June 5th: Ronda Giangreco, Dealing with MS Diagnosis, An inspirational story


  • July 3rd:  No Meeting
  • June 26th:  Tom Melhor: How Scouting Instill Values
  • June 19th:  Ann Mahoney-Forgery and Handwriting Analysis
  • CORRECTION! Friday June 14th:  Interclub Breakfast Berkeley CIty Club
  • June 5th: Ronda Giangreco, Inspiration in Dealing with MS

This Week's Speaker Ronda Giangreco



On July 26th, 2008, I was a fifty-three year old woman who considered herself very fortunate. I had a happy marriage; I was healthy and busy planning my next adventure in life. My husband, Michael, and I had just spent the day wine tasting in Napa with friends.  
On July 27th, I was a disabled woman. A diagnosis of sudden onset Multiple Sclerosis would be difficult for anyone to accept. But for Michael and me it was a particularly cruel twist of fate. MS had killed his mother. 

Told that I might not be able to walk for much longer, I asked myself the question, “…then where should I walk now?” 

My answer – to the kitchen! As an avowed “foodie”, I have always loved to cook. But when I made the audacious vow to my husband that I would create a big Italian feast every Sunday night for an entire year as a means of warding off this disease, he thought I had lost my mind. 
It began with a simple idea. What if I tried to cook a dinner for eight people every Sunday throughout 2010? With steaming plates of pasta I would attempt to triumph over Multiple Sclerosis one week at a time. 



After a spectacular visit to the Transamerica Building, we returned to our normal venue this morning, the Crystal Ballroom at the MMC.  When President Harvey issued the five minute warning, we had but a handful of members sitting at the tables.  Even after President Harvey officially called the meeting to order, we were lucky to break forty.  Good thing we had five guests.  Still, one table was completely untouched.   

So, thanking our members that brought guests; President Harvey hosted Jim Bennetts from Security One Lending.  One of our old members, Chad Hamilton, suggested that Jim attend a meeting of the GGBC, so President Harvey gladly offered to buy Jim breakfast this morning.  Betty Taisch brought along Bonnie Jones.  Since it is now fashionable for wives to retain their maiden names, I didn’t realize until after the meeting that I know Bonnie’s husband, Rene Guilbert, who works for Boston Properties, one of Recology’s biggest customers.  Rene used to manage one of the buildings here in San Francisco, until be moved south to manage a much larger complex in the birthplace of biotechnology, South San Francisco.  Past President Hugh Tuck must have tired of my driving, so he got wife Judy to drive him to breakfast this morning.  Of course, Hugh does have an appointment with the Marquise de Simpson after breakfast, so Hugh needs a ride home too.  Ray Siotto hosted private investigator Tony PassanisiTony is the President of the Italian Heritage Day Parade, to which Ray referred to improperly as the Columbus Day Parade.  Normally, that terminology is used by Italians in the presence of other Italians only.  It’s like our secret handshake.  Our final guest was introduced by a clean shaven Bert HillEvan Swain’s host, Michael Mattis, arrived a bit late, so Bert jumped in to provide the proper introduction.  Mike pulled a Gavin Newsom and blamed the elevator for his tardiness. 

Excuses requested for this morning, Ken Brown excused Marty Fleisher and  Reg Young excused Mike Hanlon.  Also, a reminder via e-mail from Patricia Fripp.  Patricia is still in Las Vegas for one more week.  I guess we’ll have to issue excuses for the carpools too.  Marin Carpool #1 didn’t operate at all today.  And, again, I don’t know where John Cribbs, Jill Hoffman or Roy Wonder are.  I just know they’re not here.   

Marin Carpool #2 had the driver, Les Andersen, only.  John McKnight needs an excuse.  Marin Carpool #3 operated at capacity with both Chuck Mills and Bill Buchanan in attendance.    

Excuses requested for the future; Stan Ellexson has to appear for jury duty next Wednesday.  Even though Wayne Veatch just finished two consecutive trips, he’s leaving on another.  Wayne and wife Janet are going on a camping trip with Wayne’s MG Club.  Pack light WayneJ. J. Panzer will be in Houston next week, but delivered a word-of-the day this morning; Borborygmus (plural: borborygmi), which means a rumbling or gurgling noise produced by the movement of fluid and gas through the intestines.  I have that problem all the time and now I finally know what it’s called.

Member that has returned; Antonio WhiteAntonio arrived last, as per usual.  So, I guess he’s recovered enough from his hip problem to get out of the house.  Also, Antonio promises to publish the photo in our next edition of the bulletin of the random meeting of two GGBC members at the Seaid Cafe on Highway 96 that I referred to in last week’s column.

Member happiest to see Antonio White; Reg YoungAntonio was the only member of the GGBC to notice that Reg shaved off his mustache.  Reg says the mustache disappeared four weeks ago.  Reg had a mustache?        

The GGBC welcomed a new member, Alan Jones, with our customary new member round of applause.  Alan then promptly requested an excuse, since he is going in for a knee replacement next week.  Alan will be retiring from the TSA at the end of July, which should hopefully mean his attendance can be more regular.  The GGBC’s second newest member, John Bell, received his third new member round of applause.  This appears to be a new trend.  Maybe we want to encourage these new members to keep coming to breakfast by actually being nice to them.

Also receiving a GGBC round of applause; Eduardo Blount, who passed the bar and now becomes the youngest member of the GGBC law firm.    

Grant Hundley was happy to visit the Transamerica building last week.  All of the original door hardware was provided by Hundley

I think most of you know that Dan Negron’s son is a professional baseball player working his way through the Cincinnati Red’s farm system.  Dan had a conversation with one of his son’s coaches.  Maybe you heard of the guy, Joe Morgan.  Hoping to get his son to the same point as Dan’s kid, Todd LewisMarcus’ team has made it through the first round of the playoffs and Todd reports his daughter took a silver in the 4X100 relay. 

When your kids are successful, and happy, it makes all that time in the car worth it.

No joke from Alan Garber this morning, but Alan mentioned at the GGBC Golf Tournament he played in a foursome with John Stewart, Marty Fleisher and Len Stec.

Garber reports Len has unseated Mike Mustacchi as the GGBC’s worst golfer.      

Chuck Mills met his Great Grandson for the first time this past weekend.  Seventeen months old and he’s almost walking and talking. 

Even though Bill Buchanan said the Timberline Geezers have hung up the skis for this year, you can log onto Facebook and see the video of their last trip.     

At last week’s meeting, our only “walk in”, Rich Corriea, did not name the five other members that joined him at the Marines’ Memorial in error.  Well, two guys came clean this morning; John Stewart and Terry Cowhey.  Although in Terry’s case, he probably wouldn’t have cleared the strict security check at Transamerica anyway.  Rich issued a personal safety tip this morning.  Keep your smart phone in your pocket when you are out on the street.  Yesterday, there were ten robberies in San Francisco.  Nine smart phones and one i-pad. Although Mike Mattis says even if you keep the phone in your pocket that might not prevent its theft.  A friend of his was approached by an attractive woman who dipped her hand into Mike’s friends pocket and deftly extracted his phone.  In France, Jerome Stroumza reports if your phone is stolen, you can have it “bricked”.  SFPD Chief, Greg Suhr, wonders why that can’t be done here too?  Maybe that’s because the smart phone manufacturers like selling all those replacement phones. Rich also mentioned the SFPD just commenced its 237th recruit class.  That made Rich feel old, since Rich was in the 137th  recruit class.  Although Rich felt better when Frank Reed mentioned he was in the 101st recruit class.  Frank felt better when Alex King mentioned he was in the SFFD’s 49th recruit class.  I think that was right after the ’06 quake.   

I guess that explains why Alex was moving kind of slow last week.  Alex was moving fine this week, to which he credits the Marquis de Simpson and our former member chiropractor Ali BagherianJanet Von Doepp credits the Marquis de Simpson with getting her in good enough shape to outrun a bear this past weekend.

A warning from Doug WilkinsDoug is going to be our speaker on July 10th.  Doug will be talking about his Kenya trip.  

We’re still receiving good real estate news.  Betty Taisch, along with some of her clients, were on Channel 5’s news over the weekend.      

There were a lot of great events honoring our veterans over this past Memorial Day.  Don Persky was at the ceremony at the San Francisco National Cemetery in the Presidio where seven veterans of the Normandy landings, who helped liberate France, received the French Legion of Honor from France’s Counsel General Romain Serman

Stan Ellexson reports he had a good crowd and received coverage from both Channels 2 and 5 for the annual commemoration of the Battle of Guadalcanal held every year at Land Ends by the bridge of the USS San Francisco.

It was a busy weekend for Stan, as he joined myself, Sidney Mobell, Hugh Tuck and Hugh’s wife Judy this past Saturday at the reception honoring Russ Gorman for his years of work and his donation of $200K that assured completion of the full renovation of the Veterans Memorial Building in Danville.  The Board Room/Library was permanently dedicated to Russ and his late wife Eriko.  There were many prominent speakers including the Mayor of Danville, Newell Americh and the Mayor of Concord, and Russ’ good friend, General Dan HelixRuss arrived in a wheel chair, but his mind is sharp and his voice is strong and he asked us to extend his good wishes to all the members of the GGBC.  

No joke from Marty Mijalski this morning either.  But both Marty and Mike Mustacchi wanted to make sure to recognize Jackson Talbot and his boss Phil Rapoport, for welcoming the GGBC for our very successful off site meeting of last week.  Mike also mentioned the special new member reception planned for June 6th at the Transamerica Building has been postponed.   

Here’s your GGBC upcoming special event reminders:

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. 

Attendance Chairman Hedy Kaveh weekly scofflaw report; all the usual suspects, Alex King, Mike Mustacchi and Alan Garber.  But, Mustacchi used his latest defense, “I was late because Hanlon wasn’t here and the Recology truck didn’t arrive until 7:05AM!” 

Reg Young, still subbing for Mike Hanlon, had three birthdays; on Saturday, Jim Lazarus, on Friday, Les Andersen, and today, Mike Mustacchi’s Dad, who turned 93.

Knucklehead of the week:  Justin Bieber.  I know Justin is only nineteen, and nineteen year old boys are generally known to not have much common sense, but there’s no excuse for driving your Ferrari at high speed through a residential neighborhood where children are present.  Actually, a nineteen year old kid, no matter how much money he makes, has no business driving a Ferrari.  Justin ask your Mom to see it she’ll let you borrow her mini-van.                                                                        



See what's happening with our friends outside of Breakfast club, send me your photos for inclusion in future newsletters.

Here comes trouble (Bert Hill and Michael Mattis)

A chance meeting at Seiad between Michael Mattis and Bert Hill.


Ray Picks up a new toy.

Our dear friend and treasurer Ray Siotto flew to Colorado to pick up his new toy, a Maserati Gran Turismo. He's driving it back home, but quite frankly, he may be having so much fun he might not be able to stop.





I renewed my annual Fishing License: $45.  In less politically and environmentally sensitive times, it was issued by the "Department of Fish & Game."  My daughter now knows it as the "Department of Fish & Wildlife."  I don't know when "Game"  became "Wildlife?"

I'd care less what they call this Government regulatory department, if its function remained the same. For the "Fish" part, I'm guessing they still mostly mean "fishING?"  I'm wondering if the change from "Game" to "Wildlife" signals changing California majority attitudes towards hunting anything at all?  Doesn't  "Wildlifing" sound more like "Parks & Recreation?"