12 is the magic number. 12 meetings, and President Dave will be out of President's quotes, or at least out of Rotary meetings to use them in.

 

But this is #12, and he's still going, and delivering recitations from the former leaders of America. Today, we heard this gem from President #33, the inimitable Harry "The Buck Stops Here" Truman: "...for Rotary has always been at the forefront of any great movement of improving the welfare of people everywhere," delivered in 1949 at the Rotary International convention. High praise indeed!

But you know, not all of the words from our nation's presidents were necessarily "presidential", and probably won't rate being voiced by our own President. For instance, Bill Clinton was viewing a newly discovered Incan mummy named "Juanita" at the National Geographic museum. Bill commented, "You know, if I were a single man, I might ask that mummy out. That's a good looking mummy." He really said that; hopefully tongue in cheek.

Then there is our current president, Barack Obama, speaking about the revelation that he was an 8th cousin of Dick Cheney's: "I don't want to be invited to the family hunting party."

And we can't forget the always-quotable LBJ: "Did you ever think that making a speech on economics is a lot like pissing down your leg? It seems hot to you, but never does to anyone else."

While you ponder those words of wisdom, it would be prudent to name the participants in today's meeting: Duncan Cook and company on setup, Morris Northcutt taking dinner reservations for Saturday, Tom Crabill taking drawing money as part of his Sgt-At-Arms duties, and Mick Johnson collecting $197 for Paul Harris, while Ben Sclair was the picture-taker. Bob Peterson, the World's Greatest Teacher, gave the invocation, while Chuck Hellar led us in the Pledge of Allegiance. (Ain't the English language grand? What other language would produce a word like allegance and add an "i", just to confuse people?)

Visiting Rotarians: Larry Treleven and Debbie Ranniger, both of Tacoma #8, AKA the training ground for future Lakewood Rotarians.

Guests: Eric Quinn introduced girlfriend Joanna (intern at the VA): too bad for Eric's parents, who weren't at Rotary, as they still haven't met Joanna. They are in California at the US Masters National Weightlifting competition. Just to be clear, it's Joe in the competition, not Kris.

Here's a couple quotes that President Coleman can identify with: LBJ said, "Being the president is like being a jackass in a hailstorm. There's nothing to do but to stand there and take it." While Clinton's take of the job was, "Being president is like running a cemetery: you've got a lot of people under you, and nobody's listening." And later, Bill said about the White House, "I don't know whether it's the finest public housing in America or the crown jewel of the American penal system." Jimmy Carter wasn't a fan of the oval office at all times either: "My esteem in this country has gone up substantially. It is very nice now when people wave at me, they use all their fingers."

Auction: By the time you read this, unless you go online to look at it before Editor Ben sends it, the Auction will be over, our 45th success in a row. Waiting for the money totals....

Announcement That Wasn't Made But Needs To Be Known By All: Saturday, April 25 is Parks Appreciation Day at Ft. Steilacoom Park (and other parks). We are slated to continue our repair/painting work at the playground we built. Mark it on your calendars, more from Ted Wier later.

This just in from the Secretary: 10 of you failed to check your names off the attendance roster. And those are the 10 that the Secretary saw. There may be more that he didn't see! Let's not embarrass our President with a poor attendance report to District: the other presidents will laugh and call him names, and won't let him play in any president's games. Please check off your name when you arrive at the Rotary meeting!

And: Cliff Rubert recently resigned from the Club, joining a Rotary club closer to his work.

Educator of the Month: Kim Prentice introduced Ally Brown (above left, with President Dave) from Harrison Prep Academy, whose principal was in attendance as well, Lisa Boyd. Ally is definitely a go-getter: she didn't like any of the Spanish textbooks, so she made her own: it is now being published. And that's not all: she is a very busy teacher, helping other teachers as well as her students. She greeted us in Spanish and made a couple Spanish commands, but the only intelligible response was "cerveza". Lakewood Rotary is so multi-lingual. President Dave topped off the award of the plaque with $100 for her personal use. "Muchas gracias!!"

John Kennedy: ''I just received the following wire from my generous Daddy: 'Dear Jack, Don't buy a single vote more than is necessary. I'll be damned if I'm going to pay for a landslide.'''

Fines:

Mary Moss: $10, for receipt of the Thomas Bradley Community Service Award. (I apologize for getting that wrong, which I probably did.)

Sam Hunter: $0, because a "read my lips, no new taxes" rule was put in place between President Dave and Sam after a $1,000 Paul Harris, though we know how that "no new taxes" plan can turn out sometimes....But in this case, Sam stood strong, despite trips to the Ryder Cup, Hawaii, and Mesquite, Nevada, not to mention the television appearance of Sybil and daughter Amy Clancy (KIRO TV reporter). (I'm pretty sure the word "no" was used more times in that exchange than any other verbal exchange between a Rotary president and a member. Bravo!)

Chris Kimball: $10 for his business being named Best of Tacoma (Financial Services).

John Lowney $10, Rick Selden $10, Greg Rediske $20, for a trip to Arizona to watch the Mariners and drink beer, not necessarily in that order. Greg paid twice as much, despite having laid out a tremendous amount of (well spent) money for the trip at last year's Rotary auction, while Rick and John stayed rent free at John's sister-in-law's. (Is it fair to all concerned?)  Thanks to Michael McGovern & Brenda for the donation last year, and the incredible hospitality shown to everyone, including the Seldens and Lowneys.

Of all the President's, perhaps Ronald Reagan was the funniest. "I have left orders to be awakened at any time in case of national emergency. Even if I'm in a cabinet meeting." And after being shot in 1981 as he was being wheeled into the operating room, "I hope you're all Republican." Speaking of Republicans, perhaps you've heard of these two:

Abraham Lincoln, responding to some nasty words about his honesty: "If I were two-faced, would I be wearing this one?"

George W. Bush: "They misunderestimated me."

Program: Kit was to speak about clean air.  But didn't, because Kit wasn't there. So our intrepid Program Chair had a substitute program in his back pocket, and called upon the Program Chair himself to make the presentation. That being P/E Chris Kimball, on the subject of Behavioral Finance: emotions affect behavior, specifically financial behavior. Chris compared a lot of financial decisions to urinating in your pants at the North Pole: it feels good at first, but not so much later. He noted that in studies, when given the choice of making $50,000 per year, when everyone else around is making $25,000, or making $100,000 year when everyone around you is making $250,000, most people choose $50,000 per year. Social ranking trumps financial common sense. Decision making like this is a part of the statistic that the average net worth of Americans today is $147,000. Including housing equity. Consider this: for every 52 days the stock market is up, it is down 48 days. Panic on those 48 days can cause grief and poor financial decision making. Chris noted that everything has risk, and managing that risk without undue emotional interference is imperative.  Excellent, Chris!

The Drawing: Still $250, or $5. Visiting Larry Treleven, he of Sprague Pest Control, managed a white chip and the $5 consolation prize.

And lastly, from Bill Clinton, after being told the Monica Lewinsky scandal was the 53rd most significant story of the century: "What's a man got to do to get in the top fifty?" –

 
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