Meeting in Review: July 17, 2013
At 12:30, President Shaun English called the meeting to order, asked for the silencing of cell phones, and led the Pledge of Allegiance. Clara Montanez gave the words of inspiration, honoring the 95th birthday Thursday of Nelson Mandela.
Secretary Tim Hurd introduced the guests of Rotarians: Ms Rahab Mbugwa, guest of Francis Muraya; Alice Romano, guest of visiting Rotarian Renato Romano, of Beverly Hills; Cole Cartledge, attorney for the Defense Department, guest of May Gwinn; Diego Grajales, guest of Guillermo Grajales; Wayne Darlington, President of Darlington Architecture, guest of Kenneth Barnes; Sebastian Quiroga, guest of Gladys Antezana; Heather Jafran, of the World Bank, membership application and guest of Abe Helal; Susan G Blumenthal, attorney with Loeb and Loeb, guest of Clara Montanez and a prospective member; Mike Carmichael, a consultant, guest of Haleh Vaziri; Paola Torres, guest of Gladys Antezana; Ann Everett, President of Ann W. Everett Consultants, guest of Ken Kimbrough; and Father Lidio Tomasi of Holy Rosary Church in Chinatown, a former Rotarian and prospective member.
Filling in for Sergeant at Arms David Treadwell was Dan Mullin, who announced the July 14 birthday of Greig Cummings. A Past Club President (1977-78) and Foundation President (1983-84), Greig Cummings was sponsored by Edward Maloney when he joined in 1968. His classification is Investments: Portfolio Management.
President Shaun reported that our club received an International Toast from the Rotary Club of Randburg in South Africa. He informed us that Past President Carl Gell has been ill, but is now at home recuperating and hopes to return to meetings soon. His contact information is in the directory if members want to send a note or communication.
He announced that the site for next Thursday’s Happy Hour is the Topaz Bar, 1733 N St. NW near Dupont Circle. He reminded everyone to Save the Date for DCPS Beautification Day, Saturday, August 24 from 9 am to 1 pm. The club will be working at Stanton Elementary School under the direction of Past President Howard Davis. President Shaun presented a Blue Badge to Renee McPhatter, and also her recognition as a Paul Harris Fellow.
Past President David Klaus took a few minutes to give personal recognition to the members who had assisted him during his administration who had not been present previously.
With Ed O’Brien unavoidably absent, Haleh Vaziri took over the pleasant duty of introducing our speaker, author Paul Dickson, with us to talk about his new book, “Words from the White House: Words and Phrases Coined or Popularized by America’s Presidents.” Paul Dickson spoke to us last year when his biography of Bill Veeck was published, and once again gave an engrossing talk.
Going all the way back to “The Founding Fathers” (a phrase invented by Warren Harding in the 1920s), Dickson served up a sampling of items everyone might think had been part of the language forever. We learned that the “State of the Union” was a title chosen by FDR to make the annual report to Congress more interesting. The intellectual Thomas Jefferson created more than 100 words, considering it his duty as a revolutionary to create an American language. But the more humbly educated George Washington did his duty as well, naming the tin can and adding dozens of words from his understanding of agriculture and industry.
Noah Webster wrote that words could be an act of defiance, and as Americans created a new nation , established public libraries, and encouraged literacy, the British were often annoyed at what was being done to their native tongue, Dickson told us.
Did you know that Woodrow Wilson was criticized for using slang like “moolah” and exhorting the nation in the style of a Princeton athletic coach? Or that the Great Communicator, Ronald Reagan, got his messages across without coining any new words at all? Dickson says that Abraham Lincoln was the first world leader to fully use the power of language.
In the question and answer session, Paul Dickson described his life as raising kids, taking out the trash and writing books. This newest book is number 64, and questioners wondered just how he did it, and where do the ideas come from? Dickson says you need passion to keep up a pace like that, and added humorously that you also need a market to buy the books you are passionate about.
President Shaun presented the tree certificate, and called for the green raffle bucket. May Gwinn won the $49 small pot. However, the $892 large pot remained secure for another week.
The raffle was managed by Gordon Nielsen. The Hospitality table was staffed by Stu Shalloway, Ted Hamady and Sharon Taylor. The greeters were Deraux Branch and Ayesha Baigmohamed.
The meeting was adjourned at 1:30.