May 29th New Kids and a side of Smegal

GGBC Upcoming Speakers

May 29th: New Kids and a Side of Smegal
June 5th: Ronda Giangreco, Living with MS, a first hand account
June 12th: GGBC Interclub Breakfast Berkeley CityClub
June 19th: Ann Mahoney, Forgery? Handwriting and Document Examiner
June 26th: To be announced


This morning started off a little differently than usual.  Since we were meeting at the iconic Transamerica Building, Past President Hugh Tuck and I figured to arrive a tiny bit earlier than usual.  We pulled up to the guard house at the entrance to the parking garage on Washington Street and were met by one of Jackson Talbot’s security officers.  Since Hugh and I were on the “list” and could prove who we were, we were allowed to drive into the building and proceed to the garage.  The valet quickly took my car and Hugh and I headed up to the lobby.  We were welcomed by another member of Jackson’s staff, who also verified we were who claimed to be and then we were met by Jackson himself who personally escorted us to the forty-eighth floor.

Quite a spectacular venue for breakfast.  Since the Transamerica Building is a pyramid, the floor plates get smaller as you get higher up in the building.  The forty-eighth floor, which is the highest, consequently has the smallest square footage and has never been used as offices or rented out to a tenant.  It’s used strictly for meeting and events like ours. 

As the membership filed into the room we were treated to a spectacular San Francisco morning.  No fog, a little bit of haze, but otherwise perfect.  We were even able to watch Disney Cruise Line’s Disney Wonder tie up at Pier 35.  The ship is out of Los Angeles and on its way to Victoria BC.         

I guess President Harvey was enthralled by the view as well, as he was five minutes late in calling meeting to order.  

Since this was a special event and required signup in advance, our attendance was almost, but not quite perfect.  We had three “no shows” out of forty-five signees.  Only one of the three had a valid excuse.  My colleague Dan Negron.  Recology decided to have continuous screenings of the movie “Trashed” at Sunset today and was providing a barbeque lunch as well.  Dan found out on Monday and had to stay behind to make sure everything came together as planned.  Of course with Dan babysitting the barbeque, Rob DeMartini was able to attend.  It’s always a treat for me and Rob to visit one of our customers and actually enter the building through the lobby instead of the loading dock.

Our other two “no shows” were Cathy Scharetg, who said Mustacchi just told her “I added you to the list”.  Cathy says “the Christmas list, what list?”  And, our former member, Nina D’AmatoNina say Mustacchi gave her the wrong day.  When in doubt, you can always blame the Italian.   

Even though Chairman of the Day, Mike Mustacchi, added five spots to the “list” last week, he still had Jackson set up for forty.  The GGBC is just like an airline.  We can always overbook, because we’ll get a few “no shows”, and maybe have to accommodate a few “walk ons”.  This week, only one “walk on”, Rich Corriea.  In addition to Nina, I guess Rich doesn’t read the Bulletin either, although we know his wife Maria does, and didn’t realize our meeting wasn’t going to be at the Marines’ Memorial this morning.  So, Rich and about five other members, who shall remain nameless and who also don’t read the bulletin, showed up at the MMC.  Even though Rich wasn’t on the “list”, when you show up in an authentic full SFPD uniform, the inclination of the Security staff is to allow admittance.  They probably still did check with Jackson first.      

With the restriction on guests this morning, President Harvey decided it wasn’t necessary to have self-introductions.  This, of course, deprives me of the material required to write a complete column. 

The lack of self-introductions didn’t prevent Tom Jacobs from giving us a complete history on all the historic bottles unearthed when the foundation for the Transamerica Building was excavated.  Seems Tom and his cohorts would sneak onto the site in the evening, cover themselves with a tarp, and harvest the bottles.  Too bad we didn’t prepare a certificate of appreciation for Tom, since his presentation was almost as long as Jackson’s.        

We do have a few excuses, all that were properly requested in advance and reinforced with e-mails.  Patricia Fripp is sorry to have missed this special event, but Fripp is Las Vegas.  Stan Ellexson had to bring the program proof to the printers for this coming Sunday’s memorial ceremony commemorating of the Battle of Guadalcanal at Land Ends.  Antonio White continues to be bothered by his hip problem.  Bert Hill sent me a report on his travels of the past week, and given the dearth of material for this column, I’m happy to include Bert’s report.  As you should recall, Bert was bicycling down the Klamath from the Oregon border with two of his buddies.  Both whom have attended the GGBC as Bert’s guests, Dean Bjornson and Tim HoltTim was a past speaker as well, known for the famous “soap” episode, and a member who got a bit drowsy during Tim’s presentation and fell out of their chair.

Given Bert’s experiences of last week, he decided to rename the “Geezer Tour”, as each of the participants has now turned 65, to the "2013 State of Jefferson Deliverance Geezer Tour".  Primarily due to similarities of geography and local culture with that famous movie. Luckily, Bert, Dean and Tim did not encounter any human predators or in-bred fiddle savants.  Although a number of local citizens and log truck operators stridently signaled their love of bicyclists on shoulderless curvy mountain roads at every opportunity. One such truck managed to wedge itself sideways between a tree and a sheer bank one mile ahead of Bert’s group while they took a lunch break. If Bert’s group hadn't taken the break, they would have probably been blamed for the accident.  The driver blamed his accident on a bear in the road.  I wonder if the bear was Italian?  A local insinuated bears are causing all kinds of trouble since those “god damn environmentalists” made it illegal to hunt with dogs last year.  Of course, bears do not typically walk down highways in broad daylight, but the locals seemed more concerned about getting rid of bears and environmentalists.  Bert is now in Dallas at the Boy Scout National Meeting. 

Also note the photo of the random meeting of two GGBC members at the Seaid Cafe on Highway 96 last Thursday.  You’ll never know when you’ll run into a member of the GGBC, in even the most obscure places.  It would have been priceless if Mike Mattis could have brought along Terry Cowhey as well.  Terry could have worn his all white “Boss Hogg” suit and would have fit right in with the locals.  Terry might even be mayor by now.

Special thanks need to be extended to Jackson Talbot and Mike Mustacchi for putting this event together.  To Jackson for giving a great presentation, even though Tom Jacobs cut into his time, and for providing the tour following breakfast.  Thanks also to Jackson’s boss, Phil Rapoport for hosting, graciously joining us for breakfast and saying a few words too.  Plus, our caterer, A Black Tie Affair, did a great job as well.

Jackson even had a door prize!  The winner, Roy Wonder.  The prize?  A trip up into the spire of the Transamerica Building, 212 feet above the forty-eighth floor.  Bring a heavy coat Roy, it gets windy up there.    

Due to the special program, we didn’t have birthdays or an attendance report. 


Here’s your GGBC upcoming special event reminders:

On Sunday, May 26th,

it’s the annual commemoration of the Battle of Guadalcanal.  Starts at 12:00 Noon at Land Ends by the bridge of the USS San Francisco.  Plus, the Daughters of the American Revolution will be there with cakes, cookies and free Peet’s coffee.  The event as well is free and you don’t have to sign up.  Get there early if you want to get a good seat.   

On Friday, June 14th,

our annual joint meeting with the Lake Merritt, Berkeley and San Leandro Breakfast Clubs hosted by the BBC at the Berkeley City Club, 2315 Durant Avenue, Berkeley.  BBC is the host, so our breakfast cards will not be accepted.  The cost is $16.00.  

On Saturday, July 13th,

we have our annual GGBC Dick Pohli Memorial Bocce Ball Tournament at the Marin Bocce Federation, 550 B Street, San Rafael.  See Joel Panzer.  The price is $75.00 per person. 

Knucklehead of the week:

Emma Way.  Who?  Emma is a 21 year old British driver who hit a bike rider in the city of Norwich and then tweeted “definitely knocked a cyclist off his bike earlier.  I have right of way he doesn’t even pay road tax! #bloodycyclists”.  Emma’s admission was retweeted more than 300 times, inspiring angry responses and the nickname “twit and run girl” by fellow Twitter users.  One of those users retweeted to the social-media savvy Norwich Police Department.  Looks like Emma’s driving days are over for a while.  Maybe Emma should get a bike?                                                      




"I'm JUST Saying . . . ."

You can generally get to the heart of what people mean by whatever sensitive ending they add after, " I'm JUST Saying . . . ," by deleting the "JUST" part.  That's only to ease the sting of what you may not want to hear next:

"INDIANAPOLIS -- First off, conspiracy theorists, Dario Franchitti did not crash on purpose in order to secure an Indianapolis 500 win for his buddy, Tony Kanaan. But it is true that Franchitti was thrilled that his pal finally won the race."

* (by Jeff Olson, Special to USA TODAY Sports 

"Franchitti's crash shortly after a restart with three laps remaining ensured victory for Kanaan, who joked about the whispers of conspiracy afterward.

"People are saying he did it on purpose, but obviously he did not," said Kanaan, who won the race for the first time in 12 tries. "But when he got out of the car and I came around (on the next lap), he was waving at me."

Franchitti and Helio Castroneves -- both of whom were trying to tie the career record of four Indy 500 victories, held by American drivers A.J. Foyt, Rick Mears and Al Unser Sr. -- came up short Sunday. However, both were thrilled that their friend was able to win it for the first time.

Franchitti and Kanaan have been friends since their days in CART, when both emerged as opponents, then ended up on the same team. Castroneves and Kanaan go back even further, to their youth in Brazil, when they raced together in go-karts. Later, then moved to the U.S. together, roomed together and were teammates in Indy Lights, a step-ladder series to IndyCar.

Kanaan was leading Carlos Munoz and Ryan Hunter-Reay on the restart on Lap 197. Franchitti crashed in Turn 1, bringing out the yellow flag. Since the clean-up couldn't be completed before the scheduled 200th lap, Kanaan crossed the finish line under caution as the winner.

"It just didn't turn," Franchitti said. "It was a big old hit. I turned around and saw Tony was P1. That cheered me up just a little bit. ... I couldn't be happier for him."

Castroneves finished sixth, and Franchitti's crash dropped him to a 23rd-place finish. Castroneves focused on his championship possibilities – he's now third after five IZOD IndyCar Series races, just 16 points behind leader Marco Andretti – and his friend's victory.

"I'm very happy for him," Castroneves said. "It's well-deserved for him and his team. He did a great job."

Franchitti, who has won the 500 three times since 2007, struggled throughout the race after starting 17th.

"I was just going backwards, sliding around on old tires," he said. "We had a crap day. We were never in contention, but I'm happy he won. (

He's a very, very deserving winner."

Follow Olson on Twitter @jeffolson77

Copyright 2013"

"I'm JUST sayin' . . ..".