MEMBER NEWS BY PETE RATTO
Well, I hope you didn’t show up at MMC bright and early on Wednesday morning, because if you did you probably ate breakfast surrounded by strangers on the 12th floor. Or, with another GGBC member that forgot our meeting was in Oakland on Thursday.
We joined our hosts, the Lake Merritt Breakfast Club, along with the Berkeley and San Leandro Breakfast Clubs at the Lake Merritt Hotel; which is actually a combination of an extended stay hotel and independent senior living apartment building. The meeting was held in the Terrace Room, which is all glass on the north side, overlooking Lake Merritt. The room even has this all glass bay window where the head table was set up. I would have second thoughts about sitting in an all glass bay window in Oakland. Fortunately, President Jill Hoffman was not required to sit there.
One of the things I like best about visiting both the Oakland and Berkeley Clubs is the ease of parking. When I swung around the corner at Lakeshore Drive and Madison Street there was a legal parking spot directly across the street from the front door. Two hours of free parking starting at 8:00AM and an easy walk across the street for myself and my passenger, Sidney Mobell.
Lest you think the GGBC made a poor showing with only me, Sidney and President Jill in attendance, there were fourteen other GGBCers there as well. Including, Joel and J.J. Panzer, Les Anderson, Marty Mijalski, Janet Von Doepp, Wayne Veatch, John Cribbs, Alan Garber, Joanne Fazzino, Patricia Fripp, Aaron Driame, Tom Jacobs, Hugh Tuck and Larry Jacobson. I will also point out that, other than Anderson, Garber and Jacobson, every male member of the GGBC was wearing a coat and tie. Garber did partially redeem himself by donning his combined Giant’s and A’s ball cap though. Jack Block almost stopped spinning in his grave.
The LMBC was prepared for a pretty good crowd with twelve tables each seating eight. If you can’t do the math, that’s 96 seats. And, there were very few empty seats once the meeting started. With seventeen members in total, the GGBC beat the Berkeley Club by one. The San Leandro Club had only one member in attendance, but since that represents a third of their membership, I guess the San Leandro Club technically made the best showing.
We did have one complaint about the Terrace Room’s otherwise fine breakfast though; no coffee on the tables.
LMBC President Geoff Kline called the meeting to order right on time welcoming us all to the “sunny side of the bay”. The sun did finally come out just as the meeting was ending, so I guess Geoff wasn’t lying. By that time it was sunny in San Francisco too. The LMBC does have a little more extensive morning ritual when compared to the GGBC. The LMBC likes to sing, although now it’s limited to a single song, God Bless America. They also recite the Pledge of Allegiance and have an invocation too.
An interesting bit of LMBC trivia; their first meeting was held in this very same hotel on December 1st, 1932. This makes the LMBC fourteen years older than the GGBC.
There were no self-introductions, and LMBC President Geoff launched right into the traditional program of insulting the guest’s clubs respective cities. Berkeley got hit first with its Weed for the Poor Ordinance, and the fact that Berkeley is a nuclear free zone, which is mentioned by every LMBC President every year. Who writes their material, Terry Cowhey? We were slammed next for loosing America’s Cup to San Diego, loosing the 49ers to Santa Clara and loosing George Lucas to Chicago. As a positive for his city, President Geoff mentioned the agreement for keeping the best team in baseball, the A’s, in Oakland for the next ten years. All I can say to that is please refer to the excerpt below from my July 2nd column:
Knuckleheads of the week: Oakland Mayor Jean Quan and her entire City Council for their interference in the contract extension negotiated between the Oakland A’s and the Joint Powers Authority that runs the Coliseum. The Council claims they were “blindsided”, even though four of their members sit on the JPA’s Board. I guess these guys never talk to each other?
Eventually the A’s did indeed sign the new contract, but it wasn’t a sure thing for a couple of weeks.
Our President Jill got the first shot at a rebuttal. Remember, last year President Jill, subbing for President Harvey, gave the rebuttal at the joint meeting hosted by the BBC. So President Jill’s had practice. President Jill graciously complemented the venue and then said “who knew there was such a nice place in Oakland”, followed by “whose running for Mayor”? President Jill also whipped out her smart phone and played a video of Mayor Quan arriving at breakfast which turned out to be Mayor Quan getting arrested for having an accident while texting.
Berkeley President Jim Novosel was up next. Unfortunately, President Jill already used all of Jim’s Mayor Quan material, so all he had left was the fact that Oakland’s Police Department is still under federal oversight and Berkeley’s isn’t. Then he confessed both his Mom and Dad were originally from Oakland.
Our speaker was sportscaster Marty Lurie, who was also the speaker the last time the LMBC hosted the joint meeting. I’m not throwing stones at the LMBC though. A good speaker is worth repeating and Marty is always informative, especially considering both the Giant’s and A’s are leading their divisions.
Larry Jacobson did want me to mention his question stumped Marty. Was the World Series named after the World Newspaper? Marty didn’t know. But, then again, Marty did know the first games referred to as “The World Series” were played in 1882. I GTSed “first World Series game” and Marty was right, 1882. Google says it was the Spaulding Guide of America that coined the term “World Series”, in the hope teams from England and Australia would participate. Given baseball isn’t played in England and Australia, this never occurred. No mention of the World newspaper Larry.
Knucklehead of the week: Just to show I’m not picking on Oakland and Berkeley exclusively, this week’s winner is San Francisco Supervisor John Avalos for having an affair with his legislative aide, resulting in her suspension without pay. Doesn’t seem fair to me. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander, right? Hey John, who do you think you are, Bill Clinton?