Feb 19th Blue Star Moms


It appears President Jill Hoffman is going to continue to have a proxy deliver the five minute warning, as Bert Hill again rang our fire truck bell in advance of President Jill’s calling the meeting to order. President Jill attempted to start the meeting right at 7:30AM, but the membership was extraordinarily non-compliant.  I guess the honeymoon with our new Mom is over.  Although honeymoon with Mom probably isn’t the best choice of words.      


We had three guests this morning.  Bert Hill brought along Nicholas Josefowitz who is thinking of running for the BART Board.  I hope Nick isn’t asking Bert for any tips.  President Jill hosted a brand new lawyer, Sarah Hook.  Not to be outdone, Ray Siotto hosted an old lawyer, frequent GGBC visitor Terry Redmond.           


Excuses requested this morning for this morning; Mike Mustacchi says Rich Corriea texted that he had an 8:00AM meeting with the Chief.  Joel Panzer excused Patricia Fripp who is visiting exotic Sacramento.  I’ll excuse John McKnight who is visiting even more exotic Fresno.  I’ll also excuse Mike Hanlon, who did not oversleep this morning.  Mike was having a bit of a crisis with his Catholic Charities homeless shelter in Santa Rosa that required his immediate attention. After a week of helping save the City from itself, Madeleine Savit decided to take some R & R in Hawaii.  Unfortunately, Bert Hill reports that Madeleine, while riding her bike, was clipped by a car and the resulting contact with the pavement resulted in a broken hip.  Madeleine just got out of the hospital and the membership wishes Madeleine a speedy recovery.  Although if you have to rest and recover, Hawaii is a pretty good place to do it.         


This morning we had two new members introduce themselves for the very first time.  Karen Nemsick, the Executive Director of Rebuilding Together San Francisco, and Chris Burns of Carrier Air Conditioning.  Both received the traditional GGBC new member round of applause.  I hope Karen and Chris enjoyed it, because it’s all downhill from here.  Karen also asked for her first excuse.  Next week Karen will be in LA.      


Other excuses requested for the future; Wayne Veatch, next week going skiing.  Dan Negron is going to Spring Training.  Not in Scottsdale though, in Goodyear.  Why?  That’s where the Cincinnati Reds play.  Dan is hoping son Kristopher makes the Red’s 25 man roster.  Then Dan won’t have to travel so far to see his son play.  Your Attendance Chairman, Hedy Kaveh, will be in Paris for the next two weeks.  So, all the usual suspects will get a pass.


Needing an excuse in the near future, but not for next week; Doug WilkinsDoug’s next tour will be to Laguna San Ignacio in Baja.  It’s prime whale watching season.  Doug even showed me a video he recorded on his i-pad of a mother gray whale and her two day old baby.  The baby was the size of a small bus and the mom was the size of a big bus.  The baby was close enough to Doug’s boat that you could reach out and pet him.  Even more impressive; when the baby dove under Doug’s boat and Doug moved the i-pad to the other side, I realized Doug was in a little row boat.  When Doug says he’ll take you on an adventure tour, he’s not kidding.  


Members that have returned; John Mathers is back from Chicago.  Between the snow, ice and wind, John wonders why anyone would actually live there.  Stan Ellexson returned from Palm Desert via Las Vegas.  While in Vegas, Stan saw the worlds largest Ferris wheel, which is currently still under construction.  Stan also got a post card from Sidney MobellSid is “on the high seas”. Actually Sid is between Pago Pago and Nukualofa.  Where is Nukualofa?  It’s on the island of Tonga.


We haven’t seen John Cribbs in a while.  John wasn’t travelling though.  John had a clogged tear duct that proved to be a bit difficult to clear.  Everything’s fine now.  With the quality of the jokes around here, you don’t want to come to the GGBC if you can’t cry.


Rainfall has been negligible, so David Dissmeyer goes sailing for two weeks in the Florida Keys.  While David is gone, it rains 2½-inches.  Go figure.  Since we need the rain really bad, maybe we should send David back to the Keys for another two weeks.   


Not travelling this week; Frank ReedFrank’s been doing a lot of flying between here and Texas.  At least it’s not Chicago.


Members that were travelling but not far enough away to miss a meeting; Betty Taisch spent Valentine’s weekend at the Madrona Manor in Healdsburg after having a great ten course meal on Valentine’s Day.  It was Chuck Mills’ wife Marion’s birthday on Sunday, so Chuckles brought her up to the new Graton Casino.  President Jill wants to know if there’s smoking in the casino.  Smoking in an Indian casino?  Chuckles’ reply; is there water in a swimming pool?  President Jill went up to Tahoe to ski over the long weekend.  Saturday was windy, but Sunday and Monday were perfect.  President Jill didn’t mention if husband Steve and son Robbie sprung for a ten course meal Valentine’s Day meal.           


Les Andersen was at the intersection of 17th and Harrison Streets waiting for a break in the heavy bicycle traffic, or waiting for a bicyclist to actually stop for a stop sign, to allow Les to get his pickup through the intersection.  While waiting, Les saw two bicyclists collide.  Poetic justice.


In the same vein, Hugh Tuck saw a pedestrian getting a ticket for jay walking.  Robin Brasso says pedestrians have a target on their backs.  It’s kinda like the cartoon with the succession of fish, progressively getting larger and each lined up to eat the smaller fish.  Pedestrians are the smallest fish.


Did you see the story about the “grow” house that caught fire in the Sunnyside District?  That house was right behind Past President Harvey’s house.  Fortunately, Past President Harvey remembered a tip he received from J. J. Panzer; when the SFFD knocks on your door and tells you to leave, make sure all your doors are unlocked.  Why?  Because locked doors get knocked down.  All firefighters love sledgehammers and crow bars.          


Celebrating the one year anniversary of her new knee, Janet Von Doepp.  


J. J. Panzer was watching the Olympics ice dancing competition.  The gold medal winners were Americans Charlie White and Meryl Davis.  You didn’t know J. J. was a big ice dancing fan?  Neither did J. J.  There is a connection to the GGBC here.  Charlie and Meryl.  All you old time GGBC members will remember our very own Charlie Merrill. Charlie was a boat builder.  I don’t think he ever ice danced. 


Speaking of boats, Michael Mattis says the tall ships Hawaiian Chieftain and Lady Washington are back in San Francisco Bay.  You can book a bay cruise while they are here, but do it fast, because I think they’re leaving on Sunday.


Steve Shain’s wife has left him again.  This time Cathy is in Vegas.  Steve had pretty much convinced Bernie Blutman to come to breakfast this morning, but then Pola put the kibosh on Bernie’s visit.  Too many appointments for Bernie this morning.  So no Bernie, which means no good jokes.


On this Bernieless Wednesday, we had two jokes.  Interestingly, Alan Garber declined to tell a joke.  First up was Joel PanzerJoel’s joke was about a poor deformed guy that had to buy a suit in a pawn shop.  Even Little Miss Sunshine (aka Terry Cowhey) didn’t laugh.  Marty Mijalski had a date night joke that involved a progression of dollar values.  It might have been funnier if Johnson You told it.


So, now President Jill is on the spot again.  Another quandary.  Are either of these two jokes worthy of the Goldie the Chicken award?  Evidently not, as neither were awarded the Goldie.  Remember two weeks ago when John Stewart was awarded the Goldie for a clever comment?  This prompted me to go on a tirade about how low the GGBC’s standards have fallen so low that we’re awarding the Goldie for a comment not even a real joke.  This morning John’s comment, in reference to his recent seventy-fifth birthday, was “you lose three things when you get old.  First you lose your memory….I forgot the other two”.  That was the most Goldie worthy quip of the day. 


Needing advice from Little Miss Sunshine is Phil MosconePhil received a notice from the City of Piedmont.  The City is considering putting in a bike lane on his street and Phil needs help to make sure it doesn’t happen.  Jim Lazarus just wants to know why a San Francisco Superior Court Judge lives in Piedmont?  


Speaking of Judges, Ed Flowers was sitting in the proper position, to the left to Roy Wonder, to announce “all rise”.


Bill Buchanan received an e-mail from past speaker George BurkGeorge is moving forward with his campaign to install a memorial bench at the site of his 1970 plane crash in Sonoma County.  George was the only survivor of the 14 passengers and crew aboard.  Remember, it was Bill and Hugh Tuck that helped George find actual the crash site.


This morning’s Recology safety report from Tom Jacobs; truck #14443 was blocking a traffic lane on Polk Street.  First off, #14443 is a side loader, which means the driver has to allow for the swing of the cart and cannot pull right up to the curb.  Second, Polk Street does not have tow-a-way or collection restrictions during commute hours.  It’s considered a commercial shopping street, not a shortcut for Marin commuters.  I told Dan Negron to give that driver a bonus for making those Marinites go back onto Van Ness Avenue where they belong.


Who arrived last this morning, Jacobs or Smegal?  Neither.  Your editor Antonio White walked into the Commandant’s Room at 8:15AM.  


Did you get a chance to vote on the doodle poll as to when our yearly Bocce Ball tournament should be held?  If not, you missed your chance.  The poll closed on February 19th.          


This morning, Reg Young, subbing for Mike Hanlon had two birthdays.  Originally, Mike told me when he called for his excuse that the birthdays were Past President Harvey and some other guy.  That other guy was…..me.  Turns out though, Past President Harvey’s birthday is December 15th and the other other guy with a birthday this week is John Mathers.  Since we didn’t want to take away Past President Harvey’s birthday recognition, John and I let him join us in our birthday picture.  Except no hat for Harvey.         


Knuckleheads of the week; those who objected to Girl Scout Danielle Lei setting up her cookie stand in front of Green Cross, a medical marijuana dispensary on Mission Street here in the City saying it isn’t appropriate for the Girl Scouts to set up shop where drugs are sold.  Nobody complains when the Girl Scouts set up in front of Walgreen’s.  Except the folks buying their drugs at Walgreen’s generally do not have a bad case of the munchies.  I have one word for Danielle; brilliant.             



Blue Start Moms
    My column this week is devoted to our courageous, speakers this past Wednesday, Michelle Miller, Patty Harris and Yolanda Vega of the Danville chapter of Blue Star Moms, and their cause.  Blue Star Moms is an organization made up of Mothers of military members devoted to the support to other Moms, military members and their families.  Blue Star Mothers of America, Inc. was originally formed during World War II, the name came from the custom of families of servicemen hanging a banner called a Service Flag in a window of their homes. The Service Flag had a star for each family member in the military. The Service Flag is still used today, living servicemembers are represented by a Blue Star and those who have lost their lives in combat are represented by a Gold Star.
    The organization provides a tremendous opportunity of support for Mothers of military members who are often serving, and sometimes perish, half a world away.  The group helps alleviate the isolation and feelings of helplessness felt by Mothers who often have no other connection to the military, and no other source of information on the often mysterious bureaucracy of our armed forces.  The Danville chapter also originated, and continues to support what has become an annual gathering of Gold Star parents at the Marines Memorial Club.  This event has grown into a two day event that includes a beautiful memorial service for fallen servicemembers and recognition of their parents, as well as break-out grief counseling sessions, concluding with a dinner attended by a senior ranking officer who delivers a keynote address to the parents.  This is a great organization with a very important mission, more information and donations can be made on the group’s
website at www.bluestarmoms.org.

Your President
Jill Hoffman