Ojai Rotary Reminder Newsletter
January 22nd, 2021

Randy Roth, Editor

January is Vocational Service Month

Our 1.2 million-member organization started with the vision of one man—
Paul P. Harris. The Chicago attorney formed one of the world’s first service
organizations, the Rotary Club of Chicago, on 23 February 1905 as a place where
professionals with diverse backgrounds could exchange ideas and form
meaningful, lifelong friendships. Rotary’s name came from the group’s early
practice of rotating meetings among the offices of each member.
The zoom meeting was engineered by Tara.  During the informal discussion prior to the
meeting, Kathy Yee showed us the snow in Bend Oregon and Dr. Gross described the
delights of retirement.
At 12:07, President Michael called the meeting to order.  Jennifer B led the Pledge and
Al West led the Invocation.  We had two visitors:  Joyce West and Michele Sherman. 
It’s Tara’s birthday!
Janet Mahon invited those interested to participate on the scholarship phone call.
Frank Finck’s beloved wife Maudette passed away.
Therese Brown described some upcoming programs:
January 29th-Your Fifth Friday” Funsters “have been hard at work creating an on line
event for your viewing and participating pleasure.....

We are excited to introduce our first ZOOM  for fun AUCTION

Our idea is to recruit auction items from you, our members.
Sell them back to you via a fun and festive auction and then contribute the funds to a
noble cause.

We are requesting that you think creatively about a contribution.  We only need 10 to
12 but yours might be just the one that is the funniest, most unique or even the one that
brings in the most cash.  Imagine that!

Please describe your item, indicate a suggested minimum bid and send it by
January 23rd to Cindy Fring.

So far we have a fresh strawberry pie and an object de art.....Our event will be held
January 29th
6:30 PM
February 5th-Tony Thacher on the Taste of Ojai and Friends Ranch
February 12th-Samantha Ballalchek on the VA-Reins of Hope
February 19th-Kenneth Strange  It's Your Camino! One couple's 500 mile pilgrimage
across Spain
January’s Membership Minute
Question ... Who was your Sponsor when you joined Rotary and what is your favorite
memory about them?
Al West Member of RCO since 10/08/93
My sponsor was Bob Chesley. When I retired in July 1993 and returned to Ojai from
Washington DC Bob invited me to attend a meeting. Before going to DC in 1979 I had
been a Rotarian in Fresno and Santa Barbara and I knew Bob and his family during my
Ojai District Ranger days 1966-71. I also met with Bob and Family while we were both
in DC..
I did not hesitate to join when asked and was well versed in the purpose of Rotary.
During my tenure as Forest Service Deputy Chief, I attended the Rotary International
Meeting in Mexico City representing President Bush and made a keynote presentation
to the Rotary International President for his leadership in Tree Planting throughout the
world. I was greeted by members of my old club from Santa Barbara and Fresno.
Probably more than you needed but it was easy for me to join the Ojai Club.
Bob Davis Member of RCO since 01/07/72
My sponsor was the late Cal Wadsworth. He was my dentist and quite a local character.
Cal went to Ohio State and was a HUIGE supporter. He even had a toilet in his house with
a wooden toilet seat with a picture of “Woody” Hayes on the inside of the cover! The late
Dr. Bill Pugh, a past president of the club, as was Cal, proudly brought his Father, visiting
from Michigan to a Friday meeting. Cal Presented a nice blue felt banner (Michigan Colors) to Mr. Pugh. Nice,
but the banner read “Muck Fishigan”.
Another time, Greta had had emergency surgery and while coming out of deep sleep she 
bit down on the breathing tube and broke off her eye teeth that were holding her bridge. 
Cal was her dentist and Bill was her Anesthesiologist. That Friday, at Rotary, Cal presented 
Bill with a picture of a train going over a washed-out river bridge. The title of the piece was
"Bridge out”. 
Not everyone thought of Cal as amusing!
John Lyon Member of RCO since 03/16/69
My sponsor was Garrett De Graff, owned and operated Dairy where now is Persimmon Hill.
Tony Thacher Member of RCO since 03/25/73
Bob Davis was my sponsor.  At the time of my demotion, I remarked that he’d sponsored
3 members into the Club: the first died young of a brain embolism, the second ran off and
bought 2 houses of ill repute in Battle Mountain, Nevada, and, as the third, I was still
waiting for what fate had in store for me.  Still waiting. . .  But got a COVID shot on
Jeff Loebl Member of RCO since 10/23/2009
Nic Frank. He was not as formal as he appeared. He was open to new ideas and was
extremely helpful.
Bill Gilbreth Member of RCO since 09/09/2005
Al West was my Sponsor - so many years ago. I had no idea what a wonderful journey
it would be.
I did a lot of dumb things when I was (unwittingly) developing what is now called an executive
Thanks, Al, for allowing me an opportunity to make amends by being of service. I only
wish I could have done more.
Bill Gilbreth 
Betsy Watson Member of RCO since 06/22/2012
Fred Fauvre sponsored me in Rotary.  He asked twice, and the second time I said yes. 
One favorite memory is just how happy he was - his smile!- , and seeing how many others
he's brought into the Club.  Another will always be Heart & Sole breakfast meetings with
Shirle's homemade granola served with giant fresh blackberries.
Carl Gross Member of RCO since 05/04/1984
It was Fred Hall. He was the producer of Ojai’s radio station, KOVA, and did Swing Thing.
(Yes…we had a radio station in Ojai next door to Ben Franklin’s.)  He was an expert in big
band music and had known all the greats in swing/big band music. He helped me replace
a patient’s big band music collection after it was stolen. He would give programs to the
club about his music and played interviews with the greats like Count Basie.
Candice Alexander Member of RCO since 11/13/2020
Greg Webster, Teaching him Pilates at the skating rink 
Larry Beckett Member of RCO since 08/15/2011
Bob Chesley was my sponsor.  Bob and I were each building airplanes at the time.  He
lived just up the block from us and would call when he needed an extra hand with
A very memorable time after the planes were finished was an invitation to take a ride with
him and let me have some “stick time” with it.  When we landed, he asked me to take a
picture of him in his plane.  I have kept that picture. I could say much more about Bob
and his family; they were wonderful people.
Fred Coleman Member of RCO since 06/23/2017
Don Reed:  His last year at Thacher was my first and I coached his grandson, Colin in
Cross Country.
Kathy Yee Member of RCO since 08/23/2019
Deirdre was my sponsor. I just love the energy and positivity she brings to everything she
does including her efforts to get me to join rotary. I’m having so much fun I’m glad she
was persistent.
Bret Bradigan Member of RCO since 12/07/2001
My sponsor was Larry Wilde, who told me “C’mon Bret, it’s just what you do.
Plus I’m going to be president next year and if you don’t join and get the membership
numbers up, you’ll make me look bad.”
Nothing about what an amazing organization Rotary is, or how many many lifelong friends
I was going to make, or the enduring joys of service above self. If he had said that, I
probably would have said, “That’s ok Larry, I can get my service fix through coaching
baseball or the volunteering for the Land Conservancy.” I could tell he was so great at
his job because he knew just what to say to trigger my sense of guilt. But thanks Larry,
whatever it took to get me to join, I’ll always be grateful.
Deirdre Daly Member of RCO since 10/11/2011
Dana Huffman was my sponsor into Rotary. I am so grateful to Dana for really encouraging me
to join and for forewarning me about the membership meeting with Nick Frank and
Jack Jacobs.
She warned me that they would act like they were trying to discourage me not to join
because of the huge commitment.  I was ready for them!!! And could not be dissuaded. 
I also have the best memories of Dana turning around during many meetings to hush the
crowd of chatters at the back of the room.  She would call them out like a teacher in
class (which was her profession).  RIP dear Dana and thank you for passing along the
gift of Rotary to me.
Christine Golden Member of RCO since 10/13/2017
Both Bill Prather and Marc Whitman suggested I join Rotary. I think Marc was my sponsor,
though. My favorite memory about Marc is that he is an all around good guy and a
fabulous artist and so easy to work with!
Marty Pops Member of RCO since 04/02/98
Actually, I had two sponsors. Dick Weirick and Manny Sprague who was a leading force for
good in Ojai. Ex-congressman from Connecticut and deputy secretary of defense in the
Eisenhower administration. 
Bill Prather Member of RCO since 07/01/86
My Rotary sponsor was Bob Chesley.  My favorite memory was when a club member
complained to him about Rotary being forced into allowing women to join. The man said
he would quit if women joined the club.  Upon hearing this Bob paused for a minute and hen said,
“We won’t miss you.”
Thank you all for sharing great stories and memories!!
Fining with Cindy Frings
Cindy did a credible attempt at “Cockney Rhyming Slang”, a sort of street poetry and
language play.  It took a few attempts, but the participants acquitted themselves well. 
Program:  Deidre’s Brother-in-law Kevin
Deidre introduced her brother-in-law Kevin, who runs money for Aberdeen Investments. 
Kevin gave an insightful  and amusing overview of Brexit.  Here are the points that stood
out for me:
  • Both sides of the dispute indulge in exaggeration and deceit. 
  • The media played a major role.
  • Immigration loomed large in the debate
  • Boris Johnson emerged as the biggest winner
  • UK’s economy will be lower by 2.5% as a result
  • There are paralells between Brexit and the rise of Trump
  • Young voters were largely against Brexit.
Kevin’s son Hunter provided a legal perspective on some of the issues.

You are invited to visit us at an upcoming meeting.

Russell Hampton
ClubRunner Mobile