High Gear -- December 27, 2006 

Wine + EH Rotarians = lots of noise.

Snow flurries surprised all that paid attention.

Hardly anyone paid attention to the inspirational song that Pres Dan played, “The Gift”. I’d say, play it again Sam.

Kathy McCabe took high honors today for the fur of unknown origin that graced her shoulders.

George Schoen asked for peace throughout the world today in his prayer.

If you like pot roast, potatoes and butternut squash, then you would have enjoyed today’s bill of fare.

Guests today included Michael Kowalczyzk, son-in-law of Mo Moshovos, John O’Connor, the not so handsome Fred Campbell, Scott and Roger Sayre, sons of Jack and Charlotte Bradbury. Pres Dan saluted our good friend Jerry who has maintained the Ridge in good order and has been employed for 49 years.

Irish tenors Carmen “The Hit Man” Piscatello and ”Dixie” Dean Roland welcomed one and all.

Our diligent and quick witted Sergeant-at-arms, Tim Larson nailed Larry Frazier and Don Pitkin for photos. There were many Rotary anniversaries and one anonymous birthday. Bill Saunders coughed up a lot of dough for his 45th wedding anniversary.

Jack Sayre announced nominations are open for the 2007 Vocational Service Award. He claims there is no form associated with the award. He stands corrected.

Roy Spiller is reported still taking chemo but doing well. Moe Belanger is due home today.

Pres Dan read a note of thanks from Jerry Cohen for the $1000 to support Talking Books.

Roger Nicholson sent a letter congratulating the club on making a donation to his favorite charity, Heifer project. He also sent a check for $300 to support the scholarship fund.

Bill Saunders has received only half of the committee preference sheets. Get ’em in!

Three proposed members are being referred to Rotary Info. They include Sheryl O’Connor, John Kelleher, and Guy LaBella. If you have any comments to make regarding their membership, please forward them to the membership committee.

Dave Amberg announced an upcoming ski trip to Proctorville VT on Feb 6-8.

Pres Dan initiated Chinese lessons with some simple English to Chinese translations.

Pres Dan could hardly wait to get to the raffle won by Jim Fallon.

The annual meeting was called to order at 1:05 pm.

Bill Leone led us through a torturous by-law amendment.

Pres Dan discussed our progress toward District goals.

Our great Presidential orator reviewed the last 6 months and reviewed the next six. Hats off to a terrific first six.

We said goodbye to the past year and welcomed in the new year at 1:30pm.

Happy New Year and may God bless.

Johnny Dangerously


High Gear -- December 20, 2006

High Gear

December 20, 2006


The halls were decked and so were our fellow Rotarians with fashionable attire. Great to see Sir Scott (Scotty Howat) who was sporting the “money” tie. Andy Andreo gets top prize for his carefully selected holiday necktie and suspenders. Lots of colorful red sweaters to add to the festive atmosphere. Paul Krantz was lost without his new Ferragamo shoes. Too bad his better half didn’t bother to do a sweep under the bed before departing their hotel room in Aruba. I can tell you (Paul) what you will not be getting for Christmas this year. 

Dorothy Larson did a masterful job in providing a very thoughtful prayer to preface our meal.

Pres Dan provided each table with some holiday brain teasers to add to the already free flowing chatter. The Rotary four way test may have been violated as Nick Cecere was implicated with cheating.  

Special guests included Lucille Bailey, Fred and Jeanette Campbell and Don and June Cramer.

The tried and true trio of  Hallquist, Westbrook and Bradbury welcomed everyone with great showmanship.

A photo was unveiled capturing our President in one of his rare moments impersonating Porky the Pig. Quote of the day: “I may be a swine but Danny’s lips are mine”.

Dan was presented with a well deserved gift, a donation of a pig to the Heifer Project.

In the spirit of the holidays, amnesty was granted by the Sgt-at-arms.

Last week’s bell-ringing brought in $686. Sir Scott will take his turn at the bell this Saturday.

Paul Harris winners this year -- non-Rotarian, Reggie Barall with dancing partner, Rotarian, Herb Barall.
(Not shown, Rotarian, Dan Firestone.)

Paul Harris award winners were announced. Congratulations to Dan Firestone and Herb and Reggie Barall.

Thanks to Kathy McCabe for the wonderful centerpieces and Ruth Sheehan for ensuring no cranky elves would sneak past the front door.

Willet, Larson and Galvin were decorated as Christmas trees in front of a live audience. Winner: Doug Willett with a ball lodged in his mouth Second place: Larson with a collection of ornamental balls hanging from the front of his pants. An explanation for the choice of winners was provided at the scribe’s table which did not warrant inclusion in High Gear.   

The DJ started off with a Garth Brooks favorite, “Friends in Low Places” Classiest dance act: Leo Christmas, hands down.

See you next week for wine and cheese.


Best wishes for a happy and safe holiday.


Johnny Dangerously


High Gear -- December 13, 2006

Don Hallquist greeted Rotarians with several holiday tunes including Winter Wonderland, Jingle Bells and a snappy version of White Christmas. Lots of gifts adorned the vestibule today. Male attire today was generally drab with Apostol, Brown, and Shemo sticking with the camel hair. Some notable Christmas ties were worn by Hallquist and Shemo. H Barrall sported a notable floral arrangement necktie. Best sweaters worn by Danise and C Collins.

Mary Magdelene Martin looking fit and trim provided today’s prayer. 

Guests: Joan Brow, Esther Clarke, DGE Dick Borden, Dave Flanagan, and Emil Kopcha. Marcia LeClerc will write “Borden” on the blackboard 100 times.

A fleet-footed Jack Sayre beat Spurge Stokes for first place in the buffet line.

Covering both ends of the age spectrum, Lori Göckler and Esther Clarke led the Welcome Song before another full house.

Our shaky hands president carefully pinned Lori Göckler with her permanent name badge.

A feisty Sgt-at arms Tim Larson noted fines for the President’s 40 ++ birthday and Don Pitkin for a Susan “I left my heart on Roberts St” Kniep remark.

Steve Jacoby announced the availability of EH Rotary apparel.

Keep the cards a-coming to Moe “the Grinch” Belanger.

Our club is in the mix to host the Italian Group Study Exchange team coming in April-May 2007. Get ready to man the pasta stations.

Jack Sayre reported the first two weeks of bell ringing netted $575 and $638 respectively. Andy Andreo was acknowledged for a very generous donation to the Salvation Army.

Bob Richmond announced a count of 103 for the holiday party Wednesday at Mt Carmel Hall, Roberts St. Cocktails at 6:00 and Dinner at 7:00.

President Dan acknowledged our wait staff Helen and Sue for their good work throughout the year. Dan is successfully working his way up from kissing livestock.

As of Wednesday, the Klocks had some extra boxes of fruit available.

Pres-elect Bill Saunders asked for Rotarians to return their committee preference sheets by the end of the month. Don’t make him call you.

Board meeting Monday at the Collins’ at 7:00.

A very complimentary District Governor Elect Dick Borden presented the club with a $1000 check from the District Foundation for the recently erected scoreboard at McKenna Field.

Andrew Matos was welcomed as a new member. Andrew represents the youngest member ever to join the club at age 25. This reduces the club’s median age from 67.6 to 67.5.

Dementia Dan nearly forgot today’s raffle won by upstart brother Tim.

A huge contingent from EHHS including a slice of their orchestra and their “New Edition” graced the halls with holiday melodies from Angels We Have Heard on High to Billy Joe’s Lullabye. Pres Dan’s niece, Joan Brow’s granddaughter and several others with family ties were represented.

God blessed America at 1:35.

Johnny Dangerously


High Gear -- December 6, 2006

Even all the hot air emitted by EH Rotarians didn’t warm up the arctic air temperatures at the clubhouse today. 

Dress report: Lots of well worn turtlenecks, sweaters, sports jackets and Christmas ties. George Agnelli wins the prize today for the best tie. Camel hair jackets have replaced blue blazers as the club’s dress code for men for the ensuing cold weather months. The mystery of the decline of the mid-east camel population has now been solved. Let’s try to be more courageous next week guys. My money is on fashion hound Dan Russell to lead the way. 

Prayer: delivered by the very right reverend Art Bradbury.

President-elect Bill Saunders attempted to show up recent past presidents by distributing

committee sign up sheets for the 2007-8 Rotary year  far in advance. The ever efficient computer guru Sue Klock distributed club rosters. Dues invoices were distributed as well.

Previewing next week’s lunch, Miss Daisy, a handsome black pig was escorted into the room in a baby stroller to court President Dan. Dan looking for follow up foreplay (from last week) with Miss Daisy sensuously stroked Miss Daisy and sang a heart warming ballad. In spite of formidable resistance by the swine, Dan finally managed to slip her the tongue to the delight of the audience. A true Kodak moment if not the makings of a future Boar’s Head commercial.

Luncheon fare:  hockey pucks to start followed by gas evoking Thanksgiving day leftovers. How do you spell relief? R O L A I D S.

Today’s guests: included several prospective members, Cheryl O’Connor, Andy Matos, Guy LaBella, and John Kelleher.

Welcome Song: was led by the fashionable Larry Churchill

Sgt–at–Arms Report: Dan “Marathon Man” Larson’s report singled out Andy Matos paying to not be blackballed, Stu Harris for being an angel, Dick McCarthy for a clear conscience. (This is getting boring) Dan Russell and Tom Galvin paid for Dan Larson’s heavy petting with local swine, Art Bradbury for correcting the pronunciation of George “Schoen”

Holiday Fest:  Kudos to the Ambergs, Schoens, L Göckler, Dorothy Larson, and S Jacoby and host Baralls.

Salvation Army bell ringing: Sayre thanks last week’s ringers ($570 collected) and was looking for someone to fill next Saturday’s 3:00 time slot.

Fruit sale: It’s here. Contact the Klock’s for pick up. Midnight pick ups – unacceptable.

Toys for tots: McCabe wants donations next Wednesday. Ages 1-12.  

Dec 27 meeting: wine and cheese, guests welcome.

Car raffle: Galvin would like ideas on the best ways to sell tickets for the Toyota Prius.

Holiday Party Dec. 20, 6:00 cocktails, 7:00 dinner: 92 signed up, Checks next week please, $35 pp, open bar, DJ. Contact Richmond or McCabe

Nominating committee report: delivered by a dark skinned  Carol Krantz.  Officers for 2007-8:

President, Bill Saunders; Pres-elect, Sue Klock; Sec’y, George Schoen; Treas, Bill Secord; Dir, Glen Peterson; Dir, Ceil Collins; Dir, Jim Fallon.

Raffle:  Won by a sleepy Republican, Don Pitkin

Make-ups: no clue

Today’s Speaker:  Bob Galvin (brother of Tom), CT Commissioner of Health. Oversees 890 employees and a $77M budget. Spoke of pandemic flu, flu shots and health insurance.

Notice of annual meeting: Notice is hereby given that the annual meeting of the Rotary Club of East Hartford will be held on December 27, 2006 at 12:15 pm at the Veteran’s Memorial Clubhouse, Sunset Ridge Drive, East Hartford, CT for the purpose of electing officers for the 2007-2008 Rotary year, for the purpose of adopting a new club constitution and amended by-laws and for any other purpose that may legally come before the meeting.

At approximately 1:30pm. God blessed America.

Please be on guard next week. I will be singling out all misfits.

Back by popular demand,  Johnny Dangerously


High Gear -- November 29, 2006

        A medley of Christmas music was Don Hallquist’s forte today.  His music is always noteworthy.  John Shemo offered a fitting invocation.  President Dan, in mufti, that is, without his pig’s tail and ears, had a difficult time getting our attention so that he could announce that the jugs of brew on the tables were compliments of Olde Burnside Brewing Company.  Cold Ten Penny Ale is dark, bitter, delicious.

            Lunch was a green salad, ziti with mushroomed tomato sauce, a zesty sausage, all followed by dishes of tapioca pudding.  Guests today included our speaker, Bob McClellan of Ten Penny Beer, Gerry Cohen from Talking Books, Sheryl O’Connor, guest of Tim Larson, Cate Evans (a former GSE Team member) from the South Windsor Club, and Andrew Matos, guest of Tim Larson.  Andrew went through “Rotary Information” before the meeting and has been proposed as a new member.

            President Dan called Donna Bys, Phyllis Demers, Tim Larson and Brian Liss to the podium, and presented them with their permanent name badges.  He then instructed them to lead us in the Welcome Song, which they did with gusto. 

            Sergeant-at-Arms Mike Malinguaggio, standing in for Tom Galvin, reported no anniversaries, no birthdays, practically nothing to laugh at at all.  There was some confusion about where the fine monies go—to scholarship, is case you did not remember.  President Dan clarified.

            Gerry Cohen, from Talking Books, was presented with a check for $1,000 for the recording program.  She said that she was deeply grateful.

            Reports on our members include that fact the Moe Belanger is still grouchy, which perhaps is a good sign. Jack Sayre said that Roy Spiller is still feeling the effects of chemotherapy.  Jack is collecting bell ringers for the Salvation Army.  He reported that even Scotty Howat wants to participate.  Former member Rocky Alexander died recently.  Steve Jacoby reminded us that Holiday Fest is this weekend, and that Herb and Reggie Barall will be showcased on Saturday evening.  Our Holiday Party is Wednesday, December 20th.  Call Bob Richmond or Kathy McCabe for menu selections.  We are urged to have our gifts for kids under the aegis of the Department of Social Services available by the 13th.  Suggestions, for kids from 1 to 12 years, include:  car model kits and jewelry making kits for older children, Red Sox clothing (sweatshirts, caps, tee shirts) sports games, telescopes, microscopes, hand held electronic games, CD players, arts and crafts sets, drawing kits, blow dryers, curling irons, clock radios. Also:  gift cards from Bob’s Stores, Dick’s Sporting Goods, and Wal-Mart.  Be sure to include batteries for toys that require them.  Marcia Leclerc is selling a cookbook to benefit seniors.  The Membership Committee will meet next Wednesday at 11:45 a.m.  And remember that the Kiss a Pig Event is this Friday.  President Dan wound up the announcements with his weekly joke.  The raffle was won by Tim Larson.

            Don Pitkin introduced Bob McClellan, our speaker.  Bob owns and runs what used to be Burnside Ice, but which is now known, at least in part, as Olde Burnside Brewing Company, located on Tolland Street.  Bob and his family got into the brewing business when they discovered that the well water they used for cooling part of the ice making operation was exceptional—it does not come from the Hockanum River—for its purity.  Taste his beer and you’ll know that the water has to be good.  Their products are Scottish style brews, made in equipment which came from Wyoming.  It took them six months to assemble the four truck loads of parts and get the operation up and running.  Using malt imported from England, they produce four seasonal brews, and well as a number of standbys.  They are stocked at M&R Package Stores, among other retail outlets.  The beers—ales, actually—are not filtered, not pasteurized, they are clear and clean.  Olde Burnside initiated the summertime “Pipes in the Valley” a music and beer celebration, held on the banks of the Connecticut.   Bob and his business is one of East Hartford’s treasures.

            It’s time for me to pass the pen and pad to next month’s reporter.  Thanks for reading my words.  Dan Russell


High Gear -- November 22, 2006

A variety of cheeses, mini cold cuts, olives, and crackers, all to accompany generous glasses of wine, made the reception time before today’s meeting enjoyable. Conversation flowed. We finally made our way into the dining room, and sang, pledged our flag, and listened to the appropriate words of Gil Wishart who offered the invocation. The lunch menu included chicken breasts Marsala, risotto, green peas with tiny onions, and carrot cake.
President Dan, wearing a pig’s snout, ears, and tail, in honor of the upcoming Kiss a Pig for Scholarship, had a difficult time bringing the bunch of us to order. That’s what happens following a glass of wine. One member was heard to comment that is was difficult to recognize our president in his porcine disguise. Somewhat later in the meeting it was brought out that he was not wearing his medallion; no wonder he had difficulty leading us. Introduction of guests: Mike Lynch, Jr. of Lynch Motors, and Skip Guillemette’s boss; Frank Goeckler, husband of Lori; Gil and Rhoda Spencer of Glastonbury (he was selling Harley Davidson raffle tickets); Cheryl O’Connor, guest of Tim Larson; Dan Frye, of CNG, guest of George Agnelli; Priscilla Marrah of San Antonia, Texas, guest of Steve Jacoby; Linda Chamberlain and Cephus Nolen (and later, Mayor Melody Currey) of East Hartford Youth Services. Tim Larson led the Welcome Song which we started just as he escorted the Mayor into the room.
Dick McCarthy, acting Sergeant-at-Arms, reported one anniversary: Bob Richmond, eighteen years, and numerous donations for President Dan’s good looks.
There were numerous announcements. President Dan thanked Kathy McCabe, Dean Roland and Bob Richmond for putting together the pre-prandial reception. Moe Belanger is recuperating at Jefferson House, and apparently has gotten over some of his initial miserable-ness. Is that what it takes? The Chamber of Commerce and Goodwin College are sponsoring the Kiss a Pig fund raiser. President Dan remarked that he has a reputation to uphold, so let’s put lots of dollars (each one counts as a vote) in the big jug. Stuff it full. Last Saturday, fifty East Hartford needy kids got new coats at Burlington Coat Factory. This is a program initiated by the Kiwanis Club, which has disbanded. But the need goes on. They had some monies left in their treasury, so that helped underwrite the warm purchases on Saturday, and reduced our contribution. At the recent Board meeting, Art Bradbury spoke about talking books—Art has been recording for twenty years, is on his twenty-seventh book. The board voted to donate $1000 to the program, which is going into a new, updated, state of the art space at Raymond Library. The Board also voted to buy two Shelter Boxes. Our Annual Meeting will be December 27th which date also includes a wine and cheese reception. Bill Saunders, having spoken to Jacquie Danise, thanked the Club, on their behalf, for being such a wonderful, caring and sharing club. Our speaker next week will be from Burnside Ice, location of our own East Hartford brewery. The Friends of Raymond Library need a delegate—anyone interested? Our Annual Christmas giving for East Hartford kids, ages 1-12, normally coincides with our Christmas gathering, this year on the 20th, which is the day Social Services will be doing its distribution. So our gifts are due on the 13th of December. More about what is appropriate next week. Jack Sayre, standing in for Roy Spiller, made the plea for sign-ups to ring the bell for Salvation Army. This is our 18th year of ringing. We’ve raised $42,000 in that time. It’s fun, especially to see who gives and who doesn’t. There were a couple of funny stories connected with bell ringing. One was about the lady who asked Tom Galvin, years ago, bundled up against the cold: “Where do you folks sleep at night?” Roy has had another chemo treatment, a truly tough one. Been there, done that, for many of us. Holiday Fest will be December 1-4; we’re involved with the dance on the 2nd. Call Steve Jacoby if you want details. President Dan read a “recipe” for roasting a turkey, as his joke of the day. The raffle was won by Andy Andreo.
President Dan called Mayor Melody Currey, Linda Chamberlain and Cephus Nolen to the podium, and presented them with a gift of $15,000 for the East Hartford Youth Services Rope Program. Few of us realize how positive an effect that program can have on sixth graders, teaching them confidence, reliability, enthusiasm and passion. Those lessons can last a lifetime. Linda shared some touching aspects of the kid’s reactions and observations.
Our speaker today was one of our own, the Right Reverend Doctor Ted Mosebach. Ted began by quoting Yogi Berra, who said that if you don’t know where you are going, chances are you’ll end up someplace else. He pointed out that the Bible says the primary source and the secondary source of the good in our lives is God. We didn’t get to where we are just by ourselves. Remember that, and give thanks. He read a long quote from the Book of Moses, who credited God with helping with the escape from slavery in Egypt. Then, quoting a much more recent work Scott Peck’s “The Road Less Traveled,” which begins: Life is difficult. But somehow, especially for Ted, it worked out. Did it for you? Do you know how you did it? Be intelligent as a fox, gentle as a dove. Ted gave us a powerful, personal message. Thanks to Ted, and to all of our members, the Family of Rotary.

Nice to be with you. Dan Russell

High Gear -- November 15, 2006

               Our gathering today seemed noisy, with almost no preprandial music, lots of talk and chatter, chatter and talk.  President Dan’s ring of the bell brought us to order, we sang, pledged allegiance to our nation’s flag.  Dan Firestone offered the invocation, thanks for the almighty who brings forth bread from the earth.  Lunch was really a dinner:  slices of roast pork, accompanied by apple sauce, roasted potatoes, green beans, fresh rolls, followed by a plate of assorted cookies and brownies.

               President Dan again rang the bell for order, while our plates were being cleared away and dessert was being served, so that there would be time for our announcements.  For some reason the uphill side of our year always seems laden with information.  Out of respect for the Shemo family, and the death of John’s father, the Saturday Carnivale has been postponed.  No new date has as yet been established.  Moe Belanger has fallen and broken his hip—at this point he requests no visitors, no phone calls—cards would be fine.  Let us keep Moe, a great guy,  in our thoughts and prayers  Tom Galvin’s lovely wife Suzanne has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease.  Our president, a kind and sensitive person, had a difficult time with these disheartening announcements.  He reminded us that we are the family of Rotary—let us not forget that.  And it was great to have Jackie Danise and Bill Saunders back in our midst.  We wish them continuing recovery. 

               Guests today:  Andy Matos, proposed as a new member; Ted Marina, guest of Nick Cerere; and our speakers, Stacey Spewock and Gray Wright.  More about them later.  Steve Bates was called upon to lead the Welcome Song, having been told that he didn’t have to dance.  Steve did okay, but he needs a basket in which to carry a tune. 

               Tom Galvin, Sergeant-at-Arms, had a small report:  Art Bradbury’s 81st birthday.  Art was serenaded by all those members who were eighty or older—a goodly number.

               More announcements:  Jack Sayre had visited Roy Spiller, who is now experiencing good and bad days—that’s chemo, which you know if you’ve been through it.  He gets more tests next week to find out how long the protocol will continue.  Roy asks that we sign up for ringing the bell for the Salvation Army during December—we’ve done that for ages—this writer remembers a two hour stint in the middle of a blizzard.  An hour is not difficult to give up and remember,  almost guaranteed, you will see a number of your friends.    Peter Klock has arranged for a citrus sale—an easy way to get a gift for someone, and to fill your own larder.  Peter asked for orders today, or, by email, since he and Suzan will be away for a couple of weeks. Order forms were available on the tables.  Boxes of grapefruit, oranges, mixed, plus apples, and mixed, a reasonable price, profit going to one of our charities.  Pick up will be a specified time slot, per Suzan, at their Sunset Ridge House.  Next week’s meeting:  wine and cheese, and undoubtedly much conversation, beginning at 11:30 am.  The Connecticut International Baccalaureate Academy has been honored as a Blue Ribbon School.  Our Annual Holiday Party, Wednesday, December 20th, at Mount Carmel Hall, will feature an interesting menu.  Sign-up sheets were circulated.  We will bring gifts—Toys for Tots—but we do not know the age group as yet. On Sunday, at the Burlington Coat Factory, 10 to 11 in the morning, Coats for Kids will take place—we are always involved—for some of East Hartford’s neediest.  Our town’s annual Holiday Fest has held its kick-off—one of the featured programs will be a Dance Festival, Saturday, December 2nd, orchestrated by Herb and Reggie Barall.  One of our major fund raising activities  this year will be the raffle of a Toyota Prius (1907 model on first hearing) which is somewhat of a hermaphrodite, in that it runs on both gasoline and electricity-a very poplar, economical, hard to get automobile.  And, final announcement, we were well represented at the recent Foundation Dinner.

               Jackie Danise pulled the winning raffle ticket:  Steve Tamiso was the lucky winner. 

               Our speakers today were a young team, Stacey Spewock, President, and Gray Wright, Executive Director, of the Greater Hartford Jaycees.  Membership in the Jaycees is limited to the ages of 21 to 40—which puts their average age below the average age of our club.  The Jaycees are a vibrant and outgoing, having begun the Greater Hartford Open (that’s golf) in 1952, with a purse of $10,000.  The last purse was $4.2 million.  Times change.  They have locked in the date for the Greater Hartford Open for the next four years—June 18-24 in 2007, it is the time slot following the US Open --these young people are really with it. The group, which has an active membership of approximately 200, gives approximately $500,000 annually to charities—they will be distributing 3000 turkey dinners this coming Saturday, for instance. We have many members who began their Community Service Careers as Jaycees.  Stacey and Gray, their first Executive Director, gave us a lot of insight into the Jaycees. They do a weekend leadership training session for high school sophomores.  They give educational scholarships.  Their challenge is to grow in membership—just like us.  And their “graduates” often go on to become Rotarians!  Stacey and Gray fielded a few questions from the floor before it was time to close the meeting, which we did with one verse of God Bless America.

               Makeups:  Sam Leone, West Palm Beach, Florida,  Sunrise, three times; Herb Tischofer, Naples Bay, Florida,  twice,  Doug Willett, Cape Coral, Florida, once, and Frank Collins:  Edison,  New Jersey, RLI Faculty, and Frank and Ceil Collins, Dryden, New York (Keynote Speaker, Charter Night) and Binghamton, New York, Speaker, Foundation Seminar.

               It is great to be a Rotarian—we can make a difference.   Dan Russell

High Gear -- November 8, 2006

  It was a delight to arrive at “The Ridge” to be welcomed by today’s official greeter, Lori Göckler, with a bright smile and a firm handshake, both very nice on a gray and drizzly day.  Don Hallquist’s music was, as always, another day-brightener. It was nice to be back at our usual meeting place, there seemed to be no ghosts or goblins lurking in dark corners.  Following the ringing of the bell, our opening song, the pledge to our nation’s flag, Ted Mosebach offered thanks especially for the democracy in which we live, the options it affords us, the bounty which we all enjoy, and the hope that we might see and know peace in our time.

            Lunch was beef stew—lots of mushrooms and carrots—in an acorn squash shell, coleslaw, and chocolate pudding topped with whipped cream   (My wife wished I’d brought all mine home)

President Dan rang the bell for business before dessert had been served.  Guests today:  Andy Matos, proposed, this reporter believes, as a new member, and Bob Dugger from the Glastonbury Club.  Herb Barall led the Welcome Song, and didn’t dance a step.

            Sergeant-at-Arms Tom Galvin collected fines as follows:  Jack Sayre, anniversary, twenty six years; George Agnelli and John McNaughton, both for doing business; Bob Wood for his picture on the front page of the Gazette; and Lionel Lessard and Tim Larson for sitting with fifty percent of the women present at the meeting. Perhaps that is the advantage of being young.   There were a few late comers; and Glen Peterson volunteered a fine, because his wife was auditioning in Providence for a program entitled “America’s Funniest Wives” and Glen was fearful that he might be mortified. 

            Announcements:  Sue and Peter Klock were away in New Jersey (methinks) at a leadership forum; they sent thanks for the response of love and sympathy from the “Rotary Family” on the death of Peter’s father who died last week.  Paul Harris Fellows will meet next week, 11:00 am, to consider new candidates to become members of that august group.  Steve Jacoby announced that the kick-off reception for this year’s Holiday Fest will be tomorrow, November 9th, Goodwin College, 5:00 - 6:30.  CARNIVALE is coming up.  It promises to be a fun evening.  Tom Westbrook has constructed cases to store some 72 chairs, which we own, in the basement. Bill Saunders underwent a second surgery on his eye on Tuesday, for a detached retina.  His surgeons consider it successful; Bill will remain in what sounds like a very uncomfortable posture for at least a week, to aid healing.  Keep him in your thoughts and prayers.  Jackie Danise is also doing well following surgery.  And Roy Spiller seems to be up and about, despite chemotherapy, but avoiding crowds.  It will be good to seem  him back in our midst.  Up-coming events: Wine and cheese before our meeting:  November 22nd, 11:30 A.M.  Holiday Party, December 20th, Cocktails at 6:00 PM, Dinner at 7:00 PM, Mount Carmel Hall.

            President Dan had (read) his what he considered an obligatory joke.  This reporter opines that perhaps his own spontaneous wit is funnier, and more appropriate, than some of the canned stuff.  Enough said.

            Raffle:  ticket drawn by an always trusted attorney, Bill Leone:  winner, Steve Jacoby.

            This was a Club Assembly Day.  Two topics were covered, perhaps not completely:

            By-laws and Constitution:   First, the constitution and its wording is mandated by Rotary International, so there is little for us to consider other than filling in the blanks of our name and location and time of meeting.  Proposed changes to the by-laws are essentially gender items, deletion of specific (i.e., required) committees, correction of typographical errors, and the changing of the responsibility for overseeing some committees from one director to one or more directors.    We will consider this all and vote on the changes at the annual meeting to be held in December.  It is to be assumed that revised copies, incorporating the changes and correction made from the floor, will be made available to the club members prior to the annual meeting.  

            Tom Galvin, speaking on behalf of the Ways and Means Committee, discussed our 2006/2007 budget—where we expect to expend charitable/scholarship monies, and where our revenue sources are.  We’re going to need to raise $12,000 or more by the end of our fiscal year to meet our budget goals.  Ideas include raffling a car (other clubs make huge amounts on motorcycles!) a poker night, a wine tasting, a pancake breakfast combined with an auction, a Rotary Night at a Wolf Pack Game.  We need to involve everyone in the Club for a fund-raiser to be successful.   Any great ideas, impart them to Tom. 

And we talked about Fireside Chats, and the ways in which we can get to know one another, especially new members, better. 

            Time ran out, so we ended the meeting, after which, as members were already walking out,  Mike Maliguaggio moved adjournment. 

                                                                                                --- Dan Russell


High Gear -- November 1, 2006

The mini fruit drive in now open! 

The trio pack of oranges, grapefruits and apples is $20.50 for 25#. 

The boxes of oranges or grapefruits (20#) are $15.50 each

The mixed boxes of grapefruits and oranges 20#) are $16.50 each, and

The 20# boxes of apples are $17.50 each

Peter Klock is in charge of this fundraiser, which is is focused on raising funds to enable us to purchase dictionaries to distribute among all East Hartford’s third-grade students — a club literacy project spearheaded by Sue Klock and Ceil Collins..


Wednesday, November 1st, 2006


            This All Saints Day was bright, beautiful, with warmth that was almost spring-like—lest us not be led astray, the weather is guaranteed to change.   We gathered at South Congregational Church, home church for many of our members, which church is kind enough to open its doors and let us meet in Charrier Hall while our usual space at Veterans Memorial Clubhouse is turned over to the ghosts and ghouls for a month long Halloween Fest sponsored by our Town’s  Parks and Recreation Department.  We’ll be back at the “Ridge” next week, so be wary of spirits who have not left the premises as yet. 

            Don Hallquist’s music was a delight (as always). President Dan finally found the mallet and rang the bell; we sang, saluted our flag, and Art Bradbury, with apparently instantaneous notice, offered a most fitting invocation, giving thanks for our flag, the beautiful Fall day, for George Stewart’s presence, after many an absence of many weeks, the fellowship of Rotary, and the meal.  The meal turned out to be tossed salad with a lot of red leaves, chicken breasts a la some  sort of sauce with included mushroom slices, scalloped potatoes,  followed by a slice of what the waitress called pumpkin pie.  It nourished us.  

            Guests:  this reporter did not note who tried to introduce Ruth Sheehan as a guest—she is a member—but we did have some true guests today:  Mark Pappa, MDC Commissioner, don’t know his club, Andrew “Andy” Matos, proposed as a new member (good choice), Rick Lawrence of Manchester and Mark Greer (ADG) of Glastonbury acting in an official capacity of presenting a program about waterworks in Guatemala—more about that later.  Phyllis Demers (she has really earned her permanent badge) and Jack Sayre led the Welcome Song.

            Sergeant at Arms Tom Galvin, back from a sybaritic trip to Italy (which obviously clouded his senses except that of humor) reported fines as follows:  no known number birthday, Larry Frazier;  fifth, anniversary, George Shoen;  on a serious note Tom reported that Bill Saunders and Jackie Danise are both doing well (after surgery), as is apparently Roy Spiller, who is avoiding crowds for the moment.  Let us keep them all in our thoughts and prayers.   It was great to have George Stewart back in our midst. 

            Announcements:  Jim Watts:  Paul Harris nominations are due, preferably before the meeting of PHF’s scheduled for November 15th, 11:0 am, before the regular  Wednesday meeting.   Carnivale is  coming up—the menu sounds great, the evening should be enchanting.  Sign up before the seats are gone. Remember, we meet next week at “The Ridge.”  Peter Klock reported that he and Susan had sent, via UPS, a Shelter Box to the UN in New York, to emphasize the fact that there are still more than 10,000 people in Pakistan still without housing, following the devastating earthquakes which were, how long ago, was it almost a year?  Peter and Sue are, again, mounting a fruit sale:  red grapefruit, orange, apples, great eating, buy by the box, delivery early in December.  YMCA will benefit from the profit.  President Dan gave (read) his obligatory weekly joke. We had the raffle, won by Moe Belanger  Good on Moe, as the Aussies say.

            Program:  an excellent presentation by ADG Mark Greer and Rick  Lawrence:  some of the ins and outs of water—fresh water, which we get by the turn of a handle in our kitchens and bathrooms—and how it is desperately needed in some villages in Guatemala.   The District, specifically Area Six, intends to fund a project whereby fresh water will be piped to a tiny village which is home to about fifty families.  Bringing water in, also the means of developing a way to dispose of the waste—in Guatemala, that involves filters, simple latrines, and as an adjunct, simple stoves (built of concrete block) to replace on-the-floor cooking fires.  Guatemala is a beautiful country, with active volcanoes, lush valleys, beautiful people.  They need our help—a most worthwhile project..  This will be discussed at our Club Assembly, next meeting.

            Make ups:  Steve Jacoby, Glastonbury; Herb Tischofer, Naples Bay, Florida, twice. 

            It was eleven months ago that this scribe last reported--how quickly most of a year goes by!  Time to bring out the dictionary and the thesaurus.  Thanks for reading my words.   Dan Russell


High Gear -- October 25, 2006

A blustery fall day.  Perfect for visiting the newly renovated East Hartford YMCA.  The physical plant is just beautiful.  Another reason to be proud of our community.

The Faux Reverend James Fallon gave a Luke-warm blessing to our gathering (with my apologies for the pun to St. Luke).   We had such good attendance that some special members were seated at the head table.  Or were they just late?  Our caterers presented a meal of chicken, rice, and peas with a jello dessert featuring black cherries and whipped cream.

Guests included repeat Andy Matos and new visitors Cheryl O’Connor of 3D Asset Management and Armand Cortez, Past President and two-time Paul Harris from the Ridgefield Rotary Club.  Tim Larson tried to accommodate President Dan’s “key” (way too low) for leading us in the Welcome Song.  Don Hallquist, please, please, bring your keyboard.  We need you!  Desperately.

This was supposed to be Mike Malinguaggio’s final Sergeant At Arms report since it is the last week in October, but apparently Tom Galvin will not be back in time next week from a trip overseas.  So we are stuck, I mean blessed, with Sgt. Mike for the near future.  His report included anniversaries for Celia Collins (’96), Larry Frazier (’67), and “Marcy” McCabe (’93 or ninety-three years old… you look great, Kathy!).  A find was paid by the Sarge for appearing on TV as an Inland Wetlands Commissioner reviewing the Cabela’s project at Town Hall.  Somehow we missed seeing Jim “Rick” Reik.

Announcements:  Paul Harris nomination forms are on the website or speak to Jim Watts; our calendar has been updated on the website by Sue Klock (with more revisions to come); Bill Leone reminded us that we should review the By-Laws and Constitution proposed changes prior to our November 8 Club Assembly.  Votes on changes will take place at the Annual Meeting in December.  Carnivale party night is fast approaching.  Sign up with John Shemo or be in danger of missing the social highlight of the Rotary year.

More announcements:  Steve Jacoby announced that we will again be a presence at the Town’s annual Holiday Fest on December 2nd.  Volunteers are needed to assist at the refreshments table at the Community Center (new members note:  this is a fun and “no heavy lifting” way to participate in a community service activity).  Everyone is invited on November 9 to a cocktail reception from 5-7 p.m. at Goodwin College as a thank you to all of us for helping out with Holiday Fest.  Please bring food or a financial contribution to the Fuel Bank.  RSVP your attendance to the Chamber of Commerce at 289-0239.

Steve also made mention that he will be exhibiting articles of apparel with the Rotary logo on them for future purchase.  Check in with suggestions and look over the quality of his samples.

As the kids say, here is a “shout out” to our members who have recently undergone operations or are under the weather.  Drop a line to George Stewart, Roy Spiller, Jackie Danise and Bill Saunders.  Best wishes for speedy recoveries to you all!

Godfather Carmen Piscatello announced Steve “Gimp” Bates as the winner of the raffle.  Steve will use the money for physical therapy or  beer, we hear.

Please try to help set up tables and chairs at 10:40 a.m. at South Congregational Church for our meeting next Wednesday, November 1st

Social Events Committee – plan to meet next Wednesday at 11:30; same for the Membership Committee.

Make-ups:  Frank Collins spent five days at Rotary HQ in Evanston, and Steve Jacoby represented us at the Rotary Leadership Institute in Chicopee on October 14th.

It was a pleasure to hear new member, today’s host, nine-months-old Patrick’s dad, and guest speaker, Brian Liss, give a talk today on the programs and renovations to the East Hartford YMCA.  As Executive Director, Brian was able to point out the strong similarities between the mission of the Y and that of Rotary.  There was an overwhelming show of hands among our membership when it was asked how many of us have had some supporting connection to the Y.  Their local and international services in offering safe harbor and life skills building for children have touched so many lives.  Right here in East Hartford there is a Teen Center, gym, child care facilities, swim club, and so much more in after school programming.  All of it providing a positive alternative for kids to spend their time.  Thanks to folks like the Stewart’s, the Bradbury’s, the Wood’s, Hyacinth Douglas-Bailey, and many other Rotarians, our East Hartford YMCA can provide these much-needed services.  It was obvious that Brian is the right guy to be at the helm for changing times when needs persist.

Stay safe, be thankful –

       The Empress


High Gear -- October 18, 2006

As Empress of the World, and with the acquiescence of you kind readers, I would like to dispense with the normal order of reporting events in High Gear and start with the last item of the meeting.  Doug Willett’s incisive report on behalf of the Membership Committee pointed out that without an all out  blitz, there will be no rosy future for East Hartford Rotary and, therefore, no High Gear.

Here are a few salient points:  Doug was able to compare our membership profile with that of 1989 thanks to keeping records from his year as President.  Membership has dropped from 103 to 83; average age has increased to 68.7 years.  Only 27 members are under the age of 65.  While age brings wisdom in most cases, it also usually marks a time when active business activities and networking begin to decrease and other issues such as ill health or seasonal and permanent relocation take place.  The end result is the erosion of participation in Club activities and a decline in our collective ability to find and attract new members.

We all know East Hartford gets a job done (see President Dan’s report below from his visit to the District Area 6 meeting).  The Membership Committee has developed suggestions for turning back this trend.  We can set goals with deadlines, hold forums for more in-put, and implement stronger advertising and recruitment mechanisms.  We can especially target the top ten employers in town (none of whom have representation among our membership).  We meet for a Club Assembly on November 8th.  Please bring your ideas to the table so we can ensure that the future of East Hartford Rotary is as bright as our past.

Excellent report, Doug!  We shall now resume with our regular reporting.

With a ring of the bell in the auditorium of South Congregational Church, our meeting was underway on what proved to be an authentic Indian Summer day.  Glen Peterson’s invocation was the simple yet moving Japanese benediction of “Itadakimas”.  The translation being that we give thanks for all who have contributed to the process of bringing this meal before us, from the farmers to the caterers and every step in between.

Our only guest was Andy Matos, a project manager for development activities at Rentschler Field with the Matos Group.  Not a guest but so good to see Larry Churchill again.  Looking good, Larry.  The “2 L’s”, Lionel and Lori, led the Welcome Song with great gusto.

I’m not really sure I have any of Sergeant-At-Arms Mike Malinguaggio’s SHORT  report correct.  A group photo of our new members made it into the District Newsletter (I’m guessing thanks to Don Hallquist); Don Pitkin was fined for his umpteenth appearance in the Gazette; John Mazzacato paid in memoriam for the Yankees (sorry, John, but the only “Y” word this scribe is interested in is Yawkey Way); and congrats to Jim Fallon on the birth of grandson Owen Patrick. The Sarge would like us to make a proper show of it next week when we visit the YMCA so please wear a tie.  Maybe run a comb through your hair, if you still have any.

Lots of announcements:  Jim Watts would like more nominations for Paul Harris Fellow.  Forms are on our website thanks to Sue Klock.  Gil Wishart let us know we can purchase $8 tickets to this Saturday night’s Ham and Bean Supper (6 p.m.) to be held at South Congregational Church.  Bring your own Beano.

More:  Ceil Collins says the Lung Association on Ash Street will have flu shots available on November 1 from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m..  Do not know what the charge is.  Sue Klock  says all kinds of useful forms are on our website and get in touch with her if you want to attend the Foundation Dinner.  Mike Malinguaggio invited us to join him and Jim “Rick” Reik at a joint meeting of the Inland Wetlands Commission and Planning and Zoning Commission to discuss construction of Cabela’s at Rentschler.  Unfortunately, by the time you read this the meeting will have been held.  The Town’s website will have minutes and it will be taped by Channel 5, though.

And more:  Bill Secord says we can get a financial break on attending a three-day seminar on the “Triumph of the Sports”.  Bill’s gonna love this, but I forgot to get more on the particulars.  Drat!  Bill would never have made such an amateurish mistake.  Neal Cunningham thanked the folks who worked Saturday at the Marathon Water Station (Rosemary, Ceil, Frank, Kathy, Dan and Dorothy, Bob and Debby, Dave A., Empress, Gil, Pat, Don H., Brian, and Dan F. – did I miss any body?).  Our thanks to Neal for getting us involved in one of the few truly hands on projects we do every year.

Still more:  A whopping big Thank You to George Schoen, Jim Fallon, and the rest of the Golf Tournament Committee for all their hard work.  Their efforts, and ours, resulted in a final fundraising tally of $25,139.  

Don Hallquist attested to the great job President Dan did on the night of the 17th in accepting a Proclamation from Mayor Melody Currey and the East Hartford Town Council for our contributions to continue the Youth Services’ ROPEs program.  Our Board has officially voted to donate $15,000 from the Golf Tournament to their Adventure Builds Character program.

Raffle was won by Glen Peterson who amusingly donated his winnings to the Rotary Foundation in the name of its chief supporter, Carmen Piscatello.

And the Area 6 meeting that President Dan attended:  His report indicated just how far ahead of the curve our Club is in meeting this year’s District goals.  East Hartford leads the way in many things and always with consistency.

Next week’s meeting (October 25th) we meet at the East Hartford YMCA on Main Street.  The week after (November 1st) we return to South Congregational.

No time for a closing song, there was just too much good to hear.  See you next week!


High Gear -- October 11, 2006

East Hartford Rotarians made their way to South Congregational Church to the jazzy welcome tunes of the bow-tied Don Hallquist.  Don’s attire was in deference to the admonishment made last week by Sergeant At Arms, Mike “Mighty Mouse” Malinguaggio that we are going to seed in our haberdashery.  Ladies exempt, of course.  Anyway, it was a clip on.

Amateur “Padre” and President Dan Larson offered up a minute of silence on behalf of the Yankees, then professional Reverend Ted Mosebach persevered through liturgical strains of music to really give the blessing.  He has the patience of a saint.  Oops! Right church, wrong pew!

We had not even been served lunch (roast pork, yam, broccoli, and chocolate cake) when Johnny Dangerous Shemo donned his Carnivale masque.  Hey, John, what did you do with the money your parents gave you to take dancing lessons with?  After sashaying around a bit, announcement of the November 18th Carnivale was made.  Reservations will only be accepted for the first 100 to sign up so check your calendars from now.  You will get a full evening’s entertainment from Salade to Sambucca for only $25 per person.  Cocktails at 6 p.m. with dinner to follow all happening at the Veterans’ Memorial Clubhouse.

Our only non-speaking guests were Andy Matos, Operations Manager for the Matos Group of Rentschler Development fame, and District Governor Elect Dick Borden.  The “Has Been Duo”, Past President Carol Krantz and soon-to-be former member Dan Dienst enthusiastically led us through the Welcome Song.  Dan, our Club and our community is so very sad to see you and Loretta go.  Our loss will most definitely be Texas’ gain.

Sergeant Mike made his way to the podium from his place of banishment (one week as S-At- A and already he has to eat alone) to give the weekly report.  Note to all:  please don’t mob Mike with announcements, etc., the very moment you enter the hall.  He hates the pressure and when Mike ain’t happy, ain’t gonna be nobody happy.  A very Happy Birthday to Osama Moe Bin Belanger.  A donation by Dan Russell for the purchase of a very used truck was reported; and that was about it.  The report was about as short as….oh, never mind.

President Dan gave a “shout out” to Loren Andreo for his return to the fold.  On a sadder note, our condolences to the Shemo family with the loss of John’s sister.  And please keep George Stewart and Roy Spiller on your ‘thinking of you’ list.  We hear Peg Spiller was not well lately, either.  Please keep her in your thoughts as well.

Marathon Water Station volunteers:  this Saturday  no later than 7:30 a.m. at Pitkin Street.  Dress appropriately as it promises to be a chilly morning.

Short takes:  Ideas to promote Rotary at the up-coming Holiday Fest?  Let the Prez know.  Golf Queen Kathy McCabe won the raffle.  Tune in to the East Hartford Town Council meeting Tuesday the 17th on community TV Channel 5 to see our Club be given a Proclamation by the Town Council as a thank you for supporting the R.O.P.E.s Program. 

Please tell Sue Klock ASAP if you plan to attend the Foundation Dinner (it’s $45 per person payable to District 7890; to be held November 10 at the Basketball Hall of Fame).  There is a new toll-free contact number and email address for The Rotary Foundation:  1-866-9ROTARY or contact.center@rotary.org

Make-ups:  all were from Celia and Frank Collins.  Are we missing some?  The Collins’ could be found at Hershey, PA, Longmeadow MA, Nashua, NH, and Meriden, CT.  Sometimes singly, sometimes together.

Our guest speaker today was Past District Governor Tom Vorhees.  His topic on the work done by The Rotary Foundation made clear to us how its mission of promoting world peace and understanding is supported so diligently by the family of Rotary.  Education, humanitarian, and cultural exchange programs like the Ambassadorial Scholarship, Group Study Exchange, and matching and Simplified grants are all made possible by the contributions of Rotarians.  The Polio Plus Program, in effect since 1985, has raised $600 million as the largest private health care initiative in the world.  The terrible scourge of this disease is now endemic in only four countries thanks to the decades of effort put forth by our members.  Hard to believe the Foundation began with a $500 grant to what is now Easter Seals back in 1937.  Our District goal for contribution boils down to only twenty cents per member per day.  Please consider putting the Foundation on your preferred list for donations.

 We meet at South Congregational again next week.  If you can help set up at 10:40, that would be great. 

With one verse of “America the Beautiful”….



High Gear -- October 4, 2006   (The Year 5657)

It’s probably not “Indian Summer” if you have not had a frost yet, but it sure felt like some kind of Summer today.  Almost muggy.  Most Rotarians, being a hardy bunch, managed to find their way to South Congregational Church, but it seems we are missing a few ‘regulars’.  It is good to see our new members are not shy about seeking out our migrating meeting sites.

Don Hallquist was plunking out a nice rendition of “As Time Goes By” as this scribe entered the hall.  Play it, Sam!  What a great way to set the tone of meeting up with our friends in the middle of a hectic day and a busy week.  Yom Kippur being Monday, Dan Firestone was called upon to give our luncheon blessing.  He also widened our philosophical and religious horizons by letting us know that this is the year 5657 (if you count from when the world was created).  We then got busy consuming salad, chicken pot pie (easy on the pepper, Neal!), and angel food cake with strawberries.

President Dan called on Tim Larson and Tom (Dr. Tooth) Galvin to lead us in a welcome song for our only guest, Guest Speaker Peter Christ.  Hmm, Christ at South Congregational Church.  Won’t that make our other places of worship jealous?  Tim proceeded to dedicate his singing to Herb Tischofer and Jack Ghagan, his former sponsors.

So then it was time for the inimitable Mike “Stand Up” Malinguaggio to give the Sargeant-At-Arms report.  I can only say, What?!  Here’s what I think we heard:  if you are not wearing a tie next week, you will be fined.  Ladies, take note.  Sam Leone had a birthday (cheers!); Dean Roland celebrated 62 years of marital bliss (what other kind could you have if the love of your life was Jean?); Bill Leone went fishing and caught “three fishes” (or maybe not, something about “sleeping with the fishes” was heard); Baby Brother Hizzoner Tim was somehow interchangeable with President Dan; Dan Russell was fined for wearing an outstanding and very artistic combination of pink/orange/coral/salmon; and Chuck Clarke had his picture in the paper.  Last, but not least, “Stand Up” or his son, Mike, Jr., was mentioned in the newspaper regarding the premier of a locally filmed movie.  I think.

Announcements:  Neal Cunningham finally has the date right – please show up to help at the Greater Hartford Marathon Water Station at Pitkin Street on Saturday, October 14 by 7:30 a.m..  Any later and it may be difficult for you to drive in.

Next week’s meeting (October 11) is at South Congregational Church.  If you can show up early to help set up (by 10:40 a.m.) it would be greatly appreciated.  If not, perhaps you can stay at the end of the meeting to help break down chairs?  Don Hallquist pretty much single-handedly did all the muscle work for this week’s meeting.

Bill Secord attended a regional conference at which our Club was recognized as a “Friend of Youth” due to our overwhelming support for the East Hartford Youth Services “Right of Passage Experience” (R.O.P.E.s).  As pointed out, but for our financial assistance, this program would not be in existence this year due to budget cuts.  Another way we can make a difference at the local level.

Be sure to forward any roster changes to Sue Klock.

President Dan will be providing us with more information next week on “Fall Fest”.  The Fest is a day-long opportunity for local non-profits and civic groups to let the citizens of East Hartford know of their existence.  He is hoping to staff a booth in two 4-hour shifts on Saturday, October 21st.

Anyone interested in attending the Saturday, October 14th “Rotary Leadership Institute” at Elms College in Chicopee should contact Steve Jacoby.  This is an excellent opportunity to learn more about Rotary from a perspective that should be attractive to new or potential Board members.

Save the date:  Saturday, November 18 is our “Carnivale” party.  You know you won’t want to miss a party put together by John “Blonde Slovak” Shemo!  For new members:  wait till you see the high entertainment value of a John Shemo Production.  This is a great opportunity to invite friends and loved ones to a night out guaranteed to be lots of fun with good food.

President Dan announced the following roster of up-coming programs:  Former District Governor Tom Voorhees will speak on the topic of the Rotary Foundation (10/11); our own Doug Willett presents a program on membership (10/18); and then we are off for a grand tour of the newly renovated YMCA on 10/25.

New member Phyllis Demers won the raffle.  Momma needs a new pair of shoes!!!

And that brought us to an interesting and very persuasive talk by guest speaker Peter Christ representing LEAP “Law Enforcement Against Prohibition”.  Mr. Christ is a former police lieutenant who made a number of salient observations about the ‘War on Drugs’, its ineffectiveness, and especially our current public policy which harks back to the days of Prohibition.  His message was that the crime and violence associated with illegal drug use is really a market-driven phenomenon that could instead be regulated and controlled and would result in the eventual elimination of drug lords (similar to Al Capone’s tactics in the wild and wooly 1920’s).  Make no mistake, he does not see this effort as condoning drug use, rather the approach should be similar to that taken in modern times with alcohol purchase and addiction.  Mr. Christ should be congratulated on presenting a program that left us with plenty to ponder.

On that, we closed with one verse of God Bless America.  Until next week - -

                    Mary Martin (Empress of the World)


High Gear -- September 27, 2006

Apropos our meeting in the South Congregational Church, Maestro Hallquist set the tone with such favorites as “When the Saints Come Marching In. As always, we appreciated the generosity of the South Congregational community. Dan Russell stood in for Ted Mosebach and reminded us to be thankful for the promises and opportunities of our lives, but also to be aware of the manifest needs of peoples around the world. A tasty luncheon consisted of beef bourguignon with mushroom, onion, and cauliflower gravy and an assortment of pastries for dessert. (Despite the coaching of Art Bradbury, it took me five minutes on “spell check” to find the correct spelling of the main course.)

Following the dictates of Don Hallquist’s atomic-guided watch, President Dan began the meeting at 12:45 sharp. Because Bob Brown had not turned on his hearing aid, Donna Bys introduced our guest from the Chicopee club, Jean Claude Trudel. Phyllis Demers, in a panic, demurred from leading the “Welcome Song” (“I don’t know it!”—shame, shame). But, appropriately enough, Sam Leone took up the baton in his lime-green, Connecticut-shore-line shirt and proved that his memory is still intact.

Sergeant-at-Arms Little Richard three-fingered the four victims of his diligence: Jack Ghagan and Dan Russell for 33 years in Rotary, Dean Rolland in obeisance to the gentlemen (and ladies) who administrated this year’s golf tournament, and George Agnelli in thanks for recovering his wayward check book, found (strange to be said) in an alley behind Blue Back Square.

Next week’s meeting will take place at South Congregational Church. We will meet at the YMCA on October 25, not next week. The rest of our meetings until November 6 (pending any special events) will also take place at the South Congregational Church. The stalwarts George Schoen, Art Bradbury, Bob Wood, Don Hallquist, and Dick McCarthy set up the tables for today’s luncheon, but they need help for the remaining weeks that we meet here.  Volunteers should make themselves available Wednesday mornings at the church at 9:30 (excepting next week) for 15-25 minutes.

Mary Martin reported that the Rebuilding Together project proceeded like clockwork. She especially thanked new members Brian Liss, Pat Gately, and Lori Goeckler, along with 80 other volunteers. They included Dave and Chickie Amberg, Ceil and Frank Collins, Neal Cunningham, Pat Gately, Lori Goeckler, Dan Larson, Tim Larson, Mary Martin, Dick McCarthy, Glen Peterson, and Bob Wood. Mary also thanked members for the donation of coolers for the day.

Neal Cunningham announced that at the request of Bob and Debbie Wood (they have an appointment with their personal trainers) the Hartford Marathon will now take place on October 14th. George Agnelli expressed his regrets that he would be available only on Friday the 13th—appropriately

President Dan congratulated the golf tournament committee and it chairpersons George Schoen and Jim Fallon for an impressive golf tournament. He thanked Larry and Doris Frazier for organizing the raffle prizes and George Schoen (using his direct connection to the Almighty) for insuring that the weather would be so good. George confirmed the success of golf tournament—over 60 raffle prizes, more sponsors than last year—and indicated that Kathy McCabe now estimates that the final dollar tally will be close to last year’s total ($23- to $24,000). The golf committee will meet before next week’s luncheon at 11:15 for feedback. George welcomes comments from all members of the East Hartford club.

Dates to remember: November 18—the Carnival; December 20—Christmas Party at Mt. Carmel; East Hartford Fall Fest—a booth from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm on the town green on October 21.

Program: Matt Fleury, vice president of the new Connecticut Science Center, spoke to the club about the regional renaissance that the Connecticut Science Center is advancing—a renaissance that includes East Hartford, West Hartford, and surrounding municipalities. He acknowledged the role that East Hartford Rotary has played in the past in support of a local science center, and he particularly highlighted John Shemo’s recent efforts. The $150,000,000 complex, designed by Cesar Pelli, will become a learning destination for families throughout New England and will stand as a symbol of Connecticut’s role in the advancement of scientific enterprise. Hands-on, interactive exhibits in the center will serve as exciting learning environments supporting school science programs. The center has begun an outreach program for local teachers (200 so far), providing them with practical tactics to engage their students. When completed, the Connecticut Science Center will stand proudly among such national science museums as the Boston Museum of Science, the Science Museum of Minnesota, and the New York Hall of Science in Queens.

Make-ups: Loren Andreo @ Westerly, RI, on September 11,2006; Steve Jacoby @ the Rotary Leadership Institute on September 15 and 16, 2006; Frank and Ceil Collins @ Rochester, NY (Eastern Cities Dinner),  San Diego, CA (IA Committee meeting for four days), and @ Chula Vista, CA (Rotary club meeting).

Bill Secord


High Gear -- September 20, 2006

Today’s venue brought back a number of fond memories–such as the three pointer from the balcony made by Mo Belanger some time in the past. (It still didn’t get him the girl, however.) The original East Hartford High School gymnasium, the encircling track/balcony, and the 1942 score board/timer still stand; but many Rotary members today seemed more happy to sit. President Dan noted that even with five new members inducted last week, the only recent inductee to return today was Brian Liss, and Dan wondered if it was something he had said. (Of course not!) Gil Wishart, speaking the opening grace, reminded us to think of our members in need and asked that Rotary may “one day truly achieve its goals in the elimination of hunger, thirst, and poverty, and that world peace may truly be a reality, where guns are replaced by a handshake of brotherly love.”

Lunch, served by our faithful catering staff in a more spacious environment, consisted of open-faced BLT sandwiches, potato chips, and frosted cupcakes. The only guest to be introduced was our speaker, Dan Matos; and Don Pitkin did stand up and did walk to the podium–but for what, he wasn’t quite sure. The last member to arrive, Glen Peterson, led the opening song with new member, Brian Liss (who thereby got to check off one “task” on his Rotary Passport). Little Richard belted out his tunes on the fines he had collected: Steve Jacoby for 10 years in Rotary; Dean Roland for 34 years (“Good Golly, Miss Molly”); dancing Judge Barall (“Slippin’ and Slidin’”) for his picture in the paper and for his 54th  wedding anniversary; Sue and Peter Klock for pictures in the paper; Jim Fallon for new twin grandchildren; and Dave Amberg for grandchild number nine. Tom Westbrook was very disconcerted to discover that he appears to our president to be no longer able to have more children. Don Hallquist paid for his birthday and demanded (“You bet your booty”) that everyone sing for him.

Art Bradbury announced that George Stewart is at home suffering with osteoarthritis. President Dan revealed that Roy Spiller is being treated for leukemia. Dan also expressed concern for his rushing through some of the special observances at last week’s crowded agenda, especially the recognition of the Paul Harris awards for Doug Willett and Dan Dienst. Mary Martin confirmed that the Rebuilding Together project is all set to go for Saturday 23 rd. Neal Cunningham invited everyone to help George Washington and George Agnelli at Rotary’s water station for the Greater Hartford Marathon on October 14. Jim Watts reminded members that the nomination form for Paul Harris awards has been put on our Web site. George Schoen happily announced that we have maxed out with 128 golfers for the tournament on Monday. We have over 90 sponsors and raffle prizes are still coming in. For membership edification, Sue Klock has created a poster on how to surf the East Hartford Rotary Web site, and she and Ceil Collins are selling vintage poster of the Statue of Liberty to add funds to our literacy campaign.

Our next meeting is at the South Congregational Church (maybe the High Gear editor will read his own High Gear this week).

Jack Ghagan introduced new member Tim Larson, who at the urging of his brother gave the shortest speech of his long political career. And we all discovered that Tim really joined Rotary for the hand-signed, suitable-for-framing copy of “Danny Boy” included in the induction packet. Don Pitkin won the raffle and saved himself a third walk to the podium by staying there to introduce our speaker Dan Matos, the developer of the Rentschler Field project.

Program: The Rentschler Field development project is for real! That was the essence of Dan Matos’ message to the club. His goal as developer is to turn the Rentschler site into a world-class high-technology community for the next century. Since 1994, when UTC closed the old airfield, the company has wanted to do something very special with this site–not just a shopping center, which would have brought them a lot of money. He reiterated Don Pitkin’s prediction that Rentschler will become East Hartford’s future town center–with 120 acres exclusively for technology companies such as Westinghouse, 175 acres for other corporate occupancies, 130 acres (donated by UTC) for a forested public park, and further space for a wide variety of residential opportunities (including occupancy for individuals employed in the industrial and retail firms at Rentschler itself). Dan emphasized the importance of the State of Connecticut’s recent environmental study, one of whose conclusion’s being that the environmental impact plan is adequate for the planned use of the site. He urged Rotary members to read the report and to take the lead in disseminating the good news it contains. Dan also cited former mayor Tim Larson and the East Hartford town council for taking the lead in helping to attract such anchor tenants as Cabela’s.

Although the entire project is a 10-18 year endeavor, earth will begin to be moved by next month. The state has approved the construction of East Hartford Boulevard South, a very expensive operation that will open up a major portion of the site for development. The prospect is that Pratt and Whitney itself will be able to use some of this space to double its present footprint in East Hartford–good news for East Hartford taxpayers. Dan’s opinion is that one of the great stories of the decade is how the State of Connecticut, local politicians, and UTC have worked together to make this project a reality. Dan dismissed recently expressed concerns regarding out-of-state labor contracts for the Cabela site as simply being preemptive moves to ensure that local job opportunities already promised would actually occur. Dan also explained that the parking situation forecasted for Rentschler Stadium has been adequately addressed.

Respectfully (as much as I can muster), Bill Secord


High Gear -- September 13, 2006

The most pleasant of beginnings—Ruthie Sheehan greeted us all as we entered the clubhouse. Her smile helped make up for the presence of the moving van we all saw as we passed by 94 Sunset Ridge Drive. Shirts and ties were very evident, especially Jackie Danise’s godfather’s version of woven pearls. Only one flagrant exception—Larry Hangland pleaded innocent based upon a printer’s prerogative to be slovenly.

Jim Watts gave the invocation—asking for the ability to open our hearts and mind to the district governor’s message this day and for her safety as she travels throughout our district. Lunch consisted of baked chicken with mushroom gravy, string beans, baked sweet potato, and low-calorie whipped-cream delight.

Guests: Jackie Danise introduced Donna Bys from Goodwin College; Dan Dienst introduced his wife Loretta; Steve Jacoby introduced returning member Sam Leone and new member Lori Goeckler; Art Bradbury introduced both Mark Greer from ADG in Glastonbury and Jay Stewart, who was standing in for her husband George and making the meeting much more pleasant; Herb Barall introduced Brian Liss from the YMCA along with troublemaker Dick Seidman (he did win the raffle later in the meeting); Jack Sayre introduced Dan Firestone’s much younger brother Ed; and Ruth Sheehan, commenting that Jimmy would be very proud of them today, introduced District Governor Sue Atkins and her husband Victor. The “Welcome Song” was led most appropriately by lyricist Tom Westbrook and vocalist Art Bradbury.

Sergeant-at-Arms Dick McCarthy pointed out that, although nobody usually listens to our esteemed president, everybody today seemed to have dressed appropriately. The fines Dick administered included: Glenn Peterson for both birthday and anniversary; George Schoen [Shown, Shine, Shane—that’s it!] for his birthday; Bill Secord for his anniversary; Gil Wishart for his son’s wedding; Jack Ghagan for a new car (never fear, he has NOT given up the 1972 station wagon); Mark Sirois for his picture in “Better Homes and Gardens,” copies of which were provided in each cell at the public safety complex; and Dan Firestone for being listed as one of the 100 best pharmacists in Connecticut (FBI’s most wanted). President Dan announced that several members had also made donations to our scholarship fund in memory of Mary Malloy, Bob Richmond’s mother-in-law.

Announcements: Next week we will be meeting in the gymnasium of the East Hartford Cultural Center.

Spurge Stokes’ twin sister died yesterday in Colorado.** Goodwin College is running a golf tournament for their scholarship fund two days after our own tournament. Goodwin serves many low-income students.** Mary Martin reminded everyone of the Rebuilding Together project on September 23. She has nineteen volunteers for that date, along with three volunteers to help the day before. She still needs coolers! Generis Caterers has committed to providing 100% of the food used that day to feed volunteers; and Melrose Distributors, 100% of the cold drinks.**President Dan reaffirmed George Schoen’s call for more raffle prizes for the golf tournament. The number of participants is looking good, but the number of prizes is still low.**Anyone interested in attending the district’s Rotary Foundation dinner on November 10, please see Sue Klock. Cost is $45. Cocktails at 6:00 pm; dinner at 7:00 pm.**East Hartford Rotary will be “manning” a water station again this year for the Greater Hartford Marathon on October 7. See Neil Cunningham for further details and advice on how best to aggravate George Agnelli.**Jim Watts asked members to be thinking about nominations for this year’s Paul Harris awards. He has the applications, which are also available on the Web. The Paul Harris committee will be meeting in early November to select the recipients.

New members: District Governor Sue Atkins joined President Dan to receive six new members into the East Hartford Rotary Club. 1) Donna Bys comes to us from the Chicopee Rotary Club, where she served as its first woman president. 2) Phyllis Demers, assuming the nursing directorship at Sterling Manor, is transferring to us from the Enfield Rotary Club. 3) Lori Goeckler comes to us through the kind recommendation of Past District Governor Dick Seidman. She commented, “I had no idea what I was missing!” 4) Sam Leone, originally sponsored by Don Hallquist in 1974 and returning to us from Florida, stated “There is no club like East Hartford.” 5) Brian Liss comes to us from the Granby Rotary Club and ranks his family, the YMCA, and Rotary as the most important aspects of his life. 6) Tim Larson, as usual, was missing at the post.

Paul Harris Awards: Doug Willett received a three-sapphire Paul Harris pin in recognition of his support for the Rotary campaign to conquer polio.  Dan Dienst, designated a Paul Harris recipient by Sue and Peter Klock, received his metal from District Governor Sue Atkins, who stated that the world is closer to peace because of his contributions. She also noted that the East Hartford club will be missing his margaritas.

Program: In a very personal and moving talk, District Governor Sue Atkins made plain how Rotary is indeed very special— the only organization that enables an ordinary person to effectively contribute to world peace and that is looked to around the world for its moral leadership.  At a recent Rotary conference in Boston, a military expert on terrorism stated, “Rotary is the only escape from [the Mideast] cycle of terrorism.”  If only 50% of Rotary President Bill Boyd’s concrete goals for water management, health, and literacy are achieved by 2015, we can truly create a peaceful world by 2025. In this editor’s opinion, District Governor Atkins’ message should be committed to print and distributed to Rotary clubs across America.

Respectfully (with the very minor exception of my attitude towards President Dan),

Bill Secord


High Gear -- September 6, 2006

The re-energized greeter system at Veterans Memorial Clubhouse has raised the level of noise and confusion in the entryway (if that’s possible), but distractions haven’t kept Spurge Stokes from continuing to allocate the winning raffle ticket to his friends. Maestro Hallquist provided a selection of eclectic jazz; and in the midst of the bedlam, President Dan rang the bell two minutes early. (Steve Jacoby would have been late anyway.) Dan Russell led the invocation, reminding us of our connections with peoples around the world.

Lunch consisted of a garden salad, ziti with meatballs, and pumpkin pie with whipped cream topping. Tim Larson, facing a room full of fully committed dining tables, pulled a chair up to one table’s unoccupied end and proceeded to eat all of Mary Martin’s salad and half of her ziti before she could return from getting herself and her neighbor a cup of coffee. “The last of eight children,” was the only comment from Tim.

The numerous guests included Sam Leone, introduced by his twin Jack Sayers; Phyllis Demers, director of nursing at Sterling Manor, introduced by Marcia Leclerc; Mary Panayotidis, branch manager of New Alliance Bank, introduced by Paul Apostol, who was prompted to introduce two other guests at the his table—Lori Goeckler, agent for Northwest Mutual, and Tim Larson, director at 3D Asset Management. (The board of directors is keeping him from becoming a full member as long as we can.) George Stewart introduced Jimmy Martin, our old friend from Sheffield, England; and Tom Westbrook introduced Bill Flynn as guest, honorary member, past president, and everyone’s favorite letter writer.

President Dan picked Bill Leone (“I sang it last week, and I wasn’t even last!”) and Steve Jacoby to sing the “Welcome Song.” Sergeant-at-Arms Dick McCarthy fined a potpourri of members for various transgressions: Ceil Collins, Marcia Leclerc, Bill Saunders, and Dan Larson, for their pictures in the newspaper; Dan Larson, Dave Amberg, George Schoen, and Bill Saunders, for names in the district newsletter; Bob Brown, for a new car; Deep-Pockets Dan Larson, for the longest drive to today’s meeting; and Mary Martin and Art Apostol, for birthdays. Tom Galvin won the raffle on a ticket held by Spurge.


District Governor Sue Atkins is joining us next Wednesday, September 13. Everyone, male and female, should wear black tie; and everyone, including Jim Watts, should sing!

The National Multiple Sclerosis Society is running a charity bike tour at the Mohegan Sun. See President Dan for details.

An opportunity exists to participate in a Rotary Friendship Exchange that offers travel to India.

President Dan read a warm letter from Bill Flynn thanking the club for insisting, against his better judgment, that he be made an honorary member.

Mary Malloy, the mother of Bob Richmond’s wife Nancy, died last Friday. The family asks that contributions in her memory be made to the Rotary Scholarship fund.

Mary Martin asks that everyone providing coolers for the Rebuilding Together project bring their coolers to our next meeting, Wednesday, September 13.

Six members are being inducted at that meeting. New members recently proposed include:
Name: Donna Bys. Classification: Post-secondary education. Sponsor: Frank Collins.
Name: Timothy Larson. Classification: Asset management. Sponsor: Jack Ghagan.
Name: Phyllis Demers. Classification: Nurse administrator. Sponsor: Peter Klock.

One “old” member is returning to the fold:
Name: Sam Leone. Classification: Elementary and Secondary Education Administrator. Sponsor: Steve Jacoby.

Make-ups: Loren Andreo at Westerly, Rhode Island; George Schoen and Art Bradbury at Saco Bay, Maine.


Providing us with an impressive outline of John Shemo’s career in community development, Jackie Danise introduced him as our “guest” speaker. John, vice president and director of economic development for the Metro Hartford Alliance, lived up to his resume—delivering a well-paced, fact-filled synopsis of the major achievements of the Alliance and future prospects for Metropolitan Hartford. Major projects the Alliance has supported include the Hartford Convention Center, the new Marriott Hotel, the renovated Hartford Hilton, and Trumbull-on-the-Park residential units. Future plans include assisting in the development of Front Street, the Colt Gateway building (and possible national park), the Connecticut Science Center, Pearl Street condominiums, Temple Street, and numerous other projects. One exciting possibility is the arrival of international service at Bradley Field and the construction of a Hartford to Springfield rail line. East Hartford Rotary has its own visionary in the person of John Shemo.

Respectfully, Bill Secord


High Gear -- August 30, 2006

Another full house today, with plenty of guests including a bevy of soon to be new members (which should be a boon to our ever aging ranks.)  Our guests included the ever-radiant Jan Sayre, old buddy and newly relocated Sam Leone, Bob Bentley from Glastonbury and the awaiting induction crew (September 13th – Governor’s Visit) of Brian Liss, Tim Larsen, Lori Goeckler and Phyllis Demers. Phyllis’ boss, Tom Harris was also present. The welcome song was led by Marcia LeClerc and Police Chief Mark Sirois, who looked considerably more uncomfortable than when facing down an offending motorist.

The good reverend Ted Mosebach said the grace today, preceding a meal of beef stew, rice and corn.  A plate of brownies followed.

Sergeant At Arms Herb Tischofer reported “thin pickins” today with Frank Collins paying for a Rotary anniversary (36 very, very  productive Rotary years) and a couple of politicians paid for pictures in the paper. Steve Jacoby paid in sympathy with Red Sox fans.  (This team has fallen so far, so fast that even I can’t bring myself to tease Little Ruthie about her hapless devotion to the Beantown “bombers.”  Red Sox Nation is in tears.)

Lots of announcements today:

q       Saturday, September 23rd is Rebuilding Together Day, one of our Service Projects. Signup with Mary Martin ASAP. Help needed both Friday afternoon and Saturday.

q       The Town has a rental vacancy at its Golf Course property. The house is 1100 sq.ft. with two bedrooms and a garage. Contact Mary Martin if interested.

q       The 19th annual Golf Tournament is on track but more players and sponsors are needed. Larry Frazier reminded members that each is expected to contribute the equivalent of a $50 raffle prize for this event. Only 20 have been received to date versus 90 contributed last year.

q       Bill Saunders made an appeal for people to start thinking about next year’s golf tournament in the hopes that the 20th Anniversary Event can be extra special.

q       Pat Gately paid for an announcement that President Dan will be honored by the First District Democratic Club as their “Humanitarian of the Year” on Sunday, October 15th at their annual Columbus Day Dinner. Tickets are only $15 and can be obtained from either Pat or Marcia.

q       President Dan read a letter from Mayor Currey thanking the Club for its recent donation of backpacks and calculators.

q       He also reminded one and all of the District Governor’s Visit on September 13th. Appropriate dress is in order.

q       Finally, the Prez also reminded us that the Ridge will be closed after our 9/13 meeting until November 8th.  Keep a close eye for announcements of alternative sights during this period.

That’s it for now. Been fun doing this weekly task for the past month. Bill Secord is on deck. Regards, WDOUGW


High Gear -- August 23, 2006

Lots of positive energy in the main hall today as Rotarians gathered for our weekly meeting. Several committees met before the gong to pursue plans for this year’s Rotary activities. Final touches are being put on the Golf Tournament, programs were being scoped out for the year, and membership revitalization was discussed.  Bouncy piano tunes reinforced the feeling of vitality and accomplishment in the air.
After the bell, and a thoughtful grace by newly returned from Maine, Bob Wood, we enjoyed a summer repast of clam chowder, chicken salad sandwich, and Jell-O dessert. Not the best luncheon we have enjoyed at the Ridge, but adequate unto the day.
Our guests today were Donna Bys, Program Director for the Stone Academy; Brian Liss, the YMCA Director and soon to be new member; Cephus Nolen and Linda Chamberlain, from the Department of Youth Services, and Dr. Pauline Fusco from the school system, all representing the R.O.P.E.S Program.  The R.O.P.E.S.  Program (Rite of Passage Experience) is an experiential learning activity for six graders at Sunset Ridge School and involves physical and emotional challenges that involve climbing and navigating through a structured landscape. Monies for helmets, harnesses, ropes, safety inspections, and transportation will be provided by the proceeds of our Rotary Golf Tournament.
Birthdays were recognized today for Glen Peterson, Bob Richmond and Gil Wishart, who turned a youthful 75. The Empress Mary Martin paid for her Rotary Anniversary. Has it really been 18 years since the introduction of women into our midst? This place should be collapsing any day now. Bill Leone somewhat sheepishly paid for a brand new granddaughter, Gianna Nicole Calciano.          
Just a few announcements today. President Dan thanked Loretta and Dan and Kathy’s Committee for the highly successful Tex-Mex Picnic (check the web-site for pictures). George Schoen said he was “not as nervous’ as before, and that the Golf Tournament is shaping up nicely. More players, sponsors, and raffle prizes are needed, but things are on track.  Mary Martin reminded us that signups for the Rebuilding Together Hospitality Service Project will be next week.
Makeups were received from Bob Wood (4), Steve Jacoby and Loren Andreo. Thanks, guys.  See you next week. WDOUGW
“Okay, class. Listen up. It’s time for our spelling lesson. Little Ruthie, can you spell ‘sweep’?” “I think so, teacher. I’ll try real hard.” “Let me give you a hint, Little Ruthie. It has seven letters and begins with a ‘Y’.”

High Gear -- August 16, 2006

Roger Driggs high stepping down the aisle as he led the Welcome Song, Pancake Breakfasts at First Church, summer outings at Rita and Bob’s, Bruce Noble conducting the Kentucky Derby pool at the District Conference, the annual Fourth of July concessions stand at the Fireworks – great E. H.. Rotary traditions that came and went in the passage of time. Joining that list after tonight are Dan and Loretta hosting an annual picnic on their beautiful grounds just down the hill from the Ridge.  Fun times with good friends make warm memories and tonight was no exception.

I mean who can ever forget, after this evening, a Rotary Club President wearing an outsized sombrero and outsized sunglasses standing on a diving board and dropping his pants to reveal his blue Speedos? Who is going to forget the sight of a pair of “tighty whiteties” being tossed into the pool and settling slowly to the bottom?  We may have been generously plied with Margaritas but we still had to rub our eyes in wonder.  The “dignity of office” stricture is definitely on a yearlong walkabout.  And we love every minute of it. Not since Scottie and his beloved Herkimer have our weeklies been so raucous.

We had a great turnout tonight for this Tex-Mex bash, with plenty of old friends in attendance, including “Ornery Member” Roger Nicholson and wife Ann all the way from Pittsburgh; good buddy Mary Ann Horn; Sue Klock’s PH sister, Jayne; two of our soon-to-be new members, Lori Goeckler and Brian Liss (with his bride, Chris); and the inimitable Ruthie Sheehan, commiserating with her fellow Bean Town fanatics and plotting to drown her sorrows by pushing her Yankee nemesis into the pool.  That or a couple of more Margaritas would have done the trick. 

Conzuella McCabe, complete with her Carmen Miranda headdress (and if you remember Carmen Miranda, you are really dating yourself) led the welcome song. Sgt.-at-Arms Herb Tischofer (there, finally spelled it right) took the night off so all fines were in abeyance.  Our menu tonight featured plenty of refried beans, taco shells, and fajita fixings along with an extensive and delicious table of hors d’oeuvres and desserts.  Our sincere thanks to Kathy McCabe and Sue Klock and their committee – Peter, Jayne, Ceil, Dean, Loretta and Dan – for putting it all together.

Bill Saunders announced the results of today’s Club Golf Outing.  Jackie Danise swept the women’s prizes.  Dave Amberg, Dan Larsen and Glen Peterson captured the men’s challenges.  Veteran sandbaggers  Amberg, George Schoen, George Agnelli and Tom Westbrook easily won the top team prize. East Hartford was also well represented on Tuesday at the District Golf Outing at Watertown Country Club with three foursomes.  Here Amberg and Schoen teamed with Bill Saunders and Doug Willett to win the low gross competition. 

The best announcement Dan made tonight was to reveal that on September 13 with District Governor Sue Atkins in attendance, Dan Dienst will be named a Paul Harris Fellow.  He then presented Houston bound Dan and Loretta a beautiful crystal vase with a suitable inscription to thank them for so many years of hosting this summer event. 

There will be a Board Meeting next Monday night at 7 p.m. at the Ct. Sports Management Group.

Finally President Dan told a long, convoluted joke about Carmen negotiating with George Agnelli over an engagement ring for a sweet young thing that ended with someone muttering, “I don’t get it.”  To which one wag commented, “neither did Carmen.”  You had to be there.

Enough. Till next week at the Ridge.   WDOUGW

High Gear -- August 9, 2006

Beautiful day today, with a full house and a lot of energy in the room as President Dan brought our cacophony to order. Of course President Dan creates much of the cacophony in the first place, but, nonetheless, he wears the medallion and controls the bell.  Dan related the brief sermon he heard last week in the middle of the heat wave – “Better hot here, then hot in the hereafter. Amen.”  Similar to the guy I played golf with last Monday. When I asked him what he did for a living, he told me he dealt in “fire insurance.” Turns out he was a Catholic priest.

Several guests today included soon to be new members, Brian Liss and Lori Goekler. Joining them on the guest list were Tom Harris and Phyllis Demers from a local convalescent home and Norman Bernier from the town Social Services Department. Norm was present to accept our donations to the Backpack and Calculator Drive for local school kids. Ceil Collins collected 53 backpacks, 261 calculators and $85 in cash from supportive members of the Club. Well done.

Also making an appearance today was our always special guest, and blushing bride on her  59th wedding anniversary, Saint Jay Stewart. Can you imagine putting up with George’s high jinks  for 59 years and still having the mental capacity to run Bates College from her Trustee Emeritus position?  Strong woman. Cheap date, since this luncheon passed as an anniversary dinner, but a strong woman.  Art, Tom and Don gave the welcome song a rousing and robust rendition.

Besides the Stewart anniversary, the other major contribution to our Sgt-At-Arms coffers honored the recent arrival of Emily Rose Firestone, who is bound to inherit a Hudson or two down the road from proud grandparents, Dan and Hope. 

Lots of announcements today:

q       Golf Outing on August 16 will be at Twin Hills beginning at 8:45 a.m. Call Bill Saunders if interested.

q       Mark your calendars for September 23 to participate in East Hartford’s annual Rebuild Together program. Mary Martin promises more details to come.

q       The Rotary donated scoreboard at McKenna Field with appropriate signage  should be in place in the next couple of weeks.

q       Brian Liss, Darlene Roberts’ replacement at the local YMCA, invited one and all to the Grand Reopening of the Y this Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.  Several Rotarians have been instrumental  to the Y’s many successes over the years.

q       Immediate Past President Carol Krantz did not pay a fine for seeking volunteers for the MetLife Blood Drive she is heading next month on September 7th and 8th. (Contact Carol if interested – she’ll pay for parking.) By the way, Carol also didn’t pay the Sgt-at-arms for her new assignment at work; nor did she pay for the big, and I mean big, raise she received. Well done, Carol, but let’s cough it up next time you see Tischofer.

q       Sue Klock reminded us of the Tex-Mex Picnic at the Diensts’ next Wednesday. Cocktails at 4:30 p.m., dinner at 6:00 p.m. and clean up at 7:30 p.m. Bring salads, desserts and recipes. According to President Dan, Johnny Moe and Leo Xmas will be modeling the latest in men’s underwear fashions. Should be quite a show, although Johnny Moe is a little nervous about parading on the diving board over the pool. Don Hallquist promises to “thing him a thong” if he pulls it off.  The walk on the board, that is.

q       Finally, George Schoen confessed that he was “getting a little nervous.”  The Golf Tournament is only a few weeks away, and we are far from our targets in players registered, sponsorships secured, and raffle prizes gathered. It is ever thus with this fund raising effort, but Peggy is just putting away the sun glasses from the last time George got nervous, so let’s give the guy some support. 

Keep the makeups coming. That’s it for now. How're you holding up, Ruthie? See you at Loretta and Dan’s.  WDOUGW


High Gear -- August 2, 2006

How hot was it? When I left beautiful Niantic by the Sea at 10:45 a.m., my car had a temperature reading of 96 degrees. By the time I got in the car to leave the meeting at the Ridge at 1:15 p.m., the car read 112 degrees. Probably a little uncalibrated, but nonetheless pretty freakin’ hot. Too hot to play golf, even. That’s hot. Fortunately, our President assures us there is nothing to worry about. The science behind global warning is much too sketchy to take seriously. That’s reassuring…drip, drip, drip.

Speaking of Presidents, our Club Leader was absent today, tending to his duties with the Nutmeg Games in Bridgeport. (Kids can play ball in any weather, unlike the far-from-kids who make up the bulk of our group.)    So we got our first taste of Acting President Bill Saunders at the podium. He came prepared wearing both the medallion of office and a heavy wool sport coat, which he had the good sense to doff before ringing the bell.

Mr. Rotarian, himself, Frank Collins, lead a thoughtful grace urging all of us to recognize and respond to the need to “lend a hand.”  Our guests were old buddy (and anxious to get back to his own bed) Fred Campbell and prospective new member Tim Larson. John Shemo led an enthusiastic welcome song.

Sgt-At-Arms Herb Tischofer reported on birthdays for Bill Saunders and Ceil Collins, both of whom contributed generously. Don Pitkin, Fred Campbell and Bill Leone each got dinked for miscellaneous offenses – pix in paper, bringing heat from Florida, and new car, respectively.

The Announcements were as follows:

q       Calculator and Backpack drive has one week to go. Please get donations or dollars to Ceil Collins by beginning of meeting next week.

q       If you want to play golf on August 16th (before the Tex-Mex Picnic) get in touch with Assistant Golf Director Bill Saunders by this weekend. It will be a scramble format. Bill has to provide the Golf Director a total number of players so she can schedule a course and tee times.

q       Sue Klock reported that revised yet again rosters are available and urged committee chairs to notify her of any scheduling commitments so she can keep the Club Calendar up to date on the web site.

q       The Golf Committee will meet next week at 11 a.m. The committee is still expecting each member to be responsible for securing both a $150 hole sponsor or its equivalent and a $50 raffle prize. Our major fundraiser, so please get on the stick.

q       The YMCA has invited one and all to its grand opening after recent renovations Saturday, August 12th from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

q       The Tex-Mex Fiesta is August 16th at Dan & Loretta’s. Cocktails at 4:30 p.m. and dinner at 6:00 p.m. Please bring an appetizer or a dessert along with the recipe of your specialty to be used in a future Rotary Cook Book. Kathy McCabe and Sue Klock are running the show.

Makeups were noted this week from Roy Spiller in Old Saybrook, Jim Watts at a District Committee Meeting and Doug Willett on the E-Club.

That’s it for now, although I can’t close without a call out to Ruthie, who is no doubt looking at the American league standings and getting very, very nervous. Does your daddy wear pinstripes, Ruthie?  WDOUGW 


High Gear -- July 26, 2006

Sounding a little like “The Return of the Natives,” it was a noisy room today. Friends both new and old came from near and far, and it was a good gathering! Maestro Don Hallquist gave President Dan Larson the countdown to the bell, and we were off. Steady, reliable Bill Saunders offered a blessing in which he gave thanks for “…this special place, with its caring people,” and we sat to a very tasty meal of London Broil, mixed veggies and mashed potatoes w/gravy. A lime pudding w/whipped cream topping completed the sacrifices to our taste buds.

Guests today included Atty. Joe Jaccanelli (apologies for the spelling) from Glastonbury, Don Cramer (now of Londonderry, NH), Brian Liss from the EH YMCA, Fred Campbell (all the way from Florida) and Tim Larson, from Jack Ghagan’s neighborhood. In Pres. Dan’s new policy for choosing the Song leader, Steve Jacoby won the honor as the ”last one in” and did a good job, w/gusto.

Sgt-at-Arms Carmen Piscatello, with Godfather accompaniment, called off the big-payers of the day, Wood (31) yrs; Bradbury (31 yrs) and Dienst, for anniversaries; and Messrs Leone, Shemo, and Dienst, for birthdays. Those guys got a birthday song! Jim Fallon’s grandchildren got some kind of awards for being so smart (sorry, Jim, that’s what it sounded like!), and Carmen reiterated that John McNaughton had paid big bucks for being out so long; we were sure glad to have that clarified.

To all those who were present a couple of weeks ago when Pres. Dan read the letter of resignation from Bill Flynn, guess I owe an apology to Bill for the cavalier manner in which I reported it in High Gear. (At least, Bill seemed to think so; “insensitive,” was his description of my announcement). So, Bill, in recognition of your long, loyal service to the East Hartford Rotary Club, we wish you all the best in and under the Florida sunshine. Stay well and happy, (and, perhaps not in the sun as much!) and may you find a Rotary Club with even half the fun and dedication to the Rotary spirit as the club you’ve just left!

Pres. Dan highlighted the events of last week’s meeting/ballgame in Glastonbury, lamented our small attendance (22), bragged about our win, 10 to 5, and thanked the members of the team (specially the sons of Rotarians) and pitcher George Schoen who pulled us through.

In other “news of the day,” came announcements of:

And from the last Board meeting came news that Bill Flynn has been voted an honorary member. Good to have you still aboard, Bill. Also, three prospective members: Lori Goeckler, Tim Larson, and Brian Liss, have been approved for membership by the Board.  This notice will appear for two week; anyone with comments about their joining our club should direct them to the Secretary. In the normal course of events, they will be cleared for induction  on or after August 10th. Also, we were urged to checkout the “Guidelines for Giving,” on our Club’s website. These are norms by which the Bd. will be guided in determining to which organizations or charities monies will  be given.

Maker-uppers included the faithful attendance by the following at: Stewart (Windsor), and, w/Collins F. (Col of Govs); Frank ‘n Ceil (Evanston); Wood, Bridgeton, ME; Spiller, Old Saybrook; Gately, So. Windsor; and Jacoby, in Newport & Glastonbury. Good goin’ guys…great to be together!       



High Gear -- July 17, 2006 (annual baseball with Glastonbury)

Saints be praised, the baseball gods were smiling down on us this hot, muggy July evening. With the mercury registering a round 100 degrees at Bradley Field at 5:00, the Elks Club Field in Glastonbury must have read about the same. President Danny Larson and his all-stars took to the diamond with surgically precise George Schoen on the mound; when the first inning came to a close, the East Hartford contingent already had 5 runs, a lead that they never relinquished. That’s right, to those naysayers who wanted us to switch to shuffleboard or cribbage, the final score was East Hartford 10, Glastonbury 5! It was a small but hardy band; 22 E. H. Rotarians gathered at the Glastonbury venue (where was the rest of our club?) with messrs Larson and 2 sons, Steve Bates and his 2 slugging sons, Tommy and Steve Jr., Neal Cunningham and son, all of whom were abetted by the Larson clan. On Glastonbury’s side of the field, one has to wonder with awe the perennial appearance of 85 year old John Dufford, who handled their catching duties behind the plate (and went 2 for 4 at the plate!) even though only a few days after cataract surgery.

The Glastonbury Rotary Club really does itself proud with this weekly hosting of other clubs and organizations through the summer months (they’ve invited the Police Dept. next week!) Their chef had the magic touch and served up a healthy cut of prime ribs, potatoes and tossed salad, with a tasty ice cream pie for dessert.

Long on Rotary fellowship and short on the business side, those who didn’t attend missed out on a good time. President Dan led his portion of the welcoming speeches with the expected Irish glib and wit and, considering the heat of the evening, a blessed brevity. (Though this qualified as the week’s official meeting, and the presidential emblem should have been- but wasn’t - part of Danny-boy’s uniform, this scribe would vote to waive the oversight and testify to having seen it around his sweaty neck!).

Next week it’s back to the Ridge, and one would hope, some cooler weather. ‘Til then, we can only observe that, though small in number, it was good to get together!


High Gear -- July 12, 2006

With the nimble-fingered Donnie-Boy Hallquist at the keyboard, we were treated to the sight of our newest honorary Rotarian, Ruth Sheehan, greeting us in the foyer. What a beautiful way to start the luncheon! And, when GUESTS were announced,  there were lots of other old friendly faces greeting us today, former member Fred Campbell, now of Florida, long-time-no-see John McNaughton, now recovered and meeting-ready, Tim Larson, (another of our president’s relatives), and a second time guest, Lori Goeckler. John was asked to lead our Welcome song and, riveted to the spot where he stood, ably did just that.

Following an invocation by Dave Amberg (in which he thanked the Lord for safety in storms and talents of our members), we were treated to a sumptuous meal of tender roast beef, potatoes and grilled veggies. Great tasting gravy! Home-made cookies desserted us.

Sgt-at-Arms Carmen Piscatello shared the lowdown on today’s miscreants: Brother Tim paid 29 cents (with change) on behalf of our new President, Tom Galvin was sung to for a birthday, Mo Moshovos and Dan Dienst coughed up for anniversaries (Mo claimed credit for 37 years!), and Pat Gately for a mass solicitation for Muscular Dystrophy.

Table topics of conversation today: The World Cup head-butt (and its probable cause) and the new committee assignments as printed on the High Gear shell. Numerous news tidbits:

On the subject of Committee Assignments:

President Dan urged anyone who can’t live with their assignment to talk with him, that he’s really trying to serve the club and its committees with new life and creative ideas.

He plans to meet with each committee to get/give input, with his slant on the year ahead. Let’s all pitch-in with enthusiasm to help make this our best year yet!

Sue Klock made a pitch for everyone’s input to keep the roster and website current. And with that, it was time to pull the plug for the day, making us feel once again that it was good to get together. (Oh yes, Bob Wood made up in Bridgeton, ME and Hyacinth Douglas-Bailey in Rockville….Thanks guys!)



High Gear -- July 5, 2006

Hopefully, we’re learning to deal with this veritable cafeteria of weather systems, from hot & humid, to warm, dryer & sunny, to torrential downpours, but what the heck, it’s always sunshine on the inside up at the Ridge, for there the East Hartford Rotary Club meets, called to assembly by the tinkling ivories of Maestro Don Hallquist at the Steinway. And today was a most special gathering, for it marked the beginning of new President Dan Larson’s year.

You could tell Dan was at the helm, ‘cause everyone walked out as soon as he rang the opening bell. His pleadings to return fell on deaf ears until he gave the order to “getchurarsesbackinhere!” And with that, everyone jumped, for he had truly shown that he could “Lead the Way!”

Parson Ted Mosebach offered the invocation, once again asking that Rotarians everywhere work to- ward making a real difference in the world. In keeping with the occasion, President Dan was served his very own Happy Meal from guess-where, complete with a paper crown. The real summertime fare of an open-faced BLT was just the ticket on this steamy, muggy day, followed by a cherry-laced Jello w/whipped cream, which did, indeed, top it off.

Our Guest today was Brian Lisk, new Director of the East Hartford YMCA and currently a Simsbury Rotarian, though it’s hoped he’ll soon join our forces. Steve Bates was called on to lead the Welcome Song. One wag was heard to say he hoped Steve doesn’t give up his day job.

Sgt-at-Arms Carmen (the Godfather) Piscatello showed why when he says “jump,” we all ask “How high?” He highlighted the District newsletter article about our own Frank and Ceil Collins and then fined them for their most generous gift to Rotary. Adding to the coffers was the anniversary of Herb & Julie Tischoffer. Carmen uttered a tribute to “them gangstahs” out there in Evanston.

Announcements to grace the day included:

·         Golf Committee Meeting – next week at 11:00AM.  (Note: George Schoen also told of the new Corporate Sponsorship of our tournament by Peter & Sue Klock!)

·         President Dan called our attention to the Courant’s recent article on our sponsorship of the Town’s ROPES course.  Good publicity!

·         Ceil Collins asked for participation in the ongoing “Backpack & Calculator” project. Target date for bringing them in is Aug.2nd.

·         Prexy Dan read thank-you notes from two of our scholarship recipients, Laura Foran and Mallory Thompson.

·         Neal Cunningham asked for a good turnout at the July 17 meeting with the Glastonbury club, softball to start around 5:30ish. (There’ll be no Wednesday meeting at the Ridge that week!). Tom Westbrook suggested a switch to shuffleboard may be in order in view of usual game results. (cribbage or ceramics?)

·         And then our new president told us something about a women’s golf tournament that’s not the LPGA (the Futures Tour?) to be held in the area soon. Anyone interested, call Dan!

In closing this, his first meeting, President Dan asked us to practice KINDNESS toward our fellow Rotarians and all our friends, and reminded us that with advancing age, BEAUTY simply moves from our faces to our hearts.

Thanks, Pres. Dan, you’re off to a good start, and wasn’t it great to get together!




High Gear June 28, 2006

Wednesday, June 28, 2006
Democracy’s greatest achievement is the bloodless transition of power: Hoover to Roosevelt, Eisenhower to Kennedy, Rather to Couric, Krantz to Larson—or as Captain Dan so felicitously expressed it, captain’s deck to poop deck.
The evening began with a Matterhorn of cheese and other hors d’oeuvres—supplemented by the perfect background music delivered by Goodtimes Entertainment. The bright environment of Casa Mia at Mt. Carmel enhanced the pleasure of “coming home” to East Hartford. We owe thanks to Loretta Dienst and Marcia Leclerc for the thorough preparation.
Art Bradbury gave thanks for the new beginning embodied in Dan Larson’s presidency—his enthusiasm, his drive, and his infectious humor. “Let us follow, as he Leads the Way”—Rotary International’s theme for the year. The family-style meal provided abundant levels of ziti and spaghetti and salad and stir-fried vegetables and cubed potatoes and ham and salami and wine-basted chicken and steak—complemented with pinot grigio and vino da cavola.
Frank Collins introduced Sue Klock for the presentation of a Paul Harris Fellowship to Sue’s sister Jayne. The Paul Harris donation from Sue and Peter Klock will go to Rotary International’s Polio Prevention program. Jayne teaches seventh grade social studies in the honors program at South Ocean Middle School in Patchogue, New York. This year Jayne’s students raised $300 for ShelterBox International, matched by donations from members of her school’s faculty.
President Carol presented Ruth Sheehan with a certificate naming Ruth an honorary member of the East Hartford Rotary Club in recognition of her continuing support of the club and its endeavors. Past District Governor Dick Seidman spoke, recognizing the presence of Mrs. Pauline Larson, our East Hartford matriarch; and he observed that in his 41 years of being a member of Rotary, this was his 41st visit to an East Hartford Rotary Club event. Dick, representing the district governors, presented President Carol with a Presidential Citation, honoring her for the East Hartford club’s achievement of the goals set for her year of leadership. President Carol in turn recognized 1) Steve Jacoby for becoming a Second-Level Benefactor in the Paul Harris Society, 2) Janice Sayre and Ruth Sheehan for receiving this year’s Paul Harris awards, and 3) Andy Andreo for his continuing Paul Harris contributions. President Carol thanked individual members for their contributions over the past year, including the golf committee’s raising $24,000, the installation of the McAuliffe Field score board, club support for the ShelterBox project and Rebuilding Together, the elementary school supply drive, our participation in RILA and the growth of Interact, the yearly scholarship awards, and many other successes.
President Carol thanked President-elect Dan Larson for his continuing support over the past year when she was experiencing numerous personal trials. She hoped to be able to provide him with at least half the support this year as he has given her. Her thoughts on the major challenge facing the club over the near future—the recruitment of new and younger membership. President Carol received a standing ovation for her service.
At this point in the solemn ceremony, the One and Only East Hartford Rotary Female Kazoo Band marched through the hall to greet the new president. Their exact melody was not quite discernable, but President Larson promised them a spot on the agenda for the next district conference and proposed as a possible moniker: “Motley Crew” (notice the pristine spelling). President Dan’s first official words were “Carol, we love you; however, you’re the rotten apple of my eye.” And so the new year began.
President Dan acknowledged Jack Ghagan and the late Joe Lysik for first introducing him to Rotary. He then quoted from a welcoming letter from District Governor Susan Atkins. In her letter Governor Atkins referred to the “Woodruff Key,” an invention of the Woodruff Manufacturing Company of Hartford in the late 19th century. The Rotary emblem (the Rotary wheel) contains a slot at the top of its central axis that requires the insertion of a Woodruff key, a small rectangular/circular devise, to allow the gear to become engaged. The president is the “key” that will engage the gear; and President Larson promises to be that key and to help East Hartford Rotary achieve the goal set this year for Rotary International: to “Lead the Way”—as the East Hartford club has always done.
President Dan declared what we all know—that Rotary is not just a club, it is a way of life. “Our creator has put us on this earth to BE for one another, that is our call!” Captain Dan introduced the members of his crew—the board of directors that will help him carry out Rotary’s mission: president-elect William Saunders; secretary Susan Klock; treasurer George Schoen; director Bill Secord; director Glen Peterson; director Ceil Collins; and sergeant-at-arms Jim Fallon. The actual epithets that President Dan affectionately used for each of the crew members of the “U.S. Deen Nosral” cannot be printed in official Rotary literature; but when all is turned around, the ship of state is appropriately named “Larson Needs U.” Thus ended the beginning.
Ensign Bill Secord

High Gear June 21, 2006

            The poet has said, “What is so rare as a day in June?” Thus Frank Collins began his thoughtful blessing—reminding us to give encouragement and support to the thousands of new folks now entering our professions and businesses for the first time.

            The first day of summer awarded us with summer zucchini, strawberry shortcake, Linguine Alfredo, and pork tenderloin with light wine gravy. A good start to the season.

            Marcia Leclerc passed out copies of the Installation Dinner menu as encouragement for full attendance. President-elect Dan, needing help for a respectable inaugural audience, handed out fines wholesale to refractory members. Past Governor Dick Seidman, assuming the mantle of club membership let slip by Art Apostol, introduced the guest at his table, Lori GoecklerCeil Collins in turn introduced Dick Seidman. All of which flustered Mo Moshovos so much that he broke out into upside-down Italian as he introduced Rick Lawrence, architect from Glastonbury. President Carol, in her last meeting at the helm, properly called upon Art Apostol to lead the Welcome Song in penance for all the confusion he had caused.

            Sergeant-at-arms Larson, dressed in the jacket and tie that the club (out of sheer embarrassment) had bought for him at the district conference, announced a number of anniversaries: Chuck Clarke, 11 years in Rotary; Jim Reik, 2 years in Rotary, the second time around; and Mo Moshovos, so many years he can choose to go to a picnic rather than the Installation Dinner. Don Pitkin was fined for having his picture in the paper, but he had already left the meeting to act as a member of the town council at a store opening—in East Hartford. He may surely be forgiven. Various golfers were fined at various rates that escaped the mathematical capacity of this reporter. George Schoen paid for the high-school graduation of his granddaughter, who will be an early decision freshman at Sue Klock’s alma mater. (Sue paid for the honor.) Doug Willett paid a fine for baring his legs brazenly in public; and Dan Russell paid a fine for his vintage Ma Bassinette sports jacket. (I believe it came from J. Crew, Dan! Where else?) Peter and Sue Klock paid for 39 years of marriage. Andy Andreo, in his usual gentlemanly way, volunteered payment for 54 years of marriage; and Gil Wishart, not believing that he had been outdistanced, paid for 50 years of marriage.

            Bill Saunders reported that he recently attended a ceremony at the state capitol where State Education Commissioner Dr. Betty Sternberg awarded a number of schools across the state for their “Good Deeds”—civic activity, leadership, and service to school and community and to those in need. East Hartford High School was one of ten recipients—receiving an award for the Senior Citizens Prom that East Hartford Rotary helps support. Our thanks go to Peter and Sue Klock for their resolute coordination (and more) of this event.

            Past Presidents’ Picnic will take place this coming Sunday at 2:00 pm, Last names from A-M should take dessert; names from L-Z, a salad. Go figure.

            The Installation Dinner takes place next Wednesday, June 28, at Mt. Carmel Hall on Old Roberts Street, East Hartford—6:00 pm for cocktails; 7:00 pm for dinner.

            Peter and Sue Klock, who have been speaking at Rotary Clubs around the Northeast, reported on the progress and status of the ShelterBox program. The Rotary Club at Stowe, VT, pledged 5 boxes this week. Six hundred boxes to date have been delivered to the victims of the Indonesian earthquake.

            Dick McCarthy won the raffle with a ticket picked out by Detective Commander Kenary—the only honest raffle we’ve had in six months!

            Program: Herb Barall formally introduced Commander Robert Kenary as our speaker. Commander Kenary is active across the state and the nation in programs directed at preventing child abuse, especially sexual abuse. He presented abuse statistics and talked about the major abuse-prevention programs presently active—and mostly ineffective. Such programs as Stranger Danger, Good Touch/Bad Touch, martial arts, fingerprinting and photographing of the child, and the sex offender registry at best mislead parents and children as to their effectiveness and at worse can be exploited by sex offenders to get permitted access to the child. A pedophile, defined as an adult who prefers to have sex with a pre-pubescent child, has a clinically diagnosed psychiatric disorder that cannot be cured or controlled. There are an estimated 87,900 to 879,000 sexual child abuse cases each year, and only 3% of the perpetrators get caught. One of the major reasons for this dismal statistic is captured in a quote from Ken Lanning of the FBI Academy: “We should fear these offenders, not because they are monsters; we should fear them because they are ordinary.” Over 95% of the children who are victims of sexual abuse know their assailant. It takes an average of six months for an aggressor to obtain physical involvement, and the average aggressor has abused 117 victims before he is caught. The best defense is to establish programs that teach children how to recognize exploitive behavior and to promote continual parental awareness of the signs that precede possible exploitation.

            The meeting closed with one verse of “America.”

            Bill Secord


High Gear June 14, 2006

What a glorious day it was …Flag Day…2006!!! A day to thank God for the privilege of living in this wonderful country. Sure it was sorta “stinky” weather, said Dino Roland, and yet, despite the threatening clouds, it never did rain! And that was pretty important, cause we were at the Annual Sgt-at-Arms picnic at the home of Bill and Bev Leone.  Which meant either steak or salmon, each cooked to perfection by our chef. And where else can you get ice cream sundaes like those? Mahvallous, dahling! Our Sgt-at-Arms John Mozzicato fittingly waived all fines for the day.

After a generous cocktail hour during which long friendships were made even stronger, President Carol presided and the food line gathered. After supper, Ted Mosebach offered a sobering period of announcements of sad losses to our club: Scotty Howat has lost his daughter, Lynne Fitzgerald; Carmen Piscatello has lost his sister, Rose Salitto, and Dick McCarthy has lost his brother, Jack. Our thoughts & prayers are with you, dear friends, as we grieve with you the passing of loved ones.

Sights too wonderful to behold:

+ Jean Roland, Pat Gately, & Kathy McCabe helping out Bev in the kitchen

+ Tom Galvin, wearing his prize-winning girdle (says the bags of mulch were too heavy!)

+ George Schoen with a bandaged elbow from “wrassling” with a neighbor’s German Shepherd

+ Dan Larson’s shrimp sauce-laden shirt; it’s easy to see why his shoes are always so clean!

+ Our one and only Prexy Carol (Spike) Krantz, bussing the tables like she’s done it before!

+ And the Leone’s beautiful Clemaitis; gorgeous no matter how it’s pronounced 

+ Jack Sayre, and we’re sure there were others, paying his dues to stand-in Treasurer Bill     Saunders

And then there were some Announcements:

+ Incoming President Dan Larson’s Installation Dinner – June 28th, at Mt. Carmel Hall

+ Dan & Loretta Dienst’s last big Margarita Night soiree at their home on Sunset Ridge – Aug.16

+ “Commodore” Bob Wood is looking for some Dragon Boat crews for the big regatta on Sept.16

+ The annual Past President’s Picnic at Lake Pokateepog –June 25. A to M=desserts, L to R=Hors d-,  and S to Z= Salads. The bewitching hours, 2:00 to 4:00; tariff: $21 per person

And just to keep us on our toes:

Dave Amberg offered up an invocation, giving thanks for the god-given talents of our members and for the food we had already eaten!

Mom and Pop Leone were thanked roundly for offering their home for this bash; Tommy Tooth, as befitting any good chairman, had convinced us all to stay to help clean up, lift that barge, tote chairs and tables, and leave the premises in good shape. Didn’t get a report, but it seemed that was happening. Nice job, y’all!

And, wouldn’t ya’ know it, I got another chance to observe that it was great to be together!





High Gear June 7, 2006

Well, we just missed another of those rare dates: 06-06-06, so we’ll just have to wait until 2007’s July! On the way to the Ridge, we saw a bearded fellow in his backyard with hammer, saw, lots of long boards, and a bucket of pine tar. He was mumbling something about going out looking for pairs of animals…

Our membership may be down, but there seemed to be a lot of Rotarians and friends today. A good gathering! George Stewart offered the invocation, expressing the blessings of the Rotary world on those assembled. And what a great meal it was! A delicious open-faced turkey-bacon-egg club sandwich, just right for a warm summer’s day (if we could only find one!)

Trusty ole Danny-boy Larson was at the helm, and led us through a very full agenda, as a start:

Guests: Charles Hallquist, brother of Maestro Don; Rupert Norris, English friend of Stew and all the other South-Churchers; Doris Burgdoff, So. Windsor Historical Society member; and a contingent from East Hartford High School, lead by Principal Craig Jordan, and Guidance Chair Alex Lazzari; and our six scholarship winners: Laura Foran, Beth Harvey, Kevin Liner (Grandson of Bill Saunders), Leslie Furbush, Mallory Thompson, and Meridith Bajana (Niece of Marcia LeClerc). Jim Fallon told of two named scholarships for Chet Brewer and Jim Sheehan. The Welcome Song was enthusiastically led by Aunt Marcia and Grampa Bill. (They both appeared to be running for office, with all that hand-shaking!)

Sgt-at-Arms Jack Ghagan told of several miscreants, to wit:

A new car in John Shemo’s garage;

Sue & Peter Klock’s renovated Willard Hotel (in Washington) on CBS Sunday morning; anniversaries for Gil Wishart (5), & Dave Amberg (6);

and a special birthday for Dan Firestone, serenaded by all the scholarship winners!

The many Announcements included:


Raffle Winner today was Roy Spiller!

Maker-uppers included Pat Gately and Roy Spiller: So Windsor; Frank & Ceil Collins: College of Governors and Hartford’s 25 year Club Luncheon. Thanks, guys and gals!

Our Program today, introduced by Jackie Danise, was Doris Burgdoff, member of the So. Windsor Historical Society, who, befitting the wonderful weather of the day (!), talked her way through a most interesting slide show of the 1926 and 1936 floods, as well as a couple of hurricanes of ’53, ’55. and ’84. If you like lots of water, cows swimming in it, and flooded basements, this was a highlight of the year! Thanks Jackie, my socks are still wet!

And with that, subbing for Larry Churchill, I felt once again that it was good to be together!



High Gear -- May 31, 2006

            The music was all about Scott Joplin; the gossip was all about Bill Saunders, masquerading as Mark Spitz. Whereas Mark won seven gold medals at the Munich Olympics, Bill won the golfer’s Muddy Bum award for youthful indiscretion. President Carol was so impressed, she started the meeting two minutes early—a definite first!

            Most of members of the club received lasagna, a salad, and strawberry rhubarb pie for their noontime meal; some special Rotarians received gourmet grilled chicken salad. It all remains a mystery. Summer has arrived with iced tea and flavorful punch for beverage choices. As President Carol announced, summer attire will officially begin next week—even though the distinction was abandoned five years ago.

            As the time came for guests to be announced, it was discovered that one of our two guests had disappeared—somewhere into the bowels of Veterans Memorial Clubhouse. Eventually Ted Mossback introduced Phil Porter from the Berlin Club, a guest of Marcia LeClerc's, who is involved in the funeral business of some sort—similarly to Ted himself.  Dean Rolland introduced former District Governor Dick Seidman from the Hartford Club. Jim Fallon led The Welcome Song, which had been postponed until Phil’s materialization.

            Sergeant-at-Arms Jack Gagnon collected fines from a number of sources: birthdays for Marcia Leclerc and Dean Rolland (84); anniversaries for Marcia Leclerc and Larry Churchill. And Marcia again for appearing on TV. Bill Saunders paid for falling in the brook; Chuck Clarke, Herb Barall, and Bob Richmond paid for laughing at him. John Mozzicato paid for the Red Sox’ losing and the Yankees’ winning. President Carol paid for her picture in the paper. And Bill Saunders paid further for Art Bradbury’s article in the Gazette. Golf has become more expensive for Bill than he had originally anticipated.

            Note: Contrary to popular opinion, Steve Bates DID recently pay for his birthday and anniversary.

            Dan Firestone reminded past presidents to sign up for the upcoming past presidents’ picnic, an annual affair unencumbered by any monies coming from the club membership. Dan Russell offered for our attention an article from a recent issue of House Beautiful (architects have eclectic reading habits) which contains a poetic/photographic acknowledgment of Rotary International’s role in the conquering of polio: just as a majestic tree has grow tall by never having been chopped down, so children are growing into adulthood because they have never had polio—because of people like Rotary.

            Neal Cunningham shocked the club with his announcement that the annual softball contest with the Glastonbury club has actually been scheduled! D-Day is Monday, July 17. All ringers welcome.

            Tom Galvin asked the membership for help in set-up and clean-up for the sergeant-at-arms picnic. He needs one more person for set-up on Tuesday, June 13, and has decreed that EVERYONE will participate in clean-up on Wednesday, June 14—no one gets out alive. If anyone who plans on attending hasn’t signed up yet for the picnic, he/she should talk to Bill Leone.

            Former Governor Seidman announced to the club that Steve Jacoby recently donated significantly to the Rotary Foundation in memory of Bob Andrews and Jim Sheehan and has added a codicil to his will promising a further gift. Frank Collins presented Steve with the Rotary Foundation’s Bequest Society double-diamond pin, signifying that the recipient has reached Level II among the Foundation supporters by contributing at the $25,000 level.

            Peter and Sue Klock described their visit last week to Cornwall, U.K., the headquarters of the Shelterbox program. Tom Henderson, founder of Shelterbox, recently received Rotary International’s Service Above Self Award, Rotary’s highest honor—making Henderson one of only 150 recipients in the last 100 years! Peter and Sue survived a storm-driven flight in a twin-engine prop plane to reach the costal town and obtained the latest information on Shelterbox activities. The day after the recent earthquake in Indonesia, there were 200 ShelterBoxes on the ground to assist survivors. Very quickly, Shelterbox provided housing for over 4000 people in the area.

            Raffle: won by Bob Wood again.

            Program: Frank Collins introduced our speaker, Jeanne Webb, the new director of development and planning for the Town of East Hartford. Jeanne, who arrives with a full portfolio of regional activities in economic development, expressed great enthusiasm for the future development of Rentschler Field. She spoke of a powerful can-do attitude that has developed at town hall for the full development of all 900,000 sq. feet of available space. Cabela’s, the super sporting goods company, is still planning to occupy 200,000 sq. feet of the project and will bring a number of other businesses along with it. The proposed lake remains a reality. Jeanne promises to enhance the project by attracting other enterprises such as high-end restaurants.  The present five-year plan calls for a mixed-use development, including office towers, residential complexes, and retail operations—“stacked” together for a village-like atmosphere, the latest vision for viable urban development. A time schedule for the whole project will be finalized by this July.

            The meeting closed with one verse of “America.”

Respectfully submitted, Bill Secord


High Gear -- May 24, 2006

Dan Firestone gave today’s invocation.

The membership enjoyed a lunch of grilled chicken with mango salsa along with pasta salad and mixed fruit for dessert.

We didn’t have any guests today but Herb Tischofer led the “Welcome Song” in honor of his return from Florida.

Sgt-at-arms Jack Ghagan received payment from lots of members celebrating birthdays and anniversaries, all of whom were mentioned in last week’s “High Gear.”  We sang a special version of “Happy Birthday to Yous.”  He also collected from the late comers and early leavers.

George Steward presented Mark Sirois with his permanent badge, and George encouraged the membership to work on recruiting new members.

The raffle was won by George Schoen



The next Golf Committee Meeting will be held on June 7 @ 11:15.

The Sergeant-at-arms party will be held at Bill Leone’s house on June 14.

Steve Jacoby thanked those members for their donations of toothpaste and toothbrushes for Haiti.

The board of directors decided once again to sponsor the East Hartford High School basketball team to play in a summer basketball league.

The Installation Dinner will be held on June 28 at Mt. Carmel Hall in East Hartford.

The Carnival of Venice dinner, which had to be cancelled earlier this year, will be held at the Ridge on Nov. 18.  That’s lots of notice, and the date doesn’t conflict with other events.


Roy Spiller, Rockville

Herb Tischofer, Naples Bay, Florida

Bob Brown, Manchester

Frank & Ceil Collins, District 5510 Conference in Pine Top, Arizona


Frank Collins introduced our speaker, Paul Meyer, Executive Director of the River Valley Tourism District, which serves the central region of the state from Old Saybrook to Enfield.  Paul explained the work he does marketing tourism for the region and some of the difficulties he faces relating to reductions in state funding for tourism.

There are now 5 regional tourism districts in the state.  There are 146,000 tourism related jobs in state which accounts for 13% of all CT jobs.  The hotel occupancy tax alone generates $71,000,000 annually.  The primary reason people come to our region is cultural heritage.  Some of the big draws are the Mark Twain House and the Wadsworth Atheneum.  His office operates a welcome center in Middletown and they produce a variety of brochures and a Visitor magazine.  They also maintain an active website and field a large number of phone calls from people interested in visiting the region.

 High Gear Editor, Glen Peterson


High Gear -- May 17, 2006

The invocation was given by Jackie Danise.

Today lunch included open faced turkey sandwiches, mashed potatoes, and carrots with assorted cookies and brownies for dessert.

We had many lovely and distinguished guests this week to hear the program including:

Bev Saunders, wife of Bill; Jeanne McCarthy, wife of Dick; Jay Stewart, wife of George; Charlotte Bradbury, wife of Art; Jean Wishart, wife of Gil, and Gil Anderson, brother-in-law of Gil Wishart.  Also in attendance were Cate Evans from the South Windsor club and immediate Past District Governor Dick Seidman.

Make-ups:  Frank Collins attended meetings in Enfield and Philadelphia.  Ceil Collins attended a meeting in Enfield.

Sgt-At-Arms:  Jonny Mo gave an enthusiastic report with included donations from Red Sox fans, payments for birthdays and anniversaries, and other sundry crimes.  Dick McCarthy did a couple spins around the dance floor with his lovely bride, Jeanne, to celebrate many years of wedded bliss.  This writer also paid because he didn’t list the birthdays and anniversaries last week.  The birthdays and anniversaries in May are:

Birthdays                                                          Anniversaries

Neal Cunningham                                             Jim Watts

Bob Brown                                                      Spurg Stokes

Larry Churchill                                                  Steve Bates

Herb Barall                                                       Roy Spiller

                                                                        George Agnelli

                                                                        George Stewart

                                                                        Dean Roland

                                                                        Marcia LeClerc



The East Hartford Summer Youth Festival will be holding an auction to support their programs.  This summer they will be putting on “The Music Man.”  Please call Roy Spiller for tickets and information.

The board approved 3 donations: $100 to Intercommunity Mental Health to help buy software and a Braille printer; $500 to the Lung Association for their annual walk; and $500 to the East Hartford Summer Youth Festival.

The Sergeant-at-Arms party will be held on the evening of June 14. 

Dan Larson reported that we’re in compliance with District requests for information due the efficient work of club secretary Bill Saunders.

Several members attended the District Assembly last Thursday in Enfield: Dan Larson, George Schoen, Bill Secord, Ceil Collins, Frank Collins, Bill Saunders, and Glen Peterson.

Dick Seidman thanked/congratulated the club for once again having the highest attendance at the district conference.  He encouraged us to get in nominations for the Ambassadorial Scholarship Program, and he announced the formation of a new group, the Paul Harris Society.  This group is being chaired by Dick and PDG Frank Wargo.  Members pledge to donate $1000 or more per year for 10 years to the Rotary Foundation.  Current members of the society include Frank and Ceil Collins, Peter and Sue Klock, and Glen Peterson.


Today’s speakers, Kim Wishart and Lynn Deasy, were introduced by Gil Wishart, father of Kim.  Kim and Lynn are both board members of Soteni International which oversees Soteni Kenya, an organization dedicated to helping improve the plight of HIV/AIDS patients in Kenya and helping the over 1 million children orphaned in Kenya because their parents have died due to HIV/AIDS.  Soteni was founded by Dr Vicky Wells who went to Kenya on a Rotary Scholarship.  Soteni means “all of us together” in Swahili. Soteni’s mission is to help orphans lead the fight against HIV/AIDS through education. The organization sponsors individual so they can get anti-retroviral drugs to combat HIV/AIDS.  Soteni also sponsors four villages in Kenya; each village is responsible for determining how to combat HIV/AIDS in their locality and developing a plan to make the village self-sustaining.  Some of the villages run schools, one is starting an orphanage, and another runs a medical clinic.  The villages are becoming self-sustaining through farming locally suitable crops such as maize, beans, or tea.  Another village is investigating the possibility of beekeeping since honey is prized and not easily available in Kenya.  Earlier this year the board donated money to Soteni.  In last week’s High Gear I incorrectly reported that the donation was to support Kim’s trip to Kenya.  Actually the donation all went to support Soteni’s work and Kim paid thousands of dollars of her own money to fund the trip.

High Gear Editor, Glen Peterson

High Gear -- May 10, 2006

The Invocation was given by Art Bradbury

Today’s lunch consisted of cheeseburgers with German style potato salad along with chocolate mousse for dessert.

We had several guests today:

Ralph Gray, Director of the East Hartford High School Academy of Finance, along with Alex Collins and Rachael Freeman, both EHHS seniors and participants in the Academy of Finance.

Brian Liss, the new branch director of the East Hartford YMCA, is also a member of the Simsbury/Granby Rotary Club. 

Sgt-at-Arms Jack Ghagan gave a fine report, unfortunately, the “High Gear” editor wasn’t so trustworthy and misplaced the list which contained the many members who were celebrating birthdays and anniversaries this month.  Mea Culpa.  We’ll be able to recognize all of them in next week’s “High Gear.”   Dan Larson paid because he is “tuition free.”  His final child finished her master’s degree.  Congratulations.  Gil Wishart paid for the Red Sox victory over Bronx Bombers.  Don Pitkin paid for his picture in the paper, a regular event.  There were also the assorted late comers and early leavers.

Gil Wishart made an announcement about next week’s program.  His daughter Kim and her colleague Lynn Deasy will speak about the three weeks they spent in Kenya working with Soteni, an AIDS prevention organization.  Earlier this year the club made a donation to support Kim’s trip. Several spouses will be attending as guests, if you were not at the meeting and would like to bring a guest, please inform President Carol so she can inform the kitchen.  

Bill Secord announced that club members donated $545 to the Mike Abalon Pancreatic Cancer Walk.  The Club will be recognized on event t-shirts because of the size of the donation.

Steve Jacoby gave a reminder about the collection of toothbrushes, tooth paste, and money the Interact Club is collecting to send to Haiti. Please bring in any donations next week. (I called my dentist and they were happy to make a donation.  Please make a call.)

Jack Ghagan won the “Deal or No Deal” raffle.


Frank Collins asked Bill Saunders, who is currently a board member of the EHHS Academy of Finance, to introduce guest speaker Ralph Gray, Director of the Academy and Past President of the Manchester Rotary Club.  Bill gave a brief history of the Academy of Finance.  Many Rotarians including Doug Willett, the first chairman, Jim Fallon, Don Hallquist, as well as Bill have served on the board.

The academy introduces students to career possibilities in the areas of finance and insurance.  The students begin taking classes as juniors and participate in paid internships during the summer following their junior years and take more advanced classes and work in internships during their senior years.  The program is supported by local businesses and this year $24,000 in scholarships is being distributed to college-bound seniors.  Ralph then introduced the two student guest speakers.

Rachael Freeman, a senior who is working as an intern at St. Paul-Travelers in the enterprise marketing area.  She works on projects relating to competitive market analysis and agency incentive programs to promote the companies products.  She spoke very highly of how the academy courses prepared her for working in a corporate environment.  She will be attending Manchester Community College in the fall.

Alex Collins is also a senior and is interning at the American Eagle Credit Union.  Alex and another student actually run a branch of the credit union at EHHS which processes transactions for students and staff members.  He also works in the main branch during the summer. Next year Alex will attend Norfolk State University in Virginia where he will major in business as well as play football and run track.  Alex is a member of the EHHS track team and he also thanked the club for the donation we made to the team to support their trip this spring to the Penn Relays, the premier high school track meet in the nation.

Editor, Glen Peterson


High Gear -- May 3, 2006

The meeting seemed crowded and lively now that some of our snow birds have returned from their winter migration.  Welcome back this week to Doug Willett and Don Cramer. A lovely invocation was given by Sue Klock, and we were served a delicious repast of chicken, spaghetti, and eggplant parmesan. 

President Carol thanked president-elect Dan for filling in for her during her convalescence and many other times this year.  She also thanked club members for the many cards and phone calls.  

Make Ups:  Frank and Ceil Collins made up four meetings recently in far flung locations.

Guests: Scott Sayre, son of Jack and Diane Willett, wife of Doug.

Sgt-at-Arms:  John Mozzicato grudgingly took from a Red Sox fan because the squad is in first place. We had 3 birthdays, Jim Watts, Jim Fallon, and Stu Harris, who were serenaded. We had several early leavers, but no late arrivals.  Bill Saunders made a donation because his grandson, Kevin Liner, appeared on the MTV program “Total Request Live” with about 100 students from East Hartford High along with Tom Cruise and the cast of “Mission Impossible 3.”

Returning member Mike Malinguaggio received his official name tag.

Pat “Lucky” Gately won the raffle.


Sue Klock thanked the many people who helped with the Senior Citizens’ Prom on April 26th.  [co-chair, Peter Klock, for several days of shopping and hefting as well as coordinating kitchen, all the club members who helped the day of the prom: Dave Amberg , Herb Barall, dancing, Art & Charlotte Bradbury, Joan & Leo Christmas, Neal Cunningham, Dan Dienst, Skip Guillemette, Mary Martin, not only for helping in the kitchen but also for collecting, washing & folding all the aprons, Dick & Jeanne McCarthy, Kathy McCabe, Bill & Bev Saunders, both Dan Larson and George Schoen, for staying until the end and winding things up for us, Bill Secord, Steve & Mary Tamiso, with a special thanks to Steve for getting all the bread and $185 in gift certificates from local grocery stores, keeping our costs down, Gil Wishart, and last but never least, Bob & Debby Wood.]

Bill Leone received a gift to the scholarship fund from Roger Nicholson along with a letter which he read.

Mary Martin, advisor to the East Hartford High School Interact Club, spoke about their campaign to collect tooth brushes for Haiti.  We are asked to speak to our dentists for donations, purchase toothbrushes, or make a contribution to help in this effort.

George Schoen, co-chair of the Golf Committee, announced that the tournament will be held on Sept 25 at Manchester CC.  Forms for registration and sponsorship will be coming out soon. The committee will meet on May 24 at 11:00.

The Scholarship Committee will meet next week, May 10, at 10:45.

The Annual Past Presidents’ Party will be held on Sunday, June 25 at 2:00 at Lake Pocotopaug in East Hampton.


Unfortunately our scheduled speaker, Baker Salisbury, the East Hartford Director of Health and Social Services, couldn’t attend because of a special meeting called by the state.  Frank Collins mentioned a few things about emergency preparedness and the things the state and town are doing to be prepared if a pandemic should strike.  Frank will try to reschedule if there is an opening in the program schedule before the end of June.


High Gear -- April 26, 2006

With gavel and bell AP Dan brought the meeting to order. The members joined in a loud rendition of the Rotary song. The pledge followed and then Bill Saunders delivered a praise worthy invocation. There upon “Dean’s Delight” an open face sandwich, potato chips and cookies was served. One wonders what Dean had for vittles growing up in the mountains.

AP Dan called on Carmen to introduce the guest at his table, who was none other than Carmen’s brother-law, Clint. A Canadian, Clint has just bought a home in Florida.

Sgt-at-Arms Carmen reported fining George Agnelli for 31 years in Rotary and Nick Cecere for 19 years in Rotary. Slim pickens today since three birthday boys failed to turn up.

Make ups; Pat Gately at South Windsor, Skip Guillemette and Dan Russell at Manchester, Herb Discover twice at Naples, Chuck Clarke at Naples, Doug Willett at Cape Coral, and Steve Jacoby at Savannah.

Announcements; Golf Committee meeting at 11 AM, 5/3/06 at the Ridge. Steve Jacoby thanked all who worked on the photo ID for kids last Saturday. 200 kids now know how they are. Now if Steve could do the same for some of the members………

Bill Saunders reported on the District Conference. His report appears below.

Our guest speaker was Peter Gross. Peter is a Windsor Rotarian and has done public relations consulting and training for the District. His message “We are the message” challengers us to brand ourselves as Rotarians in public. We need to be the disseminators of rotary and all its’ works. We can no longer count on the media to send our message to the public. We must be a resource for rotary. 


And here below, Bill Saunders’ report on the '06 District 7890 Conference:

  Student exchange group at the conference -- loved the ShelterBox concept!

From the Green Mountains of Burlington, VT, East Hartford Rotarians and their families enjoyed the District Conference hosted by District Governor Karen Andrews. We heard presentations on Cambodia from Inge Dunham, Water Projects from District Governor Elect Susan Atkins, study in Australia from Ambassadorial Scholar Sarah Chorzempa (shame on us if we don’t come up with some candidates for the Dunn Ambassadorial Scholarship), Group Study Exchange Students from a number of countries, Rotary Youth Exchange from Brazil and the keynote address from Barbara Feder, PDG and representative of RI President Carl –Wilhelm Stenhammar.

Our East Hartford Club was officially recognized for receiving the Presidential Citation under the leadership of President Carol Krantz.

East Hartford was, once again, very visible throughout the conference. Sue and Peter Klock had their Shelter Box tent on display and managed to receive donations for three tents that will be matched by three more tents from individual donors. (It was a weekend special of 2:1).

Don Hallquist lugged his music and instruments from room to room taking care of the conference needs as well as being responsible for the Sunday morning interfaith memorial service’s music and choir.

President Elect Dan Larson and his lovely wife Dorothy along with the rest of our East Hartford contingent ran a finely tuned hospitality suite enjoyed by the entire district. In addition to fine food and drink, Dan captured the conference attendees attention with a trivia contest both Friday and Saturday nights. Congratulations to Dorothy Larson, Kathy McCabe, Nancy Richmond and Bev Saunders for being the top dog in Friday night's contest.  Their prize was to do a little clothes shopping for PE Dan.

So, don't forget to ask PE Dan about the outfit he wore at our formal dinner Saturday evening, where his intended wardrobe was and to tell you what fine taste in clothes the EH ladies have.

Not to be over looked, the mongoose and mongoose master George Stewart made several appearances and managed to hoodwink several fun loving interested parties including District Governor Karen Andrews who managed to give herself a bath with her drink.

Saturday evening's black tie dinner was preceded by the parade of Past District Governors, including our own George and Jay Stewart and Ceil and Frank Collins.  Sure makes us proud!

The conference was held in memory of Bob Andrews, husband of DG Karen Andrews, and our own PDG Jim Sheehan. The entire conference was delighted to have Ruth and her daughter Kathy attend Saturday’s dinner and to pay tribute to Ruth and Jim. Quite a moving moment!

Don’t forget to mark your calendars for next year when the District Conference will be held on May 4-6 at the Cape Codder Hotel in Hyannis, MA. Looks like a Kentucky Derby weekend!!


High Gear -- April 19, 2006

Promptly at 12:15 “stand-in “ Dan rang the meeting to order.  The pledge and a blessing given by Dave Amberg followed. The luncheon of meat loaf, mashed potatoes, green peas and a desert of strawberry short cake was then served and “enjoyed” by all.

Guests today were; PDG Carolyn Pierce, Michael Piscatello, (grandson of Don Carmen), and George Agnelli Jr. This could be the “Sons and Grandsons of  Italy Day” except for the introduction of Brian Liss, the new YMCA Director. Chuck Clarke conducted a fine rendition of the Welcome Song. Yes AP Don he did remember all the words.

The ever-dapper Don Carmen executed the duties of :SGT-AT-ARMS in fine fashion. With a half smile and a cold eye he extracted generous sums for birthdays from Andy Andreo and Chuck Clarke, for four years in Rotary from Hyacinth Douglas-Bailey, and for a new car from George Schoen. We must note that Andy’s offering was for Rev. Roger and himself.

The raffle was won by Peter (he-always-wins) Klock.


Roy Spiller at Manchester, Dan Russell at Vernon-Rockville.


The Vernon-Rockville Club meets at Holiday Inn Express in Vernon.

The CIRCLE OF LIFE is sponsoring a “Dance Competition & Steel Pan Performance” April 29, 2006 with a Trinidad & Tobago Photography Exhibition running April 5th to 29th.

In honor of Mike Abelon the co-founder and first principle of the International Baccalaureate Academy the “Pancreatic Cancer Action Network is having the First Annual Abelon Memorial Walk” May 20th. This is must for our support.

BOD motions passed;

$1000.00 annual donation to the “Y” and a $1700.00, second of three donations pledged for the “Y's” capital campaign.

$1000.00 to Interval House

$500.00 to Literacy Volunteers of Greater Hartford, which benefits literacy volunteers at Wickham Library in East Hartford.

Our speaker today was PDG Carolyn Pierce. Her topic “The Foundation Saves and Changes Lives” was delivered with feeling and sincerity. The Foundation’s PolioPlus, Health , Hunger and Humanity Grants, Matching Grants, Rotary World Peace Scholars, Ambassadorial Scholarships, Group Study Exchange to name a few all do Save and Change Lives.



High Gear -- April 12, 2006

Acting President Dan Larson got us started on time, and proving once again that our Club knows how to spell as well as how to sing, we boomed out a rousing rendition of R-O-T-U-R-Y, or was it R-O-T-U-A-R-Y, or was it R-O-T-I-S-S-A-R-Y. Well, whatever ever it was, Don Hallquist. kept us on tune, as he always does, and even if we couldn’t spell it right, everyone seemed happy.

President-elect/Acting President Dan asked George Schoen ask for a blessing. And George gave us a very eloquent prayer blessing on our gathering and our meal together and calling also upon the Almighty to bless our members in the celebration of our forthcoming Easter and Passover Holidays.

We had a good lunch of Chicken Catch-a-Tory, but it may have been a different concoction by a different name - we like it but whatever it was, no one at my table could name it or spell it. There’s that spelling problem again.

Guests: Frank Collins introduced Francine Hunter, head of the local office of the VNA of Connecticut, and either Pat Gately or Jacquie Danise introduced Esther Clarke, known for many things of importance in her life, including without limitation a husband named Chuck. Stu Harris and Jack Sayre lead the Welcome Song.

Sergeant at Arms Carmen ("Tough Guy") Piscatello took it easy today announcing a wedding anniversary of 53 years for Spurgeon S. and birthdays for Jack Ghagan, John Mozzicato, Bill Secord and Larry Churchill. They all paid, but only two of them had to plead for mercy from Tough Guy Carmen so they wouldn’t have to go around to other Club members begging for a loan. That SGT/ARMS is Tough! And Frank C. and Marcia L. paid for anniversaries. A.P. Dan also tried to get a fine or something from Don H. and Celia C. for pictures in the paper on their Paul Harris Awards. And speaking of Don H. and Jack, it was good to see them back from hospital heart treatment, and Jack even came away with a watch in his chest (after a certain amount of times in the hospital, they give you a watch!).

Gil Wishart reported that he saw Bob Wood in the hospital and is now home. In a t/c with Bob your editor learned that his diverticulitis was treated by a ten inch resection of the problem area in the colon. Bob expects that in a month or so, he will be as good as new with no dietary restrictions. Great news!

A.P.Pres. Dan described Pres. Carol K’s unfortunate accident, when she had to drive back home from a gathering to get her husband’s extra key for his car, in which he had locked his key. Carol suffered a head-on collision with another car. She suffered serious injuries (three broken ribs,broken hand and many bumps and bruises). She is now home recuperating for about a month and giving A.P. Dan help in keeping up with the job at the helm.

WHAT GIVES? Jack Sayre, sitting the entire meeting RIGHT NEXT TO Spurgeon S. (the Raffle Runner) WINS THE RAFFLE! There oughta be a law!

Bill Saunders announced that tonight’s Golf Committee meeting will be tonight at the South Congregational Church Library.

Board of Directors had a short meeting

Make-ups: Dan Russell (Singer Island and Palm Breach Gardens, FL).

Our speaker today was to have been Doctor Bob Galvin, Connecticut Commissioner of Public Health (a brother of another well-known professional whose first name is Tom). Unfortunately, a meeting prior to ours ran very late and Dr. Bob couldn’t make it to The Hill. Hopefully another time.

After A.P. Dan told a couple of humorous stories, trying to kill a little time till our speaker arrived, he and was followed by Hyacinth Douglas-Bailey with a some rhymed verses that stated some of the important lessons of life.

We closed with one verse of Kate Smith.


PS I forgot the following:

Chamber of Commerce events: Full Moon Margarita Madness Thursday 4/13/06, Saturday 5/13/06 and Sunday 6/11/06. These events are coming up and all will benefit the C o C - more to follow.

Friday, April 21, 2006 7 PM Java & Chocolate
8 PM Jazz Performance
East Hartford Community Center, 50 Chapman Place.
$15,00 pp.

High Gear -- April 5, 2006

The Meeting came to order at 12:15. The pledge and a prayer by Mary Martin and the Rotary completed the honors.

The luncheon was breaded chicken, roasted potatoes and green beans followed by a delicious strawberry tart.  Leo then led the club in the Welcome Song.

Sgt. @ arms Carmen passed the hat to some committee or other for a buck each. Don Pitkin was fined for one year in Rotary and a birthday, a birthday for Skip Guillemette and John McNaughton for 18 years in the club and Jim Fallon for a pitch for a live auction, (more later). Carmen then made Bill Saunders a grandfather. This was not to be.

Bill made a donation for his grandson David Liner who was recognized as a Babbidge Scholar at UCONN’S Scholar Day. (Hope you read this Carmen)

The raffle was again won by Bill Secord

Make-ups; Doug Willett at Cape Coral, Herb Discover & Chuck Clarke at Naples, and Bob Brown at Manchester, CT.

Jim Fallon asked for support of the Live Auction by the ALPHA DELTA KAPPA PI CHAPTER for the benefit of the Pi Charities for Children. The auction will be held on Sunday, April 30< 2006. Call Jim for tickets, (860) 872-1075.

There will be a meeting of the Golf Committee at Pres Carol’s home April 12th, 7PM.The Sr. Ball committee  needs help, call Sue Klock. Lastly let Danny-Boy know if you will attend the District Conference.

Today we had a presentation by the “Good News Garage” program manager Carolyn Tomassi and Lisa Farren. They will accept your old car, give you a tax chit and fix up the old girl and give it to a needy person.  They can be reached at 1-877-give-auto or www.goodnewsgarage.org. You can see by the org. that they are a non-profit organization.

If it weren’t for the snow I would be on the golf course writing this.



High Gear -- March 29, 2006

If you got home before this High Gear edition reached your home or computer, then you must have left early. A short meeting it was on a lovely first real day of Spring and the middle of the 4th week of Lent.

Pres. Carol rattled some dishes (in lieu of striking the absent bell). There were a few who heard her – yes, a noisy crowd we were at the East Hartford Golf Club Restaurant - - Johnny M. also - presiding over a pushy but polite, or was it polite but pushy, group of Rotarians making inroads in the fine buffet that John had laid out for us. If you were in a hurry, you had to take your turn. But not Moe Belanger! Big Moe had a head start on all of us. Way to go, Moe! (Did Moe have a golf course "preferred lie"?)

Of course, we started with a more or less on-key rendition of R-O-T-A-R-Y (thanks to Don H.), followed by a very thoughtful expression of Grace delivered by Dan Larson, so thoughtful indeed that Rev. Ted asked Dan if he "wanted a job?"

Our guests today included our own District Governor Karen Andrews, who thanked us for our donation of about $1300.00 to help in construction of water-carrying piping in Ethiopia. Also she mentioned that applications are available for our District Conference.  We were also honored to have visiting District Governor Alan Hurst who presides over neighboring District 7980.

Unterofficer von Waffen Dan Dienst ("Dienstch?") announced Larry Hangland’s birthday, and Dan Larson’s ninth Anniversary in Rotary and Sue Klock’s spamming of Rotary.net with a pitch also for the Interval House online auction.

Spurgeon Stokes, running the Raffle as per usual, came up empty on a winner. The din was pretty heavy, and it was thought but not confirmed that the proceeds went for a good purpose.

Steve Jacoby asked for help and got it to assist the E.H. Police in their I.D. program for kids from 9 to 11 on Saturday morning, April 8th. Steve wanted 6 volunteers and now has them – probably could us one or two more.

Maker-uppers included Frank Collins in Wilmington, DE and NYC, NY. Also Doug Willett, Cape Coral, Hawaii, Chuck Clark and Herb Tischofer, Naples, Italy and Bill Saunders, Holly Springs, Hollywood, CA. Hoo-Ray for our foreign and East and West Coast travelers!

So without a mike and with plenty of background noise and a fair number of "huhs?", we got through it all in brief fashion, closing with "God Bless America".



High Gear -- March 22, 2006

President Carol rang the meeting to order promptly at 12:15, a loud rendition of “rotary” followed.  Glen Peterson graced us with an English translation of a Japanese blessing.  (A good thing, this computer does not have Japanese characters.)

At the meal of beef-pot-pie was being served a large sheet cake was brought into the room and presented to Carmen-the-godfather for his ninety-first birthday.  A lusty version of “Happy Birthday” followed.

Sergeant at Arms Dan D. reported birthdays for Kathy McCabe and Don Pitkin, pictures and/or names in the papers for Marcia LeClerc, John Shemo, Herb Barall and Ted Mosebach.  Pat Gately fined for a new grandson and her first Rotary anniversary.  (Congratulations to all.)

 Makeups at PETS by Dan Larson, our incoming president!!!!! (see more below) and Sue & Peter Klock (there exhibiting for ShelterBox USA).  (Frank &  Ceil are so overloaded with makeups they do not need to claim them for PETS — but members should know also, PRIVP Frank was there leading the way and Ceil was helping as a Sgt. at Arms. )

Other makeups—Jackie Danise at Venice, Fl., Bill Saunders and Doug Willett at Cape Coral, FL., and Dick McCarthy at Fort Myers, Fl.  Raffle was won by Pat Gately — go figure,  latecomer + educators’’ table.  Unbeatable!

 Former member Margaret LaCroix spoke briefly about Radon.  The Lung Assoc. is running an educational function on dangers of radon.  She brought sixteen kits for members;  al taken.  Thanks, Margaret.

Our own Director Glen Peterson (PP, Winsted, CT) reported on Board’s decision at this months meeting to donate globally and locally.  Board voted to donate $1300.00 to pay for a water hookup to the recently installed water line.  Further, the Board approved a donation to RiverFront Recapture ($500) which is our annual donation and will ensure a place for our club on their “Walk of Fame.”

Further reports on Board meeting, in addition to this year’s contribution to YMCA’s capital campaign, Board voted to donate $1000, the usual annual donation.

Dear Danny Boy then took over the mike and did a 10-minute stand-up, laughter filled the hall.  Moving from the jovial to the serious, Damn told of his PETS experience.  He was very impressed with the 400-plus incoming presidents  / attendees.  The watchword from incoming RI President Bill Boyd is “Lead the Way.” 

Dan then explained the District 7890 2006-2007 Goals:

Clubs will participate in a health and hunger program

Clubs will participate in a water management project

Clubs will participate in a literacy project

Club presidents will foster greater knowledge of The Rotary Foundation within his/her club to accomplish the annual giving goals

Each club will have a net increase of one new member

Clubs will work together in fellowship and service to strengthen their clubs and further the goals of Rotary

Clubs will facilitate or provide a program to aid youth in their community


Important date in District 7890:

April 7, 2006                District Interact Conference (Best Western, Springfield)

April 17, 2006              Board Meeting , East Hartford Rotary Club

April 20 – 22, 2006      District Conference (Sheraton, Burlington, VT)

May 11, 2006              District Assembly  (Crowne Plaza, Enfield)

June 23, 2006              District Governor and Club Presidents’ Installation — Max’s

                                                Tavern, Basketball Hall of Fame, Springfield

June 28, 2006              Club President’s Installation Dinner (location to be announced)

August 15, 2006           District’s Annual Golf Outing, Watertown Golf Club

November 10, 2006     Foundation Dinner, 6 PM (location to be announced)

January 10, 2007          Pre-PETS (for Presidents and Presidents-elect)

March 8-10, 2007        Northeast Multi-District PETS Sheraton Tara Nashua, NH

June 16, 2007              RYLA

June 17-20, 2007         RI International Convention, Salt Lake City, UT

Thanks Dan -  a special report — club benefits from this sort of heads-up!

HGE   Larry Frazier


High Gear -- March 15, 2006

The Gallery Restaurant in Glastonbury was the scene of our gathering to honor six people who have distinguished themselves in various admirable ways with a common theme - helping others, not themselves. Sounds like a familiar theme to the many members, family and friends who were present - "Service Above Self" - the Spirit of Rotary.

The following is a light recitation to the proceedings as they took place last night a bit of an expansion on the well-conceived program at everyone’s place at the tables.

The musical Don Hallquist at the keyboard played and we spelled out in song one verse of

"R-O-T-A-R-Y", followed soon thereafter by a Happy Birthday to Larry Hangland.

The small but commanding figure of Pres. Carol Krantz greeted everyone, and then turned the mike over to Art Bradbury for the invocation, after which we sat down to a well-presented meal of Prime Rib, Salmon and Chicken Teriyaki - your choice. And by the way, two things (at least) preceded the meal - some very good hors d’oeuvres and an open bar. And that bartender did a great job filling the many orders. True, he didn’t have to take in bills and make change, but he was quick, and he knew his business and handled the press of orders very well.

Our EMCEE for this occasion was the affable Tom Galvin, who with his usual equanimity, introduced the introducers of the Paul Harris Fellows, starting with the venerable and avuncular George Stewart, who introduced the now world-traveling Celia Collins, citing her ten years of Rotary service to the Club, the District and to R. I. at several levels, as well as her many areas of local service in the Chamber of Commerce, YMCA, her Church, American Lung Association and Riverfront Recapture. As Uncle George said, "Her middle name is Service". Then Celia spoke and graciously thanked the Club and its membership for her P.H. Award.

The affable Tom G. then introduced Art Bradbury who introduced our second P.H.F. Don Hallquist, describing him as a Club Treasure, the "Music Man", the man whose skills at the piano make our Wednesday meetings a pleasure even on dark and rainy days, the organist for his Church and the person who is responsible for the good feeling that many of our visiting Rotarians acknowledge, telling us what a pleasure it is to "make up" at our Club – and making us proud to be Rotarians - and this is Don’s second P.H.. award, having received his first 18 years ago. Then Don described his 41 years of Rotary as a labor of love – doing the same thing for 41 years. Don’s sponsor 41 years ago was the venerable George S. The money is now on the line that Don will receive a third P.H. award 18 years from now!

The affable Tom G. introduced Roy Spiller, who then introduced Janice Sayre, describing Jan’s many activities, including her efforts to make the Music Shell a success, her work in the food drive for the Manchester Shelter, Christmas decorations for the Center Church, and liaison to the D.C.F, and clothing for the needy and many more acts of service to he community. Jan acknowledged how thrilled she is to be so honored and thanked our Club membership for its recognition of her service.

Tom G., the Affable, next introduced Bob Richmond to tell us about our next P.H.F., Ruth Sheehan.

Bob lauded Ruth’s unselfish support of her husband, Jim Sheehan during his year as District Governor, standing in and with Jim exhibiting and emulating his strong belief in the service of needs of those less fortunate. Bob recalled Ruth’s volunteer work for many organizations, including the E.H. Women’s Club, serving on many of its committees and now as a Director on its Executive Board. Ruth related how scared she was when the position of District Governor was offered to Jim, but she said the decision was his and she would adapt herself to whatever was necessary. And she did. Ruth acknowledged her heartfelt thanks to the Club and how proud "Jimmy" would be to see this honor bestowed upon her.

Frank Collins then officially presented the Paul Harris Fellow Awards to each of the recipients, noting that Rotary began as the first service club and now has 1.2 million members all over the world. Frank noted that the $4,000 given to the Rotary Foundation because of the Paul Harris awards will benefit countless people in many lands.

The Affable T. G. then introduced Roy Spiller who made the presentation of the Vocational Service Award to Loren J. Andreo, better known as "Andy". This award is presented by the Club for outstanding contributions to the community and professional achievement, while upholding the tenets of the Four Way Test. Roy recounted many of Andy’s achievements, including his episodes as a star football and baseball player at Manchester High from which he graduated in 1946 (also as a member of the Class of 1928, of which there are one or two others in the Club). He served with the U.S. Navy immediately after high school, and thereafter upon discharge, went to Bryant College where he met his wife to be, Peggy. He opened his first grocery store in East Hartford in 1951.

The one store grew to a chain of six and two Wine & Sprit stores. Recently Andy got into the development business completing a 375,000 square foot shopping area on the Glastonbury line, including Shaws, T.J.Max, Home Depot, etc. He has served as a Director of the E.H. Chamber of Commerce, the Connecticut Food Store Association and the Glastonbury Bank and Trust. So it can be said without fear of contradiction that Andy has been a very successful businessman. But along the way Andy has also sponsored various youth athletic teams, as well as Project Graduation, The Rotary Golf Tournament and the first East Hartford - Manchester High School football game at Rentschler Field and helped many other charitable organizations. Andy was made a Paul Harris Fellow by our Club in 2000.

Well, if you thought that this was the end of this tale of achievement, there is one more important matter that was not overlooked. To the great astonishment of Skip Guillemette, and to the surprise of all the rest of us since we were prepared for the "induction" of but four Paul Harris Fellows, Skip was made a Paul Harris, too. Way back in the beginnings of the Polio Plus Campaign, Skip gave Rotary a check for One Thousand Dollars to help get the Club started on the drive for funds to move this very important project forward. Skip eschewed any public comment about his donation, but the committee felt that this recognition was long overdue. Frank Collins presented Skip with this Paul Harris Fellow award and informed the rest of us that the world was now free of polio, except for the countries of Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nigeria and the northern part of India.

What a fabulous success for the world and to think that Rotary had such a critical role in making it happen. Skip was a bit overwhelmed, not being a person who looks for the limelight.

A fitting end to a very enjoyable evening.

Pres. Carol ended the proceedings, calling for one verse of "God Bless America".



High Gear -- March 8, 2006

Don Hallquist, with a fine rendition of "Danny Boy", which led into "Rotary", which led into the "Pledge of Allegiance", which led into Rev. Ted with a thoughtful prayer ending with "Teach us to share".

Pres. Carol got us started. After the meal, George Agnelli. introduced Ben Bardo, and Dan Larson introduced Lori Lechowicz, guests at their respective tables. Dan L. then led us in Happy Birthday to Lori L., it being her day. And Tom Galvin, shutting us down quickly after a lukewarm start, got us going again on the Welcome Song in a much more spirited fashion.


Scholarship Committee Meeting March 29, 2006, 11:15 AM to 11:14 PM! At the E.H.Golf Course.

Mo Moshovos put a "regular" badge on new member Art Apostol, who has completed his apprenticeship, all to thundering applause - another member who, like Mo, speaks fluent Greek and some English.

Gil Wishart thanked all for the cards, calls, visits and emails. Gil is doing very well, though still fairly sore – promises to keep up the hard work on rehab.

E. H. Fine Arts Commission – putting on a performance of "A Lady Alone" directed by first woman director in America. Sunday, March 12, 2006 at 2 PM at the E. H. Community Center.

Bill Leone reminded us that this coming Wednesday, March 15, 2006 (Beware the Ides of March if your name is Julius) is the Paul Harris Dinner at The Gallery in Glastonbury at 6:30 PM Drinks and 7:30 PM Dinner. $35.00 pp.

Sgt. At Arms Dan Dienst made a little moola from Dan L. (Lori L’s birthday), Art Bradbury. (new car), John Shemo (name in the paper, Dan D., assuring us it was not on the "blotter"), Dan Russell (public service announcement), George Agnelli ("doing business" - hasn’t he been doing it for a long time? or was this business done right at the Ridge in the middle of our Rotary Meeting - -FOR SHAME!), Herb Barall ( issuing blank check to Bill Leone for Mr. Harris – tell us the rest, Bill, what did you write in? 10 Grand, 20 Grand?), and Tom G. (picture in the paper – an ad for "Galvin’s Special Toothpaste" with a wonderful picture of Tom smiling for the camera waving an oversized tooth brush in one hand and a Galvin’s Special Toothpaste tube in the other – actually quite a beautiful picture, all in color, his teeth were very white, except the three front top and bottom teeth which were black).



Steve Tamiso introduced the various reporters of each fireside group - Tom Galvin (at Bill Leone’s), Frank Collins (at Celia’s), Dan Firestone (at Roy Spiller's), Mary Martin (at Bob Wood’s), Bob Brown (at George Stewart’s), Glen Peterson (at Art Bradbury’s), and Carol Krantz (at Dan Larson’s).

There was an interesting and probably not surprising unanimity of commentary, in that a good portion of the report of the first group threaded its way through the remaining reports. And thanks to each reporter for the typriten reports

The points made were as follows:

Question 1. Best ways to make new members (NM’s) active participants in the Club.

Involve NM’s right away.

Have a New Member Committee to monitor and encourage NM’s and keep sponsor active.

Sponsors to go with NM’s to different clubs to make up and stay in touch with their NM.

Have NM’s peak at a meeting to tell about themselves, family, work, etc. (5 min. max.)

Sponsor’s to sit with NM’s at meeting to get them involved with others.

Encourage NM’s to attend District functions (Assembly, Foundation, Dist.Conf. etc.)

The Club to try an evening meeting once a quarter.

Involve the NM’s at social events where old friendships tend to isolate others.

Get old members to sign an autograph book for NM’s.

Assign NM’s to specific events or committees, e.g. Senior Prom, Sgt.a t Arms.

Assign to a committee and make them participate(as co-chair).

Officers, B/D to monitor each committee’s progress and attend most Rotary functions.

Enforce attendance.

Pres and Pres.-elect to attend as many Firesides as possible.

B/D should prepare a formal response to fireside recommendations.

Rotate Tables and mix in  new members.

"Passport System" a list of prerequisites to permanent badge- (make-ups, social events, etc.)

Have NM’s give a vocational talk a month or so after 5 min. bio talk.

A New Member Day- NM's run meeting, present program (a mock meeting).


Question 2. Thoughts and suggestions for future community activities, social events, and comments on past of same.

Art auction, parade, chili cook-off, candle sale, hot balloon festival, casino night, bingo, bus trip to casino, book club, wine tasting, Texas "Hold-em" night.

Other suggestions:

Reduce the meeting to one hour.

Do not have a speaker each week.

PY Committee to do more advertising, perhaps a note in Gazette each week when a program scheduled.

Have an exit interview to learn why a member is leaving the Club

"Hands on" activities w/o heavy lifting.

Instruct NM’s to "volunteer".

Model train show (not to conflict with Springfield Shoe (the largest) -total.Club participation is a requisite.

Raffle large ticket item (car). Members man ticket booths at large popular stores.

Social event to raise funds for scholarships – involve schools, faculty, public.

A function at Rentschler Field..

Antique Auto show.

Dance with stars.

Dragon Boat Race fundraiser.

Use political figures to enhance fundraisers.

Glastonbury ballgame has run its course – cancel.

Too many small events – have more focused activities/fund raisers

(public wants to know, appreciate, the purpose).

More community involvement – (Town Forum, Seniors Ball, Habitat, Marathon, Little League team, attend ballgame in New Britain, more activity with Interact).

Examine possibility of organizing a Rotaract Club.)


Obviously, these can’t all be done in one year, and perhaps some not al all, but the combined efforts of the Fireside Chat teams gives us a litany of ideas for the future. Thanks to the Fireside "Reporters" who summarized their team comments for this H.G. Editor to compile for future reference.

We closed with one verse of Kate Smith.




High Gear -- March 1, 2006

With an ominous Thursday forecast, Ash Wednesday’s bright and sunny skies were especially welcome. DON welcomed us with show tunes and oldies but goodies, and ACTING. PRES. DAN (LARSON, that is) got the meeting started calling upon MARCIA L. for an opening prayer.

With only three at our table, your editor was the lucky Thorn seated between two Roses, KATHY McC. and HYACINTH. D-B, who kept the Thorn in sync with the program, so if anything goes haywire in this doc, you know whom to blame. And the Roses combined meal description was TEX-MEX-SPANISH SOLE WITH RICE! Or was it TEX-MEX SOLE WITH SPANISH RICE? You figure.

At 1:45 PM, with raucous noise coming from all over, A. P. DAN called "TEN SHUN !" (some old time Vets jumped up immediately at "Attention" – not necessary, of course, but quiet did come to the meeting and the Vets sat back down) and PAT G. introduced our only visitor, Conrad Thramm from the Avon-Canton Club--and MIKE MAL. lead us in the Welcome Song. He managed not one but two kisses on our speaker for the day. Just goes to show that MIKE hasn’t lost a step!

ANNOUNCEMENTS: (a) Reminder by STEVE T that the Hosts or Co-Hosts of our Fireside Chats are to give their reports for their respective meetings Next Week. High Gear March Editor Thorn requests a written synopsis of each report for inclusion in next week’s H.G.

  1. JIM W. passed on the word from D.G. Sue Atkins that names are welcome for work on District level committees. If interested, contact JIM.
  2. FRANK C. reported that the Program Committee will meet next Wednesday at 11:30 AM.
  3. A.P.DAN requested written info for the H.G. editor of our guests each week.
  4. The District Conference this year will be at Burlington, VT on April 21st to 23rd. More info will follow in coming weeks.
  5. Our guest speaker, at SPURGEON’S request, asked our drew a number from the Raffle box. Don’t know who won, but KATHY McC. said it’s always a late arrival who wins!
  6. And your scribe missed the cue from A.D. Dan. You will note that this issue and the succeeding ones in March will be printed entirely in Kelly Green (Sorry Dan).

SGT. AT ARMS: DANGEROUS CARMEN P. showed a tender side, complimenting the Club for its honesty and leading a Happy Birthday song for Neal Cunningham. WHEW! THAT WAS CLOSE! But don’t relax. He’ll be back next week!

MAKE-UPS: Bill Saunders and Doug Willett at Cape Coral, FL.

Chuck Clark and Herb Tischofer at Naples, FL.

Frank and Celia Collins – Atlantic City, NJ Foundation Fundraiser;

San Diego, CA 14 days International Assembly, Asst. Moderators - Training Session (with all those make-ups, we probably won’t see them again till about Mid-May).

PROGRAM FOR TODAY: Introduced by FRANK C., who characterized our speaker as the Guru of Tourism at the State Capitol, the Honorable Mayor of East Hartford, Melody A. Currey was our guest.

Not having seen this lady before, the Thorn was impressed with her gracious manner and good presentation of a lot of information about her first one hundred days in office. Melody came to the Mayor’s office in a reverse course from the way most Mayors to Legislators travel. She served in the Legislature first. She related her efforts to date including creating a committee to find a qualified person for the position of Director of Development. That committee’s work has whittled down to three individuals, one of whom will be appointed by the time this edition is read. She related new organization efforts by the Police Chief so that there will be more on the job supervision at the schools by making use of some retired officers to help out. There will be extended hours on Thursday evening at Town Hall without increased payroll. Taxes, always an issue, will be kept at modest increases now with the expectation that future income from the old P & W runway area will ease the tax burden in a few years.

I hope that everyone enjoyed this colorful Kelly Green issue.

We closed with one verse of "America".


High Gear -- February 22, 2006

‘ja ever feel like a yoyo, up and down with the weather, 8 degrees one morning, 28 the next? Well, that’s how it’s been around here, and unless you’re a snow-bunny reading this in Florida, you’re getting used to it by now. Maestro Don Hallquist’s social piano helps to carry us til spring, as he fills our halls with wonderful melodies on Wednesday noons. How blest we are to have his talent.

The Rev. Ted Mosebach offered the invocation today, asking the lord “…to inspire us to be better Rotarians and to make a difference in the world.” Amen! And talking about blessings, Notre Dame alum Dave Amberg allowed as how last night’s 1 point Uconn win “was a good game which was almost a wonderful game!” With that, we sat to a tasty meal of meatloaf w/mushroom gravy and mashed potatoes. Some kind of greenish tart (never got her name, but it might have been pistachio) was served as dessert.

 President Carol Krantz called on George Agnelli to lead our Welcome Song today. With admonishments not to give up his day job, George was urged on by all and led with gusto, which only an optically-challenged jeweler can muster (I have no idea what that means!).

Sgt-at-Arms Don Pitkin told us that:

Dave Amberg paid for an early birthday, Somebody paid for the Red Sox finally being in spring training (well, except for Manny, that is), [news of the Yankees is strangely missing without you, Doug!], George Stewart, for a new car, Bob Brown for Rita’s new car, and Dan Russell for remembering his birthday (he’d lost it?)

Announcements for the day included:

·         Scholarship Committee meets next week at 11:45.

·         Steve Jacoby will be heading the Ambassadorial Scholarship Comm & has applications.

·         Fireside Chat Co-hosts will be reporting on question discussions on Mar.8. Be ready!

·         The weekly raffle was won (on the second pick; somebody wasn’t listening the first time), by Dan Russell. I could swear he won it 2 weeks ago at another table!

·         Chairman Roy Spiller reminded us that the Paul Harris awards dinner will be held on Mar.15 at the Gallery Restaurant in Glastonbury, and asked that people pay up front ($35 per person) over the next two weeks.

And then it was time for our program, which Roy introduced: Jason Juliette and Adam Nye from the CBIA. Concentrating mainly on the economic health of the state of Connecticut, the two gentlemen described it as sluggish, lagging behind federal growth, but slowly improving. On Gov. Rell’s budget proposal, they listed the elimination  of the personal property tax plan, citing the apparent pros & cons, the eventual plan for phase out of the state income tax, needful increases in state spending on improved infrastructure, transportation, and energy, as well as  more effective economic development aimed at making Connecticut a more user-friendly state for business. (We are currently ranked the 6th highest cost state in the nation in which to do business!)  This first speaker presented a lot of information but, frankly, spoke so fast that it was sometimes difficulty to follow him.


The second speaker spoke primarily about the short legislative session of the legislature, and described the diversity of views which individual members will be bringing to economic development and job creation. He emphasized the importance of giving citizen-feedback to two bills now in committee: the “captive audience” bill which will prohibit many kinds of employer-employee discussion about community oriented service activities, and the “pay or play” bill, which is aimed at health benefits for employees of the state’s largest employers. We were urged to become knowledgeable about these prospective bills, making our opinions on them known to our legislators. Very interesting and timely, Roy, and Frank. Thanks for bringing them to us.

It’s always fun to be your editor for a month…the pen now passes with Irish, green-tinted ink to Gerry Brady in March. So once more we’ll observe that it was nice we could get together!



High Gear -- February 15, 2006

As much fun as Acting-President Dan Larson brings to our meetings, it was nice to have President Carol Krantz back at the podium. We’ve missed you, Carol!  And if one listened closely, “To the Tables Down at Mory’s…” and “The Notre Dame Victory Song” (now that last one is really a stretch this year; sorry, Dave!) greeted East Hartford Rotarians as they gathered on the Hill. Mother Nature was trying to even things up with a beautiful sunny day (as was Maestro Don with his music from New Haven and South Bend), after the storm of the year, decade, century (take your pick) last weekend.  Dan Russell was called upon, and he, in turn, called on the Lord to watch over the Rotary world. A most tasty boeuf bourguignon tempted our palates today and there were few leftovers seen going back to the kitchen. Fruit Jello w/whipped cream delivered a fitting climax…Krause did itself proud!

Guests today included Dan Dienst’s better half, Loretta, and, from romantic Willimantic, PDG Everett Watson. Nick Cecere and Art Apostol shook a lot of hands as they strode up & down for a Greek Welcome Song, making everyone feel truly at home.

Special announcements:

Our speaker today was E.H. Rotarian and Judge Herb Barall, who is serving in his retirement as a Trial Referee in the State Court system. There are 100 such judges serving in what sounded like anything but a retirement activity. Herb gave us a bushel full of statistics on the number of divorce cases, motor vehicle cases, criminal, civil, etc. He described a number of cases demonstrating the tremendously complicated problems in which ordinary people manage to get themselves entangled. Throughout his talk, Herb stressed that though the numbers of cases and the dollars involved can be huge, we should remember that they all are about human beings, and the often life-shattering dynamics which people bring to the court system for adjudication. Thanks, Herb, most interesting!

Maker-uppers were  Saunders & Willett, Cape Coral, FL; Tischofer & Clark, Naples, FL; and Dienst, SnowMass, CO. Thanks, guys, for helping with our attendance standing!

And with a reminder of Fireside Chats, and how nice it was to get together…….                     ARTHUR


Gil Wishart had successful hip replacement surgery on Valentines Day. Am sure he'd appreciate cards in Hartford Hospital, or better yet, send them to his home (address in roster, click here for password-protected rosters on the web.)


High Gear -- February 8, 2006

Yep, winter has sure returned here in East Hartford; 22 degrees this morning, with the prospect of 13 degrees by tomorrow AM! (We remember what Mark Twain said). And in a wintry scene reminiscent of Dr.Zhavago, we were treated to Maestro Don Hallquist’s  lovely melody from ”Lara’s Theme” as we entered ye old Veterans’ Memorial Clubhouse. Bob Wood offered the invocation, calling on the Lord to lead us in living our lives in the spirit of The Four Way Test. Spaghettini with meatballs, salad, and a crème-topped apple delight sated our palates. Conversations at this scribe’s table ranged from the consistently low attendance (47 today, but we could easily count 8 of our members in Florida), to Fireside chats beginning this week on Thursday at the Wood’s domicile (Check the schedule…where are you supposed to go?).

With no guests save our speaker, Stevie –he’s no Wonder - Bates and Dan-he’s no Dean- Dienst led a spirited version of the Welcome song. And then came our Sgt-At-Arms, Don Pitkin, to tell of misdeeds from Sue Klock (a birthday), Bill Leone (he of the “check is in the mail”), and George Agnelli (for a long-winded speech sans soapbox). Acting President Dan Larson (by July 1st, it’s going to seem like he’s already served his year!) did his insulting best to have Don collect a fine from Tom Westbrook, (Dan even knelt in apology!) but it seems that another branch of Tom’s  family must have been arrested.

A number of announcements came at us, to wit:

·         Jack Sayre told of remedial driving lessons he’s giving ($10) to old-timers (call)

·         Dan Firestone told of Frank Collins’ appointment as Asst. Moderator at the incoming District Governors’ training sessions in California next week

·         Sue Klock [& George Schoen] have Rotary lapel pins for sale (for use on your undershirts!)

·         Sue also reminded us of the upcoming Senior Citizen Prom at EHHS on April 26, and the fact that they need a band. Let Sue know if you ‘re aware of one

·         Dan Larson will be in charge of our club’s hospitality suite at the District Conf in VT and we hear that a safari has already been dispatched to round up the mongoose.

·         The local YMCA has made a pitch to us for help with their sustaining campaign, and the Town’s Health & Soc Serv Dept has sent thanks for our donation and gifts

(During all of this, a most tuneful rendering came from Johnny Mozzicato’s cell phone [he paid for the privilege!])

·         The weekly raffle was won, once again, by an eater at the “education table,” though this time by an architect, Dan Russell!

A.P.Dan spun off several jokes about old guys with hearing problems, but, wouldn’t ya know, none of us could hear them! Sorry, Dan.

Frank Collins introduced today’s program, old friend Joe Marfuggi, who also happens to be the President and CEO of Riverfront Recapture. Although admitting to too much water, (they’ve had to accommodate 10 different floodings), Joe enthusiastically told of plans for the year-long celebration of RR’s 25th anniversary starting in 2006. Some of the highlights of the year will include:

Construction of Riverwalk extensions, a Bikeway to Rentschler Field, and Duckboats, both on and off the water. (The river, once considered a dividing line between East and West, has become the theme which is pulling people together; over 820,000 people “came to the River” last year). Joe asked for suggestions from Rotarians for creative use of the space and facilities. Other events to be scheduled are: dancing under the stars, opera and pops concerts, outdoor movies, Riverfest celebration on July 2nd, a bass fishing tournament for amateurs July 3-8 (with $1 million in prize money), “hip-hop” and Celtic festivals, Dragon Boats, Rowing Regattas, the world-renowned dance company, Pilobolus, and much, much more. A great presentation, Joe and Frank. Thanks for bringing it to us!

Maker-uppers included Bill (though we hear he came up for the Super Bowl!), Doug, Chuck, and Herb in FL, as well as the Ambergs, Cramers, Leones, Sayres, Spillers, Stewarts, and Woods at the Golden Stage Inn up in Vermont.

And then, once again, with 1:30PM having arrived,  East Hartford Rotarians realized how lucky we are, and that “it was nice to get together.”



High Gear -- February 1, 2006

Even though Don Hallquist was hidden behind the Interval House signs, we knew he was there, adding so much to our weekly noontime gathering. Acting Prexy Dan Larson swung the gavel at the witching hour and on an overcast but unseasonably warm February First, a *smaller (43) than usual group of East Hartford Rotarians sang, pledged, and listened while Jim Fallon exhorted us to “be true to the best we know” as he delivered a thoughtful invocation. A chicken breast, with mushroom gravy, rice, and green beans assuaged our palates, while a fruity cake with whipped cream topped off the repast.

*(These winter months of Jan-Feb-Mar play havoc with our attendance. The snow-birds they are a-leavin’, and this particular week also sees the Vermont skiers (well, two or three, maybe; the rest are fireplace dwellers/jigsawpuzzle-doers/readers/drinkers/relaxers/and shoppers) away at that lovely spot up in Rutland, the Golden Stage Inn.)

Guests were but one, and it fell to Carmen Piscatello to handle that introduction of Mike Malinguaggio, again! New badges and certificates must be coming by pony express; one gets the feeling that Mike has been named “the designated…” Oh well, all good things come… Hyacinth Douglas-Bailey, Art Apostol and Maestro Don handled the Welcome song with great gusto.

Sergeant-at-arms Don Pitkin used his own formula in announcing anniversaries and birthdays. It took us a while to figure it out, but Spurge Stokes and Andy Andreo joined up in ’81 and ’83, respectively, while Jim Reik first saw the light of day way back in ’25. We even sang for Jim!

On behalf of the Rotary Foundation, Frank Collins did a nice job in recognizing the outstanding gifts of Andy Andreo to the Foundation, which have earned him a 5th sapphire. Congratulations, Andy!

We can only assume that Ceil Collins has been designated as “the designated kisser” cause she planted one on everyone who was recognized for anything today…that, too, was nice!

Steve Tamiso gave us a pitch on Fireside Chats, stressing the need to notify Co-hosts of any changes in our assigned dates of attendance. These are always highlight events of our Rotary year, and everyone should make a real effort to participate.

In other announcements, Acting Pres Dan:

Our Program today, brought to us by Peter and Sue Klock, was Laura Lundgren, Director and chief fundraiser for Interval House, an organization which provides 24/7 support for victims of domestic violence. Much more pervasive than many may imagine, the local chapter represents 24 towns in the Greater Hartford area. Together, they provide non-clinical support (meaning advice, referrals, defining of “rights,” shelter, advocacy, and court system counseling, both civil and criminal) to women and children (8000 in the past year!) Some other facts we learned:

A most interesting and troubling topic, Peter & Sue. Thanks for bringing it to us.

Maker-uppers today are Messrs Tischofer, Clark, & Willett, all sno-bunnies in Florida!

And, in a once-a-year observation when writing High Gear, it was good to be together!



High Gear - January 25, 2006

Again, another gloomy, mild and overcast day, but with no wind nor rain, confronted us on our way into the Ridge.  Inside things were much brighter as we gathered for our weekly get together.  Nice to see Carol back at the helm. A prompt ring of the bell brought us into the formal part of our meeting.  After the appropriate opening Jackie Danise delivered the invocation.  She thanked God for the blessings of the day and asked us to seize every opportunity to serve a purposeful life.  A salad followed by a chicken pot pie and chocolate cake made up the meal for today.  Our guests for today, Mike Malinguaggio and Rick Lawrence were serenaded with the Welcome Song led by Jim Fallon and Larry Hangland with Don Hallquist at the Piano.  Sgt. at Arms Bill Leone received donations from George Stewart for Jay's picture in the Gazette, Jack Sayre for a birthday, Tom Galvin because he forgot his booze Saturday and had to mooch from his friend Bill, Dick McCarthy for an anniversary and a birthday plus a contribution to honor Bill Saunders and his Steeler team as both are going to the Super Bowl, and from John Mozzicato, via Carmen Piscatello, for a birthday!

The announcements consisted of the following: 

1.  We need more signups for Carnivale - we currently have only 45 people signed up!  We need at least 80.. Call Carol or John to sign up.  Don't risk this wonderful event's cancellation.

2.  Mary Martin reminded us of the Rebuilding Together inventory scheduled for this Saturday from 8:30 til 11:00 on Thomas Street.  Call her if you can help out!

3.  Dan Larson reminded us of the Fireside Chats!  Remember to call your host or co-host if you can't attend your scheduled meeting, and to also call the host or co-host of the chat you would like to attend.

4.  Sue Klock asked us to check out the web site for information on Carnivale.  She also asked us to e-mail her any roster changes you might have as she is hoping to have a final updated roster available soon

5.  A special Fireside chat will be available on January 26th at the home of Frank and Ceil Collins for those who are going South or who can't make one of the February Meetings.  Call Ceil if you plan to attend.


Announcements over, Spurge had our speaker pull the winning raffle ticket, which belonged to Jim Fallon.  Sure is a lucky table!!!!


Frank Collins introduced our speaker for today, Kathy Blint, Director of Public Relations for the Connecticut Convention Center.  She explained that the Center is truly a state wide asset capable of hosting groups from 12 to 20,000 people.  It is the largest facility of its kind between New York and Boston, and is in competition with areas such as Baltimore, Charlotte, Philadelphia, Rhode Island, Pittsburg, Milwaukee, and Boston. It has many cost advantages and has about 23,000,000 people living within a 2 hour commute of the Facility.  The Center is expected to  generate approximately $56.3 million in revenue and occupy 77,600 hotel room nights based upon its current bookings. The Center employs 177 people. The Center has an exhibit hall which is 140,000 square feet. a 40,000 square feet grand ball room, and an inside parking area which can accommodate 2600 automobiles.  We were treated to a visual tour ot the Convention Center.  It is quite a facility.  When all is completed at Adriaen's Landing, The Science and Discovery Center. and the new Front street area development, it should be a very interesting and viable place for conventions.


Signing out for the month of January - Bob Wood


High Gear, January 18, 2006

Another mild rainy Wednesday, but with gale like winds driving the rain it was truly a miserable day.  Things were much better inside the Ridge where we could get together with our fellow Rotarians for our weekly gathering.  Acting President Dan Larson, capably filling in for Pres. Carol, called us together at 12:15.  Dan Firestone delivered the invocation and asked the Lord to provide leadership and to send his blessing  and peace to us and all mankind.  A meal of stuffed peppers, green beans, and roast potatoes, followed by a crowd pleasing tapioca dessert, was efficiently served by Krause.  Our only guest, Mike Malinguaggio, was introduced by Frank Kreson.  It's nice to see Frank back on a regular basis.  Don provided the piano accompaniment while Mary Martin led the Welcome Song.  Sgt. at Arms Bill Leone reported that Bill Saunders paid a fine because all Rotarians had remembered the correct date.  Dan Russell paid for a wedding Anniversary, Jim Fallon for a grandchild, Steve Jacoby for a birthday, and Tom Westbrook for both a Rotary anniversary and a birthday.  Art Bradbury reported on last night's Town Council meeting where Rotary received some great publicity as a result of our $20,000 donation to the McKenna Park scoreboard.  It's nice to be recognized for what we do for our community. Leo Christmas won the raffle thus breaking Glen Peterson's reign!!

The following announcements were delivered:

1.  Steve Tamiso discussed Fireside Chats and asked for another co-host for 2/23.  Call him if you can help out.  There will be a general make up Chat for those snowbirds or others who aren't available in February.  Call Ceil Collins if this  fits for you.

2.  Larry Frazier has called a membership committee meeting for next week at 11:30.

3.  John Shemo again reminded us of the Carnivale on February 25th.  He needs some volunteers to help out - call him!  Feel free to invite guests to this gala event.  Masks are mandatory and costumes are encouraged!!

4.  Tom Galvin announced that the Salem Crossing Inn trip is still a go, and that we should meet at the Sheraton Parking lot on East River Drive at 2:30 on Saturday the 21st.  Bring your own beverage!!! 


Roy Spiller introduced our speaker, Chuck Sheehan, who is now the "CEO" of the MDC.  Chuck is a former member of our club,  He has worked for the town and for the state in several engineering related positions.  He was the engineer responsible for the construction of the Baldwin Bridge.  As Deputy Director for the State of Connecticut Department o Public Works he was the chief overseer of The New Football stadium in East Hartford, the Convention Center, and the Adrien's Landing Project.  He has also just been appointed a Brig. General in the Reserve.  Great bio!! Chuck was here to briefly explain the MDC to us and to acquaint us with the MDC's major sewer improvement project which is so important to the quality of water in the Connecticut River and  to many neighborhoods in Hartford and West Hartford.  The MDC is a $100,000,000 corporation which is evenly split between delivering quality water and providing sanitary sewer services to an eight town area.  On the water side we have an excellent supply and distribution system.  On the waste water side there are major problems, and serious renovation is required to bring the system to an acceptable level.  Currently there are about 50 days a year when an overflow of raw sewage is dumped into the Connecticut River.  This is caused by a one pipe system which can overflow and commingle both the storm drains and the sewer pipes when there is a heavy rain.

Because of this the Connecticut River often is filled with this sewer overflow and is not a sanitary river.  A $700,000,000 project is planned to correct this condition.  It will be spread over about 20 years.  This updating is mandated by the Dept. of Justice and the Federal EPA under various clean water acts. It will be a major project which at times will require about 80 miles of Hartford's streets to be torn up.  The cost of this project will be assessed to all MDC towns and hopefully, there will be some state money allocated as well.  There will be a referendum

on this project in November. Much more information will be forthcoming in each of the towns.  Stay tuned for the next chapter!

Make ups:  Frank Collins in East Windsor and Orlando, Florida.

See you next week --Bob Wood

High Gear, January 11, 2006

A dismal rainy day with spring-like temperature didn't dampen the Rotary spirit as we gathered at the Ridge for our weekly get together. Something was different -the loud sound of Italian music filled the hall.  Sort of makes you appreciate maestro Don at the keyboard!! Pres. Carol called us together promptly at 12:15 with the appropriate recitation and song followed by a thoughtful Invocation by Dave Amberg who asked that through Rotary we do God's will both here and abroad and that He grant us the strength and motivation to do so. The luncheon was a delicious ham slice, green beans, and cheese macaroni, followed by a strawberry shortcake.


Following the meal Pres. Carol called for the introduction of our regular guest Mike Malinguaggio.  Ceil Collins and Neal Cunningham led the Welcome Song.  Sgt. at Arms Bill Leone had a tough day but did manage to collect (in advance!!) from Steve Tamiso for an upcoming birthday.  Three anniversaries were noted: Peter Klock - 16 years, Dan Firestone -30 years, and Don Hallquist -41 years.  He also collected from 4 individuals who failed to remember what year this is.  This is up from 2 last week. 8 next week? The following information was delivered.

1.  Neal Cunningham is in need of nominations for our annual community service award.  Please submit ASAP

2.  Tom Galvin is in need of another couple for the Salem Cross Inn trip.  We are scheduled to leave at 3:30 on Saturday the 21st. Site to be determined.

3.  Steve Tamiso needs some hosts for fireside chats which are scheduled for 2/9,13,16,20,21,23.  Give him a call if you can help. We will also have a pre snowbird chat on 1/26 - Give Ceil Collins a call if interested.

4.  Sue Klock received a Certificate from Shelter Box thanking us for the two boxes donated by our club and its members.  These tents went to help out those who needed shelter as a result of Hurricane Katrina.

5.  The Board acknowledged that it had given a donation to Kim Wishart who is presently plying her nursing skills at the Village of Hope in Kenya.  Kim will speak to us at a future date about her humanitarian trip.

6.  John Shemo passed out invitations to IL Carnival of Venezia, to be celebrated on 25 Febbraio 2006 at 18:00 hours.  For only 25 dollars (or is that Lira) per person you will be treated to a wonderful Italian Carnivale fest-Antipasto, Vino, Zuppa, Insalata, Primi, Secondi, and Dolce!  This feast is limited to the first 100 revelers.This festival dates back to the 13th Century.  Let's keep the tradition alive!!! Sign up now!!

Of Interest - The Raffle was again won by Glen Peterson - two weeks in a row -better buy your PowerBall ticket today


Frank Collins introduced today's speaker, Sue Atkins, DGE for 06-07.  Sue was here to talk about the world's water crisis.  There are 1.1 billion people in the world without an adequate supply of good clean water and 2.4 billion people without proper sanitary facilities.  About 6000 children die every day because on this lack of good water.  The need for water will increase by 40% by the year 2020.  The wars of the mid century will be fought over water, not oil.  Rotary is trying to make this water situation a world wide priority.  Each club is being encouraged to participate in some type of clean water project.  She mentioned two specific examples of where Rotary could help.  She talked about the Palmer club which is working on a project to get matching funds to help bring drilling rigs to Kenya.  With wells drilled, there  is still the problem of educating the people on how to use the resources and keep them clean and productive.  She also told us about Derand, a refugee village in Ethiopia, an example of how difficult this water problem is to solve.  Governments and bureaucracies don't always help.  It is often up to Non-governmental Organizations such as Rotary to pitch in and help, much like Rotary did with Polio Plus.  Sue's talk was eye-opening and very thought provoking.

Water is something we take for granted, but that is not the case in much of the world,

Steve Jacoby is apparently the only Rotarian who made up this week.  Let's keep the make-ups coming.

Til next week - Bob Wood


High Gear January 4, 2006

A New Year's greeting to All! Today was a nice mild winter's day which will probably be sandwiched in between two nasty rainy, snowy days!

Take the good ones while we can. President Carol called the meeting to order promptly at 12:15.  Following the opening ceremonies, Bill Saunders gave a thoughtful invocation which gave thanks for health, family, and friends.  He asked us to serve all who are in need, and to hope for peace and prosperity in the new year.  A luncheon of an open faced turkey sandwich, mixed vegetables, mashed potatoes, cranberry jello, and cherries and vanilla ice cream.  Incidentally, at our first meeting of the year 2005, we were served an open faced roast beef sandwich, mashed potatoes, and carrots!

Following the meal Carol called for introductions.  Leo Christmas introduced perpetual guest Mike Malinguaggio.  The Welcome Song was led by our two Georges-Agnelli and Stewart.  Sgt. at Arms Bill Leone collected for birthdays from Nick Cecere, Hyacinth Douglas-Bailey, and Mike Malinguaggio and anniversaries for George Stewart -42, Moe Belanger-37, and Larry Hangland-6. Frank Collins and Don Pitkin paid for a variety of pictures and political announcements.  Frank Collins was called upon to make a special presentation, a Paul Harris Award, to Glen Peterson, for his generous contribution to the Rotary Foundation! The raffle was won by none other than Glen Peterson, who turned the prize money over to the Foundation.  Thanks, Glen!  Steve Tamiso is looking for hosts and co-hosts for February's Fireside chats.  Give him a call if you are willing to do either. He is also trying to get a "Snowbird Special" chat on January 26th.  Let him know if the 26th has any interest.

Some dates of interest! 1.  Board Meeting on  the 16th.  Call Carol if this is not convenient. 2.  Mary Martin is looking for volunteers to help with an inventory for "Rebuilding Together" on Saturday, January 28th, from 8:30 to ll:00.  Call her if you can help. 3.  John Shemo is planning A Venetian Carnival for February 25th.  Details to follow, but mark your calendar for another exciting evening. 4.  The Foundation Committee will meet next week at 11:30.

Roy Spiller introduced our guest speaker, Patricia Wood, Envoy, Commanding Officer of the East Hartford chapter of the Salvation Army. Pat has been in East Hartford since 2004.  She had previously served in the same position in New Britain for 4 years. She is a native of Hartford, and received a degree in music from Western Connecticut State University.  Pat thanked us for our help in ringing the bells at Stop and Shop over the years.  She went on to tell us a little about how the Salvation Army puts this money to use.  She grew up in one of Hartford's toughest neighborhoods, and was herself helped in her early years by the Salvation Army. The Army  goes beyond the local community.  They were active in helping out after 9/ll, the Pentagon bombing, the tsunami, and more recently, after Katrina. She spent some time in San Antonio, working at a New Orleans relocation compound.  She has had much hands on work with the Army. She is a very articulate representative of the Salvation Army.


See you next week--Bob Wood


Double click buttonblack_red_md_wht.gifto tell us what you think!                                                                     Back Home

Copyright © 2003-2007 S. H. Klock / East Hartford Rotary.   All rights reserved.