It was a warm and sunny day, and a glorious afternoon to reflect on our 33rd president's 131st birthday. Yes, the fabled Harry Truman, the man who popularized "The Buck Stops Here", the man who our own President Coleman admires more than any other U.S. President. And one hopes, the man who could forgive these two sentences without a verb. It was Mr. Truman who said, "It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit." With that, we were off and running.
The show really began before the Truman quote, with Jim Weinand and Nicole Hancock collecting $270 at the Paul Harris desk, and with Janie Frasier handling the drawing and the Sergeant-at-Arms duties. And before that, Don Daniels set things up. But the list goes on, dear friends. More helpers included Ben Sclair doing the photography, Bob Peterson delivering the invocation, and John Magnuson leading us in the pledge. Speaking of Mr. Sclair, before I submitted this masterful work, I received an email from him about how to be a good writer. Really. This advice included "remove every extraneous word", among other suggestions. Sheesh. Leave that to the editor! In some late-breaking helper news: no one  un-did the Rotary stuff, so Chris Kimball and John Lowney stepped into the breach, and did the Service-Above-Self thing we Rotarians aspire to. Then came the Visiting Rotarians: Jim Larsen from Olympia and Jonathan Jackson from Tacoma North. Guests of Rotary included our exchange student from Turkey, Selen, introduced by her U.S. boss, Clayton DeNault; Ryan McGrady, a new EMS Captain, introduced by his boss, Jim Sharp; Chris Easter from Chase bank, introduced by Bob Peterson; Will, introduced by Larry Saunders, and Troy Wilcox, introduced by Chris Kimball.
But you know, a day without an Ole joke is like a day without sunshine. A day without sunshine is also like, well, night. So.... Ole and Sven went fishing one day in a rented boat and were catching fish like crazy. Ole said, "We better mark dis spot so ve can come back tomorrow and catch more fish." Sven then proceeded to mark the bottom of the boat with a large 'X'. Ole asked him what he was doing, and Sven told him he was marking the spot so they could come back to catch more fish.
Ole said, "Ya big dummy, how do ya know ve are going ta get da same boat tomorrow?"
Ole aside, we have some announcements to make:  First, we raised over $3000 for Shelter Boxes! More money kept rolling in from last week's total of $2100. Very nice! Second, Steve Enquist needs recommendations for the Bernie Ootkin Non-Rotarian of the Year award. Mike McGowan gave a quick background on Bernie Ootkin: Bernie was the company doctor for DuPont way back when, before coming to Lakewood in private practice. He was a charter Lakewood Rotarian, and past president, 1967-68. Bernie was a dynamic Rotarian, helping to start RYLA, supporting the Student Exchange Program, and virtually all things Rotary. He was also quite funny. During one Rotary meeting, he proclaimed that "Roses are red, Violets are blue, if it wasn't for Jesus, we'd ALL be Jewish." Greg Ootkin and family have donated $1000 per year since Bernie's death for this award.   Mr. Enquist also announced that we have had 29 Paul Harris awards this year, collected $39,934, and 72% of Lakewood Rotarians have contributed with 50% giving over $100. For the third announcement, the Reeder Rotary Roadster Romp is coming right up, and shall rev up from September 13 to 15 down in the Hood River area. VROOM! More to follow on that. Fourth, on May 26, there is to be a meeting at Lakewood City Hall addressing the amphitheater project at Fort Steilacoom Park. We need positive voices. Bring your friends! And finally, ever-present Rotarian John Lowney announced that the Installation Banquet is Friday, June 26. Invites are coming, and there will be a Special Guest Star in attendance!
There have been too many days without sunshine or an Ole joke, so here's one more:
Lena asks her boyfriend Ole to come over Friday night and have dinner with her parents. This being a big event, Lena tells Ole that after dinner, she would like to go out and (vell ya know) for the first time. Well, Ole is ecstatic, but he has never (vell ya know) before, so he takes a trip to the pharmacist to get some protection. The pharmacist helps Ole for about an hour. He teaches Ole everything there is to know about protection and (vell ya know). At the register, the pharmacist asks Ole how many he'd like to buy; a 3-pack, a 10-pack, or a family pack. Ole insists on the family pack because he thinks he will be very busy, it being his first time and all.
That night, Ole shows up at the Lena's parent's house and meets her at the door. "Ole I'm so excited for you ta meet my parents, come on in." Ole goes inside and is taken to the dinner table where Lena's parents are seated. Ole quickly offers to say grace and bows his head. A minute passes and Ole is still deep in prayer with his head down. Three minutes of praying pass and still no movement from Ole. Finally, after five minutes of praying with his head down, Lena leans over and whispers to her Ole, "I had no idea you vere so religious!"
Ole turns and whispers back, "I had no idea your father vas a pharmacist!!"
Back to it: Lakewood Rotary introduced a new member: Troy Wilcox, sponsored by Chris Kimball. Troy has already worked at the Sportsman's Dinner and the park cleanup day: he has hit the ground running. Born in Tennessee, Troy spent four years in the Army, including three at Ft. Lewis, where he met his wife (a Steilacoom High graduate). He now has a 14-year old boy to go along with his wife, Stephanie, and a 14-year career at the Emerald Queen Casino, where he is Assistant IT Director. After researching many organizations for a volunteer opportunity, he chose Lakewood Rotary, which either says a lot about Lakewood Rotary, or perhaps a lot about his poor research skills. We'll go with the former.
But you can't have just two Ole jokes, now, can you?!?
A neighbor asked Ole why the Swedish government doesn't draft men until age 45.
Ole Explained, "Dey vant to get dem right otta of high school."
Because Lakewood Rotary has keen eyesight, we noticed a fresh idea for a fundraiser, from the latest ROTARIAN magazine (the one with Jeff Bridges on the cover): a Rotary club in Michigan places a (cleaned up and environmentally safe) car on the ice in the middle of the winter. They then sell raffle tickets, with the winner being the person who guesses the time it falls through the ice. Can't do that here, I'd say....but there must be some ideas like this out there! Let us know your ideas! And the hits just keep on coming......
Lars: "Ole, stand in fronna my car and tell me if da turn signals are vorking".
Ole: "Ya, No, Ya, No, Ya, No, Ya, No...."
We had some presentations to attend to: Joe Quinn presented a check for $1000 to Jonathan Jackson of the Palmer Scholars. Jonathan is not only a current Tacoma North Rotarian, but a Clover Park High School and PLU grad, who was Student of the Month at Lakewood Rotary several years ago. Very cool! Then Kim Prentice introduced Diana Fitzgerald as the Educator of the Month. With her was her principal, Taj Jensen, who was recently named the Principal of the Year in the State of Washington. Diana is a 12 year teacher, described as a "champion in teaching the WHOLE child." Congratulations! She was also awarded $100 by President Dave. But in the midst of this celebration, fines were levied as well. Mark Blanchard had to leave early to take his dog to the vet, fearing the family's wrath if the dog died. He paid a $20 voluntary fine, and we hope the pup is okay.  Jim Sharp has missed five Rotary meetings in a row, due to work (and a long weekend in Walla Walla). The guilt was overwhelming, apparently, as he donated $100 to the Dave Coleman Fine Budget.
Ole wasn’t fined, but here’s another joke: A bar patron asked the bartender if he wanted to hear a Swedish joke. The bartender pointed to a large man at the end of the bar and said, "He's Swedish.'' Then the bartender pointed to a burly policeman near the door and repeated, "He's Swedish.'' The bartender finished, ``Now think about whether you want to tell that joke, because I'm Swedish, too.'' The patron replied: "I guess I won't tell that joke after all. I'd have to explain it three times.''
Then Chris Kimball introduced another astonishingly good program—he has provided a varied and entertaining program schedule every week. Next week will be no exception: Chris' mother will be talking about her emigration to the U.S. after WWII with an American jazz musician.
This week, we were serenaded by the Covenant High School Choir (a private school on 6th and Pearl). Their spring concert is this next Friday, May 15, at 7:15: we're all invited, and it's free! The choir started with a 10-piece ensemble singing about the do's and don'ts for audiences. Then the 20-piece Magical Choir sang a Latin song. In Latin. This was followed by the full choir (33), singing a Haydn song. The 18-piece women's chorus sang a Korean folk song. In Korean. Then the men's chorus sang a Czech song—in English and Czech. The entire group finished with a Zambian folk song based on the 12th verse in the book of John.  Fabulous!
And then the raffle: Rod Ladd won $5.00 instead of $301. Rod always wins the drawing. There is the slight possibility that this is because he buys a million tickets every week. But that's pure speculation.  Speaking of speculation, if you counted how many sentence fragments there were in this document, and were appalled, talk to the editor. And if you guessed the correct number of incorrect sentences, you will win the grand prize of one week sitting across from the editor’s desk for one whole day! Maybe he will tell you how to be a good writer, like he tried to do with me.
Wanting a portrait with which to surprise her husband, a beautiful woman asks talented artist Ole to paint her in the nude.
"No," Ole replies. "I don't do dat sorta ting."
"But what if I double your fee?" asks the woman.
"Nope, sorry. Von't do it." replies Ole.
"How about I give you five times what you normally get?" pleads the woman.
"Oh, okay den," says Ole, "But I'm keeping my socks on. I need a place ta put my brushes."