(Portsmouth Rotary News Center Anchor Dude with big voice): For decades, newspapers assigned reporters to cover the news. Recently there’s a new internet trend, “aggregation”, which (allegedly) involves laying off all the reporters and instead compiling tweets, posts, administration spin and internet rumors to approximate the actual reporting of the event. We take you now to our reporter-aggregator-editor in an undisclosed international bureau, who was not at last Thursday’s meeting and therefore can report on it with both fake authority and true ambiguity.
(Editor): President Tricia opened the meeting, probably by ringing the bell. John Rice led us in song, greeter Bob Sheesley proved a quick study by kicking off the four-way test, and the Rev. Gordon provided the invocation. Lunch followed. Folks ate and enjoyed it. That’s why we call this a digest.
(News Center): Isn’t this reporting crisp and compelling?
(Editor): You’ve got that right, NC. How about a check on the weather?
(NC): Sorry, that’s not in the database. It might have been nice, or might have rained. Back to you.
(Editor): Dues are due, said President Tricia. EREY donations would be greatly appreciated. Cleo Villaflores has agreed to develop website sales, much to the delight of the board, which counts on these advertising dollars to keep the dues at their amazingly low level of $125/year (with a $25 late fee if you don’t get them in by August 1, friendly reminder!)
(NC:) Have we heard anything final about the golf tourney?
(Editor): The board report last week gave tentative numbers, and tournament director Andy Chace is expected to appear this Thursday with a final report. It was a huge success.
(NC:) You know, this second hand news thing is bizarre. I wish our club would go back to a roster of real reporters writing a weekly log.
(Editor:) Put it in the upcoming survey. PP Aileen and the Vision Committee are planning a survey of members, another way to add your voice to the club’s direction. We’re also collecting volunteers to work on the log, so talk with P-Tricia if you’d like to raise your hand and be a reporter/editor.
(NC:) You seem to be weaving factoids about the meeting into a fabric built on administration spin.
(Editor): You can find more on Twitter @PortsmouthRotary. Or maybe not, I think we lost the password to that. Maybe Facebook.
(NC:) Any more about the meeting?
(Editor): Of course. Rick Page is collecting sign-ups for the August 23 Road Race, we need a lot of volunteer support to make this a great success.
Leonard Seagren announced that Friends Forever visitors are on the Seacoast this week, and also told the club we expect to welcome a Maine Doctor next Thursday. She is kayaking to Guatemala, and will stop in Portsmouth.
(NC:) And now, for the program summary.
(Editor): Jim Rini introduced the speaker – Marilyn Kelley, wife of Jack Kelley, who became an author later in life after reading a Danielle Steele novel and thinking “I can do that.” She ended up writing a non-fiction account of the family’s move to Brazil, and Jack’s involvement with a very shady international character.
Since I wasn’t at the meeting I have poached the following Amazon synopsis of the book:
In the early '70's, Jack and Marilyn Kelley move with their four teenage daughters from Greenwich, Connecticut to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, desperate to save their marriage and escape the toxic corporate culture of New York. They become partners with a charming international entrepreneur/US undercover agent. When the seemingly lucrative businesses fail to produce income, the Kelleys discover their partner has another side he has neglected to reveal, and they are thrust into a life they couldn't have imagined. A group of colorful characters fueled by greed, corruption and cafezinho befriend the Kelleys, and Jack finds himself in Belem, a border town on the Amazon River, banding with thieves and murderers to pursue his partner and retrieve his plane and his investment.
… it sounded fascinating and in a nutshell - we are lucky the family made it out alive and that Jack is here in Portsmouth. The other good news is that the family needed the bonding experience and got all of that. She was completely lovely and the story is quite remarkable.
(NC:) What is “cafezinho”?
(E:) Might be an internet typo for espresso with whipped milk added.
(NC:) How can we top such a wonderful program?
(Editor:) Glad you asked! This Thursday’s speaker will be Carly Fiorina, former head of HP, who will speak on the topic “Unlocking Potential”.
(NC:) Wow, this new club President is really off to a great start with wonderful programs! She must be a true wizard, a leader in the tradition of Carly Fiorina.
(Editor:) Crank down the administration spin, there, news-meister, or the members may revolt and demand a free and uncensored press. That could make the board meetings a lot longer too.
(NC:) Ten-four, internet aggregator. Maybe this week we’ll have a real reporter at the meeting and you can just link to their coverage. Who knows, we might start a trend. Anything else we need to mention?
(Editor:) Ramona won the raffle – the amount was either $65 or $55 or something like that, I can’t make out whether that’s the money she won or my score for the first nine holes that day. Pretty sure there was no bonus, so that number must be going up fast. If we had real facts, I’d give them to you.
(NC:) See you Thursday!
(Editor:) Well, maybe not. Depends on whether I can break free from this rigorous schedule in exile. Since the Red Sox beat the Jays last night 14-1, I've been able to relax just a little. Always wondered what past presidents do....now I'm beginning to develop a sense of it.
(All photos in this digest by Bob Loch except for the following).