Posted by Tom McClellan on Dec 26, 2017
Marriages, proposals, burning gravy, scorpions, Star Wars jammies, horny toads, and other Christmas stories.
Notes from the December 20, 2017 Meeting of Clover Park Rotary
Recorded by Joyce Loveday, edited by Tom McClellan
President Bryan Christensen called the meeting to order promptly at 12:30 p.m.  Dave Cotant provided the invocation and Dave Hall led the Pledge of Allegiance.
There were no visiting Rotarians, but guests for the day included former member Bruce Barth (with wife and current club member Marie Barth), Ingrid Willis (with Fred Willis), and Tom Wie (with Judi Maier). 
Sunshine Report:
  • Joe Nichols is recovering from chemotherapy and is at home recovering. We pray that good things come his way.
  • General Bill is A-Okay after having the Heimlich maneuver performed on him while at the Lakewood Country Club.
Upcoming programs:
December 27     No Wednesday meeting, enjoy the holidays
January 3           Riley Wyatt will talk about what it’s like to work for the Boy Scouts of America
January 10         Debbie Lebeau will give an update on the Clover Park School District
January 17         Dave Hall will provide a program about Shelter Boxes
  • Joy Taylor and several students from the Bellarmine Robotics Club volunteered at the craft table at the West Pierce Fire Department as families picked up their Christmas gifts. She noted that every family that came that day went home with a bicycle, and families were very appreciative of the support they received.  Thanks to the club for contributing to this project again this year.
  • No meeting next week, December 27, but Carr's Restaurant will be open if you want to enjoy a nice lunch.
  • President Bryan reminded club board members that they will meet at the end of today’s meeting to discuss reallocating $4000 of funding initially designated for holiday baskets at Tyee Park Elementary. The funding will be used for a like project that provides food to children in need within our community.
Fun and Fines:
General Ed enlisted the help of Riley Wyatt to assist him in collecting the day’s fines.
  • Bryan gave a check for $20 for his 3 year anniversary.
  • Charlie Maxwell - $2 for not signing in.
  • Karen George and General Bill - $2 each for being late.
  • Joyce Oubre wasn’t fined, but was asked to recount how the train derailment on Monday, December 18, impacted business at the Dupont McDonald’s restaurant she owns.  Things were so busy on the day of the derailment, that Joyce herself ended up on french-fry duty because some employees couldn’t make it to work due to traffic.  That day Joyce's crew provided food to emergency volunteers as well as individuals at the Dupont City Hall, which was serving as a reunification center as they waited for loved ones to arrive. We’re proud of our Rotarian in action for responding to the opportunity to give and serve.  The mayor of Dupont provided Joyce with a medallion as a thank you.  And then on Tuesday, with I-5 closed, there was almost no business at that McDonald’s.
  • Bob Lawrence was in the news for a Crime Stoppers fundraiser at Lakewood Playhouse – $20. He took the opportunity to talk about the many good services performed in our community by Crime Stoppers.
  • Joy Taylor paid a fine for taking two buses of students to Amazon HQ in downtown Seattle for a robotics competition. Her students received the “Motivator Award” in recognition of their community service.
Because attendance is sometimes low during the holidays, Tom McClellan arranged an “alternate program” for the day and asked those present to talk about a Christmas memory.  A few of the stories are included here:
On Christmas day, 1984, Tom McClellan asked Shelley to marry him.  It took him all day to gather his courage.
Judi Maier's husband Tom Wie spoke on their behalf, about playing with model trains in his basement with relatives who had invited Tom and Judi go on the inaugural run of the train which ended up derailing.  He was grateful that other errands and obligations got in the way of participating in the derailment.
Fred Willis recounted how he and Ingrid ended up getting married on the winter solstice 60 years ago, because there was no room at the inn on the original date of Dec. 24 when he had intended to wed.
Dave Hall described the year he had 10 guests from Japan (relatives of his daughter-in-law) at his home for a traditional Christmas dinner.  None of them had been to the U.S. before. The day included the gravy pan catching on fire, discharge of the fire extinguisher, and the dog knocking down the tree in all the excitement. It was an impressive show that led to applause from the Japanese guests whose only impression of American Christmas traditions was from National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation and Home Alone.
Marie Barth remembered the “American Girl” Christmas she put on for her 3 granddaughters, and also that she got to see those children of her family share their gifts years later with girls from other families who didn’t have as much.
Charlie Maxwell remembered the year his dad told him he wouldn’t be getting a bike for Christmas. It was the year he truly understood the love of his family, and he learned the value of hard work.
General Ed described a Christmas in Vietnam when the Army dining hall where he had dinner was blown apart 20 minutes after he and his staff had left it.
Heidi Wachter told about returning to Lakewood City Hall in her Star Wars jammies at 1:30 AM Christmas morning to find the package for one of her daughters she had forgotten there.  
Bob Lawrence remembered one Christmas as a child when he was bitten 8 times by scorpions.
Jeannie Hill’s memory took her back to Christmas morning 1999 when she found a tiny starved kitten outside her house. She ended up naming the kitten Emma, and caring for her the next 18 years.
Alice Peeples recounted a Christmas celebration while living in New Mexico, when she made Jeannie return her collection of 32 horned toads (which are actually lizards) back to nature.  Company was coming, and Alice did not think it was appropriate to keep them in the house.  That was until she saw a teary-eyed young Jeannie walking slowly back toward the house, with a trail of all 32 following her back home, that is.  So they once again got to live in a box on their porch.
Joyce Oubre expressed that she was looking forward to this year’s celebration when she once again will have a children’s table at Christmas, because so many are coming to join them.
Joy Taylor described the first year she saw her son James treat a homeless man to a hot meal at Christmas.  This is something he’s continued to do each year since.
Karen Fengler-Nichols remembered 1992 when she and Joe brought their 5 children together in a blended family for their first Christmas together. They gathered at a neutral place for skiing and left as friends and family members.
Paul Webb talked about the year a family had a fire on Christmas. Firefighters went shopping for the family, and were met by store patrons who wanted to contribute to the cause.  He was astounded by the giving spirit that surrounds all of us.
With $389 in pot, Dave Cotant held the lucky ticket – No ace ($5 for Dave).
And Finally…
Is this a nativity scene, or two tyrannosaurus rexes arguing over a watermelon?