Feb 12th: General Meeting



It’s a short column this week as today was the Club’s annual business meeting and picture day.  This morning President Jill Hoffman’s five minute warning stand-in was Past Past President Hugh Tuck.  President Jill called the meeting to order right on time and, in a change from previous years, had Mike Mustacchi organize and take the group picture first.  A very good idea, since everyone was present for the picture including our usual early departees.    


Even though guests are not allowed at the business meeting, we did have one.  Betty Taisch forgot to tell Joanne Frazzino not to come to breakfast this morning.  But when Betty and President Jill ran into Joanne on Sutter Street before the meeting, President Jill made an executive decision and invited Joanne to join us.  Plus, this allowed Joanne to be included in our group picture as well, since Joanne’s admittance to the GGBC is imminent. 


On an interesting note; when Joanne is admitted to membership, three of our four new members for 2014 are women.  And as is typical of picture day, all of our female members were very well dressed, including Joanne, who isn’t ever an official member yet.  I can’t say the same for our male members.  I think Mustacchi should photo shop in a picture of Jack Block right next to Rickey Wilson.           


Excuses for this morning couldn’t be requested this morning.  Unless you had a “special” in.  Hereby excused are my two Recology mates Dan Negron and Rob DeMartiniDan is at a strategic planning meeting in San Mateo and Rob is holding a driver’s hand as the driver learns to use our spiffy new computerized routing and reporting system.


Normally, at the business meeting there are no self-introductions, no comments and no jokes.  But, Alan Garber bitched, moaned, cried and complained so much that President Jill made another executive decision and allowed Garber to tell his joke.  President Jill even allowed Larry Jacobson to offer a rebuttal to Garber’s joke.  After these two gems, President Jill realized not all executive decisions are good ones. 


The rest of the meeting actually proceeded much as planned with appearances by your Treasurer Ray Siotto, Membership Committee Chair Wayne Veatch, Programs Chair Mike Mustacchi and Mike’s assistant Rich Corriea.  Finally Antonio White introduced our much improved web site.  If you want an exact reporting of this morning’s events, see Administrative Secretary Marty Mijalski.  For the Club’s business meeting, official minutes are recorded by Marty and available to any member.       


Knucklehead of the week: the Iraqi militant explosives instructor that accidently set off his own car bomb while making a promotional, propaganda video killing himself and twenty of his students.





President’s Day

This holiday started as a Federal holiday for our first president, George Washington, has become a mash-up of two Presidents, Washington, and our 16th, Abraham Lincoln.  Both war time Presidents, Washington lead this country through war to create the country, Lincoln lead us through a civil war to preserve the country.  Some even go so far as to say it is a holiday that celebrates all of our U.S. presidents, but some are certainly not worthy of celebrating.  

Washington and Lincoln could not have been more different.  Washington was born into a wealthy land-owning family in Virginia in 1732, at a time when Virginia was still very much a British colony and his family considered themselves British.  He benefitted from his family’s connections for early opportunities and appointment at the age of 21 as a Major in the Virginia militia.  Although his father’s death prevented him from traveling to England to continue his education, as was the tradition at the time, he was educated by a series of tutors. When relations between the colony and England became strained, he declared for the new country, a move for which he could have been executed and all his property forfeited.  After garnering the respect and trust of the people by effectively leading the military during the Revolutionary War, Washington was elected peacefully and unanimously as our first President in 1789.  He set about creating a system of government that remains largely unchanged to this day.  Eight years later he voluntarily left office, thus setting the precedent for peaceful transition of leadership. He truly was the father of this country.  Although he was a slave owner during his lifetime, his last will and testament freed all his slaves.

Abraham Lincoln was born into a completely different world in 1809.  He was among the first generation of Americans born into citizenship.  He was reared in a poor family in what was then the Western Frontier of Kentucky.  He was born in a one room log cabin, and was largely self-educated.  He is perhaps the first and most striking example of the opportunities afforded by the new democracy.  He truly came from nothing and through his own abilities and intellect rose to the Presidency at a time of incredible strife.  His opposition to slavery pushed this country into a civil war, with pro-slavery states declaring their cessation the day after his election as President.  His steadfast determination not to allow those states to secede led to the bloodiest war this country has ever seen, but which resulted in the preservation of Union and putting an end to the “monstrous injustice” of slavery in this country.  Tragically, six days after the hostilities ceased with the surrender of General Lee, Lincoln was assassinated by a confederate sympathizer.

These two extraordinary men are worth remembering and celebrating. 

Your President, Jill Hoffman