President Bob Grady rang the bell at 12:11 pm and opened the meeting with a quote from writer Erma Bombeck: “Thanksgiving dinners take eighteen hours to prepare. They are consumed in twelve minutes. Half-times take twelve minutes. This is not coincidence.”
Pres. Bob then led the assemblage in the Pledge of Allegiance. He also offered the day’s invocation.
While we were all finishing our pumpkin pie, we were reminded of the following:
1. Members are half-way through helping the Boys and Girls Club of Tucson serve Thanksgiving dinners at two club houses. The next dinner is on Monday, November 19 at the Holmes Tuttle Clubhouse, from 4:30 pm to 7:30 pm.
2. We still need help staffing a booth at El Tour de Tucson on Saturday.
3. Elections for the new board are coming up in December.
4. Our holiday outing at the Gaslight Theatre takes place on November 28. There are currently two tickets available. See Pat Egbert if you’re interested.
5. The club will not meet on the Friday after Thanksgiving, November 23.
Greeter Andy Kerr asked the following members to introduce their guests.
Dick Stein: His wife Johanna.
Bob Stofft: His daughter, Lorraine. She’s VP of Arizona Western College, in Yuma.
Queen of Hearts
According to Matt Matthewson, today’s pot totaled $1,846. Today’s speaker, Drew Vactor, drew Pete Walsh’s number. Out of the 27 remaining cards in the deck, Pete drew a queen, but of the spades variety – so the pot continues to grow!
Following his brush with playing card royalty, Pete Walsh talked about how the YMCA played a great role in his life, starting when he was a young boy in Massachusetts, as well as how he saw the Y benefit others during his 40-year career there.
Sergeant at Arms
SAA Irv Mindes decided he’d like to take a break, so he asked Bob Stofft why Bob hadn’t mentioned his daughter Lorraine’s music career. Then Irv handed Bob the microphone. We learned the following:
Bob comes from a musical family. Everyone in the family, literally, except for Bob, has musical talent. Bob is the “music appreciator” in the family. Lorraine started as a classical violinist in the Junior Strings. Her long arms served her well as a high school basketball player and also when it came to playing the violin/fiddle. She went to Yuma to work for the Yuma Daily Sun and began to sing and play with her boss, and has been playing classical, blue grass, country, ever since. She also has a wonderful voice. Bob added a few more greenbacks to the can as thanks for the opportunity to praise his daughter.
Irv then recognized Tom Robertson, who contributed some bucks in recognition of Bob Stofft’s help, via the phone, in naming a South Dakota river Tom happened upon after walking through a South Dakota cornfield. The river? The Big Sioux.
Tony Spear contributed in recognition of his new job as Marketing Manager for the Tucson Jazz Festival, which runs January 11-21.
Andy Kerr dropped semolina in the can for the Wildcats.
Steve Pender gave a birthday leg up.
Pat Egbert introduced Drew Vactor. Drew, former owner of the Tucson restaurant The Tack Room, is a former Rotarian with thirty-two years of perfect attendance. Drew and his wife Kandie traded the restaurant business for a passion for deep sea diving.
Drew joked that he has a rotary logo on his pajamas. He showed us the camera and special underwater housing he uses with it, to take his underwater photos.
Next, he gave us a quick history lesson. SCUBA stands for Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus. It was invented bby Jacques Cousteau in 1943. Cousteau called it an aqualung. The term SCUBA was adopted in 1952.
There are two organizations that certify divers:
Professional Association of Dive Instructors
Scuba Schools International
Drew and his wife Kandie still log every dive they make. The logs help to keep track of wet suits and weights used in certain conditions and areas of the world.
Kandie has one hundred fifty more hours under water than Drew. It turns out that women breathe more easily underwater than men.
It takes ten of hours study, plus six hours of pool training, plus four ocean dives to become a certified diver.
Drew treated us to photos of a variety of the dive boats he and Kandie have used around the world, including many beautiful underwater scenes, including reefs, seahorses, fish, (including sharks), turtles, shrimp, manta rays, as well as a sunken sub tender and a mermaid statue in the waters off the Cayman Islands.
President Bob thanked Drew and today’s helpers: Andy, Pete, Steve, Irv, and Matt.
He read the following quote by Theodore Roosevelt: “Let us remember that, as much has been given us, much will be expected from us, and that true homage comes from the heart as well as from the lips, and shows itself in deeds.”
He then closed the meeting with a healthy rap of the bell at 1:30 pm.