Nancy McCready, President, presiding. The gathering of members of the Westwood Village Rotary Club began at 12:01 p.m. when President Nancy McCready opened the Zoom room for an early social gathering. Present at the beginning was President McCready, webmaster and PP Ron Lyster, PP Mark Rogo and Peter More. As time wore on, more and more members joined, including Annie Miler who is the owner and genius behind Clementine’s, our weekly Merchant Minute guest. As we approached 12:29 p.m. our President excused herself to start our Zoom meeting, now with 28 screens.
At precisely 12:30 p.m., President Nancy McCready started the weekly Rotary Club meeting, calling to order this villainous pack of thieves and cutthroats. Oops. Wrong Club; that was a Lion’s Club. Let’s start again.
At precisely 12:30 p.m., President Nancy McCready started the weekly Rotary Club meeting, calling to order an assemblance of civic and business leaders from the Westwood and Brentwood communities. After welcoming our members, President Nancy moved on to Club business.
PP Steve Day led the Pledge of Allegiance, asking all to “repeat after me” and recite the pledge to our great nation. (I’ve always wondered why people ask to repeat after them instead of recite with them?)
In a brilliant move that mirrored Coach Robert’s replacement of Kershaw with Justin May in Game 6 of the World Series, President McCready asked PP Ed Gauld to sing “American the Beautiful” for us. Ed would have made Luciano Pavarotti proud. (The rest of you should just keep your day jobs and stay off the sauce!)
My trophy wife Lynn Rogo led the Thought for the Day, ambling on about the new World Series Champions, the Los Angeles Dodgers, making an observation about the press “skewering Justin Turner like a Bar-B-Q” and defending his ill-fated decision to violate league protocols and leave his quarantine area in order to join his teammates out on the baseball field celebrating their triumph. All of this after his seventh inning test result showing he tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. As a major league baseball player, Justin Turner is well aware of the position he assumes as a role model for people of all ages, but cast that aside in return for 15 minutes of glory further infecting his teammates and coaching staff. (Uh-oh, I disagreed with my wife; on the couch again!)
President Nancy went on to announce her selection for Westwood Village Rotary Club Rotarian of the month for October - our Club backbone and hero, PPx2 Diane Good. We all know Diane, who picked up the mantle and a ssumed the Club’s leadership after a disastrous eight weeks under what’s-his-name. More than that, she has remained committed to the ideals of Rotary and utilized her leadership skills to pull the Club back together again. Even after almost two years as President, PP Good continues to be involved, arranging for the silent auction items donated by our members for the District 5280 Foundation Dinner, figuring out how to maintain the Christmas shopping spree under the current isolation conditions, and spearheading a donation from the Club for a new van f or the Westwood Salvation Army Family Center on Sepulveda Blvd.
Westwood Village Rotary Club Rotarian of the month for September, PP Steve Day was mentioned again. The applause was deafening, since the Club is well aware of Steve’s long-time commitment to Rotary since joining under the sponsorship of Ray Zickfeld (his father-in-law) and remaining as the Club’s long-time liaison to the Rotary Foundation. Steve is one of those rare individuals who takes on any task the Club President requests, reaches out to all of us on behalf of the Foundation with enthusiasm and doesn’t have a mean bone in his body. It shows in the results; this year despite the pandemic and a divisive presidential election and our isolation from each other, Steve has reached new fund-raising heights and generated a huge increase in donations from our membership for the annual District 5280 Rotary Foundation Virtual Dinner, scheduled for this Saturday, November 7th. Congratulations to Steve Day, an example to all of us! (he’s also one of two CPAs that I know – the other one being PP Gordon Fell – that has a sense of humor!)
Following our Rotarians of the month, I introduced this week’s Merchant Minute. In the spirit of supporting small community businesses during the pandemic, Annie Miler joined us from Clementine’s Restaurant, located at 1715 Ensley Avenue in Century City, just north of Santa Monica Blvd and several blocks east of Beverly Glen. Celebrating its’ 20thanniversary, Clementine’s has become an established favorite amongst local Westwood residents, as well as being a strong supporter of local schools. It’s open Monday thru Friday 7:00a to 7:00p, and on Saturday 8:00a thru 5:00p. Closed Sundays. Free delivery, depending on your location and the time of day. She’s giving away free grilled cheese sandwiches on Tuesday, IF you voted! You can order online at www.clementineonline.comor by calling them at (310) 552-1080. (I recommend the key lime pie!)
Tom Barron came online next, sporting a new haircut and introducing our guest speaker, Greg Fischer. Greg is a long-time resident of Westwood and has a wealth of knowledge on our history, just like a previous speaker Steve Sann, who was joining us today as a guest. Greg came with 97 slides but suffered through Zoomitis and could not get his technology gods to obey. We have to have him back again! But I did collect some highlights;
- UCLA was moved to Westwood from its previous home on Vermont Blvd, where the Los Angeles City College now resides. This move was encouraged by Janss, the son-in-law of the owner Mr. Letz, of “Rancho San Jose de Buenos Ayres”.
- The famous Westwood tower was installed near the corner of Wilshire and Beverly Glen, and allowed potential buyers of home lots to climb the tower and see all of the available lots in Westwood north of Wilshire.
- When UCLA opened in Westwood in the 1920s this was a largely undeveloped part of Los Angeles. Wilshire Blvd was the most direct route but many parts of the street were not paved.
- There were restrictions on liquor north of Santa Monica Blvd.
- The parceling of homesites began near the site of Pico Blvd and Westwood Blvd, which became an outdoor drive-in.
- The original value of the UCLA buildings to be constructed was $2.0M.
President Nancy thanked everyone for attending, and reminded the Board of Managers that their meeting followed. Our meeting was adjourned at 12:31pm.
PP Mark Rogo