|The Summary of the August 8th Meeting
We were personally greeted for the Club’s 4895th meeting by appropriately the Hospitality Committee.
President Mike Blach called us to order and then welcomed fellow Rotarians and guests.
Mike asked those gathered to join in singing God Bless America with the voice of Phil Strong and the piano of Paul Tumason.
Our Invocation was presented by past president Jerry Silva. Quoting H. L. Mencken in this political season Jerry recommended that we be “on guard” with Mencken’s quip:
For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong.
The audience voiced its understanding and approval.
Tracy Adams and Janikke, Red Badgers, introduced themselves and served as holders of the travelling microphones for Rotarians with guests and visiting Rotarians.
Next was news and humor from John McLeod. The News: Joint Rotary Gift of Life project in Egypt an international success; DOW---Up; American Airline flight makes emergency landing at Mineta-San Jose, all are safe; county proposes sales tax increase. John noted he wanted to address any anti-social issues but the advertised support group never met; answers to Driving Test: at a four way stop all vehicles arriving simultaneously which has the right of way: the pick-up with a gun rack.
President Mike acknowledges other donors to the Rotary PlayGarden inadvertently omitted from last week’s list: Dick and Sandi Conniff ($10,000) and Eric Heckman ($10,000). Members greeted the good news and generosity with applause.
|To recognize new Rotary members a poster will be displayed on the stage at meetings with fifty stars. As a new member is inducted the members name will inscribed on a star. So far we have 3 “stars”.
One of them was introduced to the club: Chad Graham who was introduced by Joel Deceuster who Mike thanked for his expert landscape efforts at the Gordon House. Chad graduated from BYU in engineering, and the University of Iowa’s law school where his scholarship was recognized in his appointment as law review editor. He’s an immigration attorney with a practice in downtown. A father of two with another child on the way, he’s devoted to his family. An athlete he ran his first marathon with (and for his Mom) and has been an active triathlete for years. The club welcomed Chad with its traditional standing applause. Good to have you, Chad!
President Mike’s “Ring the Bell” continues to be a great successor in bringing to members’ attention important events in the bell-ringers life and in increasing the club’s charitable coffers. Among this week’s campanologists: Nicholas Adams, Heather ------, Bert George, Julie Matsushima, Linda Gold, and Elaine----. Thank you all.
Mike reminded us that the District Governor, Joe Hamilton and spouse, Kathi Hamilton will be with us next week and to bring a receiving blanket for her charitable endeavors. Please fill-in as appropriate you club committee selections list previously e-maile3d to you, and return to staff.
Skip Franich introduced our “Personals” speakers.
Ladies before gentlemen, and first up was Lynn Devou. She noted that she was a little nervous but she seemed happy, if hesitant. Following the adage its best to begin with a joke, Lynn stated she was a native of a place called Fresno but then acknowledged that “there just isn’t anything funny about growing up in Fresno.” Having stated the truth in a funny way she had the audience with her at once. Family is important and she thanked her Mom and with delight her older sister, Renai, whom is obviously adores and her two brothers. One expected that had she had more time she would have gladly regaled us with stories about Renai, but this was a personal and she “stayed the course.” We understood nonetheless that her sister like many “Big Sisters” prepare the way for their younger siblings.
Lynn graduated from Washington Union High School, a school located in a small valley town, in 1979 with a class of about 100. After graduation she moved to the big city, Fresno. She was encouraged to do so by that ancient rule of parenting: “if you live in my house you will live by my rules.” Married when 20 to an officer in the Fresno Police Department at two years later she came home early from work one day to find herself locked out of her own home. “It didn’t take a genius to figure that one out” she advised.
She went to work Benefit Administration Corp which was an insurance company. This was the beginning of her career in Medical Billing business. She later worked at Harvey’s Hotel and Casino as a “Keno” writer. Once she realized the Keno runners were provided uniforms and since she wasn’t thrilled with doing laundry she switched to “Running Keno.” There she “lasted about six months and transferred to PBX in addition to answering the phones for the hotel and casino it was her first experience with public speaking as she was the person who made the announcements over the PA system.” She vividly remembered getting into trouble with the pit bosses for giggling during announcements.
She found herself back in the medical field when she went to a chiropractor for an appointment and was offered a job to do their medical billing. “Who would think it would be so easy to find a new job while getting your neck adjusted but that’s what happened.”
In the fall of 1989 around the time of the large earthquake she had moved to San Jose for “new adventures.” She found work in the medical billing field. Former President Julie Matsushima offered her a job. In 1998 Julie called her and offered her the opportunity to become office manager. In 2000 she was offered the opportunity to buy Metro Medical Billing, Inc. She was thrilled with the opportunity and accepted the offer in 2001.
She was familiar with Rotary from working with Julie so when she suggested sponsoring Lynn as a member she was very excited to join and have the opportunity “to give back.” Her other motivation was help her get over her shyness.
A very proud part of this Rotary Club and all that we do, she has Co-Chaired the Event Committee, Chaired the Enterprise Leadership committee which her youngest daughter Renee attended the year she served chaired and is on the Hospitality committee. She is currently on the Club’s Board of Directors, and now Co-Chairing the golf committee.
In 2002 her good friend, Paula, introduced her to the guitar player in Paula’s jazz trio; Dan, “the guitar player.” A year later they married: a tone-deaf Rotarian and an accomplished jazz musician. She became a wife and mom in one-day and daily counts her blessings every day for her husband and daughters; Roslyn who is 23 her oldest and Renee who is 19 and a student at DeAnza. Lynn and her guitar player live in Morgan Hill and both are avid golfer.
She thanked us for listening. Lynn, the pleasure was ours.
From the shy we moved to the gregarious for our next speaker was the very much esteemed Steve Mangold.
A native of Yazoo City, Mississippi where he was as a youth close friends with later and now former governor Haley Barbour, Steve’s parents, both physicians, were immigrants from Austrian driven away by Nazism. His father was the scion of aristocrats and his mother the child of peasants. His Mom was detained two weeks at Ellis Island while the FBI sought to ascertain why a beautiful and educated young woman sought to live in the United States. Hus father’s connection with Secretary of State Cordell Hull facilitated her entry into the U.S. Eventually his parents moved to Mississippi where they established a joint medical practice at their home. Steve remembers his duties as a “night attendant” charged with screening patients as to need for immediate care. True to his spirit he found few patients ineligible for one of his parent’s immediate help; finding all worthy. Steve’s parents were friends and colleagues of some the greatest American Southerners of the 20th Century: Walker Percy (the Moviegoer, Lancelot), the former physician and novelist and Shelby Foote, the historian of the Civil War. One imagines the Mangold household providing many intellectual feasts. Indeed, Steve’s father required Steve to read Lord Russell’s History of Western Philosophy and Hamilton’s Mythology and to write weekly essays thereon. In fact, his father, “KP,” had regular correspondence with Russell and Satre. But with civility there is its opposite. In Steve’s youth it was the incivility of life imposed on Steve and his family when desegregation was embryonic. His father refused to abide by the inequality of “separate but equal” and left the south for Canada. Although the remnant suffered at times, the elder Mangold invested in the securities of mining companies and was able to permit the family to travel Europe and its Cathedrals and Museums. Like good fudge, however, Steve found too much culture frequently too rich. Steve explained that his surname has roots in the word “alchemist,” one who turns spirit to gold; and is clear that Steve is a person of spirit in every good sense of the term.
When high school time arrived he thought he’d attend a boys’ school. However his sister was attending private school, Verde Valley in Arizona. The school foundered in 1946 is a college preparatory that stress “competition with oneself rather than others.” Its curriculum includes Anthropology and a physical work component along with living with Native American and Mexican families. Steve was partly struck during his studies there by the similarities in creation myths among cultures. Its Board had has as members Barry Goldwater, Margaret Mead and Clyde Kluckhohn. His selection of the school echoes the conduct of many a man. On a journey there to visit his sister he attended a school play. “As luck would have it, at the school play I sat next to a pretty blond freshman named Lorna and instantly fell in love. She wrote on her picture in Irene’s yearbook, ‘Just wait until your little brother gets here.’ That kept me alive for two years, and there was no more thought of a boys’ school.”At the school he was the only thespian with a Southern accent, “You all.” He was on the rife team firing 100 shots a day! On graduation he journey to Columbia College but elected not stay upon completion of his studies finding New York City harsh and callous. He came to California to be with a loving sister who was dying from cancer at 28. Her death “like a kick in the gut” was another reality check that despite our civility life itself can be cruel.
His love of the sonnets John Donne shows his intellectual vigor. As a real thinker he admires those poems of the great Donne that united the search for God and some discovery in our sexuality: “batter my heart, three personed God….”
Steve’s career has been as varied as the culture he projects: a teacher, a writer, a photographer, a person of business; but most of all, I think, a reflection of the educate person who one could with great gain have as a friend, a colleague and mentor. Steve you are a jewel in flesh and spirit. KP had it right! Thank you.
Photos by Carl Cilker
Watch the slide show of the meeting. Click Here.