Posted by Greg Rediske
Zoom used to be what a rocket did when it went fast. And it was a breakfast cereal. Now it is how we communicate in the age of the pandemic. President Bill Potter “zoomed” us on to a new meeting of the Rotary Club of Lakewood, beginning with the soothing sounds of “Oh Lord it’s hard to be humble” (Mac Davis?):"Oh Lord it's hard to be humble/When you're perfect in every way/I can't wait to look in the mirror/Cause I get better looking each day/To know me is to love me/ I must be a hell of a man/Oh Lord It's hard to be humble/ But I'm doing the best that I can".
Visiting Rotarians: Becky Fontaine, former head of the District’s youth exchange program and past president at #8, and currently Youth Protection Officer for the District, and consequently Joe Quinn’s boss (he’s our YPO). Guests: Judy Eng, Vicki Kimball (her birthday today! And she wanted to hear Ole’s talk), Charlie Hancock (Nicole’s daughter) and Alyson Kruse (Andrew’s daughter).
Clint Johnson did the invocation, while Jan Gee led us in the pledge to the flag. Thanks were delivered to John Lowney for taking everyone’s money: fines, Paul Harris, etc. It should be noted that we had a record number on Zoom: 50 members, plus guests. One who was not here was Dave Covey, who had his car broken into the night before.
Zoom is clearly the best thing that ever happened to meetings. For instance, here is a common Zoom meeting:
12:30-12:35     Waiting for host to start the meeting
12:35-12:45     Everyone says Hi
12:45-12:48     Someone discovers virtual backgrounds
12:48-12:53     Three people can’t figure out how to mute
12:53-12:54     One person says, “Wait, let me try headphones!”
12:54-1:03       Six people hold up their dogs and/or cats for all to admire
1:03-1:04         Minutes are approved
1:04-1:07         Agenda is reviewed
1:07-1:09         Everyone asks what happened to Bob, he was here a minute ago!
1:09-1:15         Discussion of when the next meeting will occur
1:15                 Meeting ends, when the 45 minute free Zoom allowance cuts it off.
--Jim Sharp said all the firefighters are COVID-19 free, and back at work. Business as (almost) usual.
--Nicole Hancock announced that the Lakewood Community Foundation Fund (which we co-founded and support with $2000/year) had an emergency board meeting to distribute grants in these perilous times. $7475 each was awarded to Caring for Kids, EFN, Nourish, and Greater Lakes Mental Health. It was felt that these four groups will hit the most urgent needs in our community the best.
--Steve Enquist said to call Lowney with Paul Harris donations, and some are. Look for the email asking for your nominations for Russ Klauser Rotarian of the Year and Bernie Ootkin Non-Rotarian of the Year.
--Greg Horn talked of the family that Rose Stevens “discovered” when trying to make a bike delivery in December of 2018. They were being evicted as she arrived. Since then, the Horns, Rose, Scott Buser, Sally Smith, John Warner, Donna Phillips, Mo Sarram and others have stepped up to help the family. The latest example was Lakewood Hardware attempting to fix a donated lawnmower, only to discover it would cost $250; they then responded with donating a brand new lawnmower that was slightly damaged in shipping. Thanks Lakewood Hardware! (a former winner of the Bernie Ootkin award). Sally Smith donated a weed-eater during the meeting today. Still need a printer and a “beater” truck.
--Gayle Selden is planning a Happy Hour for the night of the cancelled auction, April 25. Zoom your way in! More to follow.
A little history:
"I am enclosing two tickets to the first night of my new play. Bring a friend; if you have one."
George Bernard Shaw wrote to Winston Churchill.
"Cannot possibly attend first night, will attend second----if there is one,” said Winston Churchill, in response.
--Gayle’s company, Ed Selden Carpet One, received one of the scarce SBA small business loans for virus response. Her staff will get paid now! Congrats, Gayle and company. She fined herself. Joe Quinn later added: “Gayle Selden mentioned her successful PPP loan through Heritage Bank.  Hailey at the Lakewood branch told me she processed 27 loans and all but two got approved.  Those are pending. Support Heritage.”
--Greg Horn donated $100 because he just finished construction on a nice boat lift for a customer. They must have paid him already. Greg is offering safe-distancing boat tours of Lake Steilacoom.
--Clint Johnson was pleased to get out on a boat at the very same lake, and paid $50
--Charlene Miseli was resigned to spending a year without husband Jay, when he was transferred to Austin, Texas, while Charlene stayed here with their 11th grade daughter. Surprise! He got transferred back here. Excellent news. $50
--Mary Marlin paid $50 in honor of Jan Gee being on television multiple times talking about the grocery business and their work during the crisis.
--Barlow Buescher paid $50 because he was so darned happy to be able in this modern age to still hold Easter services during the quarantine, via Zoom and Facebook.
--Andrew Neiditz paid $50, after paying $66 last week, because there have been no COVID-19 sufferers among the 911 staff.
Me drinking home alone in 2019:  Sad, disturbing, loser
Me drinking home alone in 2020: Citizen, inspiration, hero!
The one and only John Magnuson (pictured above), aka Ole, was our presenter today. That’s probably why we set a new Zoom attendance record! John said he was going to tell a pandemic joke but knew no one would get it. Or something like that. He needed no introduction, apparently, because he got none. But I will interject here that he was the University of Washington Athlete of the Year in 1962. Not rowing athlete of the year, but for all athletics. Impressive. John’s award came for his crew participation, including racing in the Olympic trials and at the Pan American games. He is thus more than qualified to comment on the best-selling book, BOYS IN THE BOAT, a 2013 true story of the UW crew that won the Olympic gold medal in Hitler’s Germany in 1936. John talked to the author, Dan Brown, in person and asked him why sportswriter Royal Brougham (Seattle P-I) was exalted in the book when the rowers couldn’t stand him. ”Hmmmm….” he said. John also disagreed with the depiction of the coxswain of that boat being referred to as the “toughest of the 9 on the boat”.  John noted that Brown’s book is told as the reporter that Brown was would tell it: not overly emotional. And yet the content itself is riveting. The book centers around one of the nine, Joe Rantz, who was abandoned by his family at age 10 and yet went on to be a gold medal winner and an acclaimed engineer.
When Brown decided he wanted to write the story of the Olympic winning crew team, he interviewed Joe Rantz. Joe said, “You can do the book with my help, but only if you write it about the boat.” Brown was puzzled: how do you write an interesting book about a boat? But what Rantz meant was that the “boat” is actually a reference to the team of 9 who inhabit it. While Brown never was a rower, he was able to successfully convey that for members of the crew, it is not just about the muscles and the strength, but about the hearts and minds of all nine working as one. Teamwork is everything. The main lesson you receive as a rower: Anything is possible if you set your heart and mind to it. John further praised the great boat builder, George Pocock (“sainted”) and his son, Stan, who coached for several years.
John noted that the movie rights were purchased by the Weinsteins (who were going to frame the movie around the Jewish coxswain triumphing in Hitler’s 1936 Germany). After their bankruptcy, the rights were purchased by an independent filmmaker. Current development has George Clooney and Kenneth Branagh listed as directors. Sally Porter Smith “chatted” that Episode 7 of American Experience is titled “Boys of ‘36” and captures much of the book’s story. At one point during his dissertation, John was talking physics and other complex stuff. Gayle commented, “John’s making stuff up again.” It was also mentioned that Dave Covey was a UW crew member as well, right after John, and went into coaching at Seattle Pacific.
Pictured above: Our speaker, in a picture taken about the time this week’s bulletin writer was born.
Another fine presentation from Ole! A little different than the one he gave to Fife Rotary years ago, before coming to Lakewood. In that club, members were expected to give a talk on a personal interest or hobby. One fine afternoon in May, it was Magnuson’s turn, and he forgot to prepare. He thought and thought, but all he could think about was what he usually thought about: sex. So that was his talk. The Rotarians from Fife listened to every word and asked many questions. It was a huge success. When he arrived home, Bonnie asked "How was Rotary?".
"It was a good meeting" he said.
"What was for lunch?" she asked.
"Beef, and it was good" he answered.
"Who was the speaker?" she continued.
"I was" he replied.
"What did you speak about?"
Now he could see trouble looming.
"Sailing" he lied.
The next morning Bonnie was shopping at Thriftco when she happened to run into one of the Fife Rotarians while in the paper aisle. (This was a time long ago when there were actually paper goods in the paper aisle.)
"John gave a wonderful talk yesterday,” the Rotarian said.
“Oh, wonderful", she replied, “but I don't understand why he chose that subject. The first time he did it he was sick and the second time his hat blew off".
The man who fell into an upholstery machine is fully recovered.