The Flywheel

This Week's Program: July 10th, 2009

Katrina, the Aftermath

angular momentum diagram

Bill Robberson, Commander of the EPA Regional Response Team, returns to Richmond Rotary to describe his experiences in New Orleans immediately after Katrina.

Wear warm socks and waterproof boots.


Last week's MEETING: June 26th, 2009

Welcome, Invocation, Thought for the Day

On a beautiful day that seemed like it was better to be outside rather than inside…most Rotarians were outside.  PastPastPrez Pam Jones was subbing for Almost Current Prez Glenn Daggs who started early because Current Prez Mark Howe took early retirement.  PP Pam asked Lelise Levy to do lead us in the Pledge and a thoughtful Henry Kelman informed us that the people of Iran and experiencing what our country experienced in the ’60 only a little different.

Sunshine Report

Werner was happy to report that Elof was on a trip. Charlie was glad to be not on a trip and present here today.


  • Richmond Rotary Club Visioning Session will be on August 5th from 5-9pm.  We will be doing our Club 5 year plan
  • Rotary Night at the A’s August 22nd all the dogs and popcorn you can eat while watching the A’s, followed by fireworks with a great view from the 3rd deck behind home plate.


Jan Brown, in the spirit of “Is it the truth,” volunteered that she had a “milestone” birthday and also she and Byron celebrated another Anniversary!

Happy and Sad Dollars

Ted Abrue was happy that one of his grandson’s was graduating and the arrival of his 5th grandchild; ALAN BLAVINS was happy to be on his way to Spain and hoped to have a great fish story to tell on his return; YOUR SCRIBE was happy that he was able to have dinner with the son’s of a Chicago Rotarian who he met 40 years ago and took care of him while at Valpo.

Norm’s Nonsense

Remember the lawyer jokes?

A guy told his friend that last winter he went on a business trip to New York City, and it was so cold in the morning he saw a lawyer with his hands in his own pockets.

A lawyer was playing golf when he got hit by a ball. When the player came over looking for the ball, the lawyer said, "I'm a lawyer and this will cost you $5,000." "I'm sorry," said the golfer, "But I did say 'fore'." "I'll take it," said the lawyer.

Raffle Results

Your scribe, Don, who may have been the only one to buy a ticket, pulled a white ball.


The Surprising History of the Pledge of Allegiance

Pledge of allegiance

Tom Waller introduced our speaker, Shelley Lapkoff, a demographer from UC Berkeley, who gave a terrific presentation on the history of the Pledge of Allegiance. 

As someone from Berkeley, she often wondered if saying the “Pledge” was something she was comfortable with so she decided to look into the history of the Pledge.  She spoke about the 3 men who were responsible for the Pledge: Francis Bellamy, the author; Daniel Ford, the financier; and James Upham, the promoter.  Bellamy was pastor who was a Christian Socialist in Boston who because of his leftist leaning was asked to leave the church. Ford was quite wealthy and the publisher of the Youth’s Companion and asked Bellamy to write for Youth’s Companion. Upham, who was related to Ford by marriage, worked for Ford and was in charge of subscriptions and also mail and catalogue ordering for items including flags. 

To make a very interesting and long story short, the basic deal is that Upham wanted to sell flags to every school in the country so he got national support to have flags in every school and thought a “pledge” would be a way for everyone to acknowledge the flag. It took Bellamy a couple of hours to pen the original pledge “I pledge allegiance to my flag and to the Republic for which it stands one Nation indivisible with Liberty and Justice for all.” There have been modifications over the years like the addition of “under God” (President Eisenhower), the “salute” to the flag versus the hand over the heart.

Shelley’s presentation contained very interesting tidbits (like where the name Perry Mason came from for TV) and a very good analysis of what went into our Pledge.

- The Menehune