May 26th, 2022
Westwood Village Rotary Club

Coming up on June 2nd

Dr. Leo Feler

Dr. Leo Feler is a highly quoted economist from the UCLA Anderson School of Management. Dr. Feler will give his commentary and forecast for the US economy.

Westwood Virtual Rotary Club Meeting for May 26th, 2022

This WVRC meeting of May 26th was a Zoom affair with PP Marsha Hunt as Acting President of the Day. During the social half-hour leading up to kickoff at 12:30, you could see Marsha’s screen with ‘Peace is Possible’ along with a peace dove highlighted in the background. Naturally, Marsha is the perennial Peace chair for the Club.

At exactly (within the seconds allowable variation) Marsha began the meeting and promptly introduced Sherry Dwane, a past member of the WVRC with a very somber and special message for our members. Sherry expressed a sad message that our former member and Past District Governor of 5280, Bill Goodwyn, had passed away. Sherry was a close friend of Bill and Judi Goodwyn and has been in touch with Judi since Bill’s passing just two days ago. Sherry, with obvious sadness, told of Judi’s own health problems (broken hip) while Bill was home from the hospital when he fell and seriously injured his head. Unfortunately, the head injury was so severe that he never recovered. He will be remembered and missed greatly by us all.

Marsha then took over by expressing further sadness that former member Sally Brant had recently passed away. Her funeral was just yesterday attended by 7 of us WVRC Rotarians.

Gordon Fell was asked to recite and lead the pledge. He immediately called for a moment of silence in remembrance for both Bill and Sally. Chris Bradford was called upon for the Thought of the Day. Chris was to offer the “moment of silence” but since Gordon did so, Chris told of how Bill Goodwyn had helped him during his tenure as President. Chris finished with a request to keep them both in your prayers.

Benjamin Fisher, our incoming Vice-President and fresh from attending the District Assembly, recited the 4-Way Test, slowly and carefully, to assure that we all remember what Rotary is all about. Tom Barron mentioned he and Diane Good were working on the year-end Promotion-Demotion dinner that was expected to be held on Saturday evening June 25th. Mark it on you calendars, he requested. More to follow. Marsha asked if there were any other memories of Bill that members would like to offer. Mark Rogo told of his creating pins for Bill’s comment that “because we have always done it that way”. Steve Scherer remarked that Bill was one of the greatest innovative Presidents that the club has ever had.

There were no Rotary guests nor guests in general, so Marsha moved on to any announcements. Only, again, did Benjamin announce the awarding and funding of two scholarships.
John O’Keefe then was called upon to introduce our speaker of the day. He did so by saying that our speaker, Vin DiBona, had so many accomplishments that he would keep it short and just mention a few. Vin DiBona is the founder of America’s Funniest Home Videos, a television show that has the longest running time in television history. Can you imagine any program that would continue as a top rated show for 29 years?
Vin DiBona then began his talk by saying that his dad owned a restaurant and the local Rotary club had met there for over 10 years, so he was quite familiar with the Rotarians and their mission. Vin said he was born prematurely, weighing only two and a half pounds. His father said he had cooked chickens weighing more than this kid! Another memory, Vin related he started out as a singer, and by age 15 recorded his fist record in Nashville. Unfortunately for him, the Beatles came on the scene at this time, so they smothered his career. It is obvious Vin has a sense of humor as well.
Vin said he went to Emerson College and then on to UCLA for graduate studies in the theater and arts school. He went back to Boston to learn the trade, and then to California in 1977 where he spent nine months trying to ‘connect’. Eventually, he got his first real job on Entertainment Tonight.
His wife at the time saw a Japanese show with “critters running all over the place” and he thought it was hilarious. So he made a ‘handshake deal’ with Toyoko Broadcasting to do a video show in the US along the same lines. He pitched the show, Vin emphasized, 136 times before ABC bought it. He said they made the first pilot and showed it on the Thursday night of Thanksgiving. Vin mentioned that success of a pilot show continuing was about 100 to 1! Luckily, he said, that evening ABC had the highest ratings in the last 12 years. ABC then asked Vin to produce 11 more shows. That started the history making run of America’s Funniest Home Videos.

Interestingly, Vin said, after 25 years Bob Igor, who signed on for ABC, told Vin that he did not think Vin could produce 11 more shows during the initial period. “Neither did I” Vin told Igor. But he did, and the rest is history.
Vin said he thought there were four things he believed for success in this industry. First, good preparation; second, a good premise for content; third, good execution; and fourth, luck! Vin then commented on several new shows his production company is or has created. And every time the first one is shown, he said he is “scared to death”.
Vin then asked for questions, and in response to one question that was along the lines of “do you pay for videos which are essentially ‘fake’. Vin responded, that we do not pay for videos, and if we think they are fake, we will not show them. However, he does have contests and if shown and they are winners, we give out money prizes. In 32 years, we have distributed around 15 million dollars in prize money for submitted and approved clips.
You could tell from the questions and interest, Vin DiBona was a terrific guest speaker.
A final comment of the days meeting, came from Steve Scherer. Steve said he kept an Invocation made by Bill Goodwyn years ago. It goes like this.
“If you can start the day without caffeine,
And always be cheerful, ignoring your aches and pains,
If you can resist complaining, and boring people with your troubles,
And eat the same food every day and be grateful for it,
If you can understand when your loved ones are too busy to give you any time,
And take criticism and blame without resentment,
If you can conquer tension without medical help,
And relax without alcohol,
Or sleep without the aid of drugs,
Then you’re probably, THE FAMILY DOG.”
God rest your soul Bill!
Prepared by Tom Barron

WVRC 2020/2021 Leadership Team
President: Nancy McCready
Treasurer: Terry M. White
Youth/Vocational Service: Phil Gabriel
Director/Peace: PP Marsha Hunt
Foundation: PP Steve Day
Global Scholarships: PP Chris Bradford
Webmaster: PP Ron Lyster
Director/Merchant Minute: PP Mark Rogo
District Governor: Bette Hall
Immediate Past President: Diane Good
Secretary: PP Diane Good
Community Service: Aaron Donahue
International Service: Nevin Senkan
Program Chair: PP Tom Barron
Membership: PP Mike Newman
Director/Social Media: PP Aly Shoji
Windmill Editor: P Nancy McCready
Assistant District Governor: Michael Lushing