Final Friday – August 29, 2008

SPECIAL DAZE At Friday’s meeting, we saluted Sir Charles Giannini, who turned 60 the previous day. He said that he had received a set of luggage from his wife, Barbara … perhaps a portent of future traveling? They celebrated with Cam and Lisa Appleton, dining at the Silver Lining. It was Anniversary Number 26 for Terri Clark and her husband Marty Lay. They also headed north for dinner – to the Sunset Grill at Cher-Ae Heights Casino. Terri said that they “renewed our contract for at least another year”. Sunday, August 24th was Dan and Sarah Collen’s 23rd Anniversary. They headed south to celebrate at Benbow. While there, they ran into a cousin. Randy and Lisa Mendosa celebrated their 19th Anniversary early, continuing a tradition that predates their nuptials – heading north (take that, Dan Collen) for dinner at Larrupin’s. Randy spent part of his anniversary day in the courthouse, showing support for friends (and the case was dismissed). ROMI – THE NEW “WOO-HOO” GIRL! Romi Hitchcock Tinseth stepped in as our Finemaster last week, focusing on “Summertime Stories”. She’s been back on the HSU campus, and she noticed that Dan Collen “looks so fresh!” Dan said that he and his wife recently returned from a two-week vacation in Kauai. He struggled through the grueling trial, playing tennis and lying in the sun. Dan said that his sister has a beautiful place there. “Was someone on the cover of a magazine?” asked Romi. I didn’t catch all the details, but apparently, Brandi Easter either was on a cover or one of her photos made the cover. I hope she’ll add a comment explaining the situation. Romi then recognized three “Kindergarten Dads”. Bryan Plumley, Randy Mendosa, and Jason White all have children entering the educational system this fall. Take lots of pictures, guys. Julie Vaissade-Elcock recently went to Europe to celebrate her younger son’s graduation from high school, and her older son’s existence. She did in fact take both of them with her, first to Paris. From there, they took a train to Southern France, flew to Rome, and visited Pompeii. The trip took almost two weeks, and “I’m broke now”. Romi said that she was in San Francisco for a week, and while she was there, she happened upon David Neyra. Apparently he was out seeing the sites while his wife was attending a conference. ANNOUNCEMENTS Congratulations to our newest Blue Badger – Charlie Jordan! She has completed all of the requirements to divest herself of her Red Badge. It’s not too late (yet) to sign up for the Fellowship Event at Dogwood Estates in Willow Creek. The dinner and social time will take place on Friday, September 19th. Contact Janice Newman for details. PROGRAM Last week’s Guest Speaker was Robert Holmlund, who was a member of the Group Study Exchange Team that visited Nigeria in the spring. Robert said that there were four team members and a Rotarian team leader. Robert took “800 plus photographs” during his time as a GSE Team Member, and he said that many were taken from inside a van. The “horrendous” traffic in Lagos meant that they spent a lot of time in the van each day. But Robert said that he managed to slip away occasionally. “One of my favorite things,” Robert told us, “was to go to the markets.” There were virtually no supermarket-type stores – most of the daily commerce took place in open-air markets. He showed several photos of these impromptu emporia, including a shoe store and a butcher shop. The butcher shops evidently get a lot of traffic, since “every meal has meat”, according to Robert. The markets feature many handcrafted items, including clothing in interesting and unusual styles. Robert noted that it is common to see people in western business attire working alongside others dressed in more traditional Nigerian wear. Robert showed us photos of okadas, which he called the backbone of the transportation system in Lagos. Okadas are typically small motorcycles, sometimes modified, that carry passengers and small freight through the streets. When Robert wandered away from the official GSE itinerary, he frequently hired okadas to get around. Nigeria has four officially recognized languages – Hausa, Igbo, Yoruba, and Edo – but English is the official language. One member of the GSE Team learned Yoruba, and became very popular with the locals. FINAL FRIDAY FOUNDATION AUCTION Last Friday, we also had our Final Friday Foundation Auction. Items are donated by Sunrisers, and the amount generated by the sale is donated to the Rotary Foundation. Half of the sale price is credited to the Paul Harris Sustaining Fellowship of the donor, and the other half is credited to the purchaser. Here’s what we had last week: Charlie Jordan donated a set of collectible tea cups and saucers along with Japanese tea and a serving set. This was snapped up by Sir Charles Giannini for $100. Romi Hitchcock Tinseth and Dan Collen teamed up to provide an Humboldt State University Booster Kit. The Kit contained an HSU t-shirt, a bag, pom-poms, and other stuff including a family athletic pass. Romi bought her own stuff for $160! Charlie Jordan also donated a “Maggie Bag”, along with a supply of Kinetic Koffee. Harry Johnson purchased this for $65. A “Tipi in the Redwoods” overnight was Leslie Lawson’s contribution to the auction. Her package included semi-rustic accommodations (pool included) with dinner and breakfast for two in the Fieldbrook Forest. There were two takers at $240 each, but I didn’t catch who they were. Congratulations to all – we raised over $800 to support the good work of the Rotary Foundation in a few short minutes.