Posted by Donn Irwin on Aug 09, 2019
Desert shadows creep across purple sands.
Natives kneel in prayer by their caravans.
There, silhouetted under an eastern star,
I see my long lost blossom of shalimar
You, Misirlou, Are the moon and the sun, fairest one.
Old temple bells are calling across the sand.
We'll find our Kismet, answering love's command.
You, Misirlou, are a dream of delight in the night.
To an oasis, sprinkled by stars above,
Heaven will guide us, Allah will bless our love.
Misirlou by Dick Dale & The Del Tones 1963
Songwriters: Milton Leeds, N Roubanis, Bob Russell, Fred Wise
      President Potter played his walk up music and got our attention before banging the gong (wait that’s a different tune) – before ringing the bell. Dick Dale & the Del Tones instrumental version of Misirlou snapped our group (what there was of us) into a beach party and surfing frenzy.
      The Pres got us calmed down and had Charlene Miseli do an invocation. Charlene stated that she took some time to think about what she wanted to say because she wanted to honor recently deceased author Toni Morrison. Nicely done Charlene. Mary Moss led us in the pledge.
      The set up crew was missing their fearless leader but did a fine job regardless. Thanks again to all you that help put this show together and then put it away: Bob H. (aka Mr. Hammar), Rob, Troy, Terry, Ward, Bob C. and Lowell Johnson.
James Guerrero took our Paul Harris money - $387.00.
Leon Titus acted as Sergeant at Arms and took our drawing ticket money.
Greeting everyone was Leanna Christian. Master photographer Phil Eng took the photos and Donnnnnn Irwin acted as the scribe.
Visiting Rotarians:  Bob Cairns from Port Orchard (Bob would later introduce the program) and Don Childress from a club in Florida.
Sunshine: Rob Erb announced that Duncan Cook is now at Tacoma Lutheran Home in 105. He fractured his humerus bone but is fixed up now. John Lowney shared that Ted Wier is now in a progressive care room and is fighting pneumonia.
      Announcements included:
Jim Rooks represented the Community Concerns Committee and asked for approval to give $2000.00 to Community in Schools. A motion was called for, seconded and approved. Jim then asked $2000.00 for the Springbrook Connection and got the same result – motioned carried. Jim also let us know that the Tacoma Arts Festival received some funds as well.
Greg Horn and Anne Enquist covered birthdays and anniversaries (wedding and club) for July.
Anne shared as to why she is now helping with anniversaries and birthdays. Seems as though Joe Quinn told her that Greg Horn knows a sucker when he sees one – ouch!
Rose Stevens shared an email she received from Charles Heberle regarding Rotary Cubs in the USA helping Russians (through their Rotary Clubs) recover from severe flooding.
       Pres Potter (dare I use PP?) stated that it is not too early to be thinking of the annual bike build.
John Lowney let us know about the upcoming Partners for Parks bingo event that will raise some money to restore the “H Barn” at Fort Steilacoom Park so that it can used for weddings and other community functions. $50.00 buys you dinner, 10 bingo cards and a drink ticket. The action takes place on Friday September 6 starting at 6:00Pm at the McGavick Center at Clover Park Tech.
      It happened in 48 BC – Caesar defeats Pompey at Pharsalus and Pompey skedaddled to Egypt.
      Back to PP (that would be President Potter) – Nourish of Pierce County is asking for help packaging meals. The dates are 8\21 – 8\24 at their warehouse on Durango. If you are interested please go to and click on the link to register for the event or call and talk to Sue Potter at 253-383-3164.
The Pres was pushing, er touting Beer Stock again. It happens August 17th. Sign on to drink beer and raise $$ through beer tasting.
August 21st is the rededication of the Sexual Assault Center at Mary Bridge.
In 1173 construction began on the Tower of Pisa – they worked at it until they got the right slant.
      "Misirlou" is a folk song from the Eastern Mediterranean region, with origins in the Ottoman Empire. The original author of the folk song is not known, but it was known to Arabic, Greek and Jewish musicians by the 1920s. The earliest known recording of the song is a 1927 Greek rebetiko/tsifteteli composition influenced by Middle Eastern music. There are also Arabic belly dancing, Armenian, Persian, Indian and Turkish versions of the song. This song was popular from the 1920s onwards in the Arab American, Armenian American and Greek American communities who settled in the United States of America as part of the Ottoman diaspora.
      The Grand Opening of the Sistine Chapel happened on this day in 1483. I don’t believe the lines were as long to get into the place back then as they are now.
      Misirlou was a hit in 1946 for Jan August, an American pianist and xylophonist nicknamed "the one-man piano duet." It gained worldwide popularity through Dick Dale's 1962 American surf rock version, originally titled "Miserlou", which popularized the song in Western popular culture; Dale's version was influenced by an earlier Arabic folk version played with an oud. Various versions have since been recorded, mostly based on Dale's version, including other surf and rock versions by bands such as the Beach Boys, the Ventures, Consider the Source, and the Trashmen.
      If you have ever been to the Bronx in New York then you have visited what used to be Jonas Bronck’s place. Jonas was from Holland and settled there in 1638.
      Now for the fines, aka “deposits”: Kris Peterson was called out by President Bill – something about him not being seen for, like the last decade. Jim Bisceglia paid in advance for a cruise he is going to take. Scott Buser paid a fine for something that I didn’t catch. Charlene got the mic back in hand again but this time paid for the privilege. She offered up some cash to announce that she took her son to West Point because he is to start classes and she talked about her husband’s deployment to Afghanistan. Gordy Quick stood up to pay homage in the form of $40.00 to John Lowney and Phil Eng for their outstanding service to Lakewood Rotary – nice! Anne Enquist bought wine for an event and then bought 2 bottles of leftover wine again. It cost her $20.00. Don Anderson averred that Saturday last he celebrated the 4th Anderson wedding – the 4th of 4 daughters!! Andrew Kruse invited us to an outdoor event in Tillicum on August 21st.
      It wasn’t a particularly good day for Robert Fulton back in 1803. He was testing his steam paddle boat on the River Seine in France – the thing sank. Oh well, back to the drawing board.
      Andrew Kruse introduced Bob Cairns (remember him from way back in the beginning of the show), who introduced our speaker, Naomi Muindi.
Naomi is from Kenya and has been in the United States for 2 months as a Mandela Washington Fellow 2019 with a track position of Civic Leadership. Her University placement is Appalachian State University, North Carolina, Boone. She was one of 750 people that were picked from 39,000 applicants.
Presenter: Naomi Muindi
       The Mandela Washington Fellowship is an Academic and Leadership training program for young men and women who posses leadership potential in their own field and within their community. The program is made up of three components: university placement, the summit and life-long member of Young Africans Leaders Institute (YALI).
       Naomi talked about the Hifadhi Africa Organization (HAO). HAO is a development, advocacy and youth empowerment organization working to transform the lives of slum dwellers, pastoralists, and refugees.
       HAO transforms lives in Africa by providing innovative education support and mentorship and equips communities with the knowledge and skills required to address multiple complex challenges they face. Our projects span education, healthcare, water and sanitation and livelihood.  They are concentrating their efforts in three geographical areas: Baringo County, Nairobi and Marsabit.
Naomi’s talk centered on an area in Baringo County called East Pokot. The region has some serious problems – a literacy level of 4%, girls undergoing female genital mutilation (FGM), young men elicited to join malicious groups to conduct cattle rustling and one of the highest poverty rates in Africa (67%).
      The lack of education is perhaps the biggest problem because of the unbroken cycle of poverty, drought, and nonexistent parental education background, lack of income and migration\pastoral lifestyle.
       Our speaker listed many more of the challenges that the region has , including  lack of nearby medical centers and snake bites; but the lack of education and water were the recurring theme.
Some of HAO’s solutions are:
      Education-Scholarships, e-learning systems, institutional capacity building, construction of library, distribution of sanitary towels, construction of sand dams, rainwater harvesting systems, storage water tanks and water purification systems.
      To help the locals learn a livelihood, HAO wants to introduce integrated irrigation farming projects, develop and adopt an animal project and set up a distribution network of relief food.
      Rotary funded projects include construction of sand dams, construction of water harvesting system and scholarships and bursaries to needy students - $5000 worth of bursaries to 30 needy students-- this is the largest one-time donation ever made to East Pokot.
Naomi closed her presentation with a thank you and a call for questions.
Our illustrious leader conducted the drawing and closed the meeting. The Honorable Mayor of Lakewood, our own Don Anderson, was the lucky winner of $5.00.
Thus ends another story in the annals of Lakewood Rotary. I truly hope you didn’t fall asleep half way through this epistle and that the increased knowledge you have about Misirlou has expanded your horizons beyond your wildest dreams – or a least a little.
Oh, yes: If you read this bulletin, tell Greg Rediske so you can get a make-up for a missed meeting; and if you shop online, please do so at Amazon Smile so a portion of your purchase can be allocated to Lakewood Rotary.