Greeter (and President Elect!) Bob Morrison welcomed 22 enthusiastic Rotarians to the back room at Maggiono’s today, and Jay Carpender, demonstrating a level of technical prowess only before achieved by David Wood and Dan Astle, welcomed our single zoomer.
President Patrick opened our meeting (which required multiple rings of the bell) and invited Steve Whizenhunt up to the podium to provide an inspiration.
Whizzy shared the story Louis Edward Curdes, who was not only a Great American Hero, but may be the only pilot ever to marry someone he once shot down in a plane. His story certainly justified the nickname of his P-51 Mustang, “Bad Angel.” Whizzy then led us in our pledge.
President Patrick asked for announcements:  Mel Grusing shared that he, Georgia, Paul Bauer, President Patrick, and Jim MacDermott spent Saturday serving meals to 190 women at the Women’s Center—President Patrick then followed up by reminding us what a wonderful experience these service opportunities can be. Paul will be setting up more of these in the future.
President Patrick also made an announcement on behalf of our Fellowship Director, Xenia (who is owed a HUGE apology by your scribe) concerning the two upcoming evenings of Chocolate and Wine Pairings in downtown Littleton. We have 9 signed up for September 8, and 2 already for the 15th, so sign up soon (these will be capped at about a dozen). And now for the apology; we’re not sure how our spellcheck changed “Xenia” to “Zana” in our last newsletter, but we’re certain that’s how that misspelling gaffe occurred. A suitable punishment is being considered by the Board, to possibly include relief from duties. Your scribe can only hope.
President Patrick then personally filled in for our Sergeant-at-Arms, making two consecutive weeks of lawyer jokes. Lest you think that we were hitting rock bottom, recall that our two lawyers were filling in for Sergeant-at-Arms Dick, so that this actually represents a step up. (Your scribe also noted that “lawyer joke” could possibly be construed as being redundant.)
In addition to sharing a rather amusing anecdote involving the difference between lawyers from Wyoming and California, President Patrick also shared an explanation from Dick as to why he had been setting the bar as he had been to start this Rotary year. Apparently, Sergeant-at-Arms Dick was under the impression that the bar was being set to do the limbo, and the substitute SaAs were competing in the high jump. Dick will be scouring Norway for new material, although there was significant discussion around the possibility of taking up a collection so that Dick could extend his stay—at least until the end of the Rotary Year.
  • DGEN Martha Diss-Sundby contributed to talk about the importance of service, and then to tie in some sad news to last week’s speaker—she attended a funeral this week for a young (59) man who died from ALS.
  • David McKinley just got back from Oahu where he was visiting his son and family (with Carol).
  • Jeff Miller is going to Norway to see his daughter (and hopefully to convince Dick to stay as long as he likes).
  • Steve Holben, the collector of the funds, threw in a five-spot due to the low take this week.
President Patrick asked Bud Laber to introduce our speaker, who was Bud’s friend Ken Stable. Many of us remember Ken as a candidate for State Representative, but none of us could have imagined his life story, which he shared with us. Ken came from extreme poverty, homelessness, and some of the worst circumstances Cuban immigrants could provide here in the Denver area, and rose through sheer will, a strong mentor, and a passion for reading and education to where he is today—a law student who is preparing for a life of politics and service.  It is a story celebrated the world over, but one that is told far too seldom for those who are born into those circumstances. Ken considers himself one of the lucky ones, and he has shown that through his intense dedication to service and giving back.  It was a true inspiration, and we thank Ken for sharing his story, and Bud for bringing us this incredible program.
President Patrick thanked Ken, and shared a thought for the day from Steven Covey.