Mouse-Flavored Cat Food
-- Jim Hallett
 
It was Monday, June 18, 2018, and President Mark Burton listened attentively as Mark Lipps praised Rotarians for “priding ourselves on empathy,” which somehow led the always peripatetic Mark to cite as an example the age-old philosophical question, “Why don’t they make mouse-flavored cat food?”…..Thus launched hither and thither, we greeted Past President Bob Neubauer, who is now the president-elect of his Oregon Rotary Club, thereby establishing himself as more scattered than even Mark Lipps…..We also greeted our visitor from Redlands, and then moved on to a final Burtonian round of Happy Dollars.
 
Happy Dollars President Mark honored his father on this day after Fathers Day….Monica Farrell Bringleson (ya’ know, Monica, I have to type all that every time I mention you), the Junior Achiever, thanked Keith Sultemeier, Chris Ullman, Rich Ham and Dave Harris for speaking to students for a half day on, well, Junior Achievement…..Rich Ham has still another grandchild….Charlie Steinmetz lost his mother, but the Circle of Life brought him a new grandniece…..Dave Long’s son got an internship and his daughter graduated from USC…..The supercalifragilisticexpialidocious Mark Lipps is grateful for the unconditional love he has from his wife and kids….Mike Matthews, sounding like Julius Caesar (Veni, vidi, vici), celebrated the narrow passage of Measure MB…..Our visiting Bob Neubauer is grateful for this club…..Ian Jackson couldn’t let other people have grandchildren without telling us he has a second one on the way…..Shannon Ryan’s daughter escaped Middle School, and Shannon celebrated at a dine-around hosted by Debby Arnold…..Chris Ullman mumbled something about the Dodgers beating the Giants, and I hope he paid dearly for saying that, since only journalistic ethics are compelling me to write such nonsense…..Don Whinfrey has been visiting Rotary clubs around the world, most recently in Japan, and urges us to do the same…..President Mark enjoyed watching his wife, Dickie, get demoted as El Segundo’s Rotary president.
 
Kelly Stroman
Kelly Stroman was sponsored into our club by President Mark and Shannon Ryan. Kelly grew up in Sacramento, in a strict Christian family. She was a First Class Girl Scout. Always tall, she played volleyball and basketball, including playing on a state championship team. Despite chronic shyness, she started modeling as a young teen, moving on to New York City’s fashion world, hanging at Studio 54 and gracing magazine covers. She didn’t like it, and moved back to California to attend Long Beach State. She volunteered to do make-up care for cancer patients. She did sales for PacBell and then landed in the cosmetic world, with Estee Lauder and Clinique. She birthed two boys, Gage and Trace, and moved to Manhattan Beach. The economy, as well as her marriage, crashed, and she eventually found herself in her present job as Executive Director of the Downtown Manhattan Beach Business and Professional Association. Her motto is “Do Epic Shit,” and so she has, with events like the weekly farmers market, the Stanley Cup Parade, the Special Olympics, Les Silverman’s memorial, and promotion of 250 businesses.
 
Rod Spackman
Rod Spackman grew up in the metropolis (not) of Soda Springs, Idaho, a stop on the Oregon Trail, where he developed his taste for mountain climbing, fly fishing, golf, sports and travel. He attended Utah and graduated from Utah State. He went from there to the center of power, working in the Public Liaison Office in the White House in 1970 and then with the Republican Congressional Committee. After four years of government work in D.C., he became Public Affairs Manager for the National Association of Manufacturers, which led him to Chevron public relations work, first in San Francisco and finally, for 30 years, with Chevron El Segundo. He leads a PR team of four people engaged in government regulations and community engagement, with special emphasis on education. Number one in his life is his wife. Our club has known and appreciated Rod well for lo these many years, as we could always rely on him to support Rotary’s service work. It is good to finally have him officially on board.
 
Ed Kushins
Ed Kushins set aside his crutches and wardrobes long enough to reach into a bag of 18 marbles and pluck out the white one, thus cashing in on $835. This left him with his own age-old philosophical quandary. Would he take his winnings home to his wife, or would he dedicate it to Rotary charities? (I’d have advised him to remember whom he’d be sleeping with that night.) He Solomonically cut the stash almost in half, keeping $300 for dinner with his wife and leaving the rest to Rotary. Such is the mindset of this Rotarian that he chose Service Above Self-Preservation. Hopefully dinner was good.