Volume XIII, Issue 7: August 21, 2015

Coming Soon … 
Sept 13RISE EVENT – “Out of the Darkness” – Arcata Community Walk Against Suicide. Begins at 10 am at the Arcata Plaza 
Sept 26 – District 5130 Rotary Foundation Workshop in Fortuna – 10 am to 2 pm
Sept 27 – District 5130 New Focus Membership Meeting in Fortuna – 10 am to 2 pm

Rotarian News 

  • In addition to participants, next month’s Out of the Darkness Walk Against Suicide needs volunteers. Click here to access the website for the Arcata Walk. Here you will find links to sign up as a volunteer, to donate, and to sign up to walk (these are not mutually exclusive).
  • Maggie Kraft is seeking hosts for our guests from the Cambodia Academy, who will be in town from November 9th through the 13th. We also need people to show them around the area during the days. The graduates are in their early 20s, one is female and the other is male. Both plan to continue their educations and become teachers. 

Welcome, Sophia!
Our Inbound Exchange Student from Sweden, Sophia Waern-Bugge, attended last week’s meeting. Some Sunrisers met her earlier in the week, at the welcoming party in Redwood Park. President Howard’s first question was how to pronounce her last name(s). Below is that “exchange” (pun intended):

As you can see and hear, Sophia’s English is very good. She said that, although it took her about 24 hours to get her from Sweden, “It wasn’t that bad.” Howard said that she had more energy than the Sunrisers and friends who came to the airport to greet her!

Sophia has two siblings in college (she is the youngest in her family). She loves reading, writing, and working out. She also enjoys music – she likes to sing, and she plays the piano. She likes all types of music, especially classical.  

Special Daze
John Gullam and Denise Fitzgerald celebrated their wedding anniversary on July 1st. John didn’t have a specific recollection of the events, although he did say that “it was wonderful”. Since it was their 19th, I expect that next year’s report will be more detailed. 

Ron Sharp reported that his anniversary (which occurs on July 10th – the same day as his fellow Sunriser Barbara Browning) was low-key but nice. They had a nice dinner and a quiet evening at home. 

Bryan and Susan Reeser traveled to the Caribbean to celebrate their July 12th anniversary. At least they were there, apparently with Donnie and Jennifer Rosebrook. (If I got this wrong, at least I got it wrong in a big way!)

Julie Vaissade-Elcock and her hubby Stan were in Wine Country for their 35th anniversary, which also took place on July 12th. Julie’s verdict? “We had a wonderful day,” she said. “It was great – Stan did good!”

Romi Hitchcock Tinseth and her husband Glenn celebrated the week of their 27th anniversary with a big “Prom” party. Family and friends from all over came for the big event!

As of July 26, Bryan Plumley and Kim Floyd had been married for 26 years. However … “It was so funny,” said Bryan, “because we completely forgot about it.” They had friends over for dinner, and when he went to show them a photo on his phone, he saw the anniversary reminder. Fortunately, Bryan had purchased a present for Kim earlier, “so I was prepared!”

President Howard told us that when he joined our Club, he realized that he would be publicly shamed if he forgot his anniversary. “So one year,” he said, “I took my wife and several other friends to Larrupin’s, and I paid for everything. So I was feeling gaudy when I came to report that to our Club.” Unfortunately, his story was followed by a Sunriser who had flown his wife to Paris! Howard said that it deflated the value of his story a bit.

Editor’s Note: Lori Breyer recognized Terri Clark at last Friday’s meeting. Here is the story from the beginning, in Lori’s words (and those of others) … 

Terri was born in Long Beach, the first of five children in her family. Her father’s Navy career took them to San Diego, North Chicago, Japan, Monterey, and Rhode Island before she turned 18. Her father worked his way up from the bottom – and he retired as the Captain of the Pacific Fleet.

She attended 13 schools before graduating high school in 971. This live gave her wanderlust as well as a desire for “roots” – not to mention the ability to begin conversations with complete strangers!

She moved to Humboldt County in 1974 to attend Humboldt State University, and she met her husband Marty Lay in 1977 while they were both working for Winzler and Kelly. They married five years later, and they have continued to live in the part of the world they consider the most beautiful.

Terri’s Management Consultants – Westminster & Waterloo

Terri’s passions include her two cats (Westminster and Waterloo, whom they consider their sons), quilting, and – of course – Rotary. Terri found a “home” for her love of service and fellowship when she joined the Southwest Eureka Rotary in 1992. One of my favorite stories that Terri shares is about joining Rotary:

When I joined Rotary in 1992, I kept a low profile at first. I worked on some projects and got to know a lot of people. Women hadn’t been a part of Rotary for many years back then, and I was one of the few in Southwest Eureka. I didn’t know much about the big picture, but I got on the committee to write the weekly bulletin, and that helped me learn the names of my fellow Rotarians  and what some of the alphabet soup of Rotary meant. Then something happened that bumped up my participation a lot!

 The year after I joined Rotary, I was going to be out of town during Southwest’s major fundraiser – a raffle dinner. Being a good Rotarian, I bought a one-hundred dollar ticket anyway! The night of the dinner, I called my husband from Southern California and he said, “Honey, I don’t know if it’s a joke or not, but some guy named Nyle left a message on our answering machine, saying that you won $5,000 at a Rotary dinner tonight!” I raced up to my hotel room to get my directory, and I called President Nyle’s house. His wife laughed when I said my name, and Nyle got on the phone and said, “How is our newest Paul Harris Fellow?” A Paul Harris Fellow is someone who has donated a cumulative $1,000 to the Rotary Foundation. 

So of course, I paid my thousand dollars, and beyond that, I got rather famous in Southwest, and people asked me to be on committees and to participate even more than I already had been. That lesson has stuck with me, and while I’m not suggesting that we give our new members $5,000 to get them started, it is important to ask them to help and to get them involved in all areas of what we do as Rotarians.

Terri was appointed to their Board in 1994, and in 1997, she was the first female President of the Club. She served one year as an Area Representative for District 5130, and two as an Assistant District Governor before being selected to be the 2002-2003 District Governor – again, the first female District Governor in our District! She joined the Rotary Club of Arcata Sunrise in 2006.

According to Marty, she joined Rotary because she wanted to make a difference – both for women in Rotary and for our local and international communities. Terri got Marty into Rotary by inviting him to do club projects and tying his engineering interest into international projects. Marty recently served as President of the Southwest Eureka Rotary. 

She is proud of the contributions her Club and the entire organization make both locally and internationally. She and Marty are both committed supporters of the Rotary Foundation; they are multiple Paul Harris Fellows, Benefactors, and Charter Members of the Bequest Society.

Terri has continued to be involved at the District and International levels of Rotary as a Rotary Educator at Far West PETS, DG Institutes, and the Committee for Multi-District PETS in Evanston – Rotary’s headquarters. She is also an avid Rotary International Convention attendee, having first attended when she was an incoming Club President. She has attended ten so far.

I spoke with Brad Howard, DG of another District at the same time as Terri, and currently one of the Directors of Rotary International. Brad told me at length of the impact that Terri has had on women in Rotary and on the education of future Rotary Presidents and District Governors. Did you know that Terri was responsible for the first Group Study Exchange team to exchange with Vietnam? He talked about how the DG process used to be just that – a process. Terri brought caring into the role and “taught the rest of us how to do it right”. By the way, he said that his favorite memory is [Terri’s] love of martinis, and he said something about her love of the Energizer Bunny, which he refused to elaborate on.

By the way, she does find time away from all of her “hobbies” to work a full-time job as the Director of Operations at Hunter, Hunter, and Hunt. One of the partners, fellow Rotarian Scott Hunt, shared these comments:

[Terri] is a leader who is passionate about what she does and the people she works with. She’s mentored the young women in our office, and she helps them navigate their careers. And she does her best to keep us in line, which is a bit like herding cats, something she’s particularly good at, given her “kids”, Westminster and Waterloo. We appreciate who she is, and what she does for us, the community, and Rotary.

We appreciate all that you do, Terri, and we hear that someone else does as well – Happy 33rd anniversary!! Marty shared that his favorite memory is one of the first of many trips you have made to Ashland – one fall in which the two of you just hung out at Ashland Park and acted like kids, spinning on one of the playground structures. May you continue to be a kid at heart, and spend many happy years together!

Up and Down the Pacific Crest Trail
Our Featured Speaker last week was Rees Hughes, who co-edited the two-volume Pacific Crest Trailside Reader with Corey Lewis. 

Rees Hughes

Rees told us that Rotary changed his life in 1973, when he was selected as a Rotary Fellow, and he spent his junior year of college at Flinders University in Adelaide, Australia. He said that the experience “changed the whole trajectory of my life”. He is impressed with Rotary’s commitment to making opportunities available to those who are not affiliated with the organization.

Rees said that he began hiking the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) in 1981, “and 34 years later, I’m still trying to finish”. Rees has also hiked and backpacked in other locations, including the Cornish coast, Mt. Kilimanjaro, Mt. Kenya, Nepal, New Zealand, Australia, Sri Lanka, Ecuador, and Indonesia. But he has a special affection for the PCT, which he called, “this very special resource that we have”.

About half of the stories in the Trailside Reader books were written by “people like me – hiker/writer types”, Rees said. Another quarter consists of historical accounts, and the rest are more environmental literature. All the selections relate to the PCT in some way. 

Rees told us that the PCT really came to prominence recently with the publication of Cheryl Strayed’s book, Wild. The movie version of the story, which starred Reese Witherspoon, brought still more attention to the Trail. Rees noted that Strayed’s book was ever so slightly more successful than his own, spending 105 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. (Of his own books, Rees said, “We’re still trying to sell ten thousand.”)

The PCT is about 2,650 miles long, stretching from Mexico to Canada through California, Oregon, and Washington. It was authorized in 1968, but not completed until 1993. Rees noted that “completed” is a relative term, since improvements and rerouting are an ongoing process. It includes 7 National Parks, 60 mountain passes, 19 canyons, and it passes over 1,000 lakes along the way. 

The highest point is Forester Pass in the Sierra Nevada, which reaches 13,153 feet in elevation. The lowest point, at 180 feet, is the Bridge of the Gods, over the Columbia River.  The PCT is one of eleven National Scenic Trails. About 200 miles of the Trail are privately owned. 

He said that anyone who regularly hikes the PCT gets at least one trail name. Rees’s nicknames include “Mr. Question”, “Boris”, and “Uncle Rico”.  Two of the special terms used by hikers include “Zero Day”, or a day when you don’t hike, and “Near-o Day”, when you do very little progress. “Thru-hikers” are those who start at one end of the trail, and progress from one end to the other. By contrast, “section hikers” tackle specific sections of the trail, but still with the goal of walking the entire PCT over time.

Another term is “Trail Angel”, and the PCT has many. Rees said that these are people who support hikers along the way, leaving water or other supplies in strategic locations, for example. One person who lives adjacent to the Trail provides canopy shelters and laundry equipment for the benefit of weary backpackers. Someone even placed a recliner on the trail, facing a majestic mountain view, with a cooler and a sign encouraging passersby to stop and enjoy.

Backpacking has made significant equipment advances over the years. In the interest of reducing weight, virtually everything is made to be as light as possible – from shoes to the packs themselves. In addition, technological advances have helped also, with the development of GPS systems, smartphones, and Steripens for sterilizing drinking water.

You can check out some of the stories and images Rees has collected from the trail online at www.pcttrailsidereader.com.