October 18, 2019

NEXT MEETING: October 18, 2019

"Blossoms and Thorns" and Japanese Roots in Richmond

Flora Ninomiya, is a docent from the Japanese American Citizens’ League. This program will feature a short documentary, “Blossoms and Thorns”, about Richmond’s pre- and post-war community of flower growers and nursery owners whose lives were changed by the forced internment of Japanese citizens during World War II.

Flora will also tell us about two men of conscience who quietly made it possible for Japanese American families to return to Richmond and El Cerrito.


  • Rotarian homework: Call a member you haven’t seen for a while. Invite them to join you at Rotary Lite – Third Tuesday, Oct. 16th at El Agave Azul.
  • Special Thanks to Santa and Alan Bear for the Bahamas Benefit BBQ last Saturday. Donations can be sent to Richmond Rotary noting Bahama benefit.
  • If you haven’t browsed our website in a while, we’d like to call your attention to the Miraflores Centennial Project section. Click the link in the upper navigation bar that is so labeled (cast your eyes upward a couple inches), and notice the links in the menu that appears. “History? Hmm.” Check it out. “Upcoming events? Club 100?” New stuff there. Have a look please.


MEETING OF October 11, 2019


Our Prez, Jan Brown, opened the meeting and welcomed everyone to Blue Apron’s Richmond Distribution CenterHank Covell led us in the Pledge and Herb Cole did the invocation for peace, freedom and justice on earth.  Thought for the day from Jon Lawlis:  “The world is full of good people, if you can’t find one, be one.”  A second thought for the day from Nick Despota, offered as we chowed down on sandwiches and salad:  “Hunger is the best chef.”

Alan Baer reminded everyone of the BBQ to help out the Bahamas at his home this Saturday, October 12th, from 2:00 – 5:00 p.m.  Bring along a dessert or drink. Should make your contribution to our Rotary Club with a note to benefit the Bahamas.

Jan suggested we think of someone who hasn’t been to the Club in awhile, and bring them to the BBQ or to the Rotary Lite Meeting, next Tuesday at El Agave Azul Restaurant from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m.

Jan encouraged people to bring a friend to next Friday’s Rotary meeting, where our speaker will be David Ninomiya’s sister, Flora, who will do a presentation on the Mira Flores Centennial Project.  She will be talking about the key individuals who helped Japanese Americans after the internment.

El Cerrito Rotary’s Sip and Savor is coming up at the Berkeley Country Club. See Jan for tickets.

Darlene Drapkin introduced Jeremy, the Assistant Manager of Blue Apron.  He told us about how Blue Apron came to  be, it’s 350 employees here at the Richmond facility, and the company’s vision going forward.  Many thanks to Jeremy for the very informative presentation.



We were happy to welcome a lot of guests to this meeting.
  Nakele Rechenauer brought Eleanor Byrne and Jane Tong.
Zelfa Chauvin was the far-more-charming guest of her husband Sid Chauvin.
And Cheryl Maier was the guest of her hubby, Bob Dabney.
Our guest speaker was Jeremy Adelson, of Blue Apron.

Recognitions and Happy and Sad Dollars

Ric Ambrose conducted the Recognitions:

  • Tom Butt has been a Rotary member for 38 years.  Tom shared his sponsor was Jack Horton. Tom made a donation to the Club.
  • Nakele Rechenauer celebrates her 6th wedding anniversary.  As her husband is German, they always celebrate Octoberfest and she was beautifully dressed for the occasion!
  • Herb Cole  had happy dollars.  He, Jim Findley, Josh, his wife and kids all went to the Marine Mammal Center, an auction item.  It really was an amazing trip. Jim Findley gave us info on many PG&E facts along the way. A wonderful outing.
  • Jon Lawlis had happy dollars.  Sorry he and Darlene missed last week’s Rotary Meeting,  We went to Roseville for family time with Nick, Michelle, Lil Aubrey and Alyssa.  Hard to believe Aubrey will be turning one year old next month.
  • Liliane Koziol had happy dollars for visiting the Sausalito Bay Museaum.  A neat place to take visiting scholars.
  • Pam Jones had happy dollars for her trip to London for a Legal Seminar, where she presented on family law.  She got to go to the Court of Appeals, had a picture with Lady Hall, went to the House of Parliament and House of Lords.  Most importantly, had time with her two beautiful granddaughters! Neville got to shoot pictures of the Oakland Raiders vs Chicago Bears Game.
  • Hank Covell had happy dollars that he made to today’s meeting.  Thanks to Doreen and with David Brown’s help, he got here!
  • Jim Findley had a thought:  “How much nicer the world would be, if we only knew yesterday like we know today.”
  • Jan Brown had happy dollars for time spent with her grandchildren, ages 3 and 6.  She played a tough game of kickball, in which the kids (or was it Byron?) who got the better of her: she held up a bandaged and splinted and possibly broken finger. Ouch!



Blue Apron

Cecilia Orozco and Jeremy Adelson of Blue Apron.

We gathered at the regional distribution facility for Blue Apron. This company delivers precisely portioned quality ingredients, nutritional information, and, of course, instructions –don’t forget the instructions!– that enable subscribers to prepare delicious gourmet food in their own kitchens.  Tasty.

- Darlene Quenville, Rotating Scribe