Posted by Greg Rediske on May 10, 2019
     Q: Why did Ole the Swede bring a rolled-up piece of sandpaper to the desert?
     A: He thought it was a map.
      But John “Ole” Magnuson wasn’t traveling through the desert to get here all the way from Swedenville (Edmonds), and he made it in time to act like he was president in the absence of Queen Gayle. It’s fortunate that he made it at all, given what happened yesterday:  Ole and his best friend in Edmonds were walking through a field and they saw a big hole. They wondered how deep it was; so they threw a rock in but didn't hear it hit the ground. So they looked around and found a big plank, which they dragged over and threw in the hole. Again, they didn't hear a thing, but all of a sudden a goat came running by at incredible speed and plunged down the hole. Still they didn't hear a sound. Very perplexing indeed. A minute later a farmer came by looking for his goat. Ole said, "It might be the goat who just ran past and jumped in the hole." "Oh, no," said the farmer, "that can't be... my goat is tied to big heavy plank." 
      Things like this happen when you’re Swedish. Can’t be helped.  But despite the fact that it has been 17 years since he was President of Lakewood Rotary, he remembered to ring the bell and get things off to a rousing start. Sadly, he thought it had been 18 years since he was president, as he said it was 2000-2001, which was in fact Phil Eng’s year, the same Phil Eng returning shortly after a long absence down south. This fact correction is brought to you by the same club secretary so viciously maligned by pointed jabs as well as by the jokes that unjustly targeted Norwegians throughout the proceedings. Turnabout is fair play.
      At some point, I should begin reporting on the meeting, as is my assignment. As I sit at my keyboard, though, I can’t help but remember the quiz I presented to Ole when he first got a new computer a while back. He didn’t fare well, and here are his definitions of important computer designations:
Log On: Making da wood stove hotter 
Log Off: Don't add no more wood
Monitor: Keepin an eye on da wood
Download: Getting da wood off da truck
Megahertz: Ven yer not careful getting da firewood
Byte: Vat dem dang black flies do
Microchip: Vats in da bottom of da munchies bag
Modem: Vat yew did tew da hay fields
Keyboard: Where yew hang da keys
Software: Dem dang plastic forks and knives
Mouse: Vat eats da grain in da barn
Mainframe: Holds up da barn roof
Port: Fancy wine
Random Access Memory: Ven yew can't remember vat yew paid fer da rifle, ven yer wife asks.
      And so Leanna Albrecht was our greeter, and also the photographer as the scheduled photographer was Troy Wilcox, who is having a fine-able time in Costa Rica. Eric Warn collected $467 at the Paul Harris desk, while Chuck Hellar sold our version of lottery tickets and acted admirably as Sgt-at-arms. Thanks also to Bob, Rob, Chuck and Bob for set up and take down.
Visiting Rotarians: Jonathan Jackson (Tacoma North), Joe Bolan (Puyallup and potential Lakewood Rotarian).
      Guests of Rotarians: Chris Wood (Astrid Arola), Wendy McGowan and daughter Megan (John Lowney), Ron Banner (Doug Kernutt), Mr. and Mrs. Trevino (Ted Wier).
      Sunshine Report: John Forkenbrock reported on himself and Ted Wier: “Recuperating”
      Students of the Month (last for this year): Leanna Albrecht had the pleasure of introducing two of the three students who recently returned from Florida where they competed with students from across the United States in DECA challenges (Distributive Education Clubs of America). The three created a business plan for the school store that finished in the Top 10 out of 250 schools entered, in this, the first year that Clover Park High School has sent students to the conference. Fabulous. Also on hand were Assistant Principal Renee McCord and DECA supervisor Kitti Wheeler. Our students, Brian Ramey and Viani Titlapalati (phonetically, Via-Knee Titla-Pala-tea), are going to CP Tech and St. Martins next year, respectively.
      At this point, temporary Swedish president Ole lost his agenda. He needed it to reference the big words he had worked on to include in the program: excoriate and coiffed. Yikes.
      The man says to the customer "How can I help you?" and smiles ."I vould like to purchase some Lutefisk." the customer requests, with a clearly Scandinavian accent. "Are you Swedish?" the man at the counter asks. "Vhat? Vhy vould you ask if I were Svedish? If I vanted pizza, vould you ask if I vere Italian?" says the customer. "No." the man replies.
"If I vanted a baguette, vould you ask if I vere French?"  "No." the man replies again.
"If I vanted a bagel, vould you ask if I vere Jewish?"  "No." the man replies a third time.
"So vhy", the customer asks, "vould you ask if I vere Svedish?"
"Because", the man explains, "This is a hardware store."
      Andrew Neiditz had the immense pleasure of introducing our six Mike McGowan Educational Incentive Award Winners. Andrew explained that these were formerly known as “scholarship awards”, until Mike McGowan pointed out that these $1000 awards (if properly reported) would reduce other possible scholarships by the same amount. If the college gave the student $10,000 in scholarship benefit, they would reduce the award by $1000 because of our gift, and they would only get $9,000 from the school. Now, we give them a check that need not be reported as a scholarship. And with Mike’s passing, money was donated for the awards, making the checks given $1500. The hard working committee who judged the students on scholarship, activities and counselor input from our four area high schools (Steilacoom, Lakes, Clover Park, Harrison Prep) were Sally Smith, Barb Spriggs, Charlene Miseli, Marie Neiditz and Andrew.
      Mike McGowan’s daughter Megan noted that Mike was passionate about Rotary and education. She described how Mike told her as a youngster that he wasn’t paying for her education, and that she’d have to find a way. She did. Thirteen phone booths were purchased, and the resulting money paid for her college. She also recounted the more than 30 students that Mike and Wendy mentored over the years in their home, helping navigate the way to top colleges and scholarships and ultimately academic success. Mike was on the boards of Charles Wright Academy, Clover Park Technical College, Washington State Council for Education, Pierce College, the Stanford Advisory Board, and he received the Citizen’s Education Involvement Award from Ronald Regan himself. Megan and Andrew congratulated the winners:
Benjamin Canley, Harrison Prep, going to UW or WSU, Zoology
Tionna Clark-Falkquay, Lakes, going to study Criminal Justice and then the Army, or Forensic Science and then the Air Force
Sofia Deleon, Harrison Prep, UW Seattle, Businss/Marketing
Luisa Drummond, Lakes, UW Seattle, Psychology or Environmental Science
Justin Montgomery, Lakes, WSU or Arizona State, Business
Gabriela Trevino, Lakes, a Pennsylvania college, History/Economics/Law School
A splendid program. Special thanks to Megan and Wendy, and of course, Mike McGowan.
      John Magnuson noted that he could see that John Korsmo wasn’t there, and then fumbled with other possible ways of saying the same, before summarizing that John owes money.
Don Anderson volunteered that as a fine Norwegian, he was offended by John’s jokes, but stated the obvious: Norwegians have thick skins and can take it. Then he paid $100 as a political announcement for his final filing for office coming up.
      Ted Wier gave $10 to help with Gordy Quick’s property tax “issue”.
      Charlene Miseli paid her IOU, and then gave another $40 for returning from Florida at 3 a.m. this morning after getting an alumni achievement award, and picking up her West Point-bound son.
Peter Marsh paid nothing for a report on a recently deceased patient, Mary. It seems Mary got to the Pearly Gates and was told she could pick A or B. A was spending an eternity with her husband. She instantly yelled out, “B!!!”
      Mike Zaro bragged about his two daughters who have recently re-entered their empty nest for the summer: one at WSU, and the other starting an engineering internship. $20
Jonathan Jackson from Tacoma North (Palmer Scholar program CEO) thanked the club for our recent support, and reported that his predecessor, Sally Bose, is showing great progress from a very difficult cancer diagnosis. The brain tumor miraculously disappeared, and the other cancer is responding nicely. Good news!
      Andrew Neiditz returned from a trip to Eastern Europe, including Croatia and Romania. He was part of a city manager exchange for a town of 375,000 in Romania.  $25
      Gordon Quick, $20 check as long as we don’t cash it until next week.
      John Magnuson just returned from the Empress Gardens in Victoria, where he and Bonnie entertained former business colleagues from all over the U.S. No fine discernible.
      Chris Kimball thanked Mick Johnson and Gayle/Rick Selden for their carpet fragment donations for Woodstick. Apparently, Donn Irwin neglected to thank Mick last week, and recommended his firing from the bulletin committee.  Not going to happen. We allowed a certain Swedish scribe to voice his slanderous comments about Norwegians for years, and he wasn’t fired. So, you’re safe Donn.
      And finally, the drawing: Ron Banner (future member, in June) won. And lost. Could have been $896.50. But it wasn’t. $5.00 instead.
Did I say finally?  I meant almost finally:
Those notorious Swedes Sven and Ole decided one day to enter thoroughbred horse racing, so they each go out and buy a horse. Unfortunately, they only have enough money left afterward to rent one stable.  "Yimminy, Sven," says Ole, "Vit' bot' our horses in one stable, how vill ve tell dem apart now?" 
Sven says, "I got me an idea." He grabs a bucket of red paint and paints a big X on the side of his horse. "Ya sure," says Ole, "Dat'll vork yust fine." 
But when they go to reclaim their horses from the stable after the first race, the horse's sweat has washed the X completely away, and they spend hours arguing over which horse belongs to who. Or possibly whom. After a good rousing fist fight, they get everything straightened out, they think. "Ve need a good way to tell dem darn tings apart," says Ole, nursing a black eye. "Ya sure," says Sven, "But vat?" They sit and think for a long time, and then suddenly Ole bursts to his feet. He runs off, and returns a few minutes later with a measuring tape. He measures one horse and then the other. Sven asks, "Vill it vork?" 
Ole proudly exclaims, "Ya sure, Sven! Dat dere black horse is FOUR INCHES shorter than da brown one!" 
Above: Atribute to Ole, a Swedish swing
It should be noted that John Magnuson is our one and only Honorary Lakewood Rotarian. Rumor has it that this decision was made to distance the club from too much Swedish-ness. In any event, it was good to have John back, ‘cause I needed a good excuse for these jokes. And he’s a good guy, despite his heritage.
And yes: Read this bulletin and tell Greg Rediske so you can get a make-up; and please do your online shopping at Amazon Smile so a portion of your purchase can be allocated to Lakewood Rotary.