MEMBER NEWS BY PETE RATTO
Even though it’s only two days before the 4th of July Holiday, we were in the Commandant’s Ballroom this morning. The holiday week is a slow one for the MMC, so we get moved into the biggest room. Too bad this morning attendance was even sparser than last week’s. As Bert Hill completed his 600 mile, not 400 mile, bike ride, Bert was available to ring the fire truck bell and give the membership the five minute warning. President Jill Hoffman has family visiting this week, so an excuse was requested and First Vice President Joel Panzer moved up to the podium to preside over this morning’s meeting. Unlike last week, our speaker, Randy Overbeck walked into the Commandant’s Room before 6:30AM. I’m always impressed when the speaker arrives early enough to interact with the membership. And, even more impressed when they decide to stay.
We had two guests this morning. Hosted by Robin Brasso was fellow retired educator Hene Kelly. Robin says Hene is a member of every Democratic Club in the City. Hene should have sat with Alex King and Alan Garber, just to show the GGBC is fair and balanced. Who is the GGBC’s best host? Ed Flowers. Ed’s guest, Elrick Jundis, called just as Ed was sitting down to breakfast to let Ed know he was going to be a little late. Elrick had just arrived at the Transbay Bus Terminal. Ed said, “stay put, I’m coming to get you”. Ed was back with Elrick before the self-intros were over. Although Elrick currently lives in the Philippines, he’s originally from San Francisco and Ed was Elrick’s Scoutmaster. Given Elrick is now 43 years old, that was a long time ago.
Excuses requested for this morning; via e-mail to me; from Betty Taisch, Joanne Fazzino and your editor Antonio White. Excuse reminder received via e-mail to me; Patricia Fripp is in San Diego at the National Speakers Association convention. J. J. Panzer excused Karen Nemsick. Reg Young excused Jim Simpson and Mike Hanlon. I guess I was premature in moving Mike into the “future excuses not needed” section last week.
While Ed Flowers is our most dedicated host, who is our most dedicated member? This week the award goes to Hugh Tuck for leaving Truckee at 3:45AM to make it to breakfast this morning.
Members that have returned; as mentioned earlier, Bert Hill is back from his 14 day, 600 mile bike ride that traversed 37,000 feet of elevation. So, that’s 18,500 feet of going up, but that also means Bert was coasting down 18,500 feet. Bert also pulled out a plastic, collapsible, solar powered lantern. Only $15.00. Grab a few for your earthquake kit.
Back from Whistler, BC, Steve Shain said be bought a new set of knickers and a new snap brim hat.
Who’s the new President Elect of the Sebastopol Rotary? Why it’s our own Rickey Wilson. This is a thriving club with 105 members and a yearly budget of $250K.
Finally Chuck Mills got a bit of good news. The owners of the newly historic Showplace have given Chuckles a one-year lease extension. Don’t know if the same has been offered to our new-member-in-the-pipe-line Dana Walsh. Dana may still have to move into one of the shipping containers in my back yard.
The GGBC’s poet laureate, Stan Ellexson, dedicated this morning’s entry to Terry Cowhey; here's to the temperance supper, with water in glasses tall, and coffee and tea to end with--and me not there at all.
Since it’s summer vacation and the kids are out of school, Rich Corriea thought he would bring son Jack along to breakfast. But, Jack didn’t want to get up early and texted Mom to ask if she would tell Dad to give Jack a pass. Except all of Jack’s texts show up on his Dad’s cell phone too. The parental decision was to give Jack a pass, but Jack would have to walk the dog. Jack’s next text to Mom; “where’s the dog?” Rich then put on his Speakers Chair assistant hat and asked the membership if we would like to have a speaker or speakers on Laura’s Law. Just pro, just con or both sides. In keeping with the fair and balanced nature of the GGBC, we’ll hear both sides.
Speaker’s Chair Mike Mustacchi, wearing an upcoming Holiday appropriate shirt, regaled the membership with an extraordinarily long story about a flight on Virgin Atlantic with his ex-wife. Rickey Wilson’s comment; “that was along story to get absolutely nowhere.”
Since Joanne Fazzino wasn’t here this morning today’s restaurant recommendation is from me; The Refuge in downtown San Carlos. The best pastrami this side of New York City. Except your waiter won’t be a grumpy old Jewish guy, most likely he’ll be a cheerful Latino.
Bill Buchanan’s wife Claire had been experiencing muscle spasms in one of her cheeks for the past couple of weeks. Looking to find a cure, acupuncture was suggested. So, Bill called Johnson You and Johnson said to bring Claire in for treatment. Surprisingly, Bill said he understood Johnson perfectly. That’s because Bill saw Johnson’s business persona as opposed to Johnson’s GGBC persona.
Although we’ve heard this warning many times before at the GGBC, Janet Von Doepp related the story of a young mother who while driving, reached into her purse to get her cell phone and rear ended the car in front of her. Now the mom is in a coma and her baby suffered two broken legs.
I have to say, two of our three top jokesters were not in their best form this morning. The Master of Disaster, John McKnight, was up first. John was close, but didn’t meet last week’s entry. The strong, young man at the construction site was always bragging that he could out do anyone in feats of strength. He seemed to take special delight in making fun of one of the older workmen. After several minutes, the older worker had had enough. “Why don’t you put your money where your mouth is,” he said. “I will bet a week’s wages that I can haul something in this wheelbarrow over to that building that you won’t be able to wheel back.” The young man replied “You’re on, old man, let’s see what you can do.” The old man reached out and grabbed the wheelbarrow by the handles, nodding to the young man and said, “get in.”
Marty Mijalski was up next. But Marty decided to make his joke too PC and referred to the protagonist as “a woman of a certain hair color”. As a “blonde joke” it would have worked. As “a woman of a certain hair color joke” it fell flat. The GGBC’s PC spectrum; on one side Marty, on the other, Terry Cowhey with his slogan of “our goal is your hole”.
Again Alan Garber batted last and received the best reception from the membership. A woman goes to see a fortune teller. The fortune teller says “you will soon be a widow and your husband will die a horrible, disgusting and violent death”. The woman asks “will I be acquitted?”
Still no Goldie the Chicken for Garber? Not from President Jill, not from First Vice President Joel, maybe if Second VP Mike Mustacchi gets to the podium, Garber might finally receive the award he’s deserved for the past two weeks.
For those of you that questioned my insertion of the phrase “top of form” into the column for last week, ask your editor, Antonio White for the answer.
Reg Young, subbing for Mike Hanlon, had one birthday this week. On Friday, the 4th of July, Stan Ellexson.
Special events reminder from Joel Panzer; the joint meeting with the Lake Merritt and Berkeley Breakfast Clubs is on July 24th, a Thursday, at the Lake Merritt Hotel. Marty Lurie from KNBR will be the speaker. And, the GGBC’s annual Dick Polhi Memorial Bocce Ball Tournament will be on Saturday, August 2nd at the Marin Bocce Federation in San Rafael.
Both Joel and J. J. gave a heart felt thanks to those members who attended the memorial service for Janet last Wednesday. It meant a lot to their family. There will also be a memorial celebration on July 27th at UCSF Mission Bay from 1:00 to 4:00PM. More details to follow.
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? Pete