February 27: Aaron Singer, Seaplanes on the Bay

February 27th: 
Aaron Singer, Seaplanes on the Bay
March 6th: Josh Williams: 49ers-Status Update
March 13th: Mony Nop: Cambodian Story of Survival and Success

Aaron Singer learned to fly on a flying scholarship at 16 years old. Singer is a commercial single/multi instrument rated pilot on both land and sea. Aaron has done competitive aerobatics, is a member of the Bay Bombers precision formation team that has performed in air shows around the country including Fleet Week and Oshkosh and has worked in classic and warbird aircraft restoration for the last 20 years – including his own 1931 Great Lakes and post-WWII Chinese fighter trainer Nanchang CJ6. Singer is the founder of the Blue Yonder Scholarship Fund for young people to learn to fly and is also leading an effort to build the Crissy Field Aviation Museum in San Francisco's Presidio.

Singer and his wife, Tiffany Singer, recently decided to pursue a life-long dream of owning and operating an aviation business by purchasing San Francisco Seaplane Tours in January of 2012, which they have rebranded Seaplane Adventures. The Singers will be growing and expanding the business over the next few years and encourage friends and colleagues to check us out at www.seaplane.com or on Facebook at Seaplane Adventures. Better yet, Come Fly With Us!!

By Pete Ratto

President Harvey didn’t have any quotes from Hemingway to bring us to order this week.  Instead, Past President Hugh Tuck’s little Barbie horn was President Harvey’s preferred instrument of attention getting this morning.  Today’s speaker, the twice bumped Rich Corriea mentioned last week that he hoped the GGBC would show him a little love and have a respectable turn out.  Well, the third time is the charm and the membership did make Rich’s day with a full house.  Fifty-eight seats occupied, plus Ray Siotto, who never sits down to breakfast, which accounted for the lone empty seat. 

Last week, a single guest only.  But, this morning we had eight guests.  Speaker Rich Corriea hosted two of them, Steve Tittle, another thirty year plus veteran of the SFPD who commands the Traffic Division at SFO and Alan Jones, a federal agent of a very complicated description who hails from Bozeman, Montana.  Bill Buchanan brought along John Bell for John’s second visit.  Also making his second visit was Dennis Mandell, guest of President Harvey.  Past President Hugh’s guest was Don Bartels, another attorney.  Attendance Chairman Hedy Kaveh got his better half, wife Sherry, up early to come to breakfast too.  Janet Von Doepp was preparing Semara St. Denny to act as Janet’s “stand in” while Janet recovers from her upcoming knee surgery.  Finally, Christine Torrington hosted Rich Corriea’s cousin Laura O’Malley.  Interestingly, until this morning, Rich and Laura had never actually met in person.   

Excuses requested for this morning; from Tom Jacobs, for Mike HanlonMike has an arbitration down in San Jose this morning.  Although, Hanlon did spend the night in the City with the other Mike, Mustacchi, which accounts for the other Mike, Mustacchi’s, on time arrival this morning.  The security table was light as Jackson Talbot requested excuses for Frank Reed and Eric McGarty.  Although properly excused last week, Patricia Fripp wanted me to relay that she is soooooooo sorry to miss Rich Corriea’s presentation.  Although Fripp’s own Lady and the Champs seminar in Vegas was quite well attended, including Kevin Burke of Defending the Caveman and “Dr. Life”, the guy that’s 76 years old with the body of a 40 year old.  You know that guy, he’s in all the airline magazines.  You don’t read airline magazines?  Who does?               

Excuses requested for the future; Tom Smegal introduced himself for the last time as the senior partner in the GGBC law firm.  Next week Tom begins his orientation as  a Federal Administrative Patent Judge.  So, when Tom returns, we’ll have to address him as “your honor”.

Members that have returned; Betty Taisch back from a political issues conference in Southern California.  Betty says the weather was great, but she didn’t learn anything new.  In that same vein, Len Stec mentioned while he was travelling he read a book about President Polk and another book about President GrantLen says Washington hasn’t changed a bit.  Jill Hoffman has recovered from her cold and that long trial is finally over.  So, Marin Carpool #1 was back at full strength with Jill, John Cribbs and Roy Wonder.  Must be suffering from jet lag, Jim Lazarus, returned from Southeast Asia and was unusually quiet this morning. 

Here’s a tip from new member, and dentist, Jerome Stroumza; if you don’t like the taste of chlorine in your water, leave your pitcher of water out over night on the counter and the chlorine will dissipate.

Although Tom Jacobs arrived on time this morning, Tom still had to let me know that   Recology trucks #10223 and #10232 were both blocking lanes on Sutter Street this morning.  I don’t see the problem, after all there are three lanes for traffic on Sutter Street.  I don’t know about these new guys.  Old timers like me could easily position two trucks to block three lanes and still make enough noise to wake up the dead.  Tom also mentioned that truck #14527 ran a red light.  Dan Negron dutifully recorded all the numbers, which means Dan will be having another little get together with Local 350.  

Sidney Mobell has left Hong Kong, and Antonio White’s in-laws, and is now in Shanghai.  Next stop; Yorkeys Knob.  Where is Yorkeys Knob?  It’s a suburb of Cairns, which is in Far North Queensland, Australia.  Sid is now down to eleven excuses remaining. 

Do you have a dump truck you’re not using?  If so, see Les Andersen

Last week Mike Mustacchi wanted to know why none of speaker Pierre Fournier’s FBI colleagues were in attendance.  Well, Bill Buchanan was helping to preserve the environment by thinning out the pheasant population and Marty Mijalski says “I saw Pierre every day for thirty-three years”.  Bill also points out yesterday was the 68th anniversary of the Marines’ landing on Iwo Jima.     

On Valentine’s Day Robin Brasso attended the rally against violence towards women at San Francisco City Hall.  Mayor Ed Lee was there along with District Attorney George Gascon.  No mention of Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi.  Also, if you missed getting your sweetie something for Valentine’s Day and are now in the dog house, Ken Brown says to come on down to L. L. Brown Jewelers and he’ll take care of you.  You might have to pay a premium, but Ken promises he’ll get you out of the dog house.  Sounds a lot like our old member Al Graf, the bail bondsman with a heart.  Al promised he would get you out, even if it took twenty years.

Antonio White asked the membership for a show of hands to see if everyone has been able to open up our new web site.  Jim Lazarus suggested Antonio start with asking for a show of hands if you know how to turn on a computer.  

Is Reg Young trying to become a fashionista with his torn slacks?  No, Reg took a spill on his way into the MMC.  Now I know why Jim Simpson was dropping banana peels out on the sidewalk this morning.  Unfortunately, Reg needs a tailor not a physical therapist.   

Terry Cowhey continues to be “a great American”, and continues to have his same litany of problems out in Sunol.  

Grant Hundley though, is back to “more for your door than any other store”.

All alone this week is Steve Shain.  His wife has left him again.  Cathy is in Denver, and Steve’s daughter is gone too.  Only she’s in Santiago, Chile.  Steve was dressed down a bit this morning, prompting Alan Garber to ask if Goodwill was having a sale. 

Speaking of Garber, both he and Marty Mijalski were back in joke telling mode this morning.  Although neither were on top of their game.  Marty’s joke was about a couple of red necks and starting fires.  The punch line was “I’m not walking twelve miles to borrow your pants”.  Garber’s joke was about a little girl in her toy fire truck with her dog and cat.  The punch line, “then I lose my siren”.

The best joke of the morning was delivered by Don Persky.  But, Don, not wanting to take up too much time truncated his joke.  Which is too bad, because compared to most of the jokes we’ve been hearing lately, this one is a gem.  So, here’s Don’s joke in its entirety:

Our teacher asked us what our favorite animal was, and I said, fried chicken.  She said I wasn't funny, but she couldn't have been right, because everyone else in the class laughed.  My parents told me to always be truthful and honest, and I am.  Fried chicken is my favorite animal.  I told my dad what happened, and he said my teacher was probably a member of PETA.  He said they love animals very much.  I do, too.  Especially fried chicken.  Anyway, my teacher sent me to the principal's office.  I told him what happened, and he laughed too.  Then he told me not to do it again.  The next day in class my teacher asked me what my favorite live animal was.  I told her it was chicken.  She asked me why, so I told her it was because you could make them into fried chicken.  She sent me back to the principal's office.  He laughed, and told me not to do it again.  I don't understand.  My parents taught me to be honest, but my teacher doesn't like it when I am.  Today, my teacher asked me to tell her what famous person I admire most. I told her, Colonel Sanders.  Guess where I am now...

The biggest groaner of the morning was delivered by Past President Hugh Tuck.  Commenting on Olympic sprinter Oscar Pistorius’ arrest for the murder of his girlfriend, Past President Hugh says Oscar doesn’t have a leg to stand on.  If that didn’t qualify for the chicken, nothing will.     

Tony Alfidi took Roy Wonder’s recommendation concerning the George Shultz Lecture Series here at the MMC.  Tony said Vice Admiral Matthew Nathan, the Surgeon General of the Navy, gave a great presentation.  Both Alan Garber and Ray Siotto agreed.   

All you football fans are probably aware that former 49ers General Manager, Lou Spadia passed away this past Saturday.  Mike Mustacchi, who photographed Lou at many events, related the story concerning the 49ers move from decrepit Kezar Stadium to Candlestick Park.  To properly expand Candlestick required that 100 foot piles be driven through the landfill into the bedrock below.  This was going to be pretty expensive and Lou asked if the piles could only be driven down 50 feet to save money.  The contractor said that wasn’t a good idea, so the piles went down 100 feet.  During the World Series in 1989, Lou was sitting with his son in Candlestick when the earthquake hit and, as we all know, Candlestick came through the quake just fine.  Next time Lou saw Terry Cowhey, Lou gave Terry a kiss right on the lips.  That explains a lot.  

Even though Mike Hanlon wasn’t here, he did relay a whole bunch of birthdays to Reg Young, including one who was missed last week.  Last Saturday, Tony Alfidi.  Today, myself, David Blair and our former member, Police Chief and Mayor, Frank Jordan.  Tomorrow, Gary Gebhard.  Also, I believe Jack Block’s birthday was Monday.  Quite a birthday week for the GGBC and since both me and Tony were here, both hats were worn and the birthday song was sung.

We had some sunshine this morning.  Bert Hill told us that Wayne Veatch came through his surgery just fine, had a little heart hiccup, but recovered nicely and Wayne should be released from the hospital this afternoon.  Joel Panzer mentioned that Alex Crichlow is suffering from melanoma and I’m sure cards will be welcomed.     

Again, without Mike Hanlon to translate, Guest Secretary Mike Mustacchi had Alan Garber read  Mustacchi’s minutes in English, to which Mike then translated into Italian.  Loses a bit in the translation though.    

Knucklehead of the Week:  No knucklehead this week, just an editorial observation.  Last weekend, my wife and I travelled to Orange County to attend my second cousin’s wedding in Corona del Mar.  We stayed at the Fairmont Hotel in Newport Beach, which is located in a business park close to John Wayne Airport.  On Saturday evening we decided to eat at an Italian restaurant just across the street from the hotel.  So, being San Franciscans, we decided to walk.  Except the street we had to cross was six lanes wide and the nearest crosswalk was a half mile away.  When we finally made it across the street, the only way into the restaurant was through the parking lot.  No access from the sidewalk, unless you wanted to walk down a landscaped slope.  The moral of the story is; in Orange County, you better have a car.  You can’t walk, you can’t take the bus,  the very few bike lanes are extremely narrow (six lanes for cars, six inches for bikes) and may end unexpectedly well short of your destination.       


Photos by Betty Taisch

By Harvey Elam

The "Right Stuff" for Making Dreams Come True

Our speaker this week joins good company. We've hosted adventurous aviators ranging from one of the first PanAm Clipper Ship crew members to an SR-71 "fastest jet" copilot. Every year, the Blue Angels grace us with aerial acrobatic accounts of their exploits above the waters around us.  

A mountain climbing young local entrepreneurial Wingsuiter thrilled us with breathtaking video proof of his jump off the rim of the Grand Canyon.  A representative of the world's largest Zeppelin flight service inspired GGBC President Hugh Tuck to join a cruise above our Bay on Airship Ventures.  

Aviation Museum curators from SFO to the Hiller's president have offered us insights into our place in the skies.  

President Steve Kenney and I both nearly persuaded the legendary Burt Rutan to take us to the next step: Private Flights into Space. (Burt honored me kindly last year with a personal response appreciation that still encourages me to ask: Does anyone know Tesla/SpaceX's Elon Musk or have any contacts with the Gossamer Condor prize winners for first human powered flight?  I'm a little short on the $20-35 Million that the Russians charged for Soyuz flights to the International Space Station, and I doubt Sir Richard Branson's internet offer to "follow him" includes a ticket on Virgin Galactic's first run?)

My first tourist experience in San Francisco was just a short helicopter loop around the North Bay, ascending majestically from Fisherman's Wharf.  A decade later, I survived Ultralight training flight lessons in Sonoma.  Just a few years ago, one of the last flightworthy B-17's visiting Alameda provided me an unforgettable wraparound overview of our Golden Gate from it's trademark forward Bombardier's transparent semiglobe.   

We've all driven by the seaplanes parked just off Highway 101 going north into Marin. Come take a step closer this week.  Hear new Seaplane Adventures owner Aaron Singer, of Sausalito and Mill Valley, reveal his plans already in operation for rejuvenating a Bay Area tradition founded in 1945 by a returning WWII seaplane pilot!

This is "The 'Right Stuff' for Making Dreams Come True," here in our own home.