Burlingame Rotary Club
Founded in 1925

High Gear Bulletin


Zoom Meeting - Wednesday, November 18, 2020

High Gear Editor:  Marilyn Orr

Meeting SummarY

After a small technical difficulty, President Emily called our meeting to order.  She then asked Bryan Neider to lead us in the Pledge of Allegiance.  The invocation was delivered by Joe Galligan.
Joe and Helen Galligan just returned from a two-week trip celebrating their 30th wedding anniversary. This was the inspiration for his message.  “We are all tourists.  God is our travel agent who has already identified our routes, bookings and destinations.  Trust him and enjoy the ride.”  In spite of his jetlag, Joe made it to Mass where one of the readings provided more food for thought at this time of Thanksgiving.  When we find a worthy wife, her value is far beyond pearls. Her husband, entrusting his heart to her, has an unfailing prize. She brings him good, not evil, all the days of her life. Joe reflected on how Rotary and two Rotarians, Paul Watermulder and Fr. Michael Mahoney, had been the catalyst for meeting Helen.  He had been invited to a singles dance at First Presbyterian Church in Burlingame.  Helen also was attending the event.  Three years after that first meeting, they were married by Father Michael.  He has been counting his blessings ever since.  Congratulations to you both.
Emily informed us that in lieu of our usual holiday luncheon we will have a Holiday Dinner and a Movie at Par3 on December 16th.  This will provide a social distanced safe venue to get together with fellow Rotarians, dine, drink and watch a holiday-appropriate movie (Elf). You can find details and payment options on our website.
Cheryl Fama updated us on the Community Service Committee’s activities.  They will be bringing some holiday activities to the board of directors for their approval.  Emily noted that we will have a toy bin at our holiday event.
Frances Boscacci gave us a late-breaking announcement.  She extended an invitation to Burlingame Rotarians to attend the Philos Zoom Event on December 3rd.  This is a program Burlingame Rotary supported in the Philippines.  Here’s your opportunity to see the impact of our support.
Here’s the link.
Forrest Malakoff  - Founder, Philos Health    www.philoshealth.org
Fritz Brauner and Jennifer Pence, our newscasters at large, had a question for all of us.  “Whom would you like, living or dead, to have at your Thanksgiving table?”  Responses were varied.  Cheryl Fama was quickest selecting Maya Angelou whose writings she admired. Paul Watermulder would enjoy the presence of Jesus at his dinner.  This was repeated by David Gonzalez and Christine Krolik.  Rotarians’ late parents were a large response to the imaginary dinner guests. Jay Miller threw us off by selecting philosopher Martin Buber, an Austrian Jew who moved to Israel due to the political climate in Austria in the ‘30s.  Charles Voltz would like to hear from Mark Twain and confirm all the quotes attributed to him.  Bryan Neider would like to discuss the challenges that Abraham Lincoln had trying to keep the country together and run it during the Civil War.  Jennifer Pence assumes the power of John Dunn’s poetry would come through at the dinner table.  Fritz Brauner would like two comedians at his feast, Harvey Korman and Tim Conway.  Does that surprise anyone?
This was our much-anticipated annual presentation by the Three Amigos, Pastor Paul Watermulder, Rabbi Jay Miller, and Father Michael Mahoney, began with an introduction by Paul.  He noted that this was the strangest years our country has seen with COVID, wildfires, police shootings, Black Lives Matters, an unpredictable presidency.  It seems to be a time of chaos and a challenge to cope and manage.  The beauty of the Thanksgiving holiday is that it is not connected to any religion but rather the trait of character and giving thanks in this country.  Paul then handed it off to Jay.
Rabbi Jay asked, “What season is it?”  Is it the season of the fires, of COVID, of the election?  It is hard to know and more difficult to set all these things aside and celebrate the joys usually associated with  Thanksgiving.  He noted, however, that his gratitude comes from those who keep him honest through their discourse.  This emanates from his engagement with his faith: Judaism.  One overriding principal of Judaism is to engage the whole spectrum and not hold yourself in a single place or narrow belief.  This is illustrated in two verses.  From Sifra 2A “You shall not separate yourself from the community”.  And from Exodus 23.2 “You shall not follow the masses to do evil…”  They may seem contradictory in that if the community is doing wrong one should not follow them.  But this merely means that one must give careful consideration to those choices.  For years, Jay has been meeting with the seven campus clergy at Berkeley.  Their conversations and discourse help keep him centered.  Rotary also provides these opportunities for discourse and an exchange of ideas at weekly meetings.  For all these Jay is grateful.
Father Michael, too, expressed his gratitude for Rotary by quoting John Rothman, “There’s nowhere else I’d rather be…”  as he reminisced about Par 3 and sitting across from Michael Kimball.  The topic of discussion was usually football, Stanford vs. Notre Dame.  Now that Notre Dame is well ahead of Stanford, he misses the face-to-face opportunity to gloat.  More importantly he is grateful for the goodness of people.  He noted the generosity of health care workers who put their life on the line daily and still exhibit kindness and warmth.  He cited a nurse who recently told of the heartbreak as she held up a phone to a man, dying of COVID, so his wife could say good-bye to him.  At Our Lady of Angels, a parishioner approached Father Michael about the families who are struggling financially due to job loss.  This individual wondered what could be done.  The church members stepped up to the challenge and they are now providing $100 Safeway card each week to 120 families.  He is so grateful for the generosity and love that comes from people when least expected.
Pastor Paul began by commenting on the fact that all three of them see life similarly even though they come from different religious faiths. He quoted W.E.B. Dubois, “Herein lies the tragedy of the age: not that men are poor, — all men know something of poverty; not that men are wicked, — who is good? not that men are ignorant, — what is Truth? Nay, but that men know so little of men.”   He opined that we currently seem to be strangers at Thanksgiving 2020.  He reflected on the first Thanksgiving feast in 1620 where people of different backgrounds came together as a community to give thanks for the harvest.  The spirit of this season is to overcome what separates us and concentrate on what draws us together as we get to know each other better.  Paul offered us three ways to accomplish this.  The first is the gift of Friendship.  This involves moving beyond mere acquaintances to develop deep friendships. This takes a willingness to admit you have problems or limits. One needs understanding, acceptance, and forgiveness.  The second is the gift of Faith. Here Paul cited the 13th Century German philosopher Meister Eckhart. "If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough."
The third is Family. Remember as you gather with family there is no one who does not have an issue with which they are wrestling. What they need from you is a heart that is ready to listen and be non-judgmental. These are people we are with through our life’s journey.  We need to sit down together and find unity.  Remember, the tragedy of our age is that people know so little of each other and are strangers.
President Emily thanked out three clergy for, yet again, a thought-provoking program.  She also told them that the Club would be donating five polio vaccinations in their honor.  Emily reminded us that we would be dark next week for the Thanksgiving holiday.  However, the Friday Happy Hour would still occur.
To view this meeting use the link below:
Passcode: VU8=7F62 
To View Emily Beach Speech:
Passcode: 6q5unw.9
Holiday Party
Don't miss our Holiday Party. Visit the webpage and sign up now for Drive-In Movie Night!
Click below to get more details:
Home Flockings
The flocks have been flying! Below are photos of our first two flockings. Details about home flockings and order info on the website.
Nov 25, 2020
Dec 02, 2020
How people are affected by their genes in terms of aging
Dec 09, 2020 12:15 PM
The Forgotten International, Living on $1/day
Dec 16, 2020 12:15 PM
Dec 23, 2020
Dec 30, 2020
View entire list
Upcoming Events
DARK - No Meeting
Nov 25, 2020
Program Committee Meeting
Zoom Meeting contact Rotary@nolamarketing.com for access
Dec 01, 2020 8:00 AM
DARK - No Meeting
Dec 23, 2020
DARK - No Meeting
Dec 30, 2020
View entire list
Member Birthdays
Bill Tiedeman
November 14
David Mendell
November 15
Mark Lucchesi
November 16
Doug Person
November 22
Lage Andersen
November 22
Fritz Brauner
Sue Brauner
November 13