Gary Buffon Growing up in the Northern Ca High Desert where his Father worked for the Southern Pacific Railroad

Editor:  Gary Buffon
Week of October 17, 2013

President Jane welcomed everyone to the friendly El Cerrito Rotary Club, the flag salute was led by Jack and the thought for the day was provided by Kathleen.

Lee standing in for Secretary John – Introduction of Visiting Rotarians and Guests:  Fred Collignan – Asst Dist Gov from the Berkeley Club.  Rotarian Richard from the Laveneria Michigan club.  Guest of Mark Scott’s Ron Huey.  Norma Buffon wife and guest of Gary Buffon.

Announcements:

  • Nancy announced the Mechanics Bank mixer next Thursday (the 24th) at her branch in El Cerrito.  Everyone invited – Rotarians go and meet potential new members
  • Tracy announced the firefighters are serving the meals at Macaroni Grill as part of the toy drive fund raising.  Go find out how that works.
  • Nobuko reminded us that November is foundation month.  She passed around a sheet which shows status of how close you are to a PHF.  This may be the time when you can achieve that goal.
  • Gary B ask for some help this Sat with the Interact fund raising project.  He needs on Rotarian to show up for about an hour from 9a to 10a on the 19th.  The Interact members are painting the house numbers on the street locations.  If you can do this, please contact Gary B and he will provide you with the location and directions.  It is in El Sobrante.  It is a Richmond address off the Dam road.
  • Lee gave us some tips on seeking guests to bring to our meetings.  Given that our club needs new members, be sure you commit to bringing a guest in the next few meetings.  We always have great speakers so you can be sure your guest will enjoy the “friendly El Cerrito Rotary club.”
  • Karen gave a quick summary of our successful wine tasting event.  There will be a full accounting of the specific results at a future meeting.  Karen thanked everyone who worked and participated.

 

Happy Dollars:

1)     Marty had $5 for his great trip to Turkey.  He plans on giving us a program on the trip in the near future.

2)     Sal’s guest Richard gave a happy dollar for being able to visit our club

3)     Jack is happy about the great champagne wines from Weibel.

4)     Mark Scott is happy he had Ron as his guest today

5)     Terry is happy but my scribbling on the notes were unclear of the reason

6)     Fred is happy for the major Rotaract event he was involved in

7)     Paul K is happy for his son being over having his tonsils removed

8)     Allen is happy $5 for not getting a parking ticket in Berkeley.

9)     Karen is happy that Allen loaned her a car so she could do here wine tasting running around after her car died

Sgt at Arms Steve:

Did Al Capone trivia which in all the trivia games, we all end up paying to Sgt.

Today’s Program:

Gary B gave a presentation about his growing up in the Northern Ca high desert where his Father worked for the Southern Pacific Railroad. Gary opened his presentation by asking if anyone in the room had attended a school with less than ten students.Nobody had, except Gary. From there he gave a description of the region of the Lassen Co where he grew up. 

In addition, he shared some specifics of the small village of Ravendale back in the late 40’s and early 50’s. Gary’s father was a “gandy dancer” (maintenance worker) for the Southern Pacific Railroad on the Modoc line. This line ran from Ely NV and ran North through Lassen and Modoc counties and in Oregon to Klamath Falls. We saw pictures of two of the main steam engines serving on the line in that era. Also presented were pictures of the locations and terrain along with some personal stories of the experience of living there. 

It was apparent that a number of Rotarians were not familiar with the region or the environment. Gary identified the key things he learned as a youngster and how that influenced him in becoming a successful adult. Everyone seemed to enjoy the presentation. Thanks to Jim Shepherd for asking Gary to do this presentation for the club.

Today’s Lottery Winners:

   

Mark Scott won the bottle of wine. Michael C had his ticket pulled for the marble game and selected a catseye. Next week the pot will be $70.

Thought for the Week:

The great lesson is that the sacred is in the ordinary, that it is to be found in one’s daily life, in one’s neighbors, friends and family, in one’s backyard.
Abraham Maslow

Sal’s Travels in China

Editor: Gary Buffon, Week of August 8, 2013

China TravelsCommunity Services Director Allen stepped in today and welcomed everyone to the friendly El Cerrito Rotary Club, the flag salute was led by Sal and the thought for the day was provided by Gary B.

Visitors:

Standing in for Secretary John, Steve – Introduction of Visiting Rotarians and Guests:  Dick M. who is on his path to membership was here.  Mark S. brought guest Ron H. and Allen had guest Monica K.

Happy Dollars:

Alan L. is happy it is his 5th wedding anniversary.  Gary A is happy for the swim in the bay he had with Jim Shepherd.  Sal had $10 because that is “all he had.”  Mark S. had $5 for the friends and fellowship of the El Cerrito Rotarians and he also brought a wine tasting sponsorship check from the El Cerrito Chamber for $300. Gary B had happy dollars for lunch with Tracy and two Interact members at which a lot of coordination and planned collaboration was planned.  Tracy had $3 – 1$ for the same lunch as a dollar for meeting Interact President Elia at a school function and the last $ was for daughter Sarah signing up Interact.

Allen C. had a happy dollar for Monica being his guest and for the Solano Stroll being all set for the Sept 8th date and there is a kickoff mixer tonight at the Mechanics Bank in Albany.

Sgt at Arms Steve:

Recognized Jane for her 43rd anniversary,  Tracy for her 20th anniversary,  Alan for his 5th anniversary, Sil for his 47th anniversary, Michael Chang for both a birthday and an anniversary.  Last on the list was Gary B for his 71st Birthday on Sunday.

Today’s Program:

Allen introduced our very own Sal Compagno to give a presentation on his recent 21 day trip to China.  Sal began by telling us about the tour company he used for his trip and how well they did the tour he took.  This was a really wonderful presentation and if you missed it all I can say is too bad.  We were treated to Sal’s great sense of humor and vast travel experience.  We got to laugh about the trip preparation while we heard about the wide array of adventures he got to have in China.

El Cerrito RotaryWe saw pictures of the Terracotta Army, Tiananmen Square, The Great Wall, the Yangtze River and other key sights.  Sal explained how great the food was throughout the entire 21 day adventure.  Add to this a wonderful story about silk rugs and the huge quality of apartment buildings that are 21 stories tall and have thousands of apartments in each.   Sal also spent some time telling us about Hong Kong and the differences with the mainland China.

One of the things that is important for going on an adventure like this is to be reasonably good physical shape.  There is a lot of walking and hiking involved and Sal was not impressed with his fellow tourist because they did not get to do some of the things because even though they were younger than him, they were not able to physically do some of the walking necessary to get the most out of the experience.

Today’s Lottery Winners:

Jane had her ticket drawn and won the bottle of wine.  Mark S. had his ticket pulled for the marble drawing and selected a catseye.  Next week the pot will be $55.

Thought for the Week:

Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.

Thomas Jefferson

 

Fellowship Meeting July 25, 2013

 Editor:  Gary Buffon    Week of July 25, 2013

Secretary John – Introduction of Visiting Rotarians and Guests:  John introduced his guest Dick M.

Announcements:

  • Karen announced the wine tasting committee will be releasing the sponsorship opportunities in about a week.
  • President Jim reminded us that this week was a fellowship meeting and there would be more time for us to get to know each other.

Happy Dollars:  Mike G is happy we had fellowship today. Past Pres Frank is happy that grandchild #5 is on the way.  Gary B is happy about the successful trip he and Norma took to the Lake Tahoe area to catch butterflies and shoot golf balls at 200 yards at the Gardnerville rifle range.  Gary is also happy about the upcoming Interact Car wash on Aug 4th.   More details will follow. Karen is happy for the new dog they have even though there are some issues.  Terry is happy to be back from his trip to Mexico. Lee is happy his daughter is returning home for a spell.  Also Lee is happy about the upcoming family reunion in Wisconsin. Jack is happy to advise Rotarians that Frank S is getting ready to turn in his signed roster at the next board meeting and if you haven’t signed Frank’s book you can save yourself $6 by doing so. Jim Shepherd is happy for the trip to Michigan he and his family enjoyed and he is happy about swimming with Gary A in the bay.

Today’s Program:  

Today was a fellowship day.  There was a lot of stuff going on at every table but your humble editor could not possible summarize all of that without a whole cadre of fellow editors.

Two things of significance: See pictures below.

President Jim Spain & Past President Frank Lee

President Jim presents a certificate from the DG acknowledging our club
for the Foster a Dream Foundation support in 2012-13

Jack Freethy

Jack receives District All Star award from DG – Jim presented the award

Today’s Lottery Winners:    Jack had his ticket drawn and won the bottle of wine.  Steve had his ticket pulled for the marble drawing and selected a catseye marble.  Next week the pot will be $130.

Thought for the Week:  

The whole of science is nothing more than a refinement of everyday thinking.

–Albert Einstein

 

Dr. Pate Thompson, Berkeley Rotary Club – founder of the Richmond Rotarcare Clinic.

President Elect Jim Spain welcomed everyone to the friendly El Cerrito Rotary Club, the flag was saluted and Nancy offered the thought for the day from Yogi Berra.

Secretary John – Introduction of Visiting Rotarians and Guests:

John introduced: Banu Dadlani, Berkeley Rotary Club; Walt Prowell, Monterey Rotary Club; Kurry Foley, Cote and Company (Charlie Weaver’s office) and Dave Rockhold, guest of Frank Sirafi.

Announcements:

  • Jack Freethy  announced the funeral of Mark Collins (SAT  7/20) and “plugged” the El Cerrito Florists for their “contribution”.
  • President Elect Jim Spain noted that the evening meeting scheduled for Thursday August 25th will not be a night-time mixer; will advise on a near- future date.

Happy Dollars:

– President Jim Spain ($1) happy Allen Cain sent him a customer in El Cerrito.

– Frank Lee ($5) is happy his daughter in New Jersey is doing well; introduced grandson to skee-ball; happy with Karen’s website updates and that  Pate Thompson (Berkeley Rotary Club) continues to be a consistent guest.

– Nancy McCarthy ($1) happy that Michael Chang led [them] to a successful insurance claim.

– Banu Dadlani, Berkeley Rotary Club ($1) happy to be at the Mira Vista with the ECRC.

– Mark Scott ($3) happy the wedding for daughter nine days away; reception at Fratalanza Club (Emeryville) where both cooks are currently Ill – Mark remains hopeful.

– Allen Cain ($1) happy that the 2013 Solano Avenue Stroll is on-track / on-time.

– Jack Freethy ($10) happy about t-ball and grandchildren

– Kanti Patel ($1) happy that India has a winning cricket team

Sgt at Arms Steve:  Nancy McCarthy and Joe Conwill recognized as they did not sign Terry’s Kotsatos Rotary roster as part of his initiation. Tables were quizzed regarding the El Cerrito Rotary Club’s structure; Mike Gonzalez recognized. Karen Neirlich recognized for doing such a great job on the ECR website.

Today’s Program:  President  Elect Jim introduced our guest speaker Dr. Pate Thompson, Berkeley Rotary Club – founder of the Richmond Rotarcare Clinic.

Today’s Lottery Winners:  Don Farquharson won the wine; Mark Scott went for the marble and pulled a “cat’s eye”.

 

President Jim Spain’s 2012-2013 Kick-Off Meeting

Editor:  Gary Buffon
Week of July 11, 2013

Jim Receives a "Brat Pack" poster with himself, Frank and Jack Freethy pictured.

Jim Receives a “Brat Pack” poster with himself, Frank and Jack Freethy pictured.

Immediate Past President Frank welcomed everyone to the friendly El Cerrito Rotary Club, the flag salute was led by Frank S. Frank provided the thought for the day. Frank then thanked everyone for the support he received during his year as President and mentioned the names of many Rotarians in the club who he said “are responsible for the high functioning of our Rotary club.”  It is obvious that we did well under Frank’s leadership and he appreciated our commitment and efforts.

Immediate Past Pres Frank asked Jack to come forward and accept the Rotarian of the Year award.  Jack acknowledged the award and thanked Frank for the recognition.

President Jim Spain was then asked by Frank to come and take over the meeting.  Jim took over and Marty then requested the opportunity to come forward to award Past Pres Frank his past president award.  A beautiful clock for his office desk.

Secretary John – Introduction of Visiting Rotarians and Guests:
John introduced Dick Morrish a long time friend who wants to join our Rotary club.  Mark Scott’s friend Pete was again on hand to evaluate our club as a possible home.

President Jim ask Terry to come forward and Membership Director Jack present Terry with his Blue Badge and Terry turned in his signed roster and turned over the $$ he collected to Tresurer Michael Chang to get his Paul Harris Fellowship donation started.

Announcements:

  • Tracy asked Jim to accept a gift for his Presidency, a great poster created with Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin in mind with the main characters being Pres Frank and Jack.  This was a very thoughtful and aptly timed acknowledgement for the start of Jim’s year as our President

Today’s Program:

Terry because a Rotarian after trading the red badge for blue.

Terry because a Rotarian after trading the red badge for blue.

President Jim began today’s club assembly by introducing his Officers and Directors for the 2013-14 Rotary Year.  From there he asked everyone to work hard and be supportive of each other and the goals of our club.  He also told us about the charity he will be supporting and asked us to be cognizant of fundraising ideas and activities.  Our club has done many different types of fund raising events and we want to make sure we are getting the most from our energy expended.  This year there are two additional items on which we will focus, the loss of Charlie Weaver and Marv Collins. These two Rotarians deserve something tangible in the community so they will be remembered.  Jim has asked Mark Figone, Joe Conwill, and Larry Sanchez to come up with ideas on how we might accomplish such recognitions.

President Jim also wants to have a fellowship meeting every six to eight weeks and have the club directors make a short presentation on activities in which they are involved.

After his opening remarks, Jim opened the floor for Q&A.  There were a lot of items addressed.  This was a good meeting and it gave us all the sense that we have a good leader.

Today’s Lottery Winners:

Marty thanked outgoing President Frank with an engraved clock

Marty thanked outgoing President Frank with an engraved clock

Sonya had her ticket drawn and won the bottle of wine.  Sonya also had her ticket pulled for the marble drawing and selected a blue marble, winning $2.  Next week the pot will be $120.

Thought for the Week:

Not the cry, but the flight of a wild duck, leads the flock to fly and follow.
Chinese Proverb