The Flywheel

Program for March 15, 2007 (THURSDAY!)

Architecture in Russia

Rotary clubs sponsoring the Russian architects gather on Thursday for a slide presentation of architectural work in the distinct regions represented by the delegation.

Meeting of March 9th 2007

Welcome, Invocation, Thought for the Day

The meeting was called to order by Prez George Egan. Stoney asked for a moment of silence for world peace. Leigh Johnson led the pledge of allegiance. Without Pam Jones present to offer a thought for the day, George posed a thought-provoking question about something which is tasteless, etc. Someone quickly answered “your jokes” and the meeting moved right along.

Visiting Rotarians

There was a big round of applause for Herb Stern, a fellow Rotarian visiting all the way from Atlantic City, New Jersey.

Rotarians with Guests

Leigh Johnson introduced a guest, Denise Adams, her assistant at work.

Sunshine Report

David K reported that Elof Granberg is still in rehab, recovering slowly after his second knee replacement, which was necessitated by infection the first time around. David sent flowers in the Club’s name to Elof’s wife, Betty. David also encouraged positive thoughts for Werner, who was apparently not feeling well to the point of having to drive back from some big meeting he was attending with Jon Lawlis and others.

Announcements

  • The Club meeting next week will be a joint session with El Cerrito Rotary at MVCC on Thursday, March 15, same time as usual. There will be no meeting on Friday, March 16.
  • The Club Board will meet at 11:00am next Thursday before the joint meeting.
  • Some piggy banks are being brought back full, containing an average $10 worth of coins.
  • There will be an informal farewell party next Friday evening, March 16, at the Feagley’s home in Point Richmond, 279 Western. Contact Margaret Morkowski for details.
  • With lots more info to follow over coming months, Judy Morgan asked everyone to mark their calendars for a huge first annual Richmond Festival taking place over three days at the end of September this year to celebrate the city and the official opening of the Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front National Historic Park.

Recognitions

Don Lau officiated over recognitions and happy/sad dollars.

  • Bill Terry had a birthday a while back and he said he’s feeling younger every day (or something like that).
  • Liliane Koziol always enjoys her February birthday because it’s close to President’s Day with some time off from work.
  • Doggone dogged Don hit everybody up for a buck if they weren’t wearing their Rotary pins and badges.

Happy and Sad Dollars

  • Jerry Feagley apparently goofed on some wording of the pledge of allegiance recently but, now proficient after remedial class work, he had happy dollars to offer.
  • Rhonda Harris offered some dollars, sad ones as I recall.
  • Jan Brown had happy dollars for International Women’s Day (IWD), which occurred on March 8. Some of the visiting Russians gave Jan and Margaret Morkowski flowers and took them out to dinner. Both J & M are starting a campaign to formally adopt IWD here in the United States.
  • Margaret had happy dollars for the enjoyable visit by the Russian Rotarians over the past few weeks.
  • Erle Brown had happy dollars for a great getaway recently to Mexico, having been there at the same time as David Brown. He said they did not open multiple foreign bank accounts for Richmond Rotary funds (just one).
  • Stoney had happy dollars for a trip he recently won to baseball spring training in Arizona, complete with tickets to see the Giants and the Cubs, etc. Then he’s off to Vegas. Tough schedule, but someone’s gotta do it.
  • Rich Alexander had mixed dollars for exciting times over the last couple of months, including Navy Reserve training during which time he got a flu shot which was quickly followed by a ruptured appendix (did I get all that right?!).
  • Don Lau was happy that Paul Allen bought him a drink at the Richmond Chamber mixer the night before.

Raffle Results

Lucky Stoney’s ticket was drawn but he got a white ball.

The Program

National Park Superintendent Martha Lee, on
Richmond's Home Front National Historic Park

Jim Young introduced Martha Lee, a General Superintendent with the US Department of the Interior’s National Park Service. She’s responsible for four local-area historic treasures: the Eugene O’Neill National Historic Site in the Danville area, the John Muir National Historic Site in Martinez, the Port Chicago Naval Magazine National Memorial, and the Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front National Historic Park in Richmond.

Martha reminded us of some notable aspects of Richmond’s Home Front National Historic Park.

  • As for why it matters, this quote says it all: “You must tell your children that without our women working at home, there would have been no spring of 1945 (that is, no victory over the enemies of freedom).”
  • Richmond was chosen as the World War II Home Front Park because it has the largest intact collection of related structures in the entire United States.
  • Even more specifically, Richmond’s Shipyard # 3 has the largest collection of World War II shipyard structures anywhere in the country.
  • The Whirley Crane and SS Red Oak Victory are also now returned to Shipyard # 3.
  • Around 740 mainly cargo ships were built in Kaiser’s Richmond shipyards over four years in the early 1940’s.
  • The Ford Assembly plant across from Shipyard # 3 was transformed from making passenger cars into making tanks and armored vehicles and became one of only three World War II tank depots in the country.
  • During the war’s ship building years, some 35 Child Development Centers, a totally new concept, were built for families of shipyard workers and two of them have been designated as part of the Historic Park. Sadly, only one of the Centers was not segregated at the time they opened.
  • The Kaiser Field Hospital for shipyard workers is still standing and is currently privately owned. It was the center of the nation’s first prepaid health care system and was a precursor of today’s HMO’s.
  • As part of a new model being pioneered in Richmond, the National Park Service doesn’t own any of the several geographically dispersed sites in Richmond’s Historic Park.
  • Park museum collections, most of them personal artifacts from ordinary people in extraordinary times, continue to be gathered and more are welcomed.

The war years in Richmond saw an unbelievable mobilization of human and material resources in pursuit of a compelling goal. What a great example for us in today’s challenging times!

- Rotating Editor/Scribe: Tom Waller