Posted by Jim Garrett

Bill Darling opened with an invocation inspired by the second anniversary of two events, the birth of his granddaughter and the receipt of his cancer diagnosis (happily, the granddaughter now thrives while the cancer regresses).  The concurrence of these contrasting events, Bill said, triggered contemplation since of life and death, redoubling his appreciation of the former.

In that spirit, Bill quoted an excerpt from a Walt Whitman poem, “The Song of the Open Road,” including the lines: “Henceforth I ask not good-fortune . . . Strong and content I travel the open road.”

A stanza of “America the Beautiful” followed, under the figurative baton of Sharon Crump.

Guests included Cody Wilson’s granddaughter, Chanel (a former Rotary scholarship recipient and recent college graduate, now planning a career in criminal justice — my advice?  If that’s your choice, Chanel, seek federal employment after accumulating a few years of experience), and Laura Easterling, a prospective member under the sponsorship of Pat Love.

Bill Hubbard then solicited volunteers for the meal service at Loaves and Fishes on Thursday June 20, and circulated a job sign-up sheet.

President Shellie Peterson followed by observing that because Rotary will be working at Loaves and Fishes on June 20, and the annual Installation Dinner will be held the following Thursday, June 27, there will be no regular meetings those two weeks (nor, presumably, on the Thursday after that, July 4).  Consequently, Shellie pointed out that the only meeting before the July 4 Parade will be next Thursday, June 13. 

Volunteers for the Parade are needed, Shellie reminded.  Although under recently revised plans, Rotary will no longer be “policing” the Parade route, new eligibility requirements for Parade participation have been established, she said, and Rotary will have responsibility for implementation.  Because of the revisions affecting multiple aspects of the Parade (even including the route), Parade-related assignments for which members previously volunteered may have been eliminated, and needs for volunteers to fill new positions created.  Accordingly, a new Parade sign-up sheet was circulated, accompanied by Shellie’s urgent request for members’ help.  (The good news is the jobs for distribution throughout the town of posters announcing the Parade were filled before the meeting adjourned.)

Art Benzel and Bob Eggleston then unveiled the new Rotary Event Banner, intended to stretch over Hot Springs Boulevard near Pagosa Street, downtown.  The Banner will initially be used to announce Casino Night on June 21, but they pointed out it can be readily modified for use to advertise future events, as well.

Art and Bob encouraged members to sell tickets to Casino Night, and reminded that all funds raised should be delivered to Sharon Crump.  The event will offer Texas Hold ‘Em, craps, Wheel of Fortune, and blackjack.  There will be nine tables for the latter game, they said, and training for dealers (a few openings remain) will be provided Tuesday June 18, 5 pm to 7 pm in the back room at Pagosa Brewing. 

In addition to dealers, volunteers are needed to take tickets at the door and staff the “bank” (apparently, the bank will accept money for chips, and then chips for tickets, which can eventually be used by ticket-holders to win prizes, which are guaranteed “for the right tickets,” Bob pointed out, helpfully).

Pat Love added that there will be two more meetings of the Casino Night decorating committee, at 4 pm the next two Mondays (through June 17) — also in the Brewery’s back room.  “Bring scissors,” Pat asked prospective participants, then reassured all that, potential weapons notwithstanding (remember the movie, “Dial M for Murder”), the Committee is rollicking good fun (well, “Enjoyable,” at least).

Kim Moore then presided for Sunshine/Showers.  Among contributors were Carrie Weiss, freshly returned home from weary travels, announcing “Pagosa’s the best,” Neal Johnson, lamenting the passing of a Turkish friend met during concurrent terms as District Governors, and Codie Wilson, celebrating granddaughter Chanel.

Kim then turned to the announcement of Birthdays: her own and Dave Smith’s, both on June 7.  But alas, no hats were worn, nor birthday anthems sung — Kim pressed her thumb on the scale and moved events along before the strategic omissions were noted.  Was Dave in collusion with Kim’s unseemly haste?  No protests over the absence of honors were noted from his corner of the room.  Next month, I hope we’ll have some real Birthday Enthusiasm.  (Bring back Meg Wempe, and her one-person Conga line!)

Carrie finally reclaimed her role as Lottery Czar (as Carrie resumed the mantle, Lisa Scott could be heard muttering words to the effect, “You said it would be only two months,” but that complaint was ignored by all).  Pat Love held the winning ticket, but was denied glory and fortune by drawing a card of mere peasant status.  And the pot grows . . .