Small Eskimo Boy

February 28, 2009

Travel to Anchorage

I put down on paper the preceding thoughts either late Wednesday night or very early on Thursday morning, in Anchorage.

Thursday, October 3, and where has the time gone? I have a luncheon with the Governor’s spouses. I sit at table five, between LaVonne and Elleen. There’s not going to be much room on the table for food because we have ten people sitting around a table designed for eight. Chris, taking the microphone at the podium, reminds everyone that the table favor without the rose belongs to the gentleman. As there’s only myself and Lloyd, each at separate tables, this makes sorting out the little ribbon wrapped boxes easy. I wondered what those things were for. Aren’t they going to give us men a course in tea parties and place settings?

I receive a small Eskimo boy sculpted in wood with a tiny fur parka. The piece is very well done. I promptly pin it on my shirt backwards because I didn’t bring my glasses and can’t see anything under an arms length in front of me. Elleen leans over and makes sure it’s done correctly. I’m going to like Elleen.

This is a working luncheon, and we have a facilitator named Susan who gives us an open book test on the Rotary Checklist. I miss three of them, but dispute the correctness of the answer to one of them. We get into such a spirited discussion over the role of women in Rotary that the facilitator is quite left behind. The question is, are partners or spouses of Rotarians going to be treated like second class Rotarians (my favorite expression is “good little Rotarians”) or will Rotary responsibilities be shared and rewarded equally. After all, in most households, it takes both the man and the women to carve a living out of the shrinking economic pie, as they say, these days. Conversation turns back to more controversial issues. What does “Facing the future with action and vision” really mean? Why am I making Sylvia nervous? Maybe it’s my soapbox speech on relevancy and Rotary. As I say about the difference between action and activity, Sylvia, “get a longer hose or get nearer the fire.”

That evening we dine in the company of our guests, Chuck and Carol. Everyone hopes Chuck will allow himself to be put forward as a candidate for district governor. This year, Carol is the nominee for the equivalent job in her Inner Wheel district. They’re both extremely capable, energetic, likable people.

About charles frenzel

I've been writing all my life. I've also painted, composed, sculpted, contributed to molecular research, advanced some mathematical concepts, lived on a sailboat, and worked for a Nobel Prize winner. Nothing in my life has pleased me more than to share my life with my wife and friend of over forty years.

View all posts by charles frenzel


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