Rotary Notes 4/11/2016
President Terry Carlson called the meeting to order at 12:30.  The greeter, Greg Carlson, led the flag pledge and four way test, and Jeff Norton strummed his acoustic guitar along to one of his famous signing invocations.     
Jason Raether introduced visitors and guests.  Clay Lambert was in attendance along with Loren Swanson’s long-time friend Steve GawronLuca, Katja and Kyria Hernandez attended the meeting as Luca is writing a school report about Rotary.  John Risdall was the lone visiting Rotarian. 
Following introductions there were several announcements:
  • Brad Kirscher announced that he is stepping down from the Grants Committee Chair position and will be replaced by Jason Raether.
  • George Krinke announced that Health Day is April 18 with tests beginning at 10:15. Remember to skip breakfast if you are going to take the fasting blood test.
  • Greg Carlson is planning roadside cleanup on May 21 with a signup sheet to be distributed in coming weeks.
  • Ted Johnson provided an update on REEP.  The teachers from Sri Lanka will be arriving this Friday and a group will be welcoming them at the airport around 6:30 PM if you would like to join.  Rotarians are also welcome to join a Mississippi River cruise being planned April 23 and a goodbye party being scheduled for April 29.  More details to come.
  • A few more volunteers are needed for Cook for Kids at the Jeremiah Program on April 26.
  • Volunteers are needed for sorting and packaging at Second Harvest Heartland on May 3 from 5:30 to 7:30.  
  • The April 25 weekly meeting will be at Midland Hills rather than the Radisson.
  • The joint District Conference for 5950 and 5960 is May 12 and 13 at Majestic Oaks.
Terry Carlson, Steve Yoch
Next, Brad Kirscher introduced our speaker, Steve Yoch, author of the book “Becoming George Washington.”  Steve discussed his infatuation with George Washington and told some interesting stories about his life.  In addition to being the first President, Washington was known as the hero of the French/Indian war and was a tremendous innovator.  As a child his family was not wealthy and he received an 8th grade education, but by the time he died, Mt. Vernon was a larger commercial enterprise than the United States government. 
George Washington is famously known for cutting down a cherry tree then fessing up to it.  This never happened!  In fact, Washington was not close to his father and he passed way when George was 11 years old.  Washington was closer to his ½ brother Lawrence Washington, who was 14 years older than George.  Steve described Washington’s mother as an awful person who chose not attend Washington’s wedding or inauguration.  In fact, Washington volunteered for a position in the military to get away from this mother.  Because of this, Washington earned Lieutenant status by the age of 21 with minimal military experience or training.   It is not well known that Washington essentially caused the French/Indian war when he and a group of soldiers slaughtered French diplomats then told his superiors they were spies.  After the slaughter, Washington designed the very poorly designed Fort Necessity and had to surrender to the French when it was attacked.  Washington learned from this and went on to be a great military tactician and leader.
Steve indicated that despite marrying Martha Curtis Washington, George was in love with Sally Fairfax who he could not have a relationship with because she was married.  George and Sally wrote many letters to each other and all of the letters written by George were saved.  Martha found the letters from Sally to George after his death and burned them.
It is legend that Washington had wood teeth and wore a wig.  Both are false.  Steve indicated that when he would lose a tooth, it would be replaced with a tooth made from animal bones or with a real tooth from an enslaved person.  Washington did not wear a wig, but rather powdered his hair in his younger years because grey or white hair was a sign of intelligence.