Sep 17th: General Anthony Zinni


Since this morning our speaker, General Anthony Zinni, was expected to be a big draw with a very timely presentation, President Jill Hoffman was going to make certain to commence on time.  Even though Rickey Wilson was present, Bert Hill delivered the five minute warning, using our Fire Truck bell, and President Jill jumped up to the podium and started the meeting right on time.           

Before I start reporting the events of this morning’s meeting, I will give you the latest breakfast burrito update.  Evidently, the chef on the 12th floor has shared his recipe with the chef on the 10th floor and as a result this morning we did have the proper breakfast burrito.  Scrambled eggs, chorizo and cheese all wrapped in a flour tortilla.  Although, I would have liked to see a little more chorizo.  And a little warmer tortilla.  My table mate, Marty Mijalski, did bring up a critical point though.  Since the GGBC is an early morning meeting, the salsa on the buffet is removed from the refrigerator just prior to the start of our meeting.  This results in cold salsa being combined with hot burritos compromising our overall breakfast experience.  Marty and I are in agreement; Jorge should remove the salsa from the refrigerator immediately upon his arrival at the MMC on Wednesday mornings assuring that our salsa will be at room temperature which will enhance our overall breakfast experience.  And yes, you are right.  I am becoming the Terry Cowhey of breakfast burritos.

Giving credit where credit is due; the cheese blintzes on our buffet are always excellent.

We were also correct in our prediction of General Zinni’s ability to draw a good crowd.  Not a single empty seat this morning and thanks to a few early departures, some seats were turned over twice.

We had nine guests this morning.  Hosted by Betty Taisch was her boss Don Diltz, a frequent GGBC visitor.  Don Persky brought along his neighbor Paul Saldarwal who is also a friend of President JillHugh Tuck’s guest was George Canon, who Hugh says he met at a garage sale.  George is a former Navy pilot for thirty-three years who flew the F-8 Crusader, the last of the gun fighters.  The GGBC has a special connection with this type of aircraft.  Remember the plane at Larsen Playground in the Sunset?  That was an F-8 and GGBC member Jack Block was instrumental in getting the Navy to donate the plane to the City.  The F-8 was removed from Larsen Playground in 1993 and is now fully restored at the Pacific Coast Air Museum in Santa Rosa.  Bill Buchanan’s guest was Alex Siddi, like Bill, a Viet Nam vet and a former investigator for the IRS.  

Our remaining guests were all hosted by MikesMustacchi was responsible for Dave Seige, an Army vet, John Swensson, another Army vet and Bill Applegate, another Navy flyer.  No mention of what Dave flew though.  Myatt was responsible for Col. Chris Starling, USMC retired, the new Director of Military and Veteran’s Affairs for the MMC and Barrie Graham, the Chairman of the Board of the MMC.  I’ll also point out that General Zinni is the Vice Chairman of the Board of the MMC.  Maybe I should have been talking burritos with these two guys.

I will also extend a special thanks to the two Mikes.  First to Mike Myatt for persuading General Zinni to extend his stay to speak at the GGBC and second to Mike Mustacchi, who graciously delivered this morning’s guest sign-in sheet to my office.  I got a bit distracted after the meeting and walked out of the Commandant’s Room without picking it up.  Then Mike even drove me to my next meeting at the Fairmont Hotel.  That’s what I call service.  

Excuses requested for this morning:  Even though you received last week’s bulletin right on time over the weekend, your editor, Antonio White, is celebrating his (and wife Christina’s) Anniversary in Paris.  You should be reading this column right on time as well.  That’s what I call dedication.  Alan Garber excused Marty Fleisher, who is in Palm Springs.    

No excuses requested for the future this morning.

Members that we haven’t seen for a while that have returned; Jerome Stroumza, Don Persky, Catherine Accardi and Noah GriffinNoah even composed a little ditty reflective of the NFL’s problems with spousal abuse, “He was a Lineman with a Bounty”.

Other members that returned but weren’t gone for a while; David Dissmeyer back from Healdsburg where there is still water in the Russian River.  Robin Brasso back from Los Angeles where the temperature hit 107 degrees.  Robin says don’t complain about “the heat” here.     

John Mathers made it for his second meeting in a row.  Looking even better. 

Haven’t filed your taxes yet?  Arlan Kertz says you have four weeks.  No more extensions.  

Roy Wonder pointed out if you missed General Zinni’s talk here at the MMC on Monday evening, you can catch it tomorrow on the World Affairs Council’s web site.  Sitting on the wrong side of Roy Wonder, Ed FlowersEd’s booming “all rise” just isn’t the same when delivered after Roy’s introduction.   

Looking for a nice house on Twin Peaks, Joanne Fazzino has one available for $20,000.00 a month.  No restaurant recommendation from Joanne this morning so I’ll give you one.  Looking for a good New Haven style pizza?  Try Pazzo in San Carlos.  On Laurel just south of Brittan Avenue.  Pazzo has great appetizers, pastas and house made desserts.  Although the pizza is king.  Of course, who in the club, other than Alan Garber and myself, know what a New Haven style pizza is?       

Betty Taisch caught former FBI Director Robert Mueller at the Marin speaker’s series and reminds all you San Francisco voters to cast a no vote on Proposition G.

In addition to voting no on Proposition G, Chuck Mills would like you to vote for District 10 Supervisor Malia CohenMalia is leading the charge to prevent the owners of the Showplace from turning the building into offices and evicting Chuckles.  Myself and Dan Negron say vote for Malia too, since her primary opposition is Tony Kelly, one of the big backers of Proposition A, which would have put all of Recology’s business in San Francisco out to bid.        

A weather prediction from Rickey Wilson; it’s going to rain.  How does Rickey know?  He’s tearing off his roof starting today.

Heading to Honolulu for a quick weekend trip, Bill Buchanan.  John Bates, who served with Bill in Viet Nam, is being presented with the American Patriot Award by the Honolulu Navy League this Friday.

Wayne Veatch will be prepping his ’52 Studebaker for a big end of the month trip over the Sierras to Bishop. 

Our last arrival, Cathy Scharetg, showed up on crutches.  It’s muscle related and not too serious, but bad enough to keep Cathy out of the Marine’s Marathon next month. 

Even though President Jill asked the membership to limit their comments as to allow General Zinni the full amount of his allocated time, Alan Garber couldn’t pass up telling his joke.  Garber said it was a VA joke to give it a military connection.  In reality, it was just another old joke; husband goes into the hospital for surgery and upon his release his wife says the husband has lost all interest in sex.  The doctor says we only performed cataract surgery.  Groan.

Of course since Garber told his joke, that opened the door for Terry Cowhey’s weekly City PUC report.  You know, the same report from last week, and the week before that,   and the week before that.

We did have two birthdays this week.  Robin Brasso on Saturday, and today, celebrating his 71st birthday, our speaker, General ZinniRobin said she would defer her celebration until next week, as to not steal the spotlight from our speaker.  Although General Zinni didn’t wear one of our hats, we did properly serenade him and he still gave his presentation.  I guess our singing was a bit better than usual.  Speakers Chair Mike Mustacchi even brought a birthday cake.  Treasurer Ray Siotto is hoping this doesn’t become a regular occurrence.

I did receive some sad news just prior to publication.  One of our former long time members, Al Fernandez Jr, sadly lost his wife, Sherry, on Wednesday morning.  Services will be private.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Fernandez family and Mike Hanlon will convey the GGBC’s condolences to Al personally.

Knucklehead of the week; last week the winner was NFL Commissioner Roger Godell.  But, as each day unfolds there’s another domestic violence or child abuse revelation involving another NFL player.  And when these guys try to explain, they only make it worse.  I think Roger has to change the name of his league from the NFL to the KFL.