High Gear December 28, 2005

The holidays are quickly drawing to the official close with New Years just a few days away.  It is understandable that to usher in the New Year in proper Rotary style, wine and cheese must preempt its arrival.

Many visitors attended our meeting.  Did the word spread about the libation being offered or is it just a coincidence?  June Cramer, Charlotte Bradbury, Scott Saunders, Mike (the Italian Midget), John Mitchell, Diane Willett, Fred Campbell, Jay Stewart, and Debbie Wood.    Also how nice it was to have Don Cramer and Frank Kreson back with us.   Word has it that Sam Leone will once again return as a member of the club.  Any exceptions should be shared with the Board of Directors.

The meeting was short with a small list of housekeeping items to take care of:

The Salem Cross trip monies are due next week.  Dr. Tooth will not chase people for money.  The trip costs are $75.00 for single and $150.00 for a couple so please be sure that you get your money in by next week.

Neal Cunningham announced that Vocational Services Committee is seeking nominations for the Vocational Service Award.  All Rotarians who would like to submit a name are welcome to do so.  The award will be presented at the Paul Harris banquet on March 15, 2006.

The Rotary Information Committee will have a meeting prior to next week’s Rotary meeting at the Ridge at 11:15 AM.  If you are a member please try and attend.

Roy Spiller gave members a recap of the Salvation Army Bell Ringing for 2005.  Roy recapped in short form that 40 Rotarians and 13 spouses and children participated this years in raising $ 2,629.00 in 69 hours.  Rotary has participated in the ringing for the Salvation Army for 17 years and has raised a total of $ 42,156.00 and rung for 1,041 hours.  Special thanks to Roy Spiller and his organizational skill and dedication to this worthy project.

President, Carol Krantz read a thank you note received from Helen & Sue for their annual holiday gift for exceptional service.

The meeting ended with an appropriate verse of Auld-Lang-Syne.

Wishing you and yours a very healthy, happy and prosperous New Year.  

See you all in 2006.


Editor's Note:  Don't be left speechless next time everyone crosses arms to sing in the new year. These are the words to  first verse and chorus of Auld Lang Syne.   [Words adapted from a traditional song by Robbie Burns (1759-96)]


Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And days of auld lang syne?

For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We'll take a cup of kindness yet,
For auld lang syne!


High Gear December 21, 2005

Today, despite the brisk weather outside the ridge was warm with holiday cheer, good food, vocal eloquence, and grateful blessings.  This is one of my favorite meetings. We have the opportunity to listen to the talents and gifts of our East Hartford students and thank Sue & Helen for the attentive and friendly service provided to us throughout the year.

Art Bradbury delivered the invocation despite having his thoughts disrupted by a Rotarians cell phone. Some truly special guests, Joan Brow, Sam Leone, Fred Clark, and Emil Kopcha joined us for this meeting. 

Our guests and fellow Rotarians were treated to the musical talents of Mary Martin & Glen Peterson as they lead us in the welcome song.

Tom Galvin announced he has four seats left for the trip to the Salem Cross Inn on January 21, 2006.  Please contact Tom if you are interested.  Tom (AKA Dr. Tooth) also served as Sgt-at-Arms.  Dan Larson paid to sing his version of a Happy Birthday song to President Carol Krantz.

Make-up: Steve Jacoby-California, Herb Tischofer-Naples, Florida.

Raffle winner Steve Jacoby donated his winnings to the Scholarship Fund.  Roy Spiller raffled off tickets to the UCONN girls basketball game on Thursday evening.

The meeting closed with the talented and delightful musical group, Next Edition.  We can all agree this group of talented teens brought home the magical spirit of the holidays to each of us.

May your holidays be filled with the wonder and merriment?



High Gear December 14, 2005

Jack Frost was very definitely nipping at the toes as East Hartford Rotarians and their guests gathered for our annual Holiday party. The locale was the Gallery Restaurant in Glastonbury, the hot hors d’oeuvres were plentiful, the open bar was well patronized, and the dinner, itself, was both tasty and sufficient. All in all, Bill Leone and his Social Committee did another exemplary job of it.

The convivial atmosphere in the room was once again abetted by the keyboard offerings of our own Don Hallquist, never one to allow an opportunity to set a mood pass by. Almost all the men in the room were sporting Christmas ties, and many of them were quite subtle and tasteful. Some of us, including this writer, were still wearing the broad, loud, Push a Button – Ho,Ho,Ho brand of tie that first characterized the Christmas tie. It is interesting to note how these holiday ties have evolved over the past few years. It is also interesting to note which of us Rotarians have evolved with them and which have not.

Dan Russell led us in a thoughtful grace this evening and President Carol commanded Dancin’ Dave Amberg and Dick McCarthy to join Don in leading our Welcome song. It was great to see so many old friends in our midst. It was particularly good to see Lucille Bailey, Bob and Agnes Popp, and Scotty Howat, who demonstrated he can still distinguish between a Johnny Walker Black and a Dewars with just a sip. Herkimer’s buddy hasn’t lost a thing.

Sergeant At Arms Tom Galvin went easy on us tonight in honor of the occasion, but he did announce that the Salem Crossing Trip (open hearth dinner and hayride) scheduled for January 21 was just about full. Only four seats remain. Contact him immediately if you want to join the fun.

 President Carol reminded us that the high school carolers will join us next week, December 21st, and the wine and cheese social hour will be enjoyed on December 28th

The Prez also announced this year’s Paul Harris recipients.  Congratulations to Ceil Collins, Don Hallquist, Jan Sayre, and the inimitable Ruthie Sheehan.  Mark March 15th on your calendar for recognition and celebration.

Herb and Julie Tischofer sent their holiday greetings and proof that Herb is faithfully making up each week down in sunny and warm Southwest Florida. Sounds like a good idea. In fact, stepping out in the cold air and avoiding the ice spots as we left the party, it sounds like a very good idea. Come New Year’s Day, I thing I’ll do the same. See ya, WDOUGW


High Gear December 7, 2005

Acting President Dan Larson banged the bowl, which marked the official start of the meeting.   The welcome song was lead by Doug Willett and Hyacinth Douglas-Bailey and led the way for a recap from our Sgt-at-Arms Dr. Galvin.

Dan Larson sent a special thank you out to John Mozzicato for hosting our luncheon with a fantastic spread of nourishment.  Bill Leone recapped the Holiday Party to be held next week on Wednesday, December 14th at the Gallery Restaurant.  Cocktails are to begin flowing at 6:30 PM followed by dinner.  If anyone has not submitted payment, $ 35.00 per person is now due.

Mary Martin requested on behalf of President Carol, transporters for the toys collected at the Holiday Party.  Dan Larson volunteered and a second person is needed.  Please contact Carol or Mary to assist.

Roy Spiller reported that the Annual Bell Ringing raised over $500.00 last week. Moreover, a reminder: “If you signed up, please show up.”

Dr. Galvin reviewed the details of the Salem Cross Inn-Dinner & Sleigh Ride trip is slated for Saturday, January 21, 2006.  The bus will leave VMC at 3:30 PM.  Cost is estimated to run between $70 & $80.00 per person.  To register you can reach Tom at the office, 633-1822 or home, 649-8228.

The winning raffle ticket was pulled and Mary Martin claims to have won with a misplaced ticket.  In the spirit of Rotary, she offered the winnings up to the scholarship account.

The annual meeting was officially started at 1:12 PM.

Make-ups reported:

Sue & Peter Klock, Dalton, MA. Frank & Ceil Collins, Hartford Rotary.

In Rotary Friendship,



High Gear November 30, 2005

      By November standards, the day was warm and drizzly, quite a contrast from a week ago.  It was a good day to appreciate the midday, midweek escape from the pressures of business, to gather, as Rotarians and to remember what we are all about:  Service above Self.  Following our normal opening ROTARY song and salute to our nation’s flag, John Shemo offered a fitting invocation, asking us to recount our many blessing, including the return from Iran of Valerie, President Carol’s daughter, and the hope for the safe return of our troops as we endeavor to bring democracy to peoples who have suffered under tyranny.

            Lunch consisted of chicken croquettes, mixed risotto, broccoli with cheese sauce, followed by cherry Jell-O with real cherries and whipped cream.  Guests with us today included Bev Saunders, Jean McCarthy, Peg Spiller, all wives of East Hartford Rotarians; Lois Brooks, daughter of Peg and Roy Spiller; Bonnie Mountz, friend of Carol’s; Valeria Lughi, daughter of Paul and Carol Krantz; Paul Krantz, Carol’s husband; Mike Malinguaggio, former member, who has been proposed for “new” membership.  Any objections (who could not like Mike?) to Mike’s coming back into the Club, contact the Club Secretary. 

            Roy Spiller had a number of good seat tickets for the up-coming UCONN football game, complete with parking passes.  The donor suggested the proceeds go to the Shelter Box project, Rotary Foundation, or our Scholarship Fund.  This reporter didn’t make note of who, if anyone, bought the tickets.

            Basic announcements:  Our Annual Holiday Dinner:  December 14th, 6:30 gathering, eat at 7:30, at the Gallery in Glastonbury, $35 per person, please have money and meal choices by next week.  Bill Leone has all the details.  Our Club’s Annual Meeting will take place next week, usual time, different place, The East Hartford Golf Course clubhouse.  Scholarship Committee is asked to meet before that meeting, at 11:30. You should know who you are.  East Hartford’s Holiday Fest begins this coming Friday, with numerous and almost continuous events all weekend. 

            Leo Christmas won the weekly raffle.

            President Carol forgot to call upon Sergeant-at-Arms Glen Peterson, but he handed this reporter a neatly printed report of fines and celebrations:  Leo Christmas, for a wedding anniversary; John Mozzicato, for something related to a New York baseball team which the SAA could not bring himself to put on paper; the usual early leavers and late comers; Dan Firestone, for a new car (didn’t know Hudson was still in production); and the SAA himself, because it’s the 5th Wednesday of the month, and all the birthdays and anniversaries have been appropriately recognized by donations.

            Our speaker was Valerie Lughi, daughter of Carol and Paul Krantz.  Valerie spent a year with the National Guard on active duty in Baghdad, Iraq.  Her remarks were accompanied by a power point presentation of still and action packed scenes of that far-away country where we have expended so much time, money and lives.  In introducing her daughter, Carol remarked that Valerie has said, “Never go to war without your nail polish.”  Valerie was stationed at the U. S Embassy, headquartered in a commandeered palace, of which there are countless in Iraq.  The pictorials began with what looked like something from a Bushnell Travel Series, then segued into views of bombed and burned out building, an outdoor market which no longer exists except in memory.  There was a film clip of “driving in Iraq” which made bumper cars and the Indy 500 look like a merry-go-round.  Incredible wheelies and spins, lots of dust.  Valerie felt that what we see on the news is mostly the violence, whereas there is much humanitarian aid that is an essential part of the war effort:  schooling, reconstruction of infrastructure:  water systems, sewer systems, electricity generation and distribution, things we all take for granted for the most part. She took part in an orphans’ party, helping distribute holiday candy and toys.  Valerie, in answer to the question, did she feel safe there, said, yes and no.  Some of her comrades were killed.  But she felt that if she had to go to war, the duty she had was the best.  She had air conditioning, lived in a palace.  She commented that morale among service personnel varied because of mixed feelings about the whole “endeavor.”  She lived and worked in the “green zone” which is the safest—the entire rest of the country is a “red” zone.  Just let us remember that she was away from her children and family for a year, serving her country.

            We ended our meeting with one verse of “God Bless America.”  And so I end my six-week assignment of writing our High Gear.  It’s been, as always, something I enjoy.                 ---Dan Russell


High Gear November 23, 2005 

            As we gathered at the Ridge, outside the temperature was about thirty degrees, there was a stiff wind blowing, the Pratt and Whitney runners were for the most part warmly bundled.  Inside, there was the warmth of fellowship assisted by glasses of wine and some tasty munchies.  Don Hallquist's lovely, lively music was seasonal, ranging from “The Sound of Music” through “White Christmas” to the East Hartford Fight Song.  President Carol sounded the bell a couple of minutes late, but then even the best of presidents are allowed a glass or two during the holidays.

            Ted Mosebach offered the invocation, asking that we remember to be grateful, especially in this season, and that we, as a club, try to make a difference in the world.  Lunch was Boeuf Bourguignonne with noodles and peas followed by slices of chocolate cake for dessert.  Based on President Carol’s sotto voce comment to this reporter, it sounds better in French than it tasted. 

            Guests today:  former member Rich O’Brien, former member Mike Malinguaggio, who has been proposed for membership reinstatement, Steve Jacoby’s friend Priscilla Marrah from San Antonio, Texas and Peter Klock’s sister Julie Lipton from Austin, Texas.  Darlene Roberts and Jackie Danise led us in the Welcome Song, with great assistance from Don at the keyboard. 

            Grinning Glen Peterson was Sergeant-at-Arms and reported the following:  Bob Richmond, Jack Sayre and Dick Lemieux all paid for Rotary anniversaries.  Glen himself paid for his third wedding anniversary, a dollar for each year of bliss.  The Board paid for being so late in announcing the preprandial wine and cheese celebration—notification went out via email late Monday—many thanks to Dean Roland for organizing the refreshments.  Steve Jacoby paid a “happy dollar” for Carol’s daughter’s safe return from Iraq.  There was an anonymous contribution to thank the host families for last Saturday’s Progressive Dinner.  And finally, George Stewart paid in celebration of his wife Jay’s birthday.

            As seems to be the rule, rather than the exception, there were a lot of announcements.  President Carol thanked the hosts for the Progressive Dinner.  The Club was presented with a banner from the Lucaya, Freeport, Bahamas Club, where Leo Christmas recently made up.  Our meeting of December 7th will be at the East Hartford Golf Course.  That meeting will also be our Annual Meeting.  Frank Collins asked Priscilla Marrah how many members there are in the San Antonio Club—she replied she did not know, because she’s not a Rotarian. Answer:  approximately 750 members--the world’s largest club.  Frank sold all the medallions he had last week, each for a $250 contribution to the Rotary Foundation.  Sue Klock is hoping to get $1 per person in support of the Shelter Box Project.  She and Peter have personally contributed very substantially to the project—they are caring individuals.  Peter Klock can still take citrus orders.  Peter also spoke to an email warning—there is a lot of virus ridden spam going around—especially if the return address ends in .zip.  Watch carefully.

            Bill Leone announced the following slate of officers for the 2006-2007 year:  President, Daniel Larson; President-elect, William Saunders; Secretary, Sue Klock; Treasurer, William Secord; Directors, Celia Collins, Glen Peterson and George Schoen.  There were no nominations from the floor.

            Mary Martin is selling magnetized picture frames in support of the Interact Club at the High School.  She’d like to sell four more, so that the proceeds equal that of the bake sale the kids had earlier in the year.  Mary passed out a few flyers announcing the Department of Social Services need for toys for kids.  Age group: 12 to 14.  Needs: cosmetic kits (make up), toiletry sets (perfumes, lotions, nail polish), radios or CD players, electronic gadgets, like hand-held games, and gift certificates to area stores such as J.C. Penny, WalMart, Target, Best Buys and Comp USA.  Toys are needed by December 16th, so we can bring them to our annual Holiday Party. 

            The raffle was won by Jim Fallon. (He needs the money.)

            Frank Collins, with a litany of colleges and degrees, introduced our own Ted Mosebach, Pastor at First Church, East Hartford, who gave us our annual Thanksgiving message.  Ted began in a light vein, citing some church bulletin bloopers, where one letter can change the meaning of a word or a word well intended, but misplaced, can alter the intent of an announcement.  One example:  remember in prayer the many who are sick of our church.  Then, getting serious, Ted asked, “What are you doing for the holidays?” Cooking?  Cleaning the house?  (Have guests at least four times a year, it does get the premises picked up.)  Going on, he asked, “What are you doing to give thanks?”  He gave some suggestions:  go to church, share something, help someone, make someone’s life a little better, a little easier. He talked about the people of Israel who got out of Egypt, their exodus being a true gift from God.  We’ve been given life as a gift, so let us celebrate our bounty after we’ve done something in thanksgiving.  Ted then went on to suggest that we be mindful of our military personnel, and told the story of the film, “Saving Private Ryan.”  It was a story of strife and sacrifice, and includes a couple of very poignant scenes, the last of which depicts Ryan as an old man, visiting a Veteran’s Cemetery—probably in Flanders—with his wife.  He touches a gravestone or two, remembers fallen comrades, and asks his wife, “Have I been a good man?”  Ted touched our hearts and souls—many of us wiped tears from our eyes. President Carol whispered to me, “I didn’t know it was going to be so hard.”

            Thanks be to God for all that we have this day.  So be it. We sang one verse of American the Beautiful.

                                                                                                -- Dan Russell 


High Gear November 16, 2005

As this reporter walked into Veteran’s Memorial Clubhouse today, the thought occurred that it is amazing how our members, when gathered, never run out of topics for discussion.  Don’s piano music provided a delightful melodic undercurrent for all the conversations.  President Carol rang the bell at the appointed hour, we sang, we Pledged our Allegiance to our flag, which was back in its corner, and then listened as Art Bradbury offered a meaningful invocation, reminding our members to keep ever mindful those who are not as blessed as we who have warm homes, stocked larders and loving family and friends.

Lunch was sort of Krause’s version of a lean cuisine meal:  a small scoop of mashed potato, a small scoop of mashed butternut squash, a very small chicken breast with gravy, rolls and butter, and soggy apple crisp with whipped cream.  Small, but nourishing.  Well, let’s remember, our weekly gatherings are not all about food, but about Service above Self. 

Guests today were Rick Lawrence of the Manchester Club and Bob Dugger from the Glastonbury Club.  Don Pitkin and Arthur Apostol, our newest members, led us in the Welcome Song, with accompaniment by Don Hallquist.  Well done.

Glen Peterson, Sergeant-at-Arms, reported the following fines:  Don Pitkin for a photo in the paper and his reelection to the Town Council; Herb Barall for his name in the paper; Frank and Ceil Collins for their photograph in the paper; Ted Mosebach for a rowdy offense of pouring coffee over half his table, Dan Larson for the Reverend’s irreverent offense, early leavers and late comers.  Birthdays:  Hyacinth Douglas-Bailey made a generous contribution to the Rotary Foundation, and asked for, rather than being sung to, that we keep the victims of the various hurricanes in our thoughts.  Art Bradbury, celebrating 80 years, also made a generous donation, and asked that all the octogenarians and those older serenade him; there were six, and in good voice, too.  Don, at the piano, segued into “The Old Gray Mare.”

There were numerous announcements: 

Kathy McCabe, speaking about the Progressive Dinner this coming Saturday, announced that the cocktail hour (5 to 6 o’clock) and dessert (8 o’clock on) venue has been changed from The Ridge to the home of Frank and Ceil Collins, 200 Timber Trail.

Our Holiday Party will be the evening of December 14th, at The Gallery in Glastonbury.  Cocktails at 6:30 p.m.  The menu (meat and fish) and the price have not been fully determined as yet.

The Program Committee will meet at 10:30 before next week’s meeting at The Ridge.

George Agnelli, Jr. has run a program for needy children for a number of years, providing $50 at the Burlington Coat Factory for warm coats for 50 kids.  He’s apparently looking for an organization to take over this responsibility. Perhaps one of our Board members will follow up on this.

President Carol’s daughter will be our speaker on November 30th, when she will share experiences and insights into what it is like to be in Iraq.

Dee Blackwood has lost her sister. Send notes of condolence to 19 Armstrong Road, Enfield.  And Gil Wishart’s wife Jean faces serious surgery later this week.

The Board will meet next Monday at Dan Larson’s office. 

Dan Dienst announced the famous Holiday Village Fair at First Congregational Church this Saturday, running from 9 to 3 o’clock.  Lots of good food and stuff.

Peter Klock wound up the citrus sale today.  The YMCA will be joining us with an order for twenty-eight boxes which will go to needy families in the area.

Peter and Sue Klock are just back from Florida, where they visited a Lakewood Ranch Club, home club of ShelterBox USA.  A tremendous job has been done in sheltering people; shelter supplies are running low.  The need is still great, and the most sobering thing is that 350 boxes were sent out "prepaid" to Gulf Coast -- haven’t been funded as yet.  This is a club by club sponsorship program, not a RI Foundation project.

Frank Collins announced that the 2007 Rotary International Convention will be in Salt Lake city, not New Orleans as originally planned.  Many Rotarians in the New Orleans area still do not have housing, so planning participation in a convention is just not practical.  (2006 Convention:  Malmö, Sweden/Copenhagen, Denmark)  Frank also spoke about the new monument in Washington, DC, honoring those who went the extra mile, including Rotary Founder Paul Harris.  He has a commemorative copy of the sidewalk plaque, available from him for a $250 donation to the Foundation. 

The raffle was won by Glen Peterson.

Frank Collins introduced Past District Governor Everett Watson, from Willimantic, who introduced today’s speaker, former Ambassadorial Scholar Mark Oliver from  Queensland, Australia.  Mark is a fascinating speaker—club members gave him rapt attention throughout his time.  Mark considers himself one of the luckiest persons in the world, for having received the Rotary Scholarship, and for the great support he has gotten here in the United States.  One of his mottos is “Let the world change you and you can change the world.”  Actually, Mark’s year under Rotary has run out, but he is continuing on at UCONN, where he is working on his PhD. in Cognitive Instruction,  Psychology of Educational Technology, or something like that.  Two of the world’s leaders in this field are on the faculty at UCONN. Mark told us a bit about Australia:  a population of 20 million, a continent 95% the size of mainland USA.  The national symbol is the kangaroo because that animal cannot take a step backwards.  Important to Mark are volunteerism, compassionate action, addressing the needs of the world and making a difference.  A half hour is not enough time to allot to a such a spell-binding speaker.

Makeups:  George Stewart, Frank & Ceil Collins, Steve Jacoby; at last Saturday's Foundation Dinner;  Sue & Peter Klock, Sarasota Gateway Club, Sarasota, Florida; Pat Gately, South Windsor; Frank & Ceil Collins, UN Day, New York; Frank Collins, RLI training, Somerset, NJ, and UN Women Ambassador, New York.  Sorry to be so wordy (1009 words without this line)    ---Dan Russell     


High Gear November 9, 2005 

           It was a very Novemberish day, gray and cool, both outside and in, since the heat was not working at the Ridge.  Don’s wonderful music from “The Piano Man” and other Broadway musicals was, as always, a delight.  It was good to have President Carol back with us—she is tired of so much business travel.  She rang the bell at the appointed time, we sang, Steve Jacoby, ever available to be the center of attention, advanced the length of the room unfurling the flag, and held it as we saluted out nation’s emblem.  George Stewart offered the invocation, giving thanks for all that we have, and especially for being back at the Ridge.

            Luncheon was a buffet:  a carvery featuring baked ham, with a lot of accompaniments:  tossed salad, rolls, codfish cakes, quiche, ziti in red sauce, mixed peas and carrots, all followed by an apple crumb cake topped with whipped cream. It took us a while to quiet down as we finish eating and Carol brought us to order again.  Guests included Patrick Kennedy from South Windsor, and Mike Malinguaggio, former member of the club, and Doug Smith, our speaker for the day.  Jim Fallon and Neil Cunningham led the Welcome Song. 

            Sergeant-at-Arms Glen Peterson reported fines and contributions as follows:  Larry Frazier for a birthday, one which he shared with Jim Sheehan, so he donated generously in memory of Jim; Don Pitkin for his re-election to the Town Council; Glen Peterson for one of his students being on TV and pictured in the paper; Art Bradbury and Bob Wood, for being on TV; George Schoen for his fourth Rotary Anniversary, and Mary Martin for her Wedding Anniversary, for which she paid $1 for each year of bliss. The number was not reported.

            There were numerous announcements.  The Foundation Dinner at the Windsor Marriott will be Saturday, November 12th.  Space is still available; call President Carol if you want to go.  Peter Klock’s Citrus Sale order sheet made the rounds; next week is the last time to order, money due at that time.  It was reported that in Washington, DC, near the corner of Pennsylvania Avenue and 15th Street, there are imbedded in the sidewalk large (four feet square) medallions commemorating some twenty or thirty individuals who have “gone the extra mile.”  One of those was Rotary’s Founder, Paul Harris.  Art Bradbury is performing in “The Music Man,” a production by the Little Theater of Manchester.  (This reporter believes he has the lead role.)  Shows are this week and next, Thursday, Friday, Saturday evening, Sunday matinee;  for tickets, call the box office:  647-9824.  The performances are in historic Cheney Hall on Hartford Road.  The raffle was won by Bob Wood. 

            Jim Reik introduced our speaker, Doug Smith, who enthusiastically told us about the clean up of the Hockanum River and the construction of hiking trails along its banks.  The river, which is 25 mile long, flows from Shenipsit Lake in Ellington to the Connecticut River in East Hartford.  In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, its banks held many mills, many of which eventually contributed pollution to the stream.  Towns allowed sewage to run into the stream as well.  Now, a lot of cleanup has occurred, so that the river is fishable and canoeable, not swimable or drinkable.  But it has come a long way since the various committees from the towns along the banks got to work in the 1970’s.  Manchester has held canoe races for 27 years.  It is a picturesque resource, at its lower levels flowing through mature forest flood plains.  A lot of wildlife live along it—deer, turkeys, coyotes, hawks, and lots of little varmints  There are over half a dozen little brochures which outline various (fifteen miles of them) hiking trails, complete with maps and information about interesting features.  Good thing to do with the grandchildren some nice day.

            Progressive Dinner, the 19th:  A-M, please bring an appetizer to the Ridge for 5 o’clock cocktail hour; N-Z, desserts, for afterwards.  Sign-up space is still available.

            Make-ups:  Herb Tischofer, Naples Bay, Florida, twice. According to our Secretary, October attendance was 84.1%, down from 86% in September.  We closed with the singing of God Bless America.

            Thanks for reading—Dan Russell



High Gear November 2, 2005           

 Today we gathered in the Lecture Hall at the Connecticut International Baccalaureate Academy on Forbes Street, adjacent to and attached to the East Hartford High School.  The Lecture Hall offers stadium style seating for approximately 140 persons, in chairs at long, continuous, curved writing surfaces which seemed a bit high for this reporter.  Perhaps the room was designed with the school’s basketball players in mind. At any rate, we assembled, row by row, a pattern which makes one appreciate our normal gathering around tables.  We picked up box lunches, provided by Krause, as we entered.  At the usual time acting president Dan Larson, subbing for President Carol who is apparently suffering from a strained back,  brought us to order, asking us to sing the ROTARY song in Chinese, in observance of the fact that the Academy is international.  (More about that later.)  But we sang in English, saluted the flag, and then heard our honorary member (emeritus) Bill Flynn, who must have flown against the wind like a bird migrating the wrong way, up from Florida, as he offered a fitting invocation, giving thanks for the gathering of friends and for those who teach throughout our land.

            The box lunch consisted of a tossed salad, a choice of turkey, ham and cheese, tuna or roast beef sandwiches, a couple of cookies, (chocolate chip and oatmeal raisin) and  a choice of various soft drinks and bottled water.  It was tasty and nourishing. 

            Remember that next week we return to Veterans Memorial Clubhouse, aka “The Ridge” which will have undergone an exorcism to remove last month’s resident demons and ghouls. Guests today were Bill Flynn, as you already have read, and who isn’t really a guest, but goodness, it was nice to see and hear him, and Spencer Clapp, J.D., Principal of the Academy. We managed the Welcome Song a capella.  Sergeant-at-Arms Glen Peterson collected from John Shemo, who appeared on TV, from Bill Flynn, who was just happy to be with us, and from Herb Barall, Don Pitkin and Pat Gately, each of whom had had pictures in the newspaper. 

            There were a number of announcements.  Bob Brown, reporting on the Progressive Dinner, November 19th, which will be here soon.  Cocktails at the Ridge, five o’clock, off to dinner at the various homes at six, and then regathering at the Ridge for dessert about eight o’clock.  Sounds like it could be a lot of fun.  Jim Watts has called for a Paul Harris Nominating Committee meeting on Wednesday, the 16th, at 10:30 a.m.  Nick Cecere had heard from Margaret LaCroix—flu shots today at the Lung Association.  That will be over by the time anyone reads this, but you can call the Lung Association Hot Line to get other scheduled times and places.  Steve Jacoby reminded us that the Foundation Dinner at the Windsor Marriott will be Saturday, November 12th.  A sign-up sheet was circulated.  Also circulated was Peter Klock’s Citrus Sale order sheet.  This reporter thinks it is a good deal, based on recent mail order brochure prices.  Sue Klock had newly printed Roster Sheets.  Thanks, Sue, for keeping those up-to-date.  The Raffle was won by Bill Secord, ticket pulled by Spencer Clapp, we wonder if there was any collusion there.

            The program consisted on a Power Point presentation covering the International Academy by its principal.  Spencer handed out business cards and photo copies of a newspaper article about the Academy and himself.  Because the Academy is considered a World School, it seemed appropriate to have us, as members of an international group. sitting in the school and learning about it.

            The International Academy is Connecticut’s toughest , most vigorous high school. Its 175 students come from ten school districts:  Hartford, East Hartford, Manchester, Vernon, Ellington, Somers, Bolton, Tolland, Mansfield and Regional School Districts #8 and #9.  Most International Academies (there are 1053 of them, in 111 countries) are private, and entrance requires an examination.  Because ours is public, enrollment is open, but does require statistical indication that the student is capable and motivated, and that his or her guidance counselor feels that success and survival are probable.  Graduation brings almost automatic admission to some very high end colleges and universities, at least some of which (e.g, Harvard) credit the entering student with a year of college for the years spent at the CIBA.  For most parents, that would equate to a saving of perhaps $40,000.  Ninety-one percent of the graduates go on to college.  May all parents be blessed with bright and motivated children. The diverse student population (50% white, 25% black, 17% Hispanic, 7% Asian) get to enjoy (that means work hard at) exercise in a personal fitness center, the use of laptop computers during 11th and 12th grades, foreign travel as part of studies to China, Mexico, Costa Rica.  Wouldn’t you like to go back to school?   The school gets its funding from the State of Connecticut, and from the $2000 tuition fee which the local school districts pay.  You can learn more about CIBA on the Internet:   www.cibanet.org.

            Make-ups:  Steve Jacoby:  Manchester; Frank and Celia Collins:  Rochester, New York, Tom River, New Jersey, Corpus Christi, Texas, and Hartford, Connecticut, all for important Rotary International meetings and celebrations.

            This was a good way to spend time indoors, on a particularly beautiful fall day, if you had to be indoors at all.


                                                Good to be with you all; thanks for putting up with my verbiage—Dan Russell


High Gear October 26, 2005

            If readers will forgive me, I feel compelled to write,, at least part of today’s report, in the first person.  The last time I wrote High Gear, which was last April, we had just come off a cold and wet weekend, and the day for Rotary was, thankfully, bright and sunny. At breakfast this morning, I thought the same; bright sunshine glinted through the tall pine trees in my backyard.  The day glowered a bit, midday, but then did brighten some.  The best brightener, however, is the meeting of friends and colleagues at Rotary.  Midday, midweek, our Club is blessed to have the perfect workweek respite. Don Hallquist was at the keyboard in Charrier Hall, South Congregational Church, conversation was lively and interesting, and Dan Larson, acting President, President elect, Vice-president, was in charge.  Dan called upon Bill Saunders, not for a Golf Tournament Report, but for the invocation, ably delivered.

            Lunch, for those of you who collect returning menus, was a hot open-faced turkey sandwich with cranberry sauce, al dente green beans and roasted yam.  Dessert, for those who eat chocolate, was a Halloween Cupcake.

            A quiet gong brought us to order. Acting President Dan asked us to keep our President, Carol Krantz, in our thought as she deals with an ailing mother and the stress of a new, demanding job.  We are all glad that Carol’s daughter is back from the mid-east.

            There was only one guest today:  Mike Malinguaggio, former member, brought back to the fold by Jack Ghagan.  Let us hope that we’ll see more of Mike, for he has a special sense of humor, which he shares generously.  Jack led us in the Welcome Song, which got off to a slightly ragged start, but which managed to knit itself together by the time that we reached the last few bars.  You know, it’s not always easy to be unragged when you reach the last few bars.  Think about that one for a bit.

            George Schoen was Sergeant-at-Arms today.  He collected from George Agnelli, for purchasing a not-well-running automobile for his wife (can’t trust those Mercedes-Benzes), from Don Pitkin for his picture in the paper (that’s what comes of politics) from Ted Mosebach because he’s a nice guy, from Dave Amberg, because he is a White Sox fan (might as well go with one of the best) and from Bill Saunders, on two counts:  first, because the District Newsletter misreported (I use my own wording) our attendance record and, second, because his Alma Mater, Thiel College, has a game record of 7-0.  According to my issue of the 2005 World Almanac, Thiel College, located in Greenville, Pennsylvania, was founded in 1866, tuition and fees are slightly over $14,000, and enrollment is slightly under 1300.  Sounds like a good place, especially if they produce graduates like Bill.

            There were a number of announcements.  Peter Klock is doing his (excellent) citrus sale again:  20 pounds of grapefruit or oranges, $14.50; 20 pounds mixed grapefruit and oranges, or apples, $15.50; 25 pounds ;mixed grapefruit oranges and apples, $19.00. You can email Peter, call Peter, or sign up when the sheet goes around next week or a few  weeks after. Shipping date is December 5th

            NEXT WEEK’S MEETING WILL BE AT THE INTERNATIONAL BACCALAUREATE ACADEMY, 857 Forbes Street, East Hartford.  The Academy is cheek by jowl, and connected to, our East Hartford High School, which is at 869 Forbes Street.  Lunch will come in a box.  Kids at the Academy think outside of the box.

            Dan Firestone and Neil Cunningham are on the Nominating Committee. If you are interested in really participating in the life of our club, let your will be known to one of those two. Jim Watts is calling for Paul Harris nominations.  Pat Gately, in an attempt to make up a meeting, discovered that Wild Bill Cody’s, where the Bloomfield Club used to meet, no longer exists.  Best to check club locations and times on the District Website Internet, link at bottom our our club's site,  www.rotary.org.  Sue Klock reported that ShelterBox #2179, which we purchased for $900, has gone to help Katrina victims.  Note that there were many mentions of East Hartford in the recent District Newsletter.  And  lastly, Acting President Dan asked Mark Sirois if he could borrow his “costume” (read:  Chief of Police Uniform) for a week, promising to return it in good condition.  Let us all remember that laughter is an important part of living well!  Jack Ghagan won the raffle.

            Roy Spiller introduced our speaker, Gloria McAdam, President of Food Share which is headquartered in Windsor.  Gloria is an accomplished speaker, as are many of our guests, talking without notes, explaining what Food Share does, and the needs that it helps to fill, citing statistics which were both sobering and uplifting.  One out of ten families makes use of food pantries.  In our area, that comprises 100,000 individuals. Food Share began with one person, and now has thirty employees, and countless volunteers.  Nutrition is important to good health, good health is important, especially for children, to doing well in school.  Food Share tries to break into that vicious circle of substandard living.  It is currently completing a new purpose built facility which will allow it to collect and distribute more food efficiently.  The Department of Agriculture says that we waste 28% of the food we produce, part in processing, part in quality control, and part in mislabeling during the packing process.  Food Share picks up at least some of the good stuff that falls through the cracks.  Food Share picks up, trucks, sorts, distributes to local pantries, 9.3 million pounds of food per year.  There were too many statistics to commit to paper, but suffice it to say that wish our government might operate as well.  An operation worthy of support.

            Make-ups:  Jackie Danise and Roy Spiller, Rockville.  Good to be with you—Dan Russell


High Gear October 19, 2005

To usher in this beautiful fall day at East Hartford’s South Congregational Church, Maestro Don Hallquist, he of the nimble digits at the keyboard, played us some tantalizingly “cocktail lounge” tunes, taking us back to high school proms, college hops, or just plain cold winter evenings with the girl (boy) we loved, sitting in front of the fire. If we could have any wish imaginable, what might it be? To have the talent to play the piano like Don! Our local electrical engineer, Gil Wishart, had set up the microphone for President Carol Krantz and earned a potential fine for placing it at belt buckle height. Never mind, it seemed to go unnoticed!

Our dinner tables were stocked with E. H. Rotary calendar of events for the 2005-06 year, all by courtesy of “YIR” Sue Klock (also to be found on our website). The secret is out: Sue carries red, white and blue Rotary blood in her veins, and we’re the lucky recipients! Dinner this day was that old favorite, hot chicken pot-pie. Not a plate needed scraping! Guests who were sung to by Kathy McCabe and Dean Roland included PDG Dick Seidman and a sales friend of Skip Guillemette, Gene (sorry, the last name escaped this scribe!).

Sgt at Arms George Schoen told of a pretty good day with gift$ from anniversary celebrants Larry Frazier (38 years) and Kathy McCabe (12 years). Oh yes, cheapo Gil Wishart coughed in $1.00 in honor of wife Jean’s birthday (oh, oh, I wasn’t supposed to print that!).

In honor of what most every president does at least once, President Carol forgot to put on the Presidential medallion at the start of the meeting, thus treating the club to a future cocktail party!

Lots of Announcements, thusly:

Program for this wonderful Rotary meeting day, introduced by Peter Klock, was Exec. Director of the Literacy Volunteers of Greater Hartford, Carol Hauss. Ms. Hauss is a charming, enthusiastic, literate, and articulate spokesperson for this organization, dealing as it does with the literacy level of our areas’ children. Literacy was defined for us as being able to read and communicate well (in English) and the best indicator of a child’s literacy level is the mother’s literacy level! Other interesting/significant points made were:

Ms. Hauss assured us that there is good news in the existence of vital tutoring programs which are  trying to reverse this trend by offering classes for adults at a number of area schools and libraries. Both reading and writing skills are being taught to individuals who currently read below the ninth grade level, or whose native language is other than English.

Though, on the face of it, a discouraging picture, we can take hope from the positive presentation by such an informed and committed person as Carol Hauss. Thanks for bringing us this program, Peter!

And, once again, it was nice that we could get together!




High Gear October 12, 2005

During perhaps the wettest week in memory club members enjoyed another inspiring meeting at the South Congregational Church.

The invocation was given by Dan Russell.

The menu featured Swedish meatballs (no doubt in celebration of the next RI Convention) with egg noodles, zucchini, and strawberry shortcake for dessert.

Marcia LeClerc and Dave Amberg led an a capella version of the welcome song.

Our one guest was frequent visitor Gil Spencer of the Glastonbury Club, who was also the lucky raffle winner and happy to take his plunder across the border.

Sergeant-at-Arms George Schoen received handsome donations from:

Ceil Collins who is celebrating 9 years in Rotary,

Doug Willett who is celebrating 26 cumulative years,

and Hyacinth Douglas-Bailey who has joined the Hartford YMCA as a vice president,

as well as smaller sums from the typical late arrivals and early leavers.


President Carol’s daughter has returned to the States after 14 months in Iraq. 

Rotary UN Day is Nov. 5.  Applications were on tables and can be found on the website.  They need to be returned early so security checks can be performed.

The Progressive Dinner will be held on Nov. 19.

We’re collecting nominations for Paul Harris awards.  The deadline is the 1st week in Nov.  Please get them to Jim Watts.

Neal Cunningham thanked the Rotarians who helped manage the marathon water station on Pitkin Street had a wonderful, albeit wet, morning of community service and fellowship.  In addition to Neal, the following members and friends participated: Neil Cunningham, Rosemary Hogan, Bill Saunders, Gil Wishart, Dan Larson, Jack Sayre, Dan Firestone, Carol Krantz, Ceil Collins, Frank Collins, Dick McCarthy, Pat Gately, Dave Amberg, and Mary Martin.

Doug Willett and Mary Martin are acting as advisors to the East Hartford High Interact Club, the Rotary service club for high school students.  The first club meeting attracted 35 students.  The club held a bake sale and raised $120 for hurricane relief.  Mary is helping to sell magnetic picture frames to help the Interact Club’s current fundraiser. They say “East Hartford Yellow Jackets” and are very reasonably priced.  They’d make a lovely gift for any East Hartford High alum.

Former member Donna Kehoe was in the hospital over the weekend due to a burst appendix. She’s at home recovering.

This week’s program was  a panel presentation given by members who attended the centennial Rotary International Convention in Chicago.  The members were introduced by Sue Klock. 

Frank Collins, who has attended many conventions, spoke about how Rotarians were welcomed by the city and how clean and inviting Chicago seemed to a visitor.  The district reserved a block of rooms at the Weston Hotel which allowed district friends to spend time together. Transportation was very convenient. Bus service was available from the hotel to the convention site is designated bus only tunnels and lanes.

This was the second convention for Doug Willett.  He felt that attending the convention helped him appreciate the international scope of Rotary.  Thousands of Rotarians, marching by country, paraded through the streets, and the vast number of international humanitarian projects was impressive. He encouraged other members to attend the international conventions to better understand the vastness of Rotary.

Steve Jacoby spoke about fellowship.  41,000 Rotarians attended the convention.  He read from the “Principles of Rotary.”  He shared a story of a meal he had a McDonalds with Rotarians from half a dozen countries.  He also spoke about the “House of Friendship,” an exhibit of hundreds of international projects.

Sue Klock found the experience humbling.  She and Peter attended the plenary sessions, and found them much more interesting that anticipated.  Each session had a keynote speaker, videos of important projects, and other pertinent information.  She was very impressed by Ted Turner’s speech. He spoke about how he became involved with Polio Plus and other Rotary humanitarian projects and thanked Rotarians for the important work we do. Sue was dismayed that some Rotarians walked out rather than hear Mr. Turner.  She hadn’t held this celebrity mogul in high esteem prior to the speech, but her opinion was raised by his heartfelt words.

Ceil Collins attended a presentation given by a Nepalese Rotaract Club.  Rotaract is Rotary’s service club for young adults.  Members of this club decided to climb Mt. Everest and erect the Rotary flag in celebration of the 100th Anniversary of Rotary.  They even called RI President from the summit by satellite phone.  To make the occasion even more special, 2 members of the club were married at the summit, an international first.

Peter Klock spoke about his visit to Club One, the original Rotary Club.  They no longer meet in the original location, but the club is filled with cases of early Rotary memorabilia, photos, and documents. 

Next year’s convention will be co-hosted by Copenhagen, Denmark and Malmö, Sweden, two beautiful cities I visited in the 80’s that are connected by high-speed hydrofoils.

Respectfully submitted,

Glen Peterson

High Gear October 5, 2005

In-coming president Dan Larson presided over the first of several meetings that are being held at the South Congregational Church.

Frank Collins gave the invocation remembering Jim Sheehan and Jack Sayer’s father who recently passed away.  He also remembered Peg Spiller who is recovering from hip surgery and President Carol’s mother who is in ill health.

Lunch began with a clam chowder prepared in what I’ve always considered “Cape Cod” style, no cream like New England Style and no tomato like New York.  It was followed by a turkey sandwich and coleslaw.

We had a large contingent of prominent guests including:

PDG Everett Watson

PDG Carolyn Pierce

PDG Dick Seidman and Susan Seidman

PDG Hogie Hanson from the RI Foundation

DG 07-08 Dick Borden

and special guests Bob and Gladys Dunn

Art Bradbury and Tom Westbrook led the welcome song to the accompaniment of Don Hallquist.

Sergeant at Arms George Schoen collected from:

Moe Belanger for his 74th birthday
Dean Roland for 61 years of marriage
Steve Jacoby and John Shemo for Rotary anniversary
and a member who won his golf club’s summer-long match play tournament

Bill Saunders reported that Sept attendance was at 86.4%.  Let’s work at reaching 90%.

Neil Cunningham asked that people helping with the Marathon Watering Station on Pitkin St. arrive no later than 7:30 on Saturday.  Please bring a leaf rake and water pitcher if possible.

Steve Jacoby visited the Lyon, France club and presented acting president Dan with their club Flag.

Neil Cunningham won the raffle and donated it to the RI Foundation.

Frank Collins introduced our guest speaker Hogie Hanson from the RI Foundation.  Mr. Hanson has an impressive list of Rotary credentials and professional credentials in the area of college development and fundraising.

Mr. Hanson thanked our club and our individual members for their generous gifts to the RI Foundation last year and in the past.  Our district led the 15 districts in our zone in giving to the Foundation, and East Hartford was among the leading clubs.

Mr. Hanson said kind words about Jim Sheehan and led a moment of silence in his memory.

Mr. Hanson introduced Bob and Gladys Dunn who were honored for their generous gift to the Foundation.  Bob attended East Hartford High School and the East Hartford Rotary Club sponsored him as an Ambassadorial Scholar. Bob became a teacher and school administrator finishing his career as the principal of Hall High School in West Hartford.  Bob was also a member of the West Hartford Rotary club for 35 years.  Bob spoke about the positive impact Rotary has had on his life.  Rotary had long been a part of the Dunn’s estate planning, but they fully expected that their gift to Rotary would made as part of their estate.  They realized that giving a substantial gift during their lifetimes would enable them to see the fruits of that gift.  Bob wanted the gift to relate to the East Hartford club where Bob was introduced to Rotary as well as the West Hartford club were he was a member and benefit young people in the towns.  The Dunn’s have endowed an annual Ambassadorial Scholarship to be nominated by either East Hartford or West Hartford Club.  Selection of the recipient would be made by a committee comprised of a member from each club and someone from the district leadership. The first scholarship will be awarded for the 2007-2008 year.

PDG Everett Watson, chairperson of the district RI Foundation, leads the committee that selects district Ambassadorial Scholars and explained the selection process.  Candidates must have completed 2 years of college, but there is no age limit. Nominees complete a 20 page application and face multiple interviews. As a district we have an Ambassadorial Scholar about ever other year.  Now, as a result of the Dunn’s generosity a scholar will come for East Hartford or West Hartford annually.

PDG Dick Seidman presented the Dunns with a crystal globe from the RI Foundation.  PDG Carolyn Pierce presented Bob with a major donor pin and Gladys with a major donor pendant.  Frank Collins thanked Mr. and Mrs. Dunn on behalf of the leadership of Rotary International.

The meeting ended with a chorus of “God Bless America.”

Respectfully Submitted,

Glen J. Peterson


High Gear September 28, 2005

With her recently acquired finesse, President Carol opened the luncheon meeting with a sharp blow to the Rotary bell that almost knocked her steaming cup of coffee off her table. (Meetings are safer at the Ridge, but not as warm and fuzzy.) After a thoughtful opening prayer by Ted Mosebach, the membership jumped to the occasion and quickly formed a ragged conga line to the buffet table. And a marvelous buffet it was— turkey breast and roast beef personally sliced by John Mozzicato himself, sausage and peppers, ziti, fried potatoes, garden salad, and rolls. John’s wonderfully friendly staff served coffee, chocolate chip cookies, and vanilla ice cream with chocolate sauce for dessert.

President Carol reminded us all that next week’s meeting is at South Congregational Church at the usual time. She also announced that Peg Spiller is in St. Francis Hospital recuperating from hip replacement surgery. Don Hallquist, in a sharp break with tradition, led the “Welcome Song” with his own vocal cords starting us off—his Casio alone not being quite up to the task.

Sergeant-at-Arms Dick McCarthy proved as diligent as ever. He fined Jack Ghagan, Dean Rolland, and Dan Russell each for 32 years in Rotary. (We should compare their horoscopes.) Also, Peter Klock reached the age of Social Security entitlement. Dick imposed the most appropriate fine, however, on Dan Larson for his risqué performance on the speaker system at the Golf Tournament. Dick was relieved to see the Reverends Ted Mosebach and Al Turner on the golf course together in a prayer group pleading for Dan’s salvation. Dick even fined the president herself for attempting to fraudulently claim the winning raffle ticket at the tournament, even though Big Jim Fallon stood up to challenge her. Finally, Sue Klock volunteered to pay a fine for turning down her raffle prize (what’s wrong with a pink flamingo?)

The Golf Tournament, impeccably run as usual by Bill Saunders, finished up with 117 registered players, 36 raffle prizes, and 3 silent auctions. The general raffle netted $3, 825. The silent auctions (a painting by Dan Russell, a table from Dan and Loretta Dienst, and teeth whitening from Drs. Galvin and Round) netted $1,000. The 50/50 greens contest raised $265; and the putting contest, $105. These monies (beyond sponsorships and entry fees) totaled $5,200. The next meeting of the golf committee will be next week at 11:30 before the luncheon. Bill encourages anyone with ideas on ways to improve the tournament for next year to call him.

Jim Watts reminded the club that the time for Paul Harris nominations is upon us. The Paul Harris selection committee will be meeting to make their decision in late October or early November. Please get nomination forms from Jim or download them off our Web site.

Neal Cunningham is looking for a few good people to weather the water station for the Hartford Road Race. Volunteers will be protected from the rain this year because the water stand will be operated from within a convenient jewelry store on Main Street, East Hartford.

Mary Martin acknowledged the efforts of a number of people in providing hospitality for the Third Annual Rebuilding Together Day on Saturday, September 24: Ceil Collins, Frank Collins, Dan Firestone, Pat Gately, Dan Larson, Mary Martin, Jim Reik, George Schoen, Gil Wishart, and Bob and Debbie Wood. Mary also thanked the Klocks and Mo Moshovos for providing coolers and John Mozzicato for donating 30 roll-up sandwiches! Remember that folks donating their services at events like this receive attendance credit for missed meetings. Make-ups seem to be falling off.

The raffle ticket was pulled in secret; and as Spurge announced the number, Jack Ghagan announced that Carmen Piscatello had won. (Carmen is very shy.)

The meeting closed with one verse of “God Bless America.”

Respectfully submitted (really),

Bill Secord


High Gear -- September 21, 2005

President Carol presided over what was perhaps the shortest East Hartford Rotary Club meeting ever (no pun intended). She even beat Don Hallquist to his key board with a timely twanging of the magic bell—excruciatingly close to Doug Willett’s right ear. The breakfast meeting at John Mozzicato’s emporium triggered only a minor shuffling of the usual seating arrangements: it’s hard to teach old dogs new tricks.

The breakfast fare consisted of a groaning board filled with sausages, bacon, ham, scrambled eggs, French toast, bagels, and more. For a Rotary club with the average age of East Hartford’s, it was a dangerous meal indeed.

Dress was decidedly mongrel. Even George Stewart materialized in a polo shirt—in September! Perhaps the cause was the beautiful appearance of the golf course in the early morning sun. And the perfect weather—the warmest September on record. That statistic might bode either good or evil for the upcoming winter. At least we normally don’t experience hurricanes. Chuck Clarke introduced our one guest, Warren Westbrook; and Doug Willett and Dean Roland managed a rather off-key “Welcome Song.”

Our diligent sergeant-at-arms, Dick McCarthy, blood-hounded down a furtive group of late arrivals (7:30 am is the middle of the night for retirees), early leavers (even without a program!), anniversaries, birthdays, and publicity hounds. Dean Roland celebrated 32 years in Rotary; John Mozzicato, 7 years. Bloodhound McCarthy, who diligently peruses 26 newspapers (even the police reports) every week for any villain’s appearance in the press, fined Dan Russell for a picture of him and his lovely wife Betty in the Glastonbury Citizen (of all places). Bob Wood also smuggled his angelic mug into the press (the Brigton Beacon?). But the piece de resistance was Don Hallquist’s seventieth birthday: at his request everyone had to sing “Happy Birthday” to an off-key rendition on the Casio synthesizer.

The whole club gave a spontaneous tribute to John Mozzicato for his exceptional support during the club’s temporary displacement from the Ridge. His only complaint? All he got for breakfast was an $8.00 bagel!


Neal Cunningham is searching for people to man (person?) the water station for the annual Hartford Run on October 8. He promises the weather will be better than Galveston’s.

President Carol announced that the club is sponsoring a local Connecticut College student, Joe Ramos, for a month of volunteer work in a hospital burn unit in Bolivia. Sue Klock reminded the club that she and Peter are leading the effort to have all the Rotary Clubs in District 7890 sponsor at least one Shelter Box for the victims of Hurricane Kristina. The board of directors has committed East Hartford Rotary to support one Shelter Box for a donation of $900.

Even though he pretended that the waitress had not been paid off to pull the winning ticket, Spurgeon Stokes won the raffle. At least the pot was small this week.

The meeting ended with Maestro Hallquist on the electronic keyboard in a very creative “God Bless America.”

Respectively submitted (sort of),

Bill Secord


High Gear - September 14, 2005

What a beautiful day (86 degrees—55% humidity)! Rain scheduled for tomorrow.

Our piano man Don played music from Music Man before the meeting. Art Bradbury will be starring in the production in November at the Manchester Little Theater. Don also played music from My Fair Lady, which opens this Sunday at the Bushnell. There is a different atmosphere when Don is playing.

President Carol is on a business trip, so incoming president Dan Larson rang the bell at 12:06:14 pm. Salute to the flag; invocation by Jim Fallon.

Most of the Rotarians were appropriately dressed today. There must be a sales event on blue sports coats, as everyone seems to be wearing them. A former president was attired in a blue sports coat, open shirt, slacks, sneakers, and no socks. (You can’t change jocks!)

“Welcome Song” led by the illustrious Carmen Piscatello.

The menu for today was grilled chicken, sweet potato casserole (in case you were wondering), green beans, vanilla ice cream with chocolate sauce. Do you really want to know all this? They also had a veggie burger, but the vegetarians didn’t show up. We’ll save it for next week.

Raffle won by PDG Dick Seidman.

Sergeant-at-Arms Dick McCarthy had little to report. George Schoen had a birthday and wants Rotarians to sing to him when he turns 70. (Comment from the audience, “next year.”) Larry Hangland paid generously because he had a Timex repaired by George Agnelli and Agnelli didn’t charge him????

Golf tournament—Bill Saunders reported we have 96 golfers and over $6,600 in prizes. We need players! Play yourself and/or encourage others to join us. We have only a week to go.

Dan introduced District Governor Karen Andrews. She cited her goals for the upcoming year. They are increased membership, publicity, clean water projects, 100% Foundation membership in each club, local projects involving two clubs working together, and literacy. She will be coordinating these activities with the presidents for further action. She cited the many past district governors in the audience, a distinction East Hartford Rotary can be proud of.

Make-ups: Frank and Ceil Collins, Boston Zone Institute; Peter and Susan Klock, Quincy, Massachusetts; Art Bradbury, Salo Bay, Maine; and Dan Russell, Kapolei, Hawaii.


?          Mary Martin: She needs coolers or ice chests for the Rebuilding Together Day. Deliver them to Mary or call her at 291-7206.

?          Stu Harris: The South Congregational Church is having a golf tournament on October 8 at Keeney Park. Contact Stu.

?          Neil Cunningham: The Annual Marathon water station. If interested in participating, contact Neil.

?          Peter Klock: Peter and Susan are regional reps for the ShelterBox USA. If interested in donating towards this cause, please contact them.

Future meetings:

September 21 (Wednesday), East Hartford Golf Course, BREAKFAST MEETING at 7:30 am. Golf Committee meeting following.

September 28 (Wednesday), East Hartford Golf Course, Lunch meeting at 12:15.

I will be leaving shortly after the meeting today to attend a wake for a good friend of mine in Massachusetts. His wife informed me that it will be a closed casket with an open bar.


Big guy


High Gear - September 7, 2005

On this wonderful crisp day in September, Maestro Hallquist hastened the departure of an ugly summer with the lyrics, “…when autumn leaves start to fall.” Sounds good to me. John Shemo led us in prayer with a reminder of our commitment to both local and global service, especially now as the southeastern states struggle with the catastrophe named Katrina.

Lunch arrived in waves of garden salad with tangy dressing, lasagna with deep tomato meat sauce, and strawberry jello with whipped cream and sliced pears. And summer must still be here because the iced tea is still flowing.

Guests consisted of the husband and wife team of Jerry and Denise Hearn, here to speak to us about Rotary’s Shelter Box program, an unanticipated appropriate subject. The welcome song was enthusiastically delivered by George Schoen and Ceil Collins. Bill Saunders delivered the good news that our attendance for the month of August had risen to 81.3 % from July’s low of 78.5%. He then delivered his effective low-key encouragement for further support of the golf tournament, especially in the form of more sponsors (present tally: 91 golfers, 51 sponsors).

Dick McCarthy assumed the deadly armband of the sergeant-at-arms and collected fines for Glen Peterson’s birthday (somehow it slipped by last month—one reason that Glen is only 29 years old) and for Mary Martin’s similar 29th birthday. Bill Secord and Glen Peterson each paid for their Rotary anniversaries. And who enjoys baseball more than those fans who witness a victory by the Red Sox and a loss by the Yankees on the very same day—worth every penny of the fines paid by five giddy Rotarians. There were many late arrivals and many early leavers; but Gerry Brady’s record of late arrival was broken by Bill Leone, who thought today was a night meeting. Steve Jacoby, who was the only one not in attendance at the Information Committee meeting that he himself had called for today, temporarily escaped his fine. Bill Saunders, no longer treasurer, won the raffle. Spurge Stokes thought that the present treasurer should have won, since she so desperately needs to replace her degenerating briefcase (a lawyer without a brief?)

Make ups consisted of Bob Wood and Dave Amberg  at Bridgton, Maine; George Stewart and George Schoen at Saco Bay, Maine; and Bill Secord at two eClub meetings.

Reminder: Our September 21 meeting will be a breakfast meeting at 7:30 at the East Hartford Golf Club; our September 28 meeting will be a luncheon at the East Hartford Golf Club; and the meetings from October 5 to November 2 will probably be held at South Congregational Church.

Announcement: Mary Martin needs to borrow picnic coolers or ice chests for the annual Rebuilding Together Day event.  The size that fits at least 2 six-packs or more.  Please bring to the meeting on September 14 or call Mary at work 291-7206.

Program: Frank Collins introduced today’s speakers, Jerry and Denise Hearn, a couple from Florida who are very active in their own Rotary district and club. Denise, as president of her Rotary club, raised its membership from 24 to 70 in four years (if you want a job done…). For one scary moment as Jerry began to speak, he mistook Sue Klock, who had just switched her seat, for Frank Collins. Who says blondes have more fun?

Jerry explained the ingenious nature of the Rotary Shelter Box—400 of which were shipped to the New Orleans area within three days after Katrina struck. Over 900 boxes have now reached disaster victims along the I10 corridor in the South. Each box is a brawny, self-contained unit containing such essential survival equipment as two tents, sleeping bags, a cook stove, and enough supplies and water purification tablets to serve 10 people for 6 months. Box content can vary slightly depending on the needs of the area into which it is sent. The United Nations has asked Rotary to sent 100,000 of these shelters to Africa over the next three years—enough to serve a million people, mostly women and children. When sponsoring Shelter Boxes, a Rotary Club receives information on exactly where each box is being sent, usually to a Rotary Club somewhere near the disaster area so that we know the supplies are being efficiently delivered to the intended targets. Rotary again demonstrates effectiveness and commitment to service.

Submitted by Bill Secord


High Gear -- August 31, 2005

Don tempered today’s balmy and intermittently rainy weather with several spirited tunes. Our piano player evidenced signs of impatience with Pres Carol, waiting anxiously for a hard rap to the bell. The Very Right Reverend Mary Martin offered prayers to the hurricane victims and all those serving in the armed forces. One could visualize her dressed in a habit. To spoil that vision she informed her tablemates that her horse has been diagnosed by the vet as a nymphomaniac. Many at the table inquired as to the composition of the grain used to feed the horse.

Casual attire once again ruled the day – with two Bermuda short clad Rotarians and a mere 5 dressed properly in sports jackets. The rigid winter dress code takes effect next week.

Today’s culinary delight included shoe-leathery sweet and sour chicken, rice and squash. Brought back fond memories of the best of college dorm food. Mini chocolate éclairs for dessert. Two guests – Bob Necci? from the Glastonbury club and Art Apostol from NewAlliance Bank. Art is being proposed for membership. Any comments regarding Art should be directed to the Secretary. Marcia LeClerc and Dan Russell led the welcome song in what also doubled as a tryout for the March of the Wooden Soldiers.

Sgt-at-arms Ghagan had little to report on today other than a Bob Richmond birthday.

Attention: Change in meeting locations. Sept 21, breakfast at the EH Country Club, Sept 21, lunch at the EHCC, all Oct lunches at South Congregational Church. Nov 2, Vocational Service Day lunch at a place TBD. Next week’s speaker will discuss Shelter Box USA. 100 boxes will be shipped to the Gulf, first time boxes will be used in the US.

Don Cramer bid the club farewell after 27 years. He was greeted by a standing ovation. Don will be sorely missed. Good luck in NH!

Steve Jacoby called for a Community Service meeting next Wednesday at 11:30.

Peter Klock offered the joke of the week.

Makeruppers: Spiller, F Collins, C Collins.

Golf Tourney Report: Bill Saunders reported that we have 35 sponsors (need 100), 37 raffle prizes (need 75) and 56 players (need 136). Tournament is 4 weeks away. We have a very long way to go.

Raffle won by Dan Russell.

West Point Grad Fails to Marshal Troops

Dan Dienst delivered a bittersweet post mortem on last week’s pool party. He began to thank the many hands that labored to make the party a “success”. He announced no less than three casualties (including his) apparently in part due to an inadequate labor supply. Dan proceeded to lambaste members of the social committee for their lack of participation. He chose to read the names of every member of the social committee and commented on their participation or lack thereof, supporting evidence be damned. An unfortunate violation of the 4-way test.  Dan informed the club that this will be the last year that he will host such an event. Too bad as the EH Park & Rec Department is offering an evening class this fall entitled “Party Planning for Novices.” To end this tirade, Dan informed the Club that his prized bifocal sunglasses are missing. Subsequently the Internal Audit and Investigation Committee has called in Scotland Yard to follow up. Sounds like this party was as much fun as celebrating the last dinner on the Titanic. The social committee has been summoned to be on hand next year to rearrange the deck chairs.

Aside from all of this, the Club extends its sincere appreciation to Loretta and Dan for the many times that they have opened up their home to these summer socials. In every case, a memorable event.       

                                                                                                Start Me Up

                                                                                                Johnny Dangerously     


High Gear -- August 24, 2005

What a day, what an evening, what a glorious world we are blessed to inhabit! This was party day at the Dienst’s lovely home up on Sunset Ridge Drive and the street name certainly lived up to its promise, as we were treated to a gorgeous setting sun.

Loretta and Dan had really let the animals out this day, for their back garden was  filled with dozens of Rotarians, as well as the inflated kind. Looking like a true Lion King, our host Dan welcomed one and all. “The committee” had done their work well in setting up, and guests feasted on hot dogs, hamburgs, corn, and many delicious hors d’oeuvres, salads, main dishes and desserts. We know that it’s bad form to mention some, and leave out others; we’ll say only that Tom Galvin, Dean Roland, and Jack Ghagan appeared to have everything under control in the cooking department and we thank you, guys and gals for your unselfish labors. Even Bill Saunders got into the act by exacting a $5.00 attendance fee!

Just as we thought the evening was going splendidly, happy-Dan Larson rang the bell and walked the presidential plank to bring about the semblance of a meeting! He lamented the absence of President Carol for: 1) Not telling him she’d be absent, 2) Not leaving the presidential medallion for him, and 3) being short. (Seems as though there ought to be a fine somewhere in there – for both him and her!) Acting Pres. Dan-himself led “This is Rotary” and many were seen nodding off by the pace. Don Hallquist & Tom Westbrook were busily stuffing their mouths with desserts; their song leadership was sorely missed.

Though after the meal, Rev. Ted Mosebach fittingly thanked the Lord for being good to us.

There were twenty-two happy golfers who’d enjoyed the day on the links. Chair Bill Saunders told of the many proud winners. Some folk observed that it’s not only fishermen who can embellish the “reel” story in telling of the length of a drive or the precision of a putt. Claimants of new balls (this editor is really trying to restrain himself!) included:

First winning team: Cecere, Peterson, Tamiso, and Wood

Second winning team: Larry & Lois Churchill, Willett, and Doe

Closest to pin #2: Clarke

Closest to pin #11: Brown

Longest drive (Men): Larson

Longest drive (Women): Churchill, Danise, & Gately

Closest to line (Women): Gately

Closest to line (Men): Peterson


Lots of folks helped in the set-up and the clean-up, and the entire evening was a joy. Thanks, Dan and Loretta, for opening your gracious hilltop home to us. Rotarians who weren’t there…you missed a fine time, one of the occasions of East Hartford Rotary fellowship and fun which make our club the winner it is!


Next week? Back to the Hill. And for the Rotary Information Committee, Moe Belanger asks that you all meet at 11:00AM, okay?


Great we could be together……..



High Gear -- August 17, 2005

The East Hartford Chapter of the AARP met once again at noon at the VMC.
Unfortunately our maestro was unavailable to play loony tunes. I thought I
was a visitor at the Ft Myers club as no less than 8 male Rotarians were
dressed in summer safari attire. Socks have also fallen out of favor with
many other male Rotarians. This author stands corrected relative to the
horse blanket that Dan Russell wore last week. In fact it was a new madras
jacket purchased but one year ago. This week stylish Dan wore the real
McCoy, a vintage madras jacket from the 60's. I'd have to flip a coin to
decide on my favorite. Herb Barall wins first prize for best looking tie.
The competition was thin however. Bob Brown sported the best looking shirt
worn by any Rotarian in the last month. Marcia LeClerc was showing off a
faded but still good looking tan. Our President presided with a virgin white
pant suit, pretty hot!
Congratulations to Bob Wood for climbing to the top of Mt. Washington with
rickety knees. Bravo!
Frank Collins offered the invocation today. He relayed bad news about a
setback in RI's battle against polio.
Today's marginal menu offered salad with pasta and sausage topped with
chocolate cake.
Reminder to new members. Pick up the attendance cards.
Our President was anything but tentative in whacking the gong today.
Our guests today included scholarship recipient Barbara Suida, J R Senak,
intern of Herb Barall's, and Olivia Spiller, granddaughter of Roy.
Art Bradbury and John Shemo led the welcome song today. Art challenged John
to show some leg. John obliged. Advice to John, keep your pants rolled down!
Our able Sgt at Arms Jack Ghagan collected numerable fines today.
Gil Wishart - a birthday with a song led by the South Congo contingent.
Bill Saunders - a birthday with no fanfare
Herb Barall - a birthday honored by a Belanger/Cecere duet
Frank Collins and Mary Martin - Rotary anniversaries
John Shemo - a rare TV appearance
Skip Guillemette - an even rarer appearance in Time magazine
Our EH Rotary Scholarship recipient Barbara Suida addressed the club
thanking one and all for the scholarship. She was EHHS's salutatorian and
will be attending UCONN in the Fall majoring in elementary education. She
was a member of the Student Council, National Honor Society, Future Teachers
of America, and captain of the badminton team.
No noon meeting next week. A big pool party at the Dienst's in the evening.
Skinny dippin reserved until after 9:00pm. Could be a great photographic
venue  for Rotarians posing for the 2006 nude EH Rotary calendar. Dan needs
volunteers at 1:00 at the Ridge to transport supplies. Loretta could use
help at 2:30. If your last name ends in A-K bring a salad or side dish. L-K
brings dessert. Anyone with a last name ending in Q or Z brings booze. Golf
will at the Gilead Highlands which is near Blackledge CC. Please arrive by
Program Committee will meet on Aug 31 after the meeting.
Frazier will assume Cramer's duties for the golf tourney. Many thanks!
Cramer is looking for a few good men for partners at the Sept Golf tourney.
Raffle won by Chuck Clarke
Makeruppers - F Collins, C Collins, R Wood, R Spiller, D Cramer. What about
the rest of you derelicts?
We had God bless America to close the meeting.
Sorry to miss you next week.

Born to run

Johnny Dangerously

High Gear -- August 10, 2005

Our eminent pianist started us off with a medley of children’s songs starting with this year’s Presidential theme song. (You all know the tune, It’s a ….)

Our dress code has reached new lows for the summer led by the South Congo table sporting Bermuda shorts accompanied by knobby knees. Today’s standout was none other than local fashion consultant, Dan Lyman Russell modeling a moth-balled 1960’s vintage madras sports coat. I don’t care what anyone says, I like the look. Apprehensive bell ringer Pres Krantz was masquerading as a diminutive Georgia peach.   Mary Martin looked particularly lovely today.  The graying/balding of America is no more evident than within the august halls of the VMC on Wednesdays’ noon. Notice this doesn’t apply to our female members.  

Roger Nicholson briefed on his exit strategy before offering a thoughtful grace. We’ll miss you to be sure.

Today’s gastronomical delight included a buffet a la Krause. Sorry “Aw C’mon”, but you missed a real treat.

Attention new members, it’s your duty to pick up the attendance cards. It’s a way of familiarizing yourself with club members. Just a heads up for now. Be prepared to be chastised in future HG editions for non-compliance.

Mo Moshovos with a jaw full introduced our only guest, his friend Arthur Apostol (rhymes with apostle).  Martin and Bradbury led the Westbrook welcome song. Mary planted a sloppy kiss on Rev Roger in hopes of redemption. Too bad Art’s great vocals aren’t matched by suitable Rotary attire.

Sgt-at-arms Johnny “that’s all you need to know” Mo listed the following fines, George Stewart for a 58th wedding anniversary. Our hearts go out to Jay. Ceil Collins for an unidentified birthday, Dr. Jack Martin for an introduction by Hilton Kaderli, Tom Galvin for some OB/GYN training, Don Hallquist for his music selection, Dan Larson for a new Larson, Joseph Eric (how to go Dorothy!), Bill Saunders for a story about his grandson, David (a 2004 EH Rotary scholarship recipient) (check out the UCONN alumni website via EH Rotary website). 

Don Pitkin is looking for recruits to volunteer as EH historians for the School to Business Partnership.

Mary “the Empress of the World” Martin thanked Spurgeon Stokes, Frank Collins, Ceil Collins for their efforts in last Sunday’s BBQ.

Picnic/pool party at Dan & Loretta Dienst’s home on Aug 24. 4:00 for early dippers, 5:00 otherwise, bathing suits not required, great opportunity to dunk the President. Call Dan Dienst @ 569-2077 to sign up. Golf that same day at Blackledge CC. Tee times from 10:00 – 10:30. Call Bill Saunders @ 648-2842.   

A progressive dinner is proposed for Nov 12. If you are willing to host a few Rotarian couples for an entrée, call Bill Leone @ 568-3512 right away. Step up to the plate Rotarians.

The Ridge will be closed from Sept 21 – Nov 2. Woopee! Will likely meet at South Congo. Would be interested in other venues however.

Our new elder statesman Dan Hudson Firestone referenced a letter from the School to Business Partnership thanking Rotary for their sponsorship of Career Day. Several letters from local 3rd graders were circulated.

Golf Chair Bill Saunders noted that we have 25 sponsors, 26 raffle prizes, and 16 golfers lined up. The Tourney is but 6 weeks away. You do the math. Get off your butts!

We need someone to step up and replace Don Cramer to help collect and organize door prizes. Please call Bill ASAP.

July attendance was 78.5%. Not good by any definition. Believe it or not there is an attendance rule. For those of you that haven’t been paying attention, don’t be surprised if you get a pink slip!

Maker-uppers include Frank Collins, Ceil Collins, Pat Gately, and Jackie Danise.

Today’s raffle winner, Johnny Mo.

If you missed the Saratoga trip, it was a blast. Great to have Sir Scotty Howat on board!

If your attire next week is even questionable, be prepared to get written up. If you didn’t get a mention in High Gear the past two weeks, you’ve got two more weeks to sweat out.


                                                                                                Born to Run

                                                                                                Johnny Dangerously  


High Gear -- August 1, 2005

Dateline: BPOE Field Glastonbury, CT

Event: Glastonbury Rotary Invitational Softball Tilt

Weather: a sunny, calm and pleasant 85 degrees

The boys of summer emerged once again for our annual attempt to both exhibit our resilience, grit and determination and risk injury to our aging bodies. Fortune would have it that our team was supplemented by three young and able bodied Larsons and a skilled younger Cunningham.

The E H Rotary  line up:

1B: Dan Larson

2B: George Schoen

SS:  Jeff Larson

3B: Glenn Larson

LF: Eric Larson

LC: Mike Cunningham

RC: Neal Cunningham

RF: Bob Richmond

C: Glenn Peterson

P:  John Shemo


Range of age of EH team: 44-67

# of EH Rotarians participating: 6


Do these stats signal a need to invite younger members to join our club?  


The EH cheerleading contingent was thin but enthusiastic.


The EH squad started off with a 3-0 lead with some strong hitting and fine defensive plays. The middle innings were subject to a mild defensive letdown. Pitcher Shemo suffered a severe contusion to his right thigh after being hit by an errant throw to first base.  This brave soul refused to be replaced with a base runner and played out the rest of the game. First baseman Dan Larson successfully fielded a hard throw to the breadbasket. Fortunately there was plenty of padding to soften the blow.  The GL club battled back to take the lead. The EH club came back to lead 7-6 going into the bottom of the 5th and final inning .A tremendous blast by a GL lefty with a runner on ended the game at 7:00, dinnertime.

Thanks to Dan and Neal for bringing their capable entourage. Isn’t it time our younger Rotarians got off their butts to participate in extracurricular activities? Our days of participating in this long standing tradition continue to wane. LET’S DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!

Dinnertime: Nice to see Bob “Can’t Keep Me Down “Brown, Bob “Dodge” Popp, and Frank “Son of Mohegan” Kresson.

The Greeks had their way tonight. Food that is. Entrees choices included roast lamb and pork supplemented by rice and eggplant. A Greek salad on the side.  Baklava for dessert. This was a Mo “I Don’t Share My Photos” Moshovos delight.

An old EH man Barry Callahan presided as president of the GL club. EH President Krantz extended thanks to the GL club in spite of the sobering loss. GL Captain John Dufford chided EH for loosing in spite of bringing in the ringers.  EH captain Neal basically told him to shut the hell up. The balance of the meeting was essentially uneventful. Nice to be able to renew our friendship with the GL club.


                                                                                             Back by popular demand, and

                                                                                             Born to Run

                                                                                             Johnny Dangerously


High Gear -- July 27, 2005

A quiet, routine feeling to today’s meeting, with many Rotarians wearing shorts to help cope with the oppressive heat outside the building. President Carol presided serenely over the session, ignoring the strains of “It’s a small world, after all” which once again emanated from our piano player, and discounting the miniature bell that appeared in front of her place setting.  Adding to the serenity was the quietly eloquent blessing delivered by the Rev. Roger Nicholson, taking a break from his interim mission of inspiring the faithful in neighboring Simsbury.  The menu of chef’s salad and mint chocolate chip ice cream blended nicely with the mood in the room.

Our guests today were two of our scholarship recipients, Nick Fulco and Nathan Zebedeo, both recent East Catholic grads and matriculates to Boston College and NYU, respectively.  Also sharing our meal was Anne Fulco, Nick’s mom and the former Probate Judge in town.  Larry Hangland and Pat Gately lead the Welcome song and Pat was both surprised and chagrined to be presented with her permanent membership badge: surprised because it arrived so soon after her induction to the Club and chagrined because it lacked an “e” in the spelling, rendering it immediately useless. Corrective steps will be taken.

Dan Dienst stepped in at the last minute as Sergeant at Arms and announced a few fines for late arrivals and no pins. John Shemo paid for a birthday, and Bob Wood (20), Art Bradbury (37) and Dan, himself, (9) paid for club anniversaries.

On the Injured Reserve Report, we heard the following: John McNaughton is recuperating from a broken leg from a domestic mishap; Gil Wishart is home after a disc operation; Carmen Piscatello’s sister passed away; Bob Brown is doing well after heart surgery and hopes to play golf soon; and Jim Sheehan successfully reduced the size of his tumor and is now headed into six weeks of chemo with a positive prognosis.   Cards and phone calls would be in order.

Announcements this week:

q       Next Monday evening is our annual visit with Glastonbury Rotary at the Elks Club. Softball game to be followed by meal and fellowship. No noon meeting at the Ridge next Wednesday.

q       Saratoga Trip on Sunday, August 7. Meet at the Clubhouse at 8:15. Snacks and sandwiches will be provided. Welcome to bring own coolers on the bus.

q       The Golf Tournament has 19 sponsors and 14 players to date. Now is the time to come to the aid of the party.

q       Mark August 24 on your calendars. In lieu of our regular meeting, we will enjoy an evening picnic at the Diensts’ home. There will also be a golf outing that day.

q       Peter Klock has UConn Tickets available for order until August 5th. See or call him for details.

q       Mary Martin is still looking for a couple of volunteers to man the ticket booth at the BBQ Cook-off on August 7th.

Bill Saunders was our raffle winner today and he bought the beer après golf with his winnings. What a guy!

That’s it for now. My month as editor has flown by. My sincere apologies to any I’ve offended with my piquant sense of humor. I know there is at least one who took umbrage with my scribbling. 

For now I think I’ll go sit next to Mariano Rivera in the bullpen and wait for a save opportunity. Probably in late October.  Right, Ruthie?  WDOUGW


High Gear -- July 20, 2005

How hard was it to get to Rotary today? Well, for some of us who came in from I-84, we had to endure a detour that took us down Oak Street, along Forest, and up Forbes before we could see our way clear to the Ridge. Others skipped it entirely so they could get a head start on the Past Presidents’ Picnic tonight. And then there was one of us who ran out of gas on the way for the second week in a row. Maybe, just maybe, he was heard to concede, his gas gauge might be broken. Do you think? Duh!

Regardless, those who arrived for our weekly breaking of bread arrived safely and in a good Rotary mood. Our erstwhile President returned behind the podium this week, struggling mightily to be heard over the din.  A more forceful ringing of the bell might help.

The Introduction of Guests was a little rocky, with our rookie President having a hard time spotting the guests over the Rotarians seated in front of her (“must be a little short-sighted,” commented one wag willing to forfeit a buck). But ultimately, all were recognized and they included Jack McCormick, a cousin of Peggy Schoen; John Murawski, one of our scholarship recipients; Sharon Fitzgerald, unashamed to admit in public that she is the smarter and better looking sibling of Dan Larson; and old pal, Roger Nicholson, who declared he had “chased the devil out of Pittsburgh” and was harassing Him in Simsbury for the next few weeks. It is always good to see the itinerant Reverend.  In the absence of our piano player, Tom Westbrook and Art Bradbury lead a rousing Welcome Song.

Marcia LeClerc, missing in action as sergeant – at –arms last week, returned with a flourish today, demanding reparations from those who “mocked” her last week, namely Dan Larson who was certainly guilty as charged, Tom Galvin, who had the good sense to skip today’s meeting, and President Carol, who had nothing whatsoever to do with it. Fines were collected from Bill Leone and Skip Guillemette, for birthdays. Skip’s qualified him for the 70 Club, and was combined with a wedding anniversary. Lots of no pins, late arrivals and early leavers paid as well.

On the announcement front:

q       The Board approved a donation to the American Lung Association.

q       The meeting of Committee Chairs scheduled for next week has been postponed until date to be announced.

q       Beginning August 10, meal prices will increase $1, one dollar, to meet increase received from our caterer.

q       Mary Martin thanked those who volunteered for the Disaster Drill next Wednesday and solicited volunteers for the Barbeque Contest at Martin Park on Sunday, August 7th. Five or six Rotarians are needed to sell food tickets between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. Also opportunities available on Saturday for two people to direct vendors to assigned spots. This is a 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. shift. See Mary.

q       Golf Committee meeting next week at 11:30 a.m.

Dick McCarthy won the raffle yet again. No makeups reported this week. That does it for now.  Short and sweet.          WDOUGW

p.s. No need to look back now, Ruthie, they are standing right beside you!


High Gear -- July 13, 2005

For a minute there, it appeared that we were about to experience the shortest presidency in East Hartford Rotary history. After just one meeting behind the podium, President Carol was nowhere to be seen. President Elect Dan Larson had donned the Rotary medallion and was wielding the presidential baton with a haughty authority. But he soon assured us that all was well with our leader. She was just tied up in a business commitment. So the prospect of a short presidency was alleviated, in at least that sense of the word. 

Instead, our lone guest, Steve Brodie, Dan Dienst’s son-in-law, and a goodly crowd of local Rotarians were treated to the boisterous Dan and Tom Show. In addition to Dan Can’t Hold My Gas Larson as acting president, we were subjected to Tom You Can Call Me Marcia If You Want To Galvin as sergeant at arms. A volatile and riotous combination, if there ever was one.

An eloquent grace by the Reverend Dan Russell preceded our repast of open-faced bacon, lettuce and turkey sandwiches and modest slices of chocolate cake. Not bad, but then, other than Moe Belanger, who comes to Rotary for the meal?

No, we come to watch Don Pitkin leading the welcome song, earning both a goose and a new badge from our acting president.  We come to witness a mincing Tom Galvin levy fines on himself, “sixty-four and damned glad to be here” and Mo Moshovos, “seventy-one and still a cheap bastard” for birthdays and an entire table for their Enron like swiping of the president’s baton, “squeeze one and the others will tumble like flies.”

When some semblance of decorum was restored, we got to the few announcements today:

q       Empress Martin reminded one and all of the Mock Disaster Drill next Wednesday (see her for directions) and the School Supplies Collection ending in two weeks.

q       She also put in a plug for the Rockville Rotary Golf Tournament to be held July 25th at Ellington Ridge. They need golfers and can be reached at 860-731-5500 x170 (Paul Sheridan.)

q       Past President Neal Cunningham reminded his fellows of the Past Presidents’ Picnic next Wednesday in East Hampton. Cocktails at 5:00 p.m. and Dinner at 6:00. Come early if you want a boat ride or Rotary Fellowship. Contact Neal at 860-623-0144 if you know of someone (non-member Past Presidents and/or deceased Past Presidents’ wives) who should be invited.

Larry Frazier won the raffle today and we had one makeup submitted – Lionel Lessard at Rockville. There was no program, so after a rousing verse of God Bless America, we adjourned to the golf course. Another memorable session in the books.

In closing, a paraphrase of the immortal Satchel Paige…” Don’t look behind just yet, Ruthie, but someone is definitely gainin on ya’.”  ‘Till next week. WDOUGW


High Gear -- July 6, 2005

“It’s a Small World, After-All…” And so it began. Our diminutive diva, microphone firmly in hand (not tall enough to speak into the podium microphone holder) called her first meeting as President to order while being serenaded by one and all. Rumor had it that she was blushing as the serenade continued but there were too many normal sized Rotarians seated at the tables in front of the podium to see her clearly. Bill Flynn, making what might be his last official attempt to intercede with the Almighty on behalf of this Club, mercifully refrained from any “short” jokes in his blessing.

Nick Cecere and Doug Willett led a rousing edition of the Welcome Song in honor of Rick Lawrence from Manchester, Conrad Thamm from Avon-Canton and Joe Senak, an intern with Herb Barall. Sergeant At Arms Mark Sirois, filling in for Danny Got Some Kind of Bug Larson, reported on a series of minor infractions, and scored big on Gil Wishart’s 49th wedding anniversary, Jim Fallon’s new grandson, Henry Joseph Maytum, and President Carol’s daughter’s birthday.  Valerie is a real Yankee Doodle Dandy, born of the Fourth of July. 

As usual, we had our share of announcements, to wit:


q       Annual Softball Game and Meeting with Glastonbury is set for Monday, August 1st.  No Wednesday meeting that week.

q       Meeting of the Golf Committee next week, July 13, at 11:30 a.m.

q       High Gear Committee is short a couple of writers for this year. Volunteers are encouraged to speak to Sue Klock or Doug Willett.

q       Mary Martin called attention to the opportunities for volunteerism listed on the pink sheets on the tables and reminded the Club that the School Supplies effort is wrapping up on July 28th.

q       Larry Hangland reported on the Scholarship Committee results. Twenty-one applications were received, with four $2500 scholarships being awarded. Larry expressed concern with the systemic issues that make it difficult to award applicants from Synergy and Cheney Tech. The Committee will attempt to mitigate these issues in the coming year.

q       The Past Presidents’ Picnic will be held on Wednesday, July 20 at the Clubhouse on the Stewart’s lake. Official picnic begins at 5:00 p.m. with catered dinner set for 6:00 p.m. but George is encouraging early arrivals (anytime after 2:00 p.m.) for those who would like to go on a boat ride or just enjoy Past President Fellowship.

q       President Carol is calling a meeting of all committee chairs for July 27th at which time she will be collecting committee goals and plans for the year.


Peter Klock presented the Club with a banner from the Rotary One Club in Chicago, Paul Harris’s home club and the first club in Rotary history.  Others who had make-ups at the International Convention were Frank and Ceil Collins, Steve Jacoby, Sue Klock and Doug Willett. Jim Fallon won the raffle today.  There was no program.

All in all, this first meeting, although a little short, was quite successful.  But it is going to be very hard to resist tormenting our new President with vertically challenged jokes all year, so I have a modest proposal.  Let’s agree that every time someone makes a reference to our President’s height from this point forward, the transgressor be fined One U.S. Dollar and, at the end of the year, all proceeds be given to the Rotary Foundation in President Carol’s honor. For example, say I’m tempted to recall the words of the wise guy who said, “Never trust short people.  Their brains are too close to their bottoms.”  That is certainly worth a buck to a good cause.  I’ll brief you again next week. WDOUGW



High Gear -- June 29, 2005

With a relatively soft gong, and a few chuckles, this evening began with an unusual invocation —  Longtime High Gear Chair, Bill Flynn, announced his “permanent” move to Florida, and this particular High Gear editor realized it was the announcement of a huge loss to our club. Elaine and Bill will be moving this coming week, “hasta la vista, babies!”  After over thirty years of membership in our club and, by tacking on some years in other areas of the northeast — over thirty-six years as a Rotary-involved couple.  Bill has been the best chair of high gear ever.  (And, that’s after his having been a member of the board and President of our club.)  Thanks, Bill, for all your years of Service Above Self in our area; we know you will continue and those in Florida will benefit.
Bill’s invocation was certainly special, as we realized it would be his last as one of us, but also because he focused so well on those things dearest to the hearts of Rotarians as we round out this year of celebrating Rotary’s 100th year.

Have Don Hallquist to thank for all the music this evening; do enjoy having our own piano man, not all clubs have that!  And to top it off, our very own lyricist, Tom Westbrook, led the Welcome Song tonight..

After welcoming guests — special thanks to DG Seidman for sending Asst. DG Richard Borden of Manchester Club to celebrate this passing of the torch —  and focusing on the many Past District Governors in our midst, a great tribute to efforts of our club in District 7890, Dan mentioned especially how wonderful it is to have PDG Jim Sheehan, accompanied by Ruth, “a real; babe” according to a lone Yankee fan in the vicinity of this editor’s table, and of course noting how proud we are to have in our midst Frank and Ceil Collins, who together are working at the highest levels of Rotary International to achieve Rotary goals.  (Frank is our RI delegate to the UN for any of you who have been dozing for the last year or so.  Ceil is the newest member of our East Hartford Rotary Board, Sergeant-at-arms, but more importantly, she is a walking encyclopedia of what’s going on in Rotary in the world.)

President Dan took a few moments to line up his board and give thanks to them and the many other significant club members who have made his year a grand success.  Then he handed over the medallion to incoming President Carol, whereupon he “faded into the immediate obscurity of a . . . club Past President.” (great quote from Doug W, when Pres. NC went into obscurity.) Just a note here:  these Past Presidents are careful to celebrate their “pastness.”  This year’s picnic for Past Presidents will be  Wednesday, July 20th, 5 PM, at Lake Pocotopaug’s “clubhouse.”  More details to follow, or contact PP Neal for information. 

Out with the old, in with the new. President Carol began by introducing her friends and family, then, the incoming Board of Directors, and took a few minutes to outline her plans for the year.  A final note, in a gesture so much like him, President Dan opted to have his outgoing President’s gift be a donation to the Rotary Foundation — $300  for the foundation’s good works has been contributed by our club.  I am sure PP Dan thanks you all.


Hope this conveys the enthusiasm of the event.

Ever the Empress, Mary, who organized and oversaw this installation dinner for Carol, also had some announcements out on every table for Rotarians, friends and family.  Among these, Mary is reminding us of the “mock “ medical disaster scheduled with the town’s health department on Wednesday, July 27th.  Volunteers from our club will act as “victims” of a pretend case of anthrax contamination who need medication — of course, this is only a drill — no need to act sick or to take any actual medication.  Location is Two Rivers Magnet School, next to Route 2, from 4 to 6 PM on July 27th.  “Victims” can register and be in and out in about a half hour; you will not be committing to the full duration of the drill; Consider helping our town with this interesting event.

Another item on Mary’s flyer of events to remember — school supplies collection drive which has been underway for a few weeks and will continue until Thursday, July 28th.  Give your supplies to Mary or drop them off at Town of East Hartford Social Services’ office in the lower level of Town Hall. 

Last but not least, heads up, mark the date on your calendar, just two days before our famous East Hartford Rotary Club Invitational Golf Tournament, which will be on Monday, September 26th, this year’s Rebuilding Together Day is scheduled for Saturday, September 24th.  Our club will be helping in a variety of ways, ranging from distributing food and drinks to workers to overseeing or participating in home repair and renovation tasks at sites around town.  Save the date to help! 

Yours in Rotary,

Sue Klock, dedicated to Bill Flynn, co-chair for this one last week of High Gear .


High Gear -- June 22, 2005

As we arrived at the Ridge on this first Wednesday of Summer our attention was drawn to the side room where President Dan was throwing us a wine and cheese party.  Words of advice for incoming President Carol - remember the medallion!!!!  Thanks, Dan, for forgetting!!  Thanks also must go to Dean Roland, the club's wine steward and chief party planner. You do a great job in this role.  As the noise level began to escalate, it became time to enter the main hall to begin our regular activities. After our opening ritual, Rev. Ted gave a thoughtful invocation and urged us to see all the goodness around us, and to empower us as Rotarians to make things better.  Luncheon was served and consisted of roast lamb, rice pilaf, and grilled squash which was followed by tapioca and whipped cream.

Following lunch, Pres. Dan called us back to order a little sooner than usual. The following guests were introduced; Bob Dugger from Glastonbury, Gordon Surtlief, from Torrey Pines, California, and Gordon's friend from Manchester, Mark Ray.  The Welcome song was led by a spirited Kathy McCabe, who has been away for awhile, with Don, as usual, at the Piano.  Welcome back, Kathy. The Sgt. at Arms report was delivered by Dan Dienst.  He had one birthday - Don Cramer, and several anniversaries - John McNaughton -17, Mo Moshovos -36, and Gil Wishart - 4.  Dan Russell contributed because his grandson's soccer team had just won its third State Championship.  Mo Moshovos also contributed for a new grandson.  The Raffle was won by Mo Moshovos.  One of our guests, Gordon Surtlief, asked if we would sing Happy Birthday to him if he donated $25 to the club.  We accepted his offer. and even sang it twice in hopes he would double the offer!

President Dan made several announcements concerning Board related activities.

1.  The Board voted to give $200 to the Intercommunity Health Organization.

2.  Dan mentioned recent club publicity - for the School Business Partnership Career Day and the Taste of Hartford's use of the Gazebo.

3.  We received a thank you from the District Governor for our contribution of $1000 to the District's tsunami relief fund.  The District raised $14,000.

4.  The Club received a thank you from Laura Larson, John's daughter, for helping her attend a youth leadership conference in Washington, D.C.

5.  He had a note from Roger Nicholson, now a Pittsburgh Area Rotarian, indicating that he had just hosted a GSE member from Japan.

6.  Neil Cunningham spoke briefly about the Past President's Party which has been put off until mid August.  Call him if you have any thoughts about this.

7.  And finally, Jim Reik spoke about going into a restaurant in Montenegro on May 23rd and seeing Rotary Flags all around.  Jim sought out the owner who was thrilled to see a visiting Rotarian.  He gave Jim a bottle of wine to present to the club. By unanimous acclaim it was given to President Dan who Indicated it was meeting #51. One More To Go!!!

Remember, no noon meeting next week.  The Installation Banquet will be held at the Glastonbury Hills Country Club.  Cocktails at 6:30, Dinner at 7:30.

Bill Saunders reminded us to get going on the Golf Tournament - Sponsors, Raffle Prizes, and Golfers are needed.

That’s all folks.    


Bob Wood filling in for Larry Churchill


High Gear -- June 15, 2005

Dear Elsie,

I'm sorry you could not make the Sgt.-at-Arms party last night.  It's true that we can't be everywhere at once, and you had another important engagement.  But you surely did miss a festive occasion.

When I turned into Skyline Drive at 5:40 P.M. both sides of the street were already lined with cars, trucks, and assorted other means of conveyance.  And walking across the lawn of the Leone Estate, it was obvious that the party was already well underway.  Animated conversations in small groups were going on around the "refreshment" table and the narrow passageway between tables on the patio. Rotarians never seem to tire of talking with one another, have you ever noticed that, Elsie?  At the far end of the patio the Master Chef himself scurried back and forth between kitchen and grills where another gourmet dinner was being prepared.  To fend of our ravenous gluttony for the salmon and tenderloin with pasta and salad that soon were to be served, a table was laden with fresh shrimp, various seafood dips and crackers, cheese, pretzels, and I cannot remember it all because I was soon among those stuffing themselves and  began to wonder how I would also manage the magnificent entrée.  But dauntless Rotarians that we are, we met  the challenge, Elsie, and would you believe? We even tamped it all down with vanilla ice cream and fresh strawberries, and for the non-purists in our midst, other assorted toppings! Oh, Elsie, I don't know what you had to eat last night, but you must be eating your heart out at the thought of what you missed.

At a propitious moment President Dan (it was 6:15 P.M. if you want to be picky), splendid in a "D & D" green racing jacket with yellow stripes at collar and cuffs, called the meeting to order.  There was no Sergeant-at-Arms report, which to this experienced collector of alms seemed a most regrettable lost opportunity and even dereliction of responsibility.  And there was no raffle, which annoyed me because it was surely my turn to win. We did have the usual introduction of guests.  We were honored to have in our midst Mrs. Judy and Dr. Keith Barnard-Jones from Portland, England.  Dr. Keith served with our own Frank Collins on the Rotary International Board of Directors.  We also rejoiced that Scotty Howat, accompanied by Nurse Mary, and Frank Kreson, Jim Sheehan, Steve Guidatti, and not least Dick O'Brien joined us for the evening. Dick with great gusto led us in our traditional Welcome Song, which he dedicated to Roger Driggs.

RGA (that stands for "Rotary Golf Association in case you didn't know, Elsie) Director Bill Saunders reported on the tournament at the East Hartford Golf course earlier in the day.  A field of twenty-one had shrunk to something like fifteen players by the time the tournament actually got underway, a response, no doubt, to fear of the fierce competition this event always involves.  Bill announced that Dave Amberg won the longest drive contest.  George Agnelli won both "closest to the pin" contests at holes #4 and #8.  There were two teams tied for second place honors with a score of 73: Amberg, Frazier, Schoen, and Lemieux on one team and Dienst, Saunders, and Tamiso on the other.  There were also two teams tied for first place at 72: Ghagan, Larson, Richmond, and Wood, tied with Flynn, Cramer, Westbrook and Agnelli.
Full credit goes to Sagacious Shot Selector George for this win, because he put Don Cramer in position to hole out a critical putt for par. Actually it was only Don's accomplishment that saved George from the wrath of his partners for selecting an impossible shot and insisting on it. Be that as it may, the competitors were rewarded with sleeves of golf balls.

That's about it, Elsie. A wonderful day - though a bit chilly on the course and around the tables late in the evening.  But memorable for food and fellowship.  Many thanks to our chef, to Bev Leone and Jean Roland for all their hard work behind the scenes, to those who did the set-up and those who stayed to help with clean-up.  Where would the rest of us be without you??

Oh! Don't forget it's wine and cheese before the meeting next week.  And the Golf Committee will also meet next week (6/22) at 11:00 A.M. at the Ridge.  See you there.

Your Fellow Rotarian


High Gear -- June 8, 2005

Another great summer day at the Ridge as President Dan rang the bell at 12:15 on the dot.  He asked that we repeat the four-way test and not look at the banner.  I think to his surprise (and mine); everyone seemed to know it.

Reverend Mosebach gave the invocation; (he asked that no one look at him either).

Sergeant at Arms again today was “Dangerous Dan Dienst” who reported a good day for adding to the coffers.  Birthdays included President Dan Firestone, Stu Harris, and Chuck Clark.  All paid well!  Anniversaries included Nick Cecere, and Chuck Clark.

Darlene Roberts paid for her picture in the paper, and an unnamed Rotarian was fined for ducking out early last week without paying and showing up late today with no pin.


Get your money in to Mary Martin for the Installation Dinner on the 29th if you haven’t yet paid.

Reminder, Herb Barall is being honored at the courthouse in Hartford at 1pm on June 15th.  Rotarians are invited to attend.

Bill Saunders is setting up a golf tournament next week before the Sergeant at Arms party. It will be held at East Hartford Golf course, and will start at 10:30am.  Anyone interested who has not signed up, please contact Bill before Sunday so he can make the appropriate arrangements.

Don’t forget the “Sergeant at Arms” party at Bill Leone’s home.  Save the date, June 15th.  It’s a great event and the foods (and drinks) are the best.

Bob Brown has been in the hospital but the good news is he will be coming home tomorrow.  Get well soon Bob

We started our summer schedule this week so there was no guest speaker, but our District Governor; Dick Seidman paid us as farewell visit today.  He indicated this would be his last time visiting East Hartford as the District Governor and expressed appreciation for all that our entire club has done and the support he has received.

He presented the club with the District's [new] Outstanding Service Award for 2004-2005.

In addition to the club Citation, he also presented Service Awards to Don Hallquist, Neil Cunningham, Steve Jacoby, Frank Collins, Ceil Collins, George Stewart, and Jim Sheehan.  Congratulations to everyone who make this club so special.

Winner of the raffle today was Dean Roland.  What are you going to do with all that money Dean?


We closed with one verse of God Bless America.


Respectfully,   Elsie


High Gear -- June 1, 2005

June opened with a very pleasant day for us at the Ridge.  President Dan opened the meeting promptly at 12:15 with the ringing of the bell, followed by the four-way test and his brief but eloquent blessing.  (We sure missed Don Hallquist for the opening song)


Someone must be tipping the chefs well because the meal today consisted of a generous slice of prime rib, mixed vegetables, mashed potatoes and topped off by blueberry cobbler.  I think everyone cleaned his or her plate.


Sergeant at Arms was the infamous “Dangerous Dan Dienst who reported a slow day.  In addition to late arrivals and early leavers, Carol Krantz paid for her daughters’ safe return from Iraq, Steve Bates for his 10th anniversary, and Dean Roland for a birthday.  He wanted everyone older than him to stand up and sing, but Dan Larson indicated anyone older than Dean wasn’t able to stand up or could not hear the request, or both.



   The golf committee meeting date is changed from the 15th to 22June.


    Mary Martin requested the payment from attendees at the installation Dinner on

    June 29th.


    Our own Herb Barall is being honored at the courthouse in Hartford.  Rotarians

    are invited to attend.  The ceremony will be held from 1-2pm on June 15th.


     Don’t forget the Sergeant at Arms party.  Bill Leone is hosting.  Save the date,

     15th of June.  Sign up if you haven’t done so.  Anyone with a pickup truck willing

     to help transport tables, chairs, etc. for the event,  please call Tom Galvin to offer

     the help.


     The Memorial Day Parade in East Hartford had a significant representation

    from our Rotary.  Thanks, to Jack Ghagan who worked to help put it together,

   and all the Rotarians who represented us.


     Flag Day is being celebrated at the Elks Club.  June 7th, 6pm.


     Roy Spiller held the lucky raffle ticket.


Our speaker today (as it turns out only guest) was Celerick Stephens our Group Study Exchange Student to Argentina who works at Pratt & Whitney.  I cannot imagine a better ambassador to represent our Rotary Club and our Country than Celerich.   He spent one month in Argentina, and was in 5 provinces and 13 cities. 

He spent several months studying his Spanish before the trip and it was the only language spoken there during his stay.  He had several amusing antidotes concerning translations.  Most important was his obvious infectious enthusiasm for the people and the Country.  Al in all, Celerick made a very interesting presentation that made us all proud of Celerick and his representation from Rotary and the USA.

President Dan closed the meeting with “God Bless America”.





High Gear -- May 25, 2005

Rain and very cool temperatures inspired Maestro Don to entertain us with some very unseasonable, but cheery holiday music. The opening bell was rung by President Dan at 12:15 PM.  The pledge and 4WT were followed by a few comments on the weather and then good thoughts by Rev. Bill Flynn

Lunch was a leftover from the Senior Citizens’ Dance, without the fruit salad, i.e., tossed salad, penne pasta with meatballs, sauce and grated cheese.  Dessert was a choice of white cake or chocolate cake, either with chocolate frosting.

Guests: John Mitchell from the South Windsor Rotary Club, John Judd from the Hamden Club, speaker for the day,              and, last, but not least, Luci  Scerrato, with Nick Cecere.

Welcome song was conducted by Revs. Bill Flynn and Ted Mosebach

Sgt@Arms: anniversaries Larry Churchill and Skip Guillemette,

                    Birthdays George Agnelli, George Steward, Roy Spiller, Those over 72 years of age sang to Roy and George


              (1) Art Bradbury reported that Juan Pablo Hidalgo, a Rotary Exchange student 17 years ago, is getting married. The longtime bachelor has invited Rotary friends who hosted him (Bradburys, Stewarts, Woods as well as Helen Davis and her son, Greg), and all are heading to the Canary Islands next week.  Doug Willett added that he and Diane just spent a delightful week visiting their former exchange student, Florence Vauraberg, in Bordeaux, France, where she lives with her husband and two-year-old daughter.  She and her husband run the Chateau de Pic winery there.

              (2) Glen Peterson reported on a discussion with Mary Martinez:  the $1,000 the club is contributing to the literacy program will all go to the Sunset Ridge School (6th grade).  Rotarians wishing to add to this are encouraged to write a check, made out to East Hartford Community Projects, to help the school buy additional books from a list Glen handed out at the meeting.  Call Glen if you need more information. Price range is $7 to $20 per book; a bargain for library-quality hardbound books.

             (3) June 15, no noon meeting, Sgt @ Arms party

             (4) Memorial Day Parade participants should: meet before 9:30 AM behind McNulty’s Gym (aka Natural Bodies).

             (5) Next week’s speaker: Celerick Stephens, GSC rep to Argentina

             (6) Next week is first meeting of President Dan’s last month as pres.

             (7) Wine and Cheese for meeting of 6/22, come early

             (8) Mary Martin needs your payment for installation dinner by next week.  Bring it to Rotary on June 1 or mail it to her before then.


Raffle was won by Doug Willett (welcome back, Doug!)

Today's speaker was introduced by Jackie Danise:  John Judd of the Hamden Club is leading up an ambitious Statewide drive to make “Amber Alert Child IDs” for Connecticut’s youth.  Each year (nationwide) 800,000 children under 18 years of age are reported missing.  A little less than half are benign, 200K involve injury or being lost, 204K involve a member of the family abducting the child.  But 58K are abducted by non-family members and are considered “endangered”.  74% of “endangered” children who are later found killed are killed within the first 3 hours of the abduction.  Thousands are still missing each year.

Hamden Rotary Club, in coordination with the State Police, CT Chiefs of Police, and the University of New Haven (Henry Lee Institute) have developed a plastic scannable  ID card containing a photo, age, distinguishing marks, height, weight and a unique Amber Alert ID #.  Note: the name is left off the card!  If a child is believed missing anywhere in the country, his/her parent can call the database center in CT and start procedures toward declaring an Amber Alert.  The Club hopes to coordinate with up to 100 other Clubs in CT to create ID cards for between 300,000 and 400,000 children per year.   John hopes that EHRC will be one of these Clubs. 

Makeups:  Frank & Ceil handed in a makeup list which was enough to make the weary weep — Port Canaveral Fl, District 6950 (cruise), Rotary Club of Nassau (and we’re not talking Long Island), and back to Manchester for a Foundation Dinner.  Other makeups were a bit more ho-hum, but thanks for the effort:  Bob Brown in Manchester on May 17th and Steve Jacoby in South Windsor or April 20th.  Margaret Lacroix made up online with www.rotary5450.org, reviewing an article “Living Life in the Fast Lane.”  Ceil and Frank could have written it, perhaps.

Peter & Sue

High Gear -- May 18, 2005

Hallelujah, Maestro Don is back, and we didn't have to rely on humming and wondering where the heck the right key was! Rev Bill offered our invocation and made the cloudy day sunny with his upbeat thanksgiving for our lives in and around the Rotary world. We sat comfortable with a sweet 'n sour Hawaiian chicken dish fit for the gods of Mauna Loa. Cream-topped strawberry/rhubarb pie encouraged us to "lap and retain."

The decibel level was certainly up this day; perhaps because all of the "snow-birds" have returned. At this scribe's table, June Cramer had brought husband Don up from the sunny south, although they both cut out early to catch a granddaughter's (Heather) softball game up in New Hampshire.  Other guests included Kevin, a teacher-intern working with Glen Peterson, and Penny Brice & Mitsey Baker, our speakers.  Still sporting Florida golf course tans, Herb Tischofer & Chuck Clarke did a very creditable job leading our Welcome Song.

Sgt At Arms Steve Bates had a long list of miscreants, to wit: Chickie Amberg's new car (for which Dave paid the fine); Roy Spiller & John Shemo, for something; John McNaughton  for causing the blue-jacketed DEA agents to helicopter into his compound, ostensibly to shut down that illicit garden, only to find rows of tomatoes! Other achievements of the day were recognized as: awards for academic excellence by Bill Saunders'  grandsons Kevin and David Liner (for which it was duly noted that it's all in the genes, Bill's that is, most humbly taking credit for their accomplishments!). Not to be outdone, Mo Moshovos proudly took credit for a new grandson, (sorry, Mo, I never got his name!)   

Sponsored by Jacquie Danise, Pat Gately, our newest Rotarian, was installed with proper and fitting decorum by President Dan Firestone. A native of East Hartford, Pat works in real estate and has had a long and checkered career in serving the town of East Hartford on myriad boards and committees. Her uncle, Roy Powers, was a charter member of our club. Welcome, Pat, we're happy to have you aboard!

Name a worthwhile and memorable social event, and chances are you'll come up with John Shemo. Our first "Soc Hop" was an outstanding success, by any measure you want to use. With a hardworking committee including Tom Westbrook, Chuck Clarke, Dan Larson, and Bob Richmond, this fund-raising effort netted at least $11,000, coming from sponsors, as well as many Rotarians. Well done guys, the Cultural Center gymnasium looked just like our high school gyms of old!

Frank Collins asked for a moment of silence to pay respect to the late PDG Rod Hauser.

President Dan told of Board action in awarding a $250 Youth scholarship to Laura Larson, daughter of our Paul Harris member and Congressman John Larson.

Other announcements of the day included:
*  Installation night for incoming prexy Carol Krantz on June 29…$35/per person (ask Mary M)
"    Don Pitkin in need of our thoughts and prayers (39 Timber Trail)
"    Golf Committee - 11:00 next week
"    The Raffle - Won by Skip Guillemette

And, of course, our Program - and we should be proud of the work which the School- Business-Partnership accomplishes for the Town of East Hartford, for we presented them this day with a check for $12,000. Our speakers, Penney and Mitsey, told of the fine work their organization does in building trust and offering opportunities for the town's kids. They conducted a Career Day, a Community Day and a Speakers Bureau, all well attended with wonderful enthusiasm by hundreds of kids. Well done, Jim Fallon, Bill Saunders, President Dan, and all of the other East Hartford Rotarians who have worked to make this program such a grand success.

Make-ups? Only ones we know of are the Collins's, in PA, IL, RI, and Mexico!

And there you have it for another week, and wasn't it great to be together!

High Gear -- May 11, 2005

            After the cold and wet weekend just past, today’s weather was a true pleasure—the sort of day when you put the top down if you’re driving a convertible.  We were missing our resident pianist today.  Probably Don Hallquist’s duties at the District Conference worked his fingers to the bone.  But Art Bradbury gave us the pitch, we launched into a lusty version of the R*O*T*A*R*Y song, followed by the Pledge of Allegiance to our nation’s flag, and a recitation of the Four Way Test—words to live by.  Bill Flynn added more words to live by, praising the Almighty for the beauty of the Spring day, and asking for blessings on Rotary, our projects and the fellowship and friendship around the tables.

            Lunch consisted of roast loin of pork, au jus, with applesauce, roasted potatoes, green beans and carrots, followed by marble cake and ice cream which had been provided by Spurgeon Stokes in celebration of his eightieth birthday.  Boy, he doesn’t look that old.

            President Dan rang the bell early, citing a very full agenda.  We had a stellar list of guests today:  Stephanie Labanowski, member of our Town council, Mark Scheinberg, President of Goodwin College,. District Governor Dick Seidman of the Hartford Club, Assistant District Governor Dick Borden of the Manchester Club, Ed Firestone, also of the Manchester Club and brother of our standing president, and Hope Firestone, of the West Hartford Club and lovely wife of our president.  Talk about a bunch of credentials!  President Dan called upon the DG and ADG to lead us in the welcome song—Art Bradbury, from his seat, provided us with the pitch and tempo.  We finished with great cheers and applause.

            Sergeant-at-Arms Steve Bates reported contributions to the fund for birthdays:  Herb Tischofer, Steve Bates, Jim Watts, Margaret LaCroix and Spurgeon Stokes.  Herb Tischofer also paid for an anniversary.  Steve was reluctant to fine George Stewart who was wearing a Bates (College, that is)  hat and scarf, provided to George by Bill Flynn, but, if this reporter is not mistaken, George forked over.  Dan Larson paid two dollars because his daughter just graduated from college, and that was all the money he had left.

            President Dan gave a brief account of the District Conference held in Providence last weekend.  The GSE Teams from Argentina and the Philippines gave wonderful reports.  Celeric Stevens, team member sponsored by East Hartford, will be sharing his experiences with us in the future. Roger Nicholson was presented with a Paul Harris second level pin by the District in recognition of his many years as District Chaplain.   

            President Dan read an OpEd article from the New York Times, of today’s date, which article reported on the exceptional work of Rotary in eradicating Polio throughout the world.  When that campaign started, in 1975, there were 1,000 cases of polio a week reported; now we’re down to 1,000 cases per year.  That shows you what $600,000,000 in donations can do to change the world.

            District Governor Dick Seidman took the podium briefly.  He praised Roger Nicholson for his faithfulness in serving the District, noting that Roger will be in Simsbury for six weeks during the summer.  Art Bradbury was thanked for his fine singing.  There were, with the GSE Teams and the exchange students, fourteen countries represented at the Conference.  When our team (Argentina) was assembled, only one member spoke Spanish. Before they flew south, they all knew Spanish, and in Argentina they made all of their presentations in that language.  He touched briefly on the Ambassadorial Scholarship which is being permanently funded by Bob Dunn and his wife.  Dick then asked George Stewart to talk about one of our members, one who is always there to help, works behind the scenes, always makes things happen.  DG Dick then presented Dean Roland with a Commitment to Service Award from Rotary International.  This is a rare and fitting award. After receiving his certificate, Dean passed by and I asked if he were not going to make a speech—he said no, that when he stands up, his mouth closes! Our Club also earned a Presidential Citation. 

             Remember the Sock Hop Saturday evening. Board of Directors will meet Monday evening at Dan Larson’s office.  The raffle was won by Steve Bates.

            Steve Jacoby introduced our speaker, Mark Scheinberg, President of Goodwin College. Mark said that East Hartford is a mature, accepting community, incredibly allowing, letting individuals grow.  There is great power and strength in Goodwin College.  It grew 42% last year, the fastest in the State of Connecticut.  The College had evening programs for those who work.  Its nursing program is the largest in the state.  And all this has been accomplished with no monies from the state, no monies from foundations!  A new campus will be developed along the river front—the College has been renting space from St. Rose and Burnside Methodist Churches.  The first building should be occupied in the Fall of 2007.  The campus will include three deep water docks (remember, it was an oil terminal) which will support river research..  The College has 1,500 students now, and expects 2,500 next year.  And 6,000 when the new building is available for use. Wow!  Mark is a motivated and creative individual, an interesting, enthusiastic, knowledgeable speaker.  We ran late, but truly, it would have been fine to talk with him for another half hour at least. That would mean three more paragraphs as well.  A great program.

            Make ups:  Don Cramer, Fort Myers Beach, Florida; Herb Tischofer, Naples Bay, Florida, twice. 

                                                                                                                        ------ Dan Russell


High Gear -- May 4, 2005

President Dan rang the meeting to order promptly at 12:15. The call to colors and four-way test followed. PD then called upon returning Bill-the reverend-Flynn for the blessing. A lunch of fish, mashed potatoes, and eggplant with stewed tomatoes and spiced cake without frosting followed.

Guests today were former member Fred Campbell and Rochelle Ripley. The welcome song was ably conducted by the duo of Douglas-Bailey and Lacroix.

Sergeant-at –arms Steve Bates collected fins from Neal Cunningham, Margaret Lacroix, George Schoen, and Chuck Clarke for anniversaries, Bob Brown for his birthday and Mary Martin for…laughter, laughter, laughter, then George Schoen was at the mike thanking all who helped with the GSE program. Jack Ghagan asked for volunteers for the Memorial Day parade. Call Jack if you wish to march. Next Mary Martin (no laughter this time) reminded the members about the School Supplies project. Make-ups; Steve Jacoby with the GSE team in South Windsor and Willimantic.

John Shemo gave an up-date on the SOCK HOP to be held on May 14th at the East Hartford Community Cultural Center as follows;

(1)Confirm your table reservation with John, (2) If you are signed up you will pay, (3) Bring payment to SOCK HOP, $35.00 pp, (4) Drive your vintage car, (5) Bring your yearbook/pictures, etc., (6) Dress for the era/ contests for the best dressed, (7) Bring a hor d’oeuvre for your table, (8) BYOB, (9) You may bring a cooler, (10) Ice and cups will be provided, (11) Attendees will clear tables at the end of the night, and (12) Menu: hamburgers, cheeseburgers, hot dogs, chips, pickles, ice cream, coke, 7-up, and coffee.

Jim Fallon won the raffle.

Steve Jacoby introduced our speaker Rochelle Ripley, Lakota Storyteller and teacher of Medicine Wheel wisdom. Rochelle told of the poverty, disease, lack of shelter, and unemployment of the Lakota Peoples on the Cheyenne River Reservation in South Dakota. Through her non-profit agency ‘hawkwing’ she is fulfilling a promise made to her Lakota Grandmother “to go home and help the people”.

Some causes are more worthy than others, this one is most worthy. To help or volunteer call her at 633-8933.

Closing with one verse of “America” the meeting was adjourned.



High Gear -- April 27, 2005

Today was a special day, in spite of the dreary, cool, misty, rainy weather.  The Group Study Exchange Team from Argentina was with us for our weekly meeting, so there seemed to be lots of pre-lunch conversation, and the noise level continued throughout the meal.  Following the ringing of the Bell, the singing of our opening song, the Pledge to our nation’s flag, and the recitation of the Four Way Test, Ted Mosebach offered a fitting invocation, ending with the plea that we might be granted peace in our time.

Krause presented us with a sumptuous buffet: baked ham carved to order, sliced turkey, baked beans, ziti, tuna salad garnished with hard-cooked egg wedges, a tossed salad with a choice of dressings, and finally, yummy cookies for dessert. Most of us had not finished eating when President Dan rang the bell again, ten minutes early by this writer’s watch.  We had much which needed our attention.  Guests today included Barry Callahan from Glastonbury, District Governor Dick Seidman, Rotary wives Debbie Wood, Peggy Schoen and Peg Spiller.  And of course, the GSE Team, Francisco Critto, the team leader, Maria Luduena, Karina Vadamar, Romina Suarez Miskoski, and Julian Lenis. Tom Westbrook led us, with mucho gusto, in the Welcome Song.

Sergeant-at-Arms Carmen Piscatello reported that Jim Fallon had paid very handsomely for his birthday.  Jim was recognized, having raised his hand, and said that he’d whispered in Carmen’s ear that he didn’t want anyone to sing to him but that Carmen replied “no one told him what to do.”  We all sang to Jim.   The Yankee fans paid for the triumph of A-ROD last evening, and there were the usual late arrivals and early departures who also paid.

Announcements for the good of the club:  Sue Klock reminded those who had signed up that the Annual Senior Prom is tomorrow.  The GSE Team will be at Spiller’s Friday evening.  Mary Martin announced that East Hartford’s Social Services Department is beginning its request for “Back to School” backpacks for the kids who are less fortunate than our own.  Bill Saunders is calling the Golf Tournament Committee together for a meeting at 11 o’clock next Wednesday morning, before our regular meeting.   Jim Sheehan has begun his chemo and radiation treatments, and is driving himself to and from the treatment centers.  He’ll call on us when and if needed. Art Bradbury is in the hospital with, as of lunch today, an undiagnosed stomach ailment.  Let us keep all of our friends in our hearts and minds.

The winning raffle ticket was drawn by one of the GSE team members; another member, Maria Luduena, won!  Way to go!

George Schoen introduced the GSE team leader, Francisco Critto.  Francisco thanked us for the invitation to take part in our weekly meeting, and noted that their stay is Connecticut was, as he put it, so far, so good.  Francisco, besides being active in his own Rotary Club, is past president of a non-profit organization which concentrated on special needs of children.  As a reporter, it is important to admit that the heavy Spanish accent takes a bit of getting used to, before the thoughts begin to run in a smooth and orderly fashion.  He brought us greetings from his own District Governor, whom our DG knows personally.  Francisco them introduced his team members, giving us a mini-bio of each.  

The team first treated us to two Argentinean songs, with Julian playing his guitar, all four singing.  We were told beforehand that they are not professional, but they sure sounded great.  The music, accompanied by a lot of foot stomping and hand clapping, was filled with rhythm and verve.  How many of us remember ever having been that young, that good looking, or that talented?

The team had assembled a power point show: Argentina, The Southern Paradise. Beautiful photographs were accompanied by live commentary.  A short geography lesson:  Argentina lies in the southern part of South America.  Its climate varies from tropical to arctic, with rain forests in the north, and glaciers in the south.  The beautiful and varied landscape includes very modern cities and ancient Indian ruins.  In parts of the country the Indian culture still thrives.  Agricultural crops include soy, wheat, sugar cane, maize and, of course, from the vineyards, excellent wine..  Tourist attractions have fascinating names like the “Train to the Clouds” and “Valley of the Moon.”  There is good ski country and wonderful scuba and snorkeling areas.  Buenos Aires, the capital, boasts the widest avenue in the world.  One of the southernmost provinces is Patagonia, a jumping-off point for visiting Antarctica.  Truly is looks like a place worthy of an extended visit.

The meeting ran overtime, but was well worth the extra few minutes.  President Dan presented the group with mementos of East Hartford—pens, book, tee shirts and banners.

Make-ups reported:  Don Cramer, Fort Myers Beach, Florida, twice, and Sanibel-Captiva, Florida; Chuck Clarke and Herb Tischofer, Naples Bay, also part of Florida, each, three times. 

Pat Gately has been proposed as a new member.  She’s been with us a number of times; paperwork is somewhere in process.  It will be good to officially make her a member.

It has been a pleasure and a privilege to have been  your scribe for the month of April.  I look forward to another assignment.  Meanwhile, keep the peace.  

                                                                                    ------Dan Russell


High Gear -- April 20, 2005 

The weather today was more like August than April, but the heat seemed to make everyone upbeat, talkative, and glad to be alive.  Our opening was the usual:  ROTARY Song, Pledge to our nation’s flag, recitation of the Four Way Test, and an invocation, offered by your High Gear editor.  As lunch was being served, John Shemo approached the podium, and after a bit of difficulty getting the group’s attention, announced that he was circulating three sign-up sheets for the Sock Hop:  one for basic attendance, one to be a Rotary Sponsor, and a third, a list of potential sponsors, with the hope that some member would have a fruitful contact at the businesses named.

Lunch was a tossed salad with Italian dressing, ziti with tomato sauce, chicken parmesan, and tapioca pudding.  It was colorful and nourishing.

President Dan rang the bell five minutes early, noting that he had a full agenda.  Guests today included our District Governor Dick Seidman, past member John Horn, back in East Hartford from Florida, proposed new member Pat Gately, Realtor, Bob Dugger from the Glastonbury Club, and Steve Bates, Jr., 10-year old son of our member by the same name.  Our speaker for the day was Leonard Boyle, Connecticut’s Commissioner of Public Safety.  Steve Bates the Elder led us in the Welcome Song.

Sergeant-at-Arms Carmen Piscatello collected fines as follows:  from Spurgeon Stokes for fifty-two years of marriage, Bill Secord for his birthday (we all sang), George Agnelli for thirty years in Rotary, and for having had their pictures in some publication, Carol Krantz and Dan Firestone.

Dick Seidman gave a brief report:  today was his 150th visit to a club!  He informed us that the traditional attendance contest at the District Conference would be on again this year, and that, for the moment, East Hartford was leading by one person.  He also said that at the Saturday night banquet one of East Hartford’s own would receive some special recognition.  Just who is a secret for the time being.  The District will have an informal Hospitality Suite at the International Convention, open most evenings except during the Tuesday night formal banquet.  The Convention is June 18-22 in Chicago, home of the White Sox, Marshall Fields and the Art Institute of Chicago.

Frank Collins told us that as of April 6th; Rotary had shipped 7,000 shelter boxes to house those who lost their homes in the tsunami disaster in Asia.  Since that date, another 2,000 boxes have been shipped.  That equates to shelter for 90,000 homeless people.

We received a “Thank You” from the YMCA for our annual support.  President Dan attended the annual meeting of the School-Business Partnership, at which Rotary was mention numerous times.  George Schoen’s wife is home and doing well.  The GSE Team will be with us next Wednesday.  A laptop with a power point attachment is needed.  All the arrangements for them are in place.  Remember the gathering at Spiller’s next week Friday evening to spend some time with the team members. Bring snacks or desserts. The raffle was won by District Governor Dick Seidman.  His ticket was one digit lower than mine!

Roy Spiller introduced Len Boyle, who has had a long career in law enforcement, both as a police officer (in East Hartford under Chief Drumm) and as an attorney.  He worked in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Connecticut, and served as the Assistant United States Attorney for Connecticut and Counsel to the United States Attorney for Connecticut.  He investigated and prosecuted violations of federal criminal laws, including public corruption, civil rights, corporate fraud, violent crimes and narcotics trafficking—all sorts of bad doings.  He served as a professor at UCONN Law School, and was appointed Commissioner of Public Safety by Governor M. Jodi Rell last August.  Len has a sense of humor.  He began by saying that one should have a good opening, a good closing, and should keep them close together.  Why did he say yes to Governor Rell?  Because he feels that good order is the foundation of all things, and that a good police department is part of that. The department he heads comprises dedicated and talented employees.  Under his aegis are the Forensic Services which has received world wide acclaim under Dr. Henry Lee, the Offices of the State Building Inspector and the State Fire Marshal, and the Police Division, which included 1,400 of the 1,800 employees.  Len talked about social skills and face to face communication which seem to be overshadowed in this age of computerization.  New methods of fingerprinting (electronically) allow matching and identification of individuals with prints on file across the country in a matter of two hours, often less time than that.  We may eventually see such identification needed for credit card use.  Such identification also becomes important in cases of sex offenses,  homeland security and fire arms sales.  He also noted that gang violence is a disturbing trend. He was a riveting speaker. 

Make ups:  Bob Wood, Bridgeton, Maine; Frank and Ceil Collins:  Wilbraham, Massachusetts 30th Anniversary, Charlotte Harbor, Florida, 25th Anniversary, District 6960 College of Governors, Lake Wood Ranch, Florida, Rotary Meeting, and West Springfield, Massachusetts, District Assembly.  And Frank all by himself, in New York City, at UN/Rotary. 

We closed with one verse of God Bless America.  It was good to be together.    --------Dan Russell


High Gear -- April 13, 2005

            The day was, as was last week, very pleasantly springlike; the sun was welcoming even if the breeze was chilly.  At least the forsythia, the magnolias and the daffodils are in bloom.  Some of our snow birds are back—Chuck Clarke and Doug Willett—nice to see them. Don Hallquist was at the keyboard.  Preprandial music included “Over the Rainbow” and “The Hills are Alive with the Sound of Music.”

George Stewart gave the invocation. The recitation of the Four Way Test sounded as though most of us know it by now.  Lunch was a small piece of chicken breast with a tomato/mushroom sauce, rice and green beans; strawberries over ice cream ended the meal.

A sign-up sheet for the Senior Citizens Prom was circulated.  In spite of last week’s confusion, the event will be Thursday, April 28th.  Pasta chefs are needed form 2:30 to 6:00 p.m.  Thirty-two Rotarians, including some spouses, have signed up to work.   The GSE Team from Argentina will be there also.  Lets hope the kitchen is large enough to hold the entire crew.

Announcements:  Bev Saunders, wife of Bill, is in the hospital for cardiac tests. Peggy Schoen, wife of George, is in the hospital for for a nasty viral infection.  Jim Sheehan is facing chemotherapy for a tumor.  Some of us know that chemo can work wonders.  Lets keep both these friends in our thoughts and prayers.

Guests today included Lucille Bailey, Pat Gately, a prospective new member (she’s been through Rotary Information) and Charlotte Bradbury.  Jim Watts led the Welcome Song.  The Sergeant-at-Arms, Carmen Piscatello, thanked those who were late or who planned to leave early, for their contributions.  John McNaughton, and Chuck Clarke and then, later, Doug Willett, paid for having returned from Florida.  Doug protested.  Birthdays:  Larry Churchill and Andy Andreo, who also paid for Roger Nicholson’s birthday, since he and Roger share the exact same day.   Andy asked that all those born after 1928 serenade him—that meant most of us.  Marcia Leclerc paid for her 6th Anniversary.  A few baseball aficionados paid because either the Yankees or the Red Sox had won games.  Carmen reminded us that all these collections go into the Scholarship Fund [unless you make out a check to the Rotary Foundation].

 Scotty Howat is still at Manchester Manor and apparently enjoys visitors.  His son reports that he is doing very well and might return home soon.  Art Bradbury reminded us that yesterday, April 12th, was the 50th anniversary of the okay of the Salk vaccine for polio.  In 1985 Rotary International initiated the Polio Plus Program.  East Hartford raised $85,000 toward immunizing children world wide—the number is now up to some two billion, in 122 countries, who have received the vaccine.  Up-coming events include the Sock Hop on May 14th, and the GSA Party at Spillers on the 29th of this month. District Conference:  May 6-8 in Providence;  International Convention in Chicago, June 18-22.  Habitat for Humanity workers this past week:  Bob Richmond, Dave Amberg, Dan Firestone and Jack Sayre. The Raffle was won by Glen Peterson.

Our speaker today was Charlotte Bradbury, lovely, articulate wife of Arthur.  Charlotte reported on her experiences while on a Mission Trip to Haiti about a year ago.  A group of 22 individuals comprising doctors (one, Art’s brother), dentists, nurses, entertainers, construction technicians and laity almost canceled the trip because of the political unrest, but they persevered.  Severe fighting over Aristide’s regime broke out soon after the group returned to the US.  One of Charlotte’s goals was to try to understand poverty, which in that country is extreme.  It is difficult for us, we who have so much and who have access to so much more, to comprehend the misery and the squalor and the lack of what we consider must-haves.  Charlotte kept us fascinated with little stories of old women, young children, the need for just basic medical supplies and basic housing.  This is a culture totally outside our ken.  Only five percent of the population have electricity. Voodoo exists, is real.  But she felt that if she had helped one person, it was all worth while.  Charlotte received long and enthusiastic applause when she concluded her fascinating talk.

Make-ups:  Bob Brown, Manchester; Walt Kupchunos, Venice, Florida, twice; Roy Spiller, Rockville, three times, and Glastonbury, once.  Way to go.  We closed with one verse of “God Bless America.”   The day was still beautiful, it was great to be able to enjoy it.                      

Corrections and omissions from last week:  Todd Andrews did the invocation, not Dave Amberg.  Apologies to both.  Make-ups from last week:  Jackie Danise, Venice-Nokomis, Florida, twice; Don Cramer, Fort Meyers Beach and Sanabel-Captiva, Florida.

----- Dan Russell


High Gear -- April 6, 2005

The day was very pleasantly springlike; the warmth was welcoming.  President Dan, after he had rung the bell, wondered aloud if the golf courses had opened, since the attendance seemed so sparse—there were barely thirty hardy souls gathered for our opening.  We finally ended with forty-five as members and guests trickled in.  Our Rotary Song was a capella, we saluted our nation’s flag, lurched through a recitation of the Four Way Test, and listened to Todd Andrew’s invocation.

            Lunch menu:  Krause’s famous chicken pot pie, apparently a club favorite, accompanied by coleslaw, followed by chocolate cake. 

            Guests today included Laura Lundgren, a friend of Sue Klock; Pat Gately, a potential new member, guest of Jackie Danise; and Gil Spencer of the Glastonbury Club.  President Dan wondered aloud what his “undertaking” might be.  Tom Westbrook led us in a spirited version of the Welcome Song.

            Carmen Piscatello is the month’s Sergeant-at-Arms.  He advised latecomers to pay up, saying he was not about to chase them, but if they waited until next week, the fine would be doubled.  Jack Ghagan paid for a birthday; we all sang.  John McNaughton also had a reason to be fined, but he ws broke, so that report, and much money will also have to wait until next week.  John Mozzicato paid because the Yankees had  beaten the Red Sox twice.  George Agnelli paid for having had a photo of his business establishment in the Journal Inquirer.  Pat Porteous paid for her fifth anniversary.

                Don Pitkin, retired from Pratt and Whitney, member of our Town Council, was inducted as the newest member of East Hartford Rotary.  His proposal was supposed to have been in last week’s High Gear, but some of the high jinks of the Paul Harris Celebration got in the way.  Don was sponsored by Dan Dienst.  President Dan read the litany of the nomination, which incorporates the high ideals of Rotary International and its members.  Don will celebrate his 84th birthday tomorrow, the 7th of  April.  Don and this reporter have lived on the same street for more than forty years.

            There were many announcements.  John Shemo thanked all those members  who have supported the Sock Hop as Business Sponsors.  Rotary Sponsorships are available for $50.  Remember that besides being a fun evening, this is a fund raising event for our club. President Dan thanked Bill Leone and his committee, and Tom Westbrook and Don Hallquist for making the Paul Harris event so successful and enjoyable.  Volunteers at the EHPD Operation Identification held in conjunction with the Annual Easter Egg Hunt held March 26th included Dave Amberg, Steve Jacoby, Mary Martin, Pat Porteous and Gil Wishart. Sue Klock reminded us that the Senior Citizens’ Prom will be Thursday, April 26th.  Pasta chefs are needed.  The GSE Team from Argentina will also attend.  There will be a gathering at Spiller’s on Friday, the 29th, with the GSE Team.  Bill Saunders reported greetings from Roger Nicholson, who had sent a contribution for our Golf Tournament. We received an acknowledgment with thanks from the YMCA for our $1,000 donation.  Bob Wood had had a phone call from Don Cramer, who was in Delaware, where Don’s 47 year old son was recovering from a heart attach. Don will be returning to Florida.  The District Conference is May 6-8, in Providence.  Registrations are still available.  And remember the International Convention will be in Chicago in June.  Guest Laura Lundgren, who is Director of Fund Development for Interval House, thanked us because we have supported that institution in the past.  It provides shelter and counseling for battered women and their children. Interval House is sponsoring a gala dinner, dance and auction with a South American theme at the Goodwin Hotel on April 30th.  Invitations were available. Mary Martin reminded us that the installation of Carol Krantz as president will take place the last Wednesday in June at Glastonbury Hills Country Club. Mary is preparing the annual Presidential Citation Award application.  We had no program.

            Neal Cunningham won the raffle.  We closed, early, with one verse of America.

                                                                                                ----- Dan Russell

High Gear -- March 30, 2005

As the sun faded on a pleasant Spring evening, we gathered at the Gallery Restaurant. We entered-mostly on time or early- one of the Great Philosophers of Life and Turf whose initials are Bob Brown commented "Open Bar certainly gets the Rotarians here on time." Anyone who was late missed the best hor d'oeuvres in this scribe's 17 years of Rotary. Many were speechless at the quality and volume (because their mouths were full.). The camaraderie of Rotarians and spouses was evident in the cocktail lounge.

President Dan rang the bell at 7:20 much to the consternation of those enjoying the open bar. Many later found that our host, The Gallery, was ever generous with the length of time and kept the bar open. We had a full evening but Bill Leone had it so well organized it moved quickly.

The program started with the national anthem performed professionally by our own Piano Man and our non-Rotarian Guest of Honor, Kate Preston. Larry Frazier giving the invocation followed this. His theme of Rotarians “keepers of the earth” was stirring and a close associate (Doris) was heard to comment "WOW... I was impressed." We all were! We went on to welcome many guests with our East Hartford song led by Tom Westbrook with his usual vigor.

THE…MEAL was simply outrageous (shrimp cocktail with a choice of three wonderful entrees) no more can be said. Gossip was that our golfing crew had ventured out during the warm spring day. They braved the snow in the sand traps and played well (so they said.)

At 8:47 President Dan turned the podium over to Bill Leone who gave us a brief overview of what the Paul Harris Award was all about. In brief, it started in 1917 with a $26.00 donation and has now passed one billion in charitable donations. The Paul Harris Award is the highest honor a club can bestow.

Bill passed the podium on to Frank Collins who handled the rest of the evening with his debonair style. The presentation of the Paul Harris Awards began with Ceil Collins who was called upon to introduce Sue Klock. Ceil recounted Sue’s history of superior academic and social service achievement. Sue received her new multi sapphire pin and silver centennial pin with a wish that Scotty Howat could have joined us this evening.

Bob Wood came forward to introduce the filling of the Klock sandwich. There has been a lot of meat in the accomplishment of David Amberg. Bob covered David’s very successful career at P&WA and his many, many "well done" projects for East Hartford Rotary. David accepted the award with a quote from Micah,"…Only do the right, love goodness, and walk humbly with your God.” A sentiment we should all take to heart. There was no comment on the several digs re his alma mater of storied football tradition, which he took like a gentleman. For all of the above, we allow him this... "Life is longer than one season." (Rockne, Leahy, Parseghian). He was presented with his medal by Chickie Amberg and his pins by Frank Collins.

Art Bradbury eloquently covered Peter Klock's many academic achievements as well as his vast array of travel and hobby accomplishments, but the list of his social service accomplishments was even more impressive. Peter accepted his sapphire pin in his own quiet manner and joined Sue in wishing that Scotty Howat was present.

A fourth Paul Harris was presented by President Dan to the love of his life, Hope Firestone. Everyone appreciated the great joy President Dan evinced in sharing Hope's many business, personal and Rotary achievements with all those present.

The final act of the evening was the presentation of the Vocational Service Award. It was pointed out that this is not an annual award but one that is only given when a person of true accomplishment is recommended to the committee. Kathleen Lynch Preston (President of Travelers Life & Annuity) more than meets that criteria. Rotary was treated to a description of her view of corporate responsibility to the community without depriving the shareholders. It is a difficult juggling act, which she has handled with skill and compassion. Frank Collins presented the award plaque. He took a moment to allow the entire gathering to view the professional quality and elegance of the award being presented. (Ok… that's worth a $5 fine to the supplier of the plaque.)

The collective accomplishments of the 5 recipients are far too many to detail in this format even if the scribe could write that fast. We would like to congratulate all of this evening’s recipients.

One verse of America and we were on our way, all enthusing about the wonderful job Bill Leone and his committee did!!!


Thanks for the memories,    John McNaughton


High Gear -- March 23, 2005

The day was gray and blustery with a potential snowstorm moving in from the west, but the fellowship inside the Ridge was warm with good spirits. The migrating birds of nature are back from the south, but most of our SnowBirds are still in the warmer climes. Our Piano Man was cranking out show tunes to the delight of all. (I was afraid a dance was going to break out)

We came to order at 12:15. All joined for The Pledge, Four-Way Test, and Darlene Roberts gave the Invocation. Our meal was tossed salad, lasagna, followed by Birthday Cake.

Yes, Birthday Cake. It was rolled in mid meal with a rousing rendition of Happy Birthday Carmen. 90 years young..... with panache Carmen Piscatello blew out the candles and was treated to a kiss on the cheek by President Elect Carol. The cake was accompanied by balloons which Carmen loaded into the back seat of his car before he drove home! (after the meeting)

The bell rang at 12:45 with an echo. Celerick Stevens was our only guest. He is looking forward to his adventure in Argentina.

East Hartford Rotary will be concentrating our funding efforts heavily in the educational area this year. Glen Peterson will be overseeing $1000.00 that will be for books for grammar school literacy program.  The Board also has decided to donate $500.00 to Literacy Volunteers — Connecticut River East, a group focused on adult literacy. Again this year, Rotary will be contributing to the School Partnership. The amount will be $12,000.00 this year!!!!

As a point of interest, the first meeting of East Hartford Rotary was called to order in the month of March, 1928 by President Roy Powers. In that same year four of our present members came upon this earth. They were Gerry Brady, Andy Andreo, Bob Popp & Rev. Roger Nicholson – all of whom have helped to make this a better place.

Carmen paid for a solid rendition of Happy Birthday by Moe Belanger. It was delivered with sincerity and respect for a 90th. Tom Galvin paid for 22 years. No Early Leavers and I was watching. (Congrats to Us). George Schoen is looking for drivers on various days while GES is in progress and Roy and Peg Spiller will host a party to say farewell to our visiting GES team. The Region District Conference is May 6th. If you missed this meeting and are going, check in with Pres. Dan. Raffle was drawn by Tom Galvin, with Nick Cecere walking away with a smile. If you have a problem with the password for the new web site contact Sue Klock...she will help you through it.

Make Ups: Don Cramer FL, Herb Tischofer (3) Naples, Chuck Clarke (3) Naples, Steve Jacoby (3) Springfield MA., New Britan CT, and Marbella Spain, Frank and Ceil Collins (2) Nashua (NE Pres. Elect Training Seminar) and District 7260 Centennial Celebration.

Our program was a review of the Fireside chats. Most groups agreed that better PR would be a key to membership and retention. Another idea was an exit interview would be helpful. There were too many good ideas for this format but an excellent conversation followed with great ideas coming forth from Jim Fallon, Sue Klock and Tom Westbrook. Jim volunteered to organize the exit interviews. 

Please note that due to the Paul Harris Award Dinner there will be no meeting next Wednesday. Open bar 6:30 to 7:30 at the Gallery and dinner at 7:30.

God Bless America and the bell at 1:32

John McNaughton



High Gear -- March 16, 2005

Top of the Morning to you. The day was bright and brisk for March but the Piano Man treated us to Irish Sounds.

12:15 – Art Bradbury’s invocation asked for a return to simpler days and peace on earth. The meal was corn beef, cabbage, carrots and potatoes followed by ice cream.

The bell rang at 12:38 PM by President Dan with the following business items.

Our GSE member was our guest. He will be representing EH in Argentina and is looking forward to meeting the members of their team.  Scotty Howat is in room 3015 at Manchester. He can not receive calls but visits ok as long as not during mealtime. Mark Sirois, Police Chief was welcomed into Membership by President Dan and sponsored by George Stewart. He was given the card with the 4-way test and will be ready for a test on next Wednesday. He is a 1976 Graduate of EHHS and currently lives in Hillstown area. His wife is also from EH and has kept him for 23 years.


John Shemo is looking for sign ups for the Sock Hop. We need sponsors from outside the club.  Let’s all get one sponsor.

President Dan proclaimed all members to be Irish tomorrow.

Bill Saunders is having the first golf meeting prior to next Wednesday’s Rotary meeting


Fines – Richard Lemieux celebrating 81 years young

            John McNaughton celebrating the birth of a grand daughter, McKenna May

            Daniel Larson celebrated 8 years elected to Rotary

            Irish paid for St. Patrick’s heritage and Italians paid for eating cornbeef


The team member’s fields of endeavor are Education, Tourism, Agronomy, Journalism and Medicine. Roy Spiller will be entertaining the agronomy counterpart up at Uconn and John Shemo will be shepherding our tourism guest around Hartford. We are looking for volunteers for the other three occupations.


Dan  Dienst introduced our speaker today. Dan Matos, President and Mark Pilotter, VP of Matos Group which is developing Rentschler Field. Dan began to invest in real estate in 1984. At the time, he was a lawyer specializing in Real estate at Day, Berry and Howard. His two prominent clients were GE and UTC. He feels (as do most EH Rotarians) that United Technologies is one of the most outstanding corporate benefactors in their desire to help the local community. UTC had a vision, which matched the state, and local government, which grew into a plan to develop 1000 acres into a world class Research and Technology Park. With the park will be recreational fields and residential units. This will be developed around a lake. The removal of the runways will allow for scenic development. The Matos Group is proud to work with United Technologies on this project. It looks to all of us that they are doing a great job. The first phase is scheduled to be completed by 2007.   


Make up: Don Cramer, Fort Meyers FL


High Gear -- March 9, 2005

The membership was both few and slow to gather on a snow blowing, wind howling cold day. The sun was shinning and hopefully March will leave us like a lamb.

President Dan called us to order promptly at 12:15. The Pledge and the Four Way Test were preformed with our usual vigor and Mo Moshovos gave a stirring blessing. Our meal was served promptly. The fare was Swedish meatballs, rice, squash followed by strawberry shortcake. Good conversations were exchanged. The big question of the day was…What would we do tonight with no Uconn game?

Marcia Leclerc led a spirited Welcome Song for guest Art Aspostoc (Guest of Mo Moshovos) and Joe Marfucci (our speaker). We followed with a Happy Birthday for Neal Cunningham. I must point out that serenading was much improved with the return of the "Piano Man".

GSE still needs one more home for the exchange 4/23 to 4/30.

Alert - Correction: The actual date of this year Paul Harris Award dinner is March 30th. Cocktails at 6:30 PM and dinner at 7:30 PM.

Frank Collins informed us that Rotary has supplied housing for over 50,000 people so far in Indonesia after the tsunami. Scotty may be coming home this week. Herb Barall was taken to the hospital with heart problems. He is at Hartford Hospital and can be called (545-3349)

Dan Russell's announcement of "THE IRISH WASHWOMAN" was missed….SO take note that this is a great way to start the major Holiday Week of the year - St. Patrick Week! (a little green humor). SO plan for Sunday March 13 at 2 PM at the Community Cultural Center. (Free Admission presented by the East Hartford Fine Arts Commission.)

Make Ups: Walter Kupchunos (4 Venice FL), Chuck Clark (2 Naples, FL), Herb Tischofer (3 Venice FL), Bill Saunders (4 Cape Coral North FL), and Frank and Ceil Collins (Anaheim, CA Past Officers Reunion, Boston MA District 7930 Centennial celebration, Keynote Speaker, Cruise Ship Service Club Mtg.). A motion was made by Dan Larson that Walter be fined for submitting the weather report with each Make Up. No one voted against the motion.

The fines were light today with the exception of the Early Leavers, who were far too many. Those Early Leavers missed an extremely interesting presentation for Joe Marfucci. All of it new material since his previous visit several years ago.

Dan Deist introduced Joe as needing no intro. Joe brought us up to date on what was happening with the River Front Recapture. Of interest was the rowing, where our EH Highly diversified (there is only one Larson on it) team won the 8 man Head of the River. There are several events planned, which include a Get Hooked on fishing and Dragon Boat races. The new Boat House will host over 120 events this year. There will be two excursion boats including one with dinning and much more.

May the road rise up to meet you and the wind be ever at your back.
John O'Naughton

High Gear- March 2, 2005

On a gray Wednesday, following a meek Nor`easter, President Dan rang the bell at 12:15. With the “Piano Man” out for the day, Art Bradbury was called upon to lead those gathered in the opening song. Bill Secord gave us the blessing in fine form.

Our meal was served promptly, beef stroganoff, twice-baked potato, carrot and green beans. As our meal progressed, John Shemo treated us to Lets Go to the Hop and an explanation. The Sock Hop planned for 6 PM on the 14th of May is to be a fun fundraiser. Please let friends and families know they are invited. Sponsors are being sought...Pratt & Whitney and Coke are thought to be on board. The raised funds will be going to the new score board at McKenna Park.  Roy Spiller will be contacting Members for their sponsorship. On a sad note, Ray McKenna, long time sports writer for the East Hartford Gazette, passed away early this week.  

The business portion of the meeting was called to order promptly at 12:45.

Committee listings were on the tables for 05/06. If you were not present ask at your next meeting.

Forms for attending our regional and RI in Chicago are available. George Schoen announced the GSE would be 4/23 to 4/30. Four out of 5 host homes were identified...someone (other than Bob W, Steve J, Art B and The Collin’s ) not in attendance needs to check in with George right away!

Our piano man’s absence was noted and our thoughts and prayers go out to Betty Hallquist.

Tom Westbrook led the Welcome song for Kate Carter, our guest and speaker. Roy Spiller serenaded Bill Leone while standing atop a nearby table. Total height must have been 10 feet or better. Happy Anniversary for Bill and we are sorry for the pains caused to Roy’s posterior. The last Fireside chat will be held at Roy’s home Thursday evening. All are invited whether you have been to one this year or not. Next week’s speaker is Joe Marfucci of Riverfront Recapture.

Paul Harris Dinner is scheduled for May 30th at the Gallery in Glastonbury. Event schedule is 6:30 PM cocktails and 7:30 dinner with a cost of $35.00 per person. The Maffe Foundation is looking for Rotary to sponsor a table on April 30th for an “Unveiling Dinner Dance.”

Glen Peterson introduced our speaker, Kate Carter, Principal of Great Path Magnet School. Presently they have 83 students from Hartford, East Hartford, Manchester, Glastonbury etal. Great Path is working hard to allow the students to achieved their highest potential. The students are selected through a lottery system. She was proud to announce that two East Hartford students are college levels Phi Beta Kappa. In addition, several of the Great Path students arrive at college with their freshman year complete. One of the founding fathers of this advanced approach was our own Jim Fallon. We enjoyed a video of young people learning and growing at Great Path Academy.

God Bless America was sung and we were on our way...until next Wednesday at Noon.

John McNaughton



High Gear -- February 23, 2005

By golly, we found winter still hanging on this morning, with a wisp of the white stuff having been delivered overnight. A touch of the world’s wonderfully moving music emanated from Don’s keyboard, and it was with impulsive and excited energy that we became aware that Tom Galvin has returned!!!!!! How great to see you, Tom!!!

After a ‘spur of the moment’ invocation from Brian Hall, we sat to a filling menu of sliced pork-loin, carrots & string beans, potatoes, apples & mashed yams (or squash, or sweet potatoes, or something!) Dessert was a tough fruity Jello, only mildly reminiscent of an early luncheon dish prepared by Charlotte up at Bates College almost 58 years ago!!!

Guests today included old friend Rick Lawrence, a Manchester Rotarian, and Mark Sirois, East Hartford’s Chief of Police. Mark has been proposed for membership and, with the classification of Law Enforcement, will be ready for induction into our club shortly. Welcome Song leadership was provided with verve, spirit, and gusto (sounds like a law firm) by Andy Andreo. (He almost didn’t even wait for Don, such was his enthusiasm.)

Sgt at Arms today was none other than the long and sorely missed Tom Galvin. Tom expressed his appreciation for the cards, letters, thoughts and prayers which came his way from a lot of thoughtful people. And then he went to work! On opining that he’d never heard Tom sound so serious, George Stewart was immediately fined $1.00 in old-time-Tom-fettle. That’ll show him! Adding to the coffers were Todd Andrews and Dick McCarthy for anniversaries, as well as McCarthy, John McNaughton, and Dan Russell for birthdays. All were sung to in the best East Hartford Rotarian style! Also poorer after the meal were Brian Hall, on TV, a promotion and his daughter’s BD; Bob Brown, for confounding the medics with his carotid artery; and the Zircon-salesman George Agnelli & Jack Ghagan for some obvious misdeeds. Yep, it was pretty evident, Tom is back!!!

President Dan Firestone told of lots of happenings:

And the Raffle winner today was Roy Spiller.

Program today, introduced by our own Judge Herb Barall, was the great State of Connecticut’s Lt. Governor, Kevin Sullivan. Thrust into this roll by the resignation of you-know-who after 18 years in the Senate, most recently as Pres. Pro Tem, the Lt. Gov. told of his assignments, interests & activities in which he hopes for change, among them: elimination of pensions for convicted felons, more pay and better health benefits for Nat’l Guardsmen, & local property tax relief. Believing that too much of the tax burden in the state falls on low and medium income families, he bemoaned the elimination of taxes for folks with estates worth over $5 million, because that lost tax revenue would solve many of the state’s inequalities in town education expense problems. He appealed to citizens to hold back on being too critical of state government, rather, to step back and visualize what we want the state to be, to do, and work for positive programs, such as better mental health care and earlier intervention in substance abuse problems. A real privilege to have the Lt. Gov. here…Thanks, Herb!

Maker-uppers: McCarthy (4x’s) Sarasota Sunrise; Willett (3x’s) Cape Coral North; and

Clarke & Tischofer, (3x’s) Naples Bay.

And with a reminder that Rotary was started 100 years ago today, (thanks, Stew) this scribe will say ‘adieu;’ it’s been nice we could be together!




High Gear -- February 16, 2005

Spring Fever” wafted from Maestro Don Hallquist’s piano as East Hartford Rotarians assembled at Sunset Ridge today. A day that started with bright sunshine gradually clouded over and we once again got used to an up & down weather pattern. But where we were was warm and alive with Rotary spirit! Steve Jacoby offered an invocation, and we sat to a meal of chicken marsala, mashed sweet potatoes and rolls, followed by chocolate cake.

Guests were few…Don Pitkin, friend of many East Hartfordites, came with Dan Dienst; D.G Dick Seidman gave a brief report on the Providence Centennial party, and a wonderfully generous gift to the Rotary Foundation by a Rotarian who shall remain, for now, nameless. They and our speaker were serenaded by Stu Harris’s enthusiastic song leadership (as always, with Don, of course). Better watch it, Stu, we’re looking for a permanent leader! Sgt-at- Arms Jack Ghagan told of birthdays for Frank Collins and Charlotte Bradbury (husband Art paid) and the whole club sang with gusto. (Didn’t even know he was there!)

Lots of Pres. Dan Firestone announcements:


Past Pres. Neal Cunningham told  wonderfully descriptive intimate details of his and Rosemary’s recent trip to Washington. Sounds as though they did everything but sleep in the Lincoln bedroom (come to think of it, he didn’t say they didn’t!)


Lucky Raffle winner today was Skip Guillemette, car salesman extraordinaire!


Our Program today, introduced by Frank Collins, featured Lillian Ortiz, Dean of  Institu-tional Development at Manchester Community College. Her talk, with a Power Point presentation, centered on the MCC Foundation and described the many ways in which it has been enhanced, such as Endowment building and increased scholarships. The slides featured views of academia, the arts, culinary arts, a fine wine collection and stressed the many opportunities there are for donors to the school.

Good informative talk. Thanks, Frank.


Maker-uppers included Frank & Ceil Collins at the Hartford Centennial Bell meeting, Plainville, and, just Frank in Evanston; Rotary Ski trippers: Leone, Spiller, Sayre, Amberg, Cramer, & Stewart; and the Russells in Singer Island, FL. Well done!


And next week, boys and girls, come early for your favorite seats to see and hear our Lt. Governor Kevin Sullivan!


And wasn’t it good that we could be together!




High Gear -- February 9, 2005

Seems as though the day’s weather is always a factor in the writing of High Gear doesn’t it? This was a mild one for early February, but if the weatherman is even near accurate, it’ll turn cold again and bring more nasty stuff tonight and tomorrow. The Vermont ski group is up at the Golden Stage Inn, a lovely spot to help while away the hours with good friends. For those who’ve never been, there’re jigsaw puzzles, good food, good grog, and for those who actually ski, well-groomed trails!  And then, of course, our ranks were also thinned by the absence of snowbirds who we’ll see again in the spring, all tanned and healthy looking.

After a welcoming Pledge, Prayer, and Performance of the 4-Way Test with President Dan Firestone, Krause Caterers served up garlic bread and veggi lasagna, along with Boston Creme Pie for a Patriots-pleasing dessert. How ‘bout them guys! Wow, Zounds!!!

With only one guest today, Sister Pat McKeon, Dan Larson not only did the intro but was called on to lead the Welcome Song, which he did with “Danny-Boy” enthusiasm & gusto. When Dan tried to auction off George Agnelli’s 2 tickets to the Lady Husky-B.C. game, however, there were no takers…imagine! Where was Roy Spiller when we needed him?

Sgt-at-Arms Jack Ghagan asked for silence for Sue Klock’s birthday, and Spurge Stokes’s 24th anniversary, and we didn’t get asked to sing for either. For shame! We’re encouraged that Scotty Howat is continuing to feel stronger, cause they’re talking about the possibility of his going to Manchester Manor next week. Keep sending him your prayers.

President Dan presented a few announcements, to wit:

·         Hartford Rotary’s Bell Ringing Party was well attended by EH Rotarians, among them, Dan and his brother, Jim & Ruth Sheehan, Gil Wishart and  Jay Stewart, Steve Jacoby (& Jackie?) Frank & Ceil Collins, and maybe some others (sorry if you were left out; that’s all were mentioned!)

·         The District Conference will be held at the Providence Weston on May 6-8. Applications are available from Pres. Dan or on the Rotary website.

·         Jack Ghagan urged us to participate in the town’s Memorial Day Parade.

·         Stay tuned for John Shemo’s gala kick-off of the “Sock Hop” on Mar.2

·         Ways & Means Committee will meet on the next 2 Wednesdays at 11:30

·         Be sure to check out your assigned attendance at a Fireside Chat!

·         And…though not a presidential announcement, Jim Sheehan won the raffle!

Then, from Larry Frazier, a short pitch for “Sharing Rotary”: Please fill out the Membership Survey found on each table, and return to Larry at the soonest. Conscientious follow-through will result in increasing our membership, one of President Dan’s goals.

Our Speaker today, Sister Pat McKeon, was brought to us by Danny Boy Larson. Sister Pat is a Sister of Mercy and Executive Director of Mercy Housing and Shelter Corporation in Hartford. Based on the premise that homeless people should be moved out of homelessness into Supportive Housing (rather than managing their needs as “homeless people”) Sister Pat’s MHSC has made a strategic commitment which is making a real difference in the Greater Hartford area. She stressed that the problem of homelessness appeared as a long-term phenomenon only in the last 25 years, and has been brought on by such things as federal budget reductions, foster care cutbacks, early prison releases, closure of mental hospitals, and the high cost of housing. Sister Pat’s presentation was a very positive one by an outstanding human being, one who is obviously living her faith in a real service to humanity. Well done, Sister Pat, and you, too, Dan, for bringing her to us!

Next week’s meeting will feature Lillian Ortiz, Dean of Development at MCC.

Recent make-ups included Frank & Ceil at the PETS Leadership Training in Nashua, N. H.; Sue Klock on the Web visiting eClub One, Chuck Clarke and Herb Tischofer in Naples, Fla, and Don Cramer in Fort Myers and Sanibel/Captiva, Fla.

What a great club we belong to! …………. and wasn’t it great we could be together!…..Arthur


High Gear -- February 2, 2005

'twas a beautifully sunny, but still chilly, Groundhog Day and Punxsutawney Phil must certainly have seen his shadow this morning. Isn't it strange how 40 degrees can feel like a warm Spring day after more than 2 weeks in the deep freeze! Virtuoso Don Hallquist was truly the "Life of the Party" (honest, that was the name of the song book he was playing from). Wonderful melodic tunes; they made ya wanna dance and sing!

After a thoughtful blessing offered by George Agnelli, we sat to a repast of old favorite chicken pot pie, followed by a raisin-laden apple crisp. Those at our table thought it tasty. Also on each table were Committee Preference Forms handed out by next year's prexy Carol Krantz (very important that they be returned by Feb.16!) & Fireside Chat schedules. Steve Tamiso stressed the importance of RSVP-ing as well as calling the host if you need a different night. Let's try for 100% attendance at these worthwhile sessions this year.

President Dan Firestone tried hard but couldn't find any guests. Even so, Johnnie Mo was drafted to sing the Welcome Song to us. It's been a long time since we did it in Italian!
And then, wouldn't you know it, Larry Churchill's name came up a winner of the raffle; must be all that clean livin,' to have Rev. Ted Mosebach pull yer ticket!

Sgt-At-Arms George Agnelli told us Darlene Roberts had requested that all of us 68 and older sing to her, 'cause that was twice her age (c'mon, nobody's that young!). My gosh, at least 2/3 of the club stood up! Other celebrations were in order for Andy Andreo, recognized by his alma mater, Bryant College, and Gerry Brady, for an anniversary. Assuring us that he hasn't forgotten how, Roy Spiller auctioned off 2 tickets to Gino's gals' roundball game vs Vivian's lovelies on Thursday. Mary Martin was the lucky winner.

President Dan told of his cavorting with Hope at the Governor's mansion (on behalf of Interval House), and then read a thank you note from the E.H. Social Services Dept for social services rendered by our club (fitting, that!). Our august leader also told of our duty to cast a vote for our zone's nominee as R.I. President who will serve the world of Rotary in 2007-2008. Candidates were a gentleman from Maine and old friend Abe Gordon, from Bridgeport. Since many of the assembled know Abe from his attendance at E.H. functions, the vote was for Abe, unanimously!

And, deserving of special mention, was a request that we mark our calendars on May 14th for the sure-to-be -fun "Sock Hop" at the East Hartford Cultural Center, our springtime bonanza. To be chaired by our own Dick Clark: Johnny Shemo, that fact, alone, should insure its success.

The Program today was produced by that swingin' impresario of Terpsichorean delight, none other than our own Judge Herb Barall. With an act certain to win plaudits at Arthur Murray's or earn disbarment at Superior Court, Herb brought on three (count 'em) 3 ballet (oh, sorry, bellay) dancers. When they moved back the piano and carried out the tables, we knew something special was in the works. And sure enough, the shimmering gold discs shook and shimmied like a bowl of jelly on a frosty morning, the sword never fell off her head, the gauzy aqua veil finally did turn Dick LeMieux's hair a lovely shade of blue, and Don Hallquist was seen running for cover, lest his other ear fall victim to the power of the sword! Great fun, Herb, but how're you going to top that???

With one verse of America, the show was closed down for another week, and wasn't it nice we could be together?!!!!


High Gear -- January 26, 2005

I said last week that it looked as if Winter was winning the Battle!  This week confirms that observation - only 27 brave Rotarians managed to find the Ridge through an occasional wind driven snowflake!!  President Dan got the attention of those in attendance at promptly 12:15 and led us in the Pledge and the Four Way Test.  The Rev. Ted Mosebach gave the Invocation and asked that we all be enabled to do what we can to make Peace and to teach us to be be grateful and to share!  We were treated to a generous meal of salad, chicken cacciatore, and chocolate ice cream with chocolate sauce.  We were even offered seconds.

Following the lunch we were brought back to order.  There were no guests, no Welcome Song, and only a few announcements.

1. The District is looking for host families for GSE participants from either Argentina or the Philippines while they are in East Hartford some time in April.  Details will follow.

2.  The Empire State Building will be lit up in blue and gold on February 23 to celebrate the 100th year of Rotary.

3.  The Board voted to give $225 to the East Hartford Little League Rotary team. $1,000 to the East Hartford YMCA's annual fund drive, and $1,000 to Rotary's Tsunami Relief Fund.  This will also credit our club with one Paul Harris Fellowship.  The Board is also discussing the possibility of making a donation to the YMCA Capital Fund Drive.

4. President Dan is looking for someone to attend the Hartford Club's Centennial Celebration with him. Free Ticket!  Call him if you are interested.

5.  Dan read a thank you note from Chris Bessler, thanking us for helping him with his Eagle Scout Project.

John Mozzicato gave the Sgt. At Arms report.  Anniversaries for Roy Spiller (28 Years) and Larry Hangland (5 years). John also fined himself for having another birthday, and Bob Wood Paid for a new Granddaughter and a new car.  The Raffle was won by Gil Wishart. The following Make Ups have been received: Frank Collins (2) UN Breakfast NYC Rotary, and various UN Meetings; Herb Tischofer (2) Naples, Fla., and Steve Jacoby in South Windsor.  Keep the Make Ups coming!

Prior to the Announcements we reconvened our Annual meeting which was held on December 16th to finish the scheduled reports which were cut short for our annual school holiday concert.  Bill Leone gave a complete accounting of our scholarship accounts -the Regular and the Brewer Account.  Dan Firestone gave our Club's Treasurer's report.  The Club's financial status will be contained in the Secretary's report of the Annual Meeting.  Dan  mentioned that the Board is also working on updating the Club's Constitution and that it will be presented at a later date.

We adjourned after singing one verse of "God Bless America".

Bye for now, RBW


High Gear -- January 19, 2005

A cold day with the promise of some snow this afternoon makes one feel that winter is again winning the battle.  Upon entering the Ridge one noticed an array of Rolling Rock beer bottles set out at each table and a wanted poster "Who's your Danny?" printed with the words to "Oh Danny Boy"!  It seems as if the "Presiding President" Dan Larson was starting a wonderful precedent for those who are filling for the absent President.  Nice touch, Dan! Hope others will keep this tradition alive.  Dan was a little slow at the bell but got us started in the usual manner.  A thoughtful invocation was given by Sue Klock, who expressed our collective gratefulness and quoted a Muslim prayer for peace-"most gracious are those who walk on Earth in humility, and when we address them, we say "PEACE." -This is our great hope.

The luncheon was Swedish meatballs, noodles, and Turnip(!)  followed by a pistachio pudding tart. A strange combination, but OK.

Following the meal Dan had some difficulty gaining the respect of Glen Peterson who balked at introducing Pat Gately.  Dan evened the score by having Glen lead the Welcome Song with help from Don Hallquist. Sgt. at Arms John Mozzicato came up with birthdays for Tom Westbrook and Steve Tamiso, and a 35th Rotary anniversary for Tom Westbrook.  Dan Russell paid for his 2nd wedding anniversary to Betty - congratulations.  The Raffle was won by our Sgt. at Arms - John Mozzicato.  The report was followed by a rousing rendition of "Oh Danny Boy" with the ladies singing the first verse and the lads singing the second.  Quite Well Done!!!!!

The following were the announcements:

1.  Dean reported that Scotty is improving but still in intensive care.  Cards sent to his home would be appreciated.

2.  Marcia plugged a Fundraiser at the Cultural Center on Feb. 5th to benefit the Senior Centers in town.  Tickets are $15. The Show is "Love Letters", a WWII era reading.  Information 291-7204.

3.  John Shemo  spoke of the May Sock Hop and Raffle. Dates would be May 14 or 21.  Let him know if you have a preference.  He is also thinking about a raffle for a 2005 Retro Mustang convertible.

4.  Carmen announced that he saw Tom Galvin and that he is looking great and expects to rejoin us soon.  Hang in there, Tom.  We look forward to your return.

5.  Next week will be a Club Assembly to continue our Annual meeting which was cut short by the Holiday Singers.

Dan (in Song) and Herb Barall introduced our speaker, Melody Curry, our 10th Assembly District Representative.  Melody has been a major player in the Legislature and was recently recognized by the New England Board of Higher Education with an Excellence Award for Outstanding Individual Achievement for supporting schools and academic programs in Connecticut. Melody talked about the important issues facing the state.  The death penalty issue will be a major debate.  The Budget deficit and the construction of the next budget loom as quite difficult issues, and a lot of tough decisions will have to be made.  It is very hard to project revenue sources and the budget is at best a crap shoot.  Melody feels that the State must get its financial house in order and that this is not the year for new and expensive programs.  The Healthcare issue is one that must be addressed and again, this is a difficult choice question.  Ethics issues are high on the agenda and some changes are sure to be made.  Melody talked frankly, and then opened the floor for questions.  It was a great program.


We ended with one verse of "God Bless America".

See you next Week - RBW


High Gear January 12, 2005

Winter seems to be winning this week - cold, damp, and miserable! The Ridge was warm and filled with tunes by Don Hallquist at the trusty piano.  A lot of activity in the side room as several Rotarians were collating the updated Roster Books.  Make sure you pick one up!  A great big thank-you goes to Larry Hangland who printed them and to Roy Spiller for following this project through to its conclusion.  Pres. Dan was back at the podium in time to bring us together at 12:15.  Mary Martin gave the invocation and asked us to care about those less fortunate than we!  The luncheon was a stuffed chicken breast, mixed vegetables, rice, and bread pudding.

Following the meal, guests were introduced and Steve Bates led the Welcome Song a cappella - couldn't wait for Don! Sgt. at Arms John Mozzicato listed several anniversaries - Moe Belanger 36, Peter Klock 15, Dan Firestone 29, and Don Hallquist 40. Jack Sayre had a birthday and requested a moment of silence, and Bob Richmond paid for a new granddaughter. The Raffle was won by Dan Firestone.

The following announcements  are for your information:

      1.  Board Meeting Monday the 17th at Dan Larson's office.  All are invited to attend.

      2.  Saratoga trip scheduled for Sunday, August 7th.  Call Carol Krantz if interested.

      3.  Meeting of the Vocational Service Committee next Wednesday (1/19), 11 A.M. at the Ridge.

      4.  People are needed to host and co-host Fireside Chats.  If able and interested call Steve Tamiso @568-6310.

      5.  Hartford Rotary Centennial Celebration is on Feb 5th at the Bond Ball Room.  Cal Pres. Dan if interested.

The Speakers for today, Bob and Nancy Fitzgerald, were introduced by Jackie Danise.  They talked about programs that were very necessary in helping today's youth in so many different ways.  Nancy spoke about "Arts for All", a program in the Circle of Life group which has been organized by the Barall's.  The Arts program is run after school, during vacations, and the summer break. This program helps fill the time  for so many young people and teaches them many skills and lifetime values such as Sharing, Respect, and Responsibility.  It is also fun!!! The Arts program is in need of funds, volunteers, and various supplies. Can you help?  Bob talked about Cribbage for kids.  He and others presently teach young people to play cribbage through this program.  He is presently teaching cribbage to 6th graders at the Academy School. This game helps with math skills, Social Skills, logic, and provides a healthy alternative to TV and Video games.  It too, is a fun game and provides a great intergenerational opportunity to communicate.  These two individuals truly give of themselves and are a great example of the Rotary Motto "Service Above Self". Keep up the good work.


See you next week - Bob Wood

High Gear - January 5, 2005

Welcome to a new Rotary Year!  Winter was trying to make a comeback after several Springlike days - too early to tell if, indeed, it would succeed. Although it was cold and damp outside, it was warm with fellowship inside the Ridge.  As 12:15 approached one could not find President Dan anywhere, but a close look behind the podium revealed that President Elect Carol was hiding there and just ready to ring the meeting to order, and it should be noted here - without the Rotary Medallion, the proper symbol of power and respect! She called upon past Pres. Neal to give the invocation.  He asked that we all give "Service above self" in all that we do, to serve those less fortunate that ourselves, and to have a happy and healthy new year!  A tasty meal of an open faced roast beef sandwich, carrots, and mashed potatoes followed by double chocolate cake was quickly served.

Following the meal Carol called for introductions and Riasa Filkoff, Rockville, and Pat Gately, an East Hartford Realtor were introduced and then serenaded  by the club with the music by Don Hallquist and led by Tom Westbrook. Sgt. at Arms John Mozzicato gave a lengthy report featuring 41 years of Rotary
for George Stewart, 44 years of marriage for Bob and Debby Wood, birthdays for Nick Cecere and Jim Shay, Photos for Dave Amberg, Peter and Sue Klock, and several Red Sox Happy dollars.  Some people also had trouble with today's date, anyone you know, John? Roy Spiller also had some trouble explaining his reasons for not growing his beard! You had to be there!!! The Raffle was won by Mary Martin.

The Speaker, Len Boyle, was unable to attend because of pressing duties at the State Capitol. So Acting Pres. Carol called upon others to carry the day.  Glen Peterson read a letter from Heifer Project thanking us for our donation and support of the Magnet School Heifer Project. Glen is also looking for volunteers to read to students on Literacy Day, March 2nd.  Contact him if you can give an hours time. Next Frank Collins talked about Rotary's part in helping out in the disaster relief in South Asia.  He gave several options for individual or club support.  Listed here are some of the ones recommended by Rotary International.  The Rotary Foundation is setting up an opportunity to give through the ROTARY FOUNDATION/SOLIDARITY IN SOUTH ASIA. Checks may be mailed to The Rotary Foundation, P.O. Box 75133, Chicago, IL 60675-5133. Another opportunity is through Hunger Plus, Inc. , P.O. Box 337, Plainview, TX 79072.   Finally, Shelter Box USA, an organization that provides, shelter, cooking equipment, and supplies for up to 10 people for 6 months.  Website: www.shelterboxusa.org .  A donation of $ 900 sends a complete box, but any donation will be packaged with others to complete the package.  Mailing address Shelter Box USA, 8374 Market St. #203, Lakewood Ranch, FL 34202. Its a worthy Cause!!!

Make ups were given to all those who rang the Bell, and to those who served the at the Holiday Fest - Steve Jacoby, Herb Barall, Staci Brazalovich, and Stu Harris. Thanks for your help. 

See you next week  -  Bob Wood



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