The Flywheel

Next Meeting: November 4th

The "new" Escape Club

For many years Rotary supported the Escape Club at Adams Middle School. This extracurricular enrichment activity appeasred to have ‘died’ with the closure of Adams Middle School. But not at all! The program has been renewed at De Jean Middle School by its enterprising founder John Iwawaki. John will tell us about the new program which receives financial support from the Club.


Meeting of Friday, October 28th

Welcome, Invocation, Thought for the Day

Herb led us in the invocation today, asking for a moment of silence for “Peace and Freedom on Earth” 

Rotarians with Guests

  • Pate Thompson came to the club again to make sure people understand and participate in the Barsheep directory.
  • Eric Mouldon was visiting our club from the Concord Club and is the public affairs director for Travis Credit Union.
  • Fred Clingon is the District Governor Elect. and was visiting to get to know us before he become or master.
  • Lilian Koziol’s visitor was Kevin Wi from the Asian Foundation.  He is trying to encourage clubs to use the foundation’s outreach program and accept speakers from their group.
  • Henry Moe’s guest was Sister Mary Greenan  from Salesian high school and our speaker.  There were also the Salesian Roteract Student in attendance.
  • Jim Young brought as his guest his wife Linda Young.


  • Don Lau reminded us about the Holiday Auction.  Bring your rich friends he says shamelessly. He suggested that people donate activity and trip type items which have been selling well.  For example Josh Genser’s Scotch Tasting, and Nicks birding expeditions.
  • Hank Covell reminded us about the bottle of Muscatel and how much money it has raised.  Bid generously he says for the finest bottle of wine you will ever not drink!
  • Michell Itagaki asked if the club pays for guests at the auction – quick answer NO!
  • Josh Surowitz announced that he was going to establish a Richmond Rotary drinking club that will meet at one bar or another every other week or so.  Attending will be good for a make up and it is a good time to introduce other people to the club members who are the clubs biggest asset.

Happy and Sad Dollars & Recognitions:

  • Nick conducted a survey to see if a website auction item or a birding trip would be more popular at the auction.  The website won and elicited a sad dollar from Nick.  I guess he would rather be outside for a day than home in front of a computer screen for several days.
  • Jim Young paid a fine of $10 for being gone for the last two meetings.
  • Michelle Itagaki donated some happy dollars to celebrate her son reaching the ripe old age of 21.
  • Mark Howe informed us that this weekend’s Richmond Yacht Club Great Pumpkin had a record 283 boats entered.

Norm's Nonsense

Three engineers are arguing about which is better, mechanical, electrical, or civil engineering. The mechanical engineer says, "God must've been a mechanical engineer: Look at the joints in the human body."

The second says, "No, God must've been an electrical engineer: look at the nervous system."

And the third says, "God had to be a civil engineer: who else would've run a waste disposal pipeline right through a great recreational area?"


Haloween's Celtic Origins

Henry Moe introduced the popular, hysterical, witty, and thickly accented, Irish Sister Mary Greenan from Salesian, where she teaches youth ministries.   Sister Mary explained that Halloween was brought to America by Irish immigrants who in turn inherited it from Celtic & Druid tribes.

The Celtic tribes started their year on November 1 as it was the start of the cold winter months where many came down with illnesses and died.  The Celtic people believed that the spirits of the dead returned to earth at this time and caused illness and death.  To protect themselves and confuse the spirits, the people dressed up like the spirits to protect themselves from death and disease.  And today we have Halloween costumes.

Later the Christians modified Halloween again.  Poor folks would go around to neighbor’s houses and promise to pray for their occupants if they were given a “soul cake”  This is why children go trick or treating around their neighborhoods now.

“Jack–o-lanterns” have their origins in Ireland.  The story about “Jack and the Devil” goes like this.  Jack and the Devil are throwing dice.  Jack rolls three 3’s and devil rolls three 1’s.  The threes 3’s are the cross and Jack wanders to heaven where he is not admitted and then to Hell where he is also rejected.  This leaves him wandering with his Jack-o-lantern eternally.

-Rotating Editor, Mark Howe