North Notes
Spokane-North Rotary Club Bulletin
November 28, 2022
            Dec. 5: Noon lunch at the Bark. Speaker: None.  Gifts due for holiday Holmes project.
            Dec. 12: Noon lunch at the Bark. Speaker: Karl Otterstrom, chief planning and development officer for Spokane Transit.
            Dec. 16 (Friday): Club holiday gathering at Sandy Fink’s house.
            Dec. 19, Dec. 26 and Jan. 2: No regular Monday luncheons during the holidays.
Happy Bucks:
            Ron Noble and Chuck Rehberg both celebrated their wives' birthdays on Nov. 28.
            Bill Simer was amazed that club member Eric Johnson drove a Porshe to the meeting during the noontime snow shower.  
            Melinda Keberle was happy that her grandmother, age 89, could again host the family at Thanksgiving dinner.
            Reminder: Holmes holiday gifts -- the “40 for $60” project -- are due Dec. 5.  Gifts –wrapped, but with identifying Holmes letters –should be brought to the Monday luncheon or arrange delivery to Lenore Romney or Michelle Fossum.
            Party time: For the Dec. 16 holiday gathering, Sandy Fink will assemble a list for hors d’oeuvres, salads, breads and desserts.  She also asks that each club member bring by Dec. 6th a fun fact card that other members do not know.
Thank you for your service
            To close a month-long special series of lunch programs about veterans issues the club members who served in the military shared their own thoughts and pictures of active duty.  
            Emcee for the event was Terry Fossum, former Air Force Captain, former club member (now at Club 21) and wife of current club President Michelle Fossum.
            Terry opened by saying how much he liked that the club had a whole month devoted to veterans and veteran issues.
            Born and raised in south Texas, Terry said how much he enjoyed his life there, including his electrical engineering degree from Texas A&M.  He bragged about the Aggies being the largest engineering program in the country and how much he looked forward to his new career in “the country of Texas.”
            Of course, the Air Force had other plans, and Terry said he was assigned to some place in “Spo-kain,” with duties not resembling engineering.  Making the best of it, he said he even learned to like pine trees.
            Energetic and affable, Terry worked the ranks through his military service and leadership roles in United Way and the Boy Scouts, among other pathways
Then it was our club members’ turn to share their memories of service.
            Vietnam vet John Mailliard talked about his 370 combat sorties.  In a lighter moment, John shared a photo atop an F-4 aircraft with two Playboy bunnies on the plane.
            Fellow Vietnam vet-era Navy man Ron Noble talked about his avionics career and the Top Gun program which originated near San Diego.  Ron also was at a Navy assignment in Memphis the day Martin Luther King was shot.
            A guest of Melinda Keberle attending the luncheon, Liz Russell, talked about the Air Force training she used to help POW returnees in the joint personnel recovery agency. She was a captain in the Air Force.
.           Dave Hayward, an Army lieutenant stationed 40 miles from Saigon, talked about his quartermaster role, noting he managed a field of Quonset huts that “supplied all things but weapons” in his area.
            One later generation removed from Vietnam, Steve Bergman enlisted in 1998.  He was an airman at Edwards AFB in California and was on the flight line twice when space shuttle craft landed there.  He recalled how a 24-inch asbestos lined water main broke on the flight line, requiring breaking through the two-foot-deep concrete runway.
            Steve, who served while the 911 attack occurred, noted how different servicemen and women and veterans were treated after the attacks in 2001, especially compared with treatment to the military in the Vietnam era.
            As the program ended Michelle Fossum gave to each veteran a special pin with the message: “Lest We Forget.”
            The Fallen Soldier Table
            Despite the Nov. 28 snowstorm, 18 people filled the special luncheon and after the vets in the club had shared their memories Terry Fossum opened “the formal part of the program,” the special table with special meaning.
            Terry said solemnly about the items:
            “The table is to show our everlasting concern.
            “The white tablecloth symbolizes the purity of their motives when answering the call to serve.
            “A slice of lemon reminds us of their bitter fate.
            “A red ribbon symbolizes the sacrifice they made.  We will never forget.
            “The single red rose reminds us of the lives of these Americans…those they loved and those who loved them.
            “A pinch of salt symbolizes the tears that were shed, are shed, in their memory.
            “The flag is the flag laid upon their coffin, draping them in honor.
            “The bible is a promise of where they now reside.
            “The glass is inverted to symbolize their inability to join us in our toast.
            “The chair is empty, those fallen never to join us again.
            “The lighted candle reflects the hope that their sacrifice gives us all.  It is a hope for freedom, not just for our nation, but for all nations.  Not just for our people, but for all people.  Their sacrifice was not made in vain.”
            With that, Terry and all in attendance rose and raised a toast (of water): “To Our Fallen Comrades.”
In Flanders Fields
            To conclude, Terry recited the famous lines written by Lt. Col. John McCrae after presiding over his friend and fellow soldiers at a funeral in Ypres, Belgium, during WWI on May 3, 1915.
            The opening:
            “In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
            Between the crosses, row on row
            That mark our place, and in the sky
            The larks, still bravely singing, fly
            Scarce heard among the guns below.”
            And the final lines:
            “The torch; be yours to hold it high!
            If ye break faith with us who die
            We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
            In Flanders Fields.”
To honor our program's presenters Lenore Romney provided patriotic cupcakes for all to share!
            Bulletin editors: Chuck Rehberg and Sandy Fink and Lenore Romney