa to the City for breakfast and Mike reiterated that Red symbolized the word gentleman.  Red was a kind and gracious man that made all our lives richer by simply having the honor of knowing him.  At Red’s request, there will be no services.

At 7:15AM, I thought we were on our way to another below forty attendees day.  But, we had enough stragglers come in just before President Harvey called the meeting to order to raise our total attendance to just about fifty.   

We had three guests this morning.  Hosted by Roy Wonder was Red’s good friend Molly MacGowanMolly arose this morning in Santa Rosa at 4:30AM and headed south to pickup Roy, just like RedBill Buchanan brought along former Marine John Bell.  Chairman of the Day, Antonio White, hosted Debbie Brusatoli, who works with this morning’s speaker, Shawn Brown.    

Excuses requested for this morning; only one, Jill Hoffman has a deposition starting at 9:00AM. 

Excuses requested for the future; Patricia Fripp is heading back to Las Vegas for three weeks.  Fripp does remind us though to make sure we’re here on 4/17/13, as Fripp will be making a presentation about her Uncle Bill.  Uncle Bill was shot down right at the beginning of WWII and was one of the longest held POWs of the war.

Also needing a three week excuse and heading to Palm Springs to ring in the Year of the Snake with his sister is Stan Ellexson. After that, Stan is heading for the Bellagio in Las Vegas.  Stan also received a postcard from Sidney Mobell.  The card was dated January 20th, mailed from Egypt, and finally reached Stan’s mail box on February 2nd.  Sid is having a great time, says hi to the GGBC and says he’ll see us in May.  Sid is now down to thirteen excuses remaining. 

Wayne Veatch needs to be excused for two, maybe three weeks, as Wayne is going into the hospital for some surgery.  Wayne says not to worry; Mustacchi will fill in as Secretary. 

As Valentine’s Day is next Thursday, Mike Hanlon will be taking She That Must be Obeyed (wife Yvonne) on their annual romantic Valentine’s sojourn to Sea Ranch.

Members that have returned; Rickey Wilson back from Lanai, where Larry Ellison is king.  Rickey got back just in time for his annual crab feed to benefit Sonoma County teachers.  Two seatings, 550 spots total and Rickey has raised $165K since 2003. 

Our most widely travelled member, Len Stec, is back and Arlan Kertz says he’s glad to see him.  With tax time looming, this is the busiest time of year for accountants.  

Pat Conley returned to breakfast this morning as well.  Pat wasn’t visiting some exotic local though.  Pat was fighting the flu.

Back from skiing in Whistler, BC is Christine TorringtonChristine says she didn’t miss us.

Our speaker for all the other reasons, Larry Jacobson, is back from a long layoff.  Larry hit a bit of a rough patch.  As you should recall, Larry’s Brother-in-Law passed away a couple of months ago, then Larry and his partner of eighteen years split up.  Larry says things are looking better though.  Larry set up a web site that raised $67K for his sister, is two weeks away from getting his Masters License from the National Maritime Institute, and this morning, sold one of his books to Marty Mijalski.   

This morning we welcomed our second new member of 2013, John MathersJohn received the customary new member round of applause and the membership was so enthused, our first new member of 2013, Jerome Stroumza, received a round of applause too!  And to think, I told Jerome not to get used to it, as it will never happen again.

Now that John McKnight is making up the badges for our new members, you’ll never hear “we don’t need no stinkin badges” again.  Both Jerome and John were wearing their new badges this morning.

Antonio White announced the total revamp of our web site is almost complete.  Just a few minor issues need to be cleaned up.  If you are reading this, it means you listened to Antonio and clicked on “read more”.   

Feeling very safe this morning was Alan Garber.  Garber was sitting at the security table with Frank Reed, Eric McGarty and Jackson TalbotGarber was not in a joke telling mood, but did say he will miss Red Starr’s “down from up north” introduction tag line and that he never met a finer gentleman than Red. Although, Marty Mijalski is certain when Red faced St. Peter, Red could say he was “up from up north”.

One of Terry Cowhey’s favorite intro tag lines is “role model for the GGBC”.  Terry did say this morning if anyone in the GGBC is looking for a role model, our best was Red Starr.

Ed Flowers lamented that with Red’s passing, the GGBC has lost its last Captain.  That is not the case though.  While Red and Dick Pohli are both gone to greater glory, we still have Red’s car pool mate, Jill Hoffman.     

This past Monday Betty Taisch attended the Marin Speakers Series and was very impressed with the speaker, former Governor of Florida, Jeb BushBetty says Governor Bush has lot of good ideas and was well received.  In Marin?

Doug Wilkins to Terry Cowhey.  You can install solar panels in a grove of trees.

Happiest guy in the room this morning; David Dissmeyer.  Maybe last moth was California’s third driest January in history, but it’s only February 6th and rain is on its way.

Did you hear about the City’s latest plan for bike lanes?  Bert Hill says the City is going to make Mission Street exclusive for bicycles.  Push those pesky Muni buses on to already transit congested Market Street.  Here’s a quiz; what’s the highest ridership transit bus line in America?  The answer; New York MTA’s Route M15 with about 55K boardings a day.  But if you take all the riders from Muni’s Routes 14 and 49, the combined total number of daily boardings is almost 66K.  Where do Routes 14 and 49 run?  On Mission Street.              

What’s the latest in swag world?  A pen that can be used as a stylus.  Who had it first?  Why the GGBC’s own Jonathan Stone.  

Still on the mend and unable to drive is Ken Brown.  New introduction tag line for Marty Fleisher; “driver for Ken Brown”.  

Yesterday Alex King went into Stanford Hospital for a procedure at 7:00AM.  Alex got out at 11:30PM.  And this is news worthy because?  Welcome to health care in America Alex.

In terms of academic proficiency, Bill Buchanan mentioned that California is 30th in the nation.  That was news to me.  I thought California was 49th.  Bill then read off a list of actual answers to test questions which pretty much confirmed we’re closer to 49th than to 30th.  We showed you Mississippi.

Recology again foils Tom Jacobs’ commute into the City.  Truck #14469 was blocking a traffic lane on Lombard Street this morning.  But, as I explained to Tom, truck #14469 is assigned to the route that picks up Mustacchi’s garbage and recycling. To assure Mustacchi wakes up on time in the event that Hanlon isn’t staying with Mustacchi, we have to send #14469 to service Laguna Street first.  That’s why #14469 gets to Lombard Street late on Wednesdays.  Mike Mustacchi, the only guy with a $350K alarm clock.  Tom did mention though that truck #10289 was on the other side of Lombard and not impeding traffic flow.      

Past President Hugh Tuck has twelve couples signed up for his Yosemite trip.  If you are interested, Hugh can squeeze in a few more.  Except, now you’re going to have to share a bathroom. 

Guest Secretary Mike Mustacchi continues to deliver his minutes in Italian.  Summarizing last week’s speaker Jodi Reid’s presentation; Social Security costa losta money.   

Mike Hanlon had two birthdays this morning, on Tuesday, John Stewart, who was so excited about his birthday, John announced it during his self-introduction instead of waiting for Mike to do it.  On Saturday, Bill Buchanan, not as excited as John, so Bill waited for Mike to make the announcement.

Knucklehead of the Week:  In honor of Red Starr, who wouldn’t call anyone a knucklehead even if they were a knucklehead, I give all the knuckleheads a pass for this week. 


P.S. Shawn Brown's Report on the 401K dupe lead to a lot of interest in his productive asset investment strategy. You can sign up for his investment newsletter at www.sbreit.com

Photos by Betty Taisch

President's Message
By GGBC President Harvey Elam

Give the Ravens their Due

By now we have all heard countless explanations for why our 49ers lost the Super Bowl this year.  Many local analyses seem to focus on our own team, questionable calls by referees, and especially what our coach, quarterback or other particular players did or should have done.

For historical contrast, I am reminded of the Confederate General Pickett's response when asked why the Battle of Gettysburg had turned out so disastrously for his proud troops: "I've always thought the Yankees had something to do with it."

From sporting events to wars and national elections, when our side loses a hard fought competition, there is a temptation to rationalize the result as a fluke.  Often we cite accidental circumstances, unfair judging, intervention by third parties, and mistakes made by individuals on our team.  Why is it so hard to admit that, "Maybe the Ravens had something to do with it?"

Could there be a lesson here for our future about the value of respecting accomplishments of winners among our adversaries?