Newsletters Sept. 2012 – May 2013




Tuesday May 21, 2013

What can we say other than, as Robbie Burns did say: “The best laid-laid schemes o’mice an’men gang aft agley, an’lea’e us naught an’ pain for promis’d joy.” So those of you Gyros who were AWOL Tuesday may understandably query said quote. A stout assemblage of 23 Gyros descended on the Tacoma Country and Golf Club only to find that there was no room, figuratively and literally, for the last luncheon of the season. We hastily beat an unorganized retreat to the bar, a path well taken I may add, and tables and chairs marshaled to accommodate our merry band. Food and beverages were provided, but alas, there were no cookies! Seemingly, we Gyros are consumers of cookies in quantities and the Club cannot just go to the proverbial cookie jar to meet our voracious appetite for what in this author’s opinion addresses all of the basic food group requirements. Anyway, we soldiered on. There was some Gyro business before we had the luxury of again hearing from Dr. David Smith, wonderfully British, British historian from UPS. Dave Sheean introduced guests: Art Hudtloff, Dick Cope and Jim Boyd. Since Dave is so accomplished at addressing issues such as introducing new members to the joys of Gyro and all of the good we do for the community, humm, maybe we should stick him on larger problems such as the national debt and then on to global warming. With great ceremony, which closely resembled the herding of cats, Messrs: Darryl Fisk and Allan McMillan, who was not in attendance, were presented with their formal Gyro welcome packet…and the secret Gyro handshake. Oops, once again, we need to create a secret handshake. I ask, how can any upstanding organization not have a secret grip!

This Friday, at the ever moving and awe inspiring Installation, the following will be installed unless first providing a note signed by a parent or guardian with a half baked excuse. Neeb-Pres ,Sheean-VP, Stewart-Sec, Carr-Treas., Loving-Scribe, Winters-Party Tsar/Czar, McGowen-Web Master, Bd. members Ingram, Sloan, Jackson and Kimbel. The Installation party will start promptly at 6:00 with a no-host bar followed by the installation with appropriate ruffles and flourishes and then grub.

After the conclusion of the “bidness” of Gyro, we were finally able to turn our attention to the always delightful and hopefully future Gyro member, Dave Smith. His talk was really an autobiographical recitation of his life. One might wonder as to the relevance of that topic, but on closer inspection, or possibly introspection, it was in many ways a mirror of many of the Gyro members lives and possibly the good luck or good fortune to avoid bad luck of the Great Depression, WWII, Viet Nam and the good luck of being born white and a male, the access to education, on and on. Interesting and thought provoking.

Your occasionally dutiful scribe leaves for the climes of Northern Michigan and not to return until her leaves turn to a cacophony of dazzling autumn colors early in October.

‘Til the anon,

D. Loving

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

I do have to warn you and thus keep it straight. There is no way to make this soft, and it may seem hard on you to realize…no erection jokes this week. Alas, also no penis material. As there are a great many docs in Gyro, a number of them patiently explained to me, speaking very s-l-o-w-l-y and using monosyllables, that the plural of penis is NOT only “penises”, but also “penes.” Your scribe, not used to using a singular noun with the plural of “penis,” was appropriately chastened. This weekly pap strives, occasionally, for literary élan, and to be syntaxilly (huh) and grammatically correct, and thus a preposition should never end a sentence with. On to Gyro business. Though Dug was not there to introduce guest Vern Larson, ‘twasn’t really necessary as Vern has lunched with us more than Dug. This being said, and as this is Vern’s 227th visit, he may qualify for membership. Alan McMillan was formally introduced as a real card carrying member, if only we had real cards to carry. He has been thoroughly vetted, which means that Gyro is the proud owner of one of his checks which actually cleared. Party Czar/Tsar John Winters shared with the grand assemblage that there is still space available (in other words, we could use a few more attendees) for the always solemn and august Installation Gala at the Tacoma Yacht Club, Friday May 24, at six bells sharp (I’m not sure if six bells is correct nautical jargon…maybe 18 bells military time.) If you haven’t already CALLED John to confirm your attendance to preclude being installed “in absentia”, please do so. BUT, do not use email as the chance of the aforementioned being read before Guy Fawkes Day has the same probability as winning the lottery.

Our speaker was the always informative Gyrette Connie Bacon Tacoma Port Commissioner. The Port is indeed fortunate to have such a dedicated individual. During the recent economic “unpleasantness”, the Port suffered a 25% decline in business. But during the whole period, the Port was always fiscallysound and in all but one year, profitable. Connie was understandably proud that the Port just announced a new contract with 5 new shipping companies, winning the contract over the Port of Seattle. So there, Seattle! This addition alone has generated an immediate 25% increase, 2 million more containers and several hundred new jobs. The Port is a significant tax generator, $8M per year, and directly and indirectly produces more than 43,000 jobs for Pierce County. What most of us don’t know, or appreciate, is the civic commitment the Port has to our local environment. In an area close to the Port, there was a major clean up and more than 14,000 new trees were planted. Over $2,000,000 has already been spent on various activities to clean up Puget Sound. The Port continually upgrades the management and thus has created a 10 Point Strategic Plan…with quarterly guideposts. This, alone, distinguishes it from most other Strategic Plans which have the same probability of ever being read as do the Dead Sea Scrolls. Connie is up for re-election and has two candidates challenging her. One would assume that the other two when signing to challenge Connie do doubt signed their names in crayon.

Next week, the return of a wonderful speaker we have enjoyed twice before, Dr. David Smith, from UPS (the university, not the company with the brown trucks.) Dr. Smith is delightfully British and truly deserves a speaking role on Downton Abbey. If we all had professors like him in college; we undoubtedly would not have had all of those unseemly “cuts.” Dr. Smith has previously talked with us about WWII, not WWI, or the Great War as some of you may fondly remember and may have been in, and the British monarchy. Your Scribe, Esq., found the latter interesting, indeed, as he has a number of Royals who are close personal friends, as is to be expected. Naturally.

So, cheerio and ‘til the anon,

D. Loving

Minutes of Meeting of May 7, 2013

Our speaker, Marty Knorr, tennis buddy of our President for Life, Martin Neeb, gave us a fact intensive history of the Washington State Patrol from which he is retired after retiring as a Colonel from the U.S. Army following graduation from West Point. Those who were hoping to learn the secret handshake to gain immunity when stopped by a Trooper were disappointed, but we did learn that Troopers are inclined to hide on overpasses and on-off ramps of freeways. A good rule to avoid a speeding ticket is to go with the flow, but not more than 7 miles over. When stopped, don’t tell them you know they have quotas (because they don’t) and forget about threatening to call your cousin who knows the Governor. Troopers have heard every conceivable excuse and are most inclined to let you off with a warning when you are apologetic and polite.

The Patrol employs about 2,000 people, 50% Troopers and 50% civilian. In addition to patrolling our highways, the Patrol has many other responsibilities, including running the Fire Protection Bureau, the Office of Preparedness, inspecting nursing homes, nurseries, etc. for licensing by the DSHS, regulating fireworks, handling financing of fighting forest fires, providing training sites for fire fighters, operating crime labs, fingerprinting, DNA testing, investigating aviation accidents and other crimes. He is especially proud of the Patrol’s great success with Amber Alerts.

NEXT MEETING: May 14: Port of Tacoma Commissioner Connie Bacon, wife of GYRO Al, Bacon. She is well known to GYRO and because she has spoken to us before, we know she will give us a sizzling update of the Port’s affairs.

FINAL MEETING OF THE YEAR: May 21: Mr. David Smith, retired UPS history professor and World War II historian returns. His topic is “O Lucky Man- A historian reflects on his life and times 1941 to? – A semi-autobiographical look at the last half of the 20th Century.” (Apprentice Scribe’s query: What’s the big deal about being 72?)

ALSO DURING MEETING OF MAY 21: ELECTION OF OFFICERS AND DIRECTORS. The floor will be open for additional nominations. Unless they are voted out or can run fast enough to escape from being conscripted, the nominees will installed at the Year End Extravaganza: Officers (and Board Members): President—Martin Neeb; Vice-President—Dave Sheean; Secretary—Dugald Stewart; Treasurer—Rick Carr: Bulletin Editor and Scribe—Dave Loving. Board Members: Dr. John McGowen, Dr. John Winters, Jim Ingram, Roy Kimbel and Phil Sloan.

Remember, the Members elect the Officers and Board. The Officers and the Board evaluate applications for membership.

NOT ON THE AGENDA OF MAY 21: The Board’s initiative to have GYRO provide them with company cars failed to be placed on the agenda because of the sequester.

YEAR END EXTRAVAGANZA: May 24 at Tacoma Yacht Club at 5:30-6:00 PM. Party Czar Dr. John Winters needs to hear from you now because reservations are limited. ALL GYRETTES are invited, especially Gyrettes of new members and passed GYROS. Even if you previously signed the sign-up sheet, please call John at 253- 582-6373 or email him at to confirm your reservation. With an appropriate bribe, we will try to convince the Phil Hayes Choir not to sing the GYRO International Anthem “Cheerio”.

Tuesday April 29, 2013

Penises, erections, or lack thereof and… oh, never mind. More later, time permitting. It was beyond SRO to hear urologist Dr. John Vaccaro talk about stuff like that. There were 35 Gyros present; 12:22 and he was still a no-show, some lame excuse about operating or something. But he did arrive, still dressed in scubs and thankfully nary a Roto-Rooter logo in site. His much anticipated arrival precluded a spell binding ad-lib discussion on the financial crisis in Cyprus.

Gyro business. There will be a Bored (sic) meeting in the Gyro Boardroom next Tuesday at 11:00. Also, there will be “Installees” for the ever august upcoming Installation (info still being gathered for said event.) The list of “Installees” is as follows: Martin Neeb-President, Dave Sheean- VP, Dugald Stewart-Secretary, Rick Carr-Treasurer, D. Loving, Esq.-Scribe, and Board Members at Large: John McGowen, John Winters, Jim Ingram, Roy Kimbel and Phil Sloan.

At today’s luncheon, we had guests: Dug Stewart introduced Vern Larson, again, and Dave Sheean introduced high school friends Walt Hallstrom and Ward Melby. It might be difficult to understand why Dave has so many high school friends until you appreciate that he attended at least 3 different high schools…and counting.

Back to penises, erections, etc. John jumped right into his presentation with nary a breath break and explained in detail the pros and cons of the PSA test. Simply stated, it is not a very good test. In fact, the government, through Medicare, may even stop reimbursing the expense. But one might also safely expect that like the viability of mammograms, ‘twon’t happen. The PSA test is “a” tool, not “the” tool for helping to diagnose prostate cancer. One in six men will get prostate cancer. Prostate cancer is more common than breast cancer. Research dollars spent on cures in order: HIV/Aids first, breast cancer, 2nd, and way, way down the list is prostate cancer. Better than a PSA test is the always lovely rectal exam which should be done EVERY YEAR. The combination of the two is even better. What if prostate cancer is detected? The question to be answered is “Do you have 10 years to live?” If “yes” then react. If “No”, one probably need not do anything as prostate cancer is a very slow growing cancer. Moving sprightly along, we morphed from prostates to penises and the now ever present badgering ads on Erectile Dysfunction. Those insufferable ads of jolly people sitting in bathtubs in the middle of incongruous places are enough to drive one to a vow of celibacy. John stated that fully 90% of men experiencing the amorphous “ED” really just need to reverse low testosterone. We are not talking Mark McGuire or Sammy Sosa levels, just restoring a natural balance. One might also begrudgingly have to admit one “will never be 17 again.” Should the above not provide the “larger effect”, so to speak, there is the supplemental little blue pill. But, it would be provident to advise first putting on one’s glasses as the “little blue pills” closely resemble the little blue Aleve’s and popping two or three Aleve’s in the middle of the night because your back hurts and getting the wrong pills would most definitely cause another thing to hurt. As with the interminable ads and warnings about erections lasting more than 4 hours (after first calling your wife, ex-wife, several old girl friends even stray women on Ponders) and the problem still exists, one need not be reminded to call a doctor. Its rush to the emergency room. The procedures to relieve the situation best not explained in detail as it will cause a major grimace by the reader and an immediate and involuntary crossing of the legs. But, even without the mayonnaise specimen jar this may have been one of our most enlightening Gyro presentations ever. A sincere “Thank You” to Bill Jackson and to Dr. John Vaccaro for his time, candor and humor.

Next week, Marty Knorr, retired Washington State Patrolman. ‘Better pay those late tickets.

‘Til the anon,

D. Loving


PS. “This guy goes to the doctor. He says, ‘Doc I have five penises!’ The doctor said, ‘How do your pants fit?’ He said, ‘Like a glove!’ “ OK, I scammed this joke from a wonderful little book by Billy Crystal called “700 Sundays.”

PPS. I’ll be AWOL next week and, alas, leave a capable replacement without penis joke material.


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Lots to talk about, but first, some Gyro “bidness.” More ‘n more new members! And who wouldn’t want to join our merry band as we so actively support our civic and philanthropic responsibilities such as…. Oh well. We do have good parties. New members include Darryl Fisk and Allan McMillan. Guests are like the clowns who keep piling out of the Volkswagen at the circus. They just keep coming. That is not to say that our guests are clowns. Nay. Just lots of ‘em. General Bill Harrison introduced guest Bill Young. We have a number of guests who are repeat offenders, so to speak, and their names have appeared in this journal, and hopefully not on the wall in the post office. Be sure to save the date of May 24 at the Tacoma Yacht Club.! ‘Tis the date of the ever moving and august ceremony of the installation of the new Gyro officers. It is always a good idea to be in attendance at such events to preclude having volunteered for a position…in absentia. One need not rummage in the back of the closet to locate the blue serge “Sincere suit” since it probably wouldn’t fit anyway.

We are a medical role of highly impressive speakers from the world of medicine. Last week, Col. Homas from Madigan, this week Kristopher Kist of MultiCare and next week, Dr. John Vaccaro, urologist. Gasp! Dr. Bill Jackson introduced our speaker who shared with us the great expanse of activities of the MultiCare Health System. The origins of MultiCare started 130 years ago in Tacoma, and in a brothel, seemingly a good place to start for an assortment of obvious reasons. MultiCare has since expanded beyond the brothel business to now include 5 hospitals, 1,130 licensed beds and is the largest private employer in Pierce County with over 10,000 employees. MultiCare infuses a lot of money into the county as represented by the average employee salary is $58,000-$62,000. We shan’t ask Bill for his W-2. Though a not-for-profit, MultiCare also supports Pierce County in the form of $86.2 million in taxes. There are many ways MultiCare supports the community. In 2011, they provided $158 million in benefits: $27.6 in charity care, $79.5 in low income patient shortfalls and $51.2 million such as adult day care, sexual assault nurse examiner and a Center for Childhood Safety. We are indeed fortunate to have MultiCare as a part of our community.

Next week, as advertised, Dr. John Vaccaro. Urology is a subject dear, but definitely neither literally or figuratively near to our hearts. A topic sure to be addressed is that pesky little thing, the prostate, though diminutive in size can leave one prostrate. A patient should understandably feel comfortable with a doctor utilizing and supporting the services and tools of either the Franciscan or MultiCare group. However, it should be a matter of serious concern if your urologist arrives with a big Roto-Rooter logo on his scrubs. Though advice and sympathy will most likely be free, it will not benefit either you or the other Gyros lunching and munching to bring your specimen in a Hellmann’s mayonnaise jar.

So, ‘til the anon,

D. Loving



Tuesday April 16, 2013

I dun ‘tol yu last week ifn you didn’t git thar on time, yu wunt git a seat. ‘Tis tru.

Four tables of eight equates to roughly 32 places to munch and jostle for cookies. There were only 3 empty seats which one could then, with the help of a calculator, estimate that there were 29 souls in attendance which also extrapolates to 58 soles. Even without the addition of a few wayward snow birds, lottsa fun and fellowship at “Tuesdays with Gyro.” Some Gyro business to take care of (I know – sentences shouldn’t end with a preposition!) Messrs. Allen McMillan, Darrel Fisk and Richard Wall have plodded through the exhaustive ritual of attending three Gyro lunches and therefore the banns on said individuals have been posted and should anyone care to react to said banns and want to ban saids from membership, speak now or forever…. You get the idea. Also, guests are “de rigueur” now and Dave Sheean who is notching a new indoor record for introducing the most guests did so again with Dick Cope and Ward Melby. This piece of pap does not usually share health reports or passings but would surely be remiss not to note with sadness the death of Ron Robbins, a multi time past president of Tacoma Gyro and the third in seniority of our club. Oh yeah, one more thing. There will be another Bored (sic) meeting next Tuesday at 11:00, in the Board room (the bar, of course.)

Before we heard from Col. Homas, CO of Madigan, we had an appropriate minute of silence for both Brother Robbins and the victims and families of the Boston tragedy. Madigan is a really big deal; it DAILY serves 4500 patients, writes 3900 prescriptions, adds 8 new possible soldiers to the ranks (births), 70 operations and one civilian trauma. The hospital serves 120,000 military and beneficiaries, 27,000 retirees and has 1600 military and 3200 civilian employees. What is equally impressive is that Madigan is an extraordinary teaching hospital with 34 graduate training programs. To become Board Certified in a specialty, one must pass extensive written and oral exams and Madigan grads have an astounding first time pass rate of 94%. There is an old George Carlin joke about how people brag about his/her surgeon being the best, blah, blah, blah.. But as we speak, somewhere, the world’s worst brain surgeon is operating. Unfortunately, the DOD is the biggest drug dealer west of the Mississippi River. The staff at Madigan is keenly aware of the situation and exploring alternatives to drugs. A major issue is PTSD and roughly 17% of Madigan patients suffer some form of PTSD. But on a good note, the survival rate of combat inflicted injuries is now 94%.

Next week another outstanding speaker, Kristopher Kist, Director of Strategic Planning and Business Development for Multi-Care. Among other topics discussed will be Obama Care which any fool should easily understand.

The week after, we will have a noted urologist John Vacarro. Those few of you who still do have a prostate, but which may unfortunately be the size of a Buick, come get free medical advice…or sympathy.

“Til the anon,

D. Loving


Tuesday April 9, 2013

If you don’t get there early, you won’t get a seat. Over 30 Gyros plus George Pessemier’s guest Wally Le Brie piled in for food and cookies to hear always welcome John McGrath, sports writer from the TNT. But, before proceeding, your errant scribe must profusely thank Brother Phil Sloan who filled as scribe scribbler in my absence. One can only wish that his classic com¬ment “It must be spring because the rain is warmer” could be memorialized, needle pointed or something and preserved for posterity.

I trust you remember the TV show “The Odd Couple” which featured Tony Randall as the fas¬tidious Felix Unger and Jack Klugman portraying sports writer Oscar Madison, who closely resembled an unmade bed. Well, we don’t have “an” Oscar Madison, we have “the” real life Oscar Madison, the charmingly rumpled John McGrath. John introduced the interesting con¬cept that sports is really “an election … every night.” Local, state and God knows, national elec¬tions, can take months, years, or what seems like, centuries to be resolved. But with sporting events, every night is election night; there is a winner and a loser. As always, John’s formal presentation lasted roughly 3 minutes and then he entertained us for 47 more with names such as Griffey, Niehaus, Sarkisian, Woody Hayes, Mike, Price, the odious Mike Rice, Sixkiller and on and on. The wonderful thing was that these were names that did not have to be “Googled” or dredged up from a dusty mental archive, but working, living, breathing personalities that slipped in and out of every day living. At John’s own admission, he gets paid for something he loves to do, and it is obvious. One can only hope that the TNT and the institution of a classic sports writer will continue to survive.

Next week, yet another great speaker. We will indeed be honored to have Col. Dallas Homas, Commander of Madigan General Hospital, break bread and share cookies with us. And FYI for your busy social calendar. EVERY Tuesday until the ever awe inspiring season ending Officer Installation ceremony, which by the way lasts only slightly longer than John McGrath’s formal presentation, is totally booked with always fascinating speakers. ‘Nuff said?

Lastly, President for Life Papa Doc Neeb has asked that the Bored (sic) Members meet for a Board meeting at the usual haunt (the bar-where else!) next Tuesday at 11 :00

So, ’til the anon,

D. Loving

Returned Scribe


22 GYROS were present, but sadly, Ernie Bianco was not. Our meeting began with a moment of silence and tributes to Ernie who passed away on March 28.  He will be missed.

Thanks to General Harrison, our speaker, Dr. John Walstrum, President of Clover Park Technical College  returned to update us on the exciting developments at CPTC and its expanding Health Sciences Programs.  CPTC is not part of Clover Park School District, but rather is one of the five State funded  two year colleges in Pierce County, the others being Bates Technical Institute, Pierce College at Fort Steilacoom, Pierce College at Puyallup and Tacoma Community College.  The State funds ¾ of the tuition and students pay ¼ of the average of $5,000 tuition per year. On a typical day, about 4,000 students are on the Lakewood campus and 300-400 at the Thun Field campus for the aviation programs.

Under Dr. Walstrum’s leadership, a major renovation of the campus is underway, including a 55,000 square foot Health Building for training para-professionals in 45 different medical fields, such as RNs, LPNs,  Hemodialysis and Histology.  CPTI emphasizes  programs for students who probably would not go to a four year university or graduate school, but who seek training to have  meaningful well- paying careers.  Most of the medical fields require an internship plus passing state or national certification examinations before students can become employed.  300-400 students with an average age of 31 complete their programs each year and most intend to remain in this area for their careers. A placement office is not needed because there is such  high demand for the graduates.


The always popular Sportswriter John McGrath of The News Tribune. He knows and tells everything about sports and is always entertaining.  Would someone ask him if Dennis Rodman can convince North Korea not to wage war on the U.S.?  Don’t scoff, wasn’t Rodman the guy who made tattoos fashionable?


April 16, 2013:  Col. Dallas Homas, Commander of  Madigan Army Medical Center. Thanks to General Harrison for arranging for this program.

April 23, 2013:  Kristopher Kitz, Director of Strategic Planning and Business Development of MultiCare Medical Center. He will tell us where MultiCare is today and its plans for the future. Thanks to Bill Jackson for arranging for this program.

END OF THE YEAR EXTAVAGANZA AND INSTALLATION OF OFFICERS, FRIDAY MAY 24, 2013—at the Tacoma Yacht Club—details to be announced later. REMINDER—All GYRETTES are invited, especially GYRETTES of new members and late GYROS.


GYRO Minutes of Meeting of March 26, 2013

Unlike the Zags, our winning streak  is intact!  Today, 3 returning guests;  Dr. Cordell Bahn, Wally LaBrie and John Walstrum and 26 GYROS were treated to a stimulating  presentation by  Det.  Bryan Johnson, Forensics Services Manager  of the Lakewood Police Department who  was brought to us by John Neeb, son of our Revered President, Reverend  Martin Neeb.

The goal of his presentation,  entitled “Crime Scene Investigations:  Reality or T. V.?” goal was to dispel the public’s notion derived from the many cop shows on television (“ The C.S.I. effect”),   that crime forensics  work is always exciting and glamorous and unlike in real life, it  does take longer than half an hour for a C.S.I. team to solve a major crime and convict the bad guy.  He disappointed  us by “ not arriving in a HumVee, wearing leather pants  and expensive shoes.” Nonetheless, until he detailed  the constant education and intensive training which is required to stay current in his profession, several of us were hoping the L.P.D. would grant waivers of its age limits and allow us to apply for a job on his team.

Contrary to common belief, the dedicated mission of his Forensics Team is not to partner with prosecutors to convict criminals, but rather to “Find the Truth” without regard to whether their findings favor  the prosecution or the defense. Unlike on television, they often cannot find forensic evidence for that “AAHAA” moment, such as fingerprints on a gun which immediately  lead to the arrest and conviction of  the murderer. In fact, guns are amongst  the worst surfaces to get fingerprints. Only 6.5 to 10% of guns found   at crime scenes have useable prints. Before such evidence can be admitted, two experts working must independently verify a “match”.

DNA evidence is invaluable, but data banks are limited, the costs are high and getting test results is slow. Once a sample of DNA of a suspect is obtained, it can be compared and possibly matched to DNA of that person from many sources, such as a toothbrush, a drinking glass or, as our indiscrete Vice President was overheard to muse, underwear following a mishap.

Detective Johnson follows these maxims in his work:   “Absence of Evidence is not Evidence”. “Absence of Proof is not Proof of Absence”. We left this meeting feeling proud and more secure knowing that we have police officers such as Det. Bryan Johnson on our side.


Dr. John Walstrom, President   of Clover Park Technical College (and prospective GYRO member), returns to speak on Health Science Programs in support of our community.   With Obamacare looming, this is a timely topic.


April 9, 2013:  Sportswriter John McGrath of the Tacoma News Tribune returns,  as he does most years, to give us the inside scoop on  the latest in all matters of Sport.

April 16, 2013:  Col. Dallas Homas , the head of Madigan Hospital, brought to us by General Harrison.


At the Tacoma Yacht Club- details to be announced later. This event is also for ALL GYRETTES, especially the GYRETTES of our new members.  We  are anxious to meet you.



We knew it was the last day of Winter because the temperature of the rain has risen.  There were 28 or so present, including guests. George Pessemier brought Wally LaBrie; Dave Sheean took credit for bringing Jim Boyd, Dick Cope and  Ward Melby although they had all visited before.

Allan McMillan, returning for the third time, submitted a membership application as did Darrell Fisk.  Allan is a Couger and Darrell is a Zag-  were they forewarned that GYRO is a friendship fraternity?

Our Speakers were a  trio representing the Friends of American Lake Veteran’s Rehabilitation and Golf Course; former and possibly future GYRO, Pete Norman; Jim Martinson, world famous wheelchair athlete; and the best joke-teller of the day, Col. James M. Sims, USMC (Ret). They inspired us with stories of the FRIENDS  project to raise funds to build and maintain a 9 hole addition to the existing golf course, causing several of us to fumble through our pockets seeking   handkerchiefs and/or checkbooks. In 1995, our federal government ended funding for all veterans golf courses and bowling alleys, so it is up to volunteers to keep the course open. Jack Nicklaus is designing the new course pro-bono and is lending the prestige of his endorsement to the project.

They told of the great success of the program in meeting its mission of helping veterans find physical, emotional and recreational renewal through golf.  Jim Martinson,  who lost both his legs in Vietnam in 1968, is shown in their video driving golf balls from his wheel chair. He told us how the fellowship of playing golf has benefitted so many of our wounded veterans.  He said Col. Sims was exaggerating when he told us Jim was shooting par. He modestly said he hopes to play bogey golf.

Especially touching was their story about the 9 blind golfers who were taking putting lessons on this rainy day. Last year, a blind player from this program shot a hole- in-one in a tournament.

In the fiscal year 2010-2011, 37,000 rounds were played.  50,000 rounds are projected after the second 9 holes are completed. To learn more of the Program and to contribute if you are inclined, go to their website:

NEXT MEETING: March 26, 2013. Our speaker will be Detective Bryan Johnson of the Lakewood Police Department.  He is in charge of the Forensic Team Unit which does crime scene investigations. The title of his program is:

Crime Scene Investigations: Reality of T.V.? (dum dee dum dum)

It is probably a vicious rumor that the GYRO who arranged for this program asked to remain anonymous because of a success of the Forensic Team.


The Annual End of the Year Extravaganza and Installation (and reinstallation) of Officers will now be held at the Tacoma Yacht Club on Friday Night, May 24.  More details to follow.



It was cool, gloomy and rainy outside, but for the 16 or 17 GYROs and one
guest present (second timer, Alan McMillin, brought by Dave Sheean), the day
was brightened by an enthusiastic presentation by Margaret Bullock of the
Tacoma Art Museum. Amongst her other duties, she is the curator of the fantastic
collection of Western American Art recently donated by Erivan and Helga Haub.
The paintings were made over the years from the early 1800’s up to the current

The Haubs began collecting Western American Art in the 1980s following Mr.
Haub’s surprise purchase for his wife of a Wyoming ranch. The approximately
300 paintings given to TAM include works by artists so famous that most of us
GYROs recognized the names of several of them: Frederic Remington, Charles
Russell, Georgia O’Keefe and Fred Oldfield. Those who also nodded their heads in
apparent recognition of the names John Clymer and Clyde Aspevig were met with
skepticism. (One cynic was overheard to say they were faking it.)

Sadly, the paintings will not be available for viewing by the public until Autumn in
2014. Sometime ago, a GYRO night was held at TAM to view the Norman Rockwell
collection of magazine covers. Our exalted Board of Directors has delegated to its
Chamber of Deputies the task of planning a night to view this great addition to
our Tacoma Art Museum.

Because of litigation, only brief mention was made of the recent controversy of
the sale of a portion of the Young collection of Chinese Artifacts. The answer to
the question: why the apparent shift in emphasis from Northwest Art to Western
American Art was: Washington historically was deemed to be in the West as
proven by the terminus of the Union Pacific Railroad being at what is now the
back entrance to the museum.

TAM is in the midst of a campaign to raise 17 million dollars to improve the
facility, part of which would be for a much needed grand entrance.


March 19, 2013. The inspiring story of the restoration of the Golf Course for
disabled veterans at American Lake. For more details, go to the current GYRO
web site, http: where our dedicated
webmaster, John McGowen, has posted a quick way to access the YouTube
video.  This program will be a great way to introduce friends and family to GYRO.

Please write a brief one or two paragraph biography for inclusion in an upcoming newsletter and email it to Dave Sheean at If you are comfortable doing so, briefly mention the area where you live, your occupation (past or present) and marital status.

Humbly Submitted,

Phil Sloan , Deputy Apprentice Scribe.


Preface: This newsletter is proof of the old maxim: “A camel is a horse designed by a committee” and is submitted with apologies to our speaker, Phil Lynch, who all in attendance reported gave an outstanding talk. He was brought to us by Tom McAvoy.

Due to irreconcilable conflicts in their calendars, (the Senior Scribe loitering about a tropical beach, a bedraggled lawyer trying to make an honest buck and a couple Scribe Emeriti having forgotten what was said), none of our stable of Pulitzer Prize eligible scribes are able to report from personal knowledge on the fascinating, but ultimately frustrating, report on the prosecution of Saddam Hussein and the results of our “aid “ to Iraq.

Here is a compendium of notes scribbled on napkins after the fact by Dave Sheean and Dug Stewart. (Plea from the Guild of Scribes: Don’t shoot the messenger.)

Retired Army Colonel, Phil Lynch, now a Prosecutor for the U.S. Attorney, was sent to Iraq by the U.S. Department of Justice (and later to Afghanistan) to help prosecute Saddam Hussein and to organize their Justice System, spoke about the Iraqi government and its system of justice, or, for Shiites, the lack thereof, under which houses are blown up and people imprisoned without Habeas Corpus.

The U.S. tried unsuccessfully to effect changes in centuries old customs, resulting in hospitals and courtrooms never being utilized after being built to completion and supplied with modern equipment, in areas without electricity. He suggested that the Iraqi people should have been asked what they wanted rather than trying to impose change from the top.

It is Spring and GYRO is blooming, thanks in large part to our several new members and GREAT programs! Amongst the 29 who were present were several guests, including Dick Cope, Alan McMillin, Dennis Harlowe, Ward Melby, Art Hudtloff, Cordell Bahn and Dan Caswell. Apologies to guests: If your name isn’t mentioned or if it misspelled, if you return, we promise to get it right.


MARCH 12, 2013: Margaret Bullock, Director of the Tacoma Art Museum. After the controversy last week about the sale of part of the Young collection of Chinese Artifacts, this is a timely and lively program.

MARCH 19, 2013: Pete Norman, Jim Sims and Jim Martinson on the Friends of American Lake Golf Course, a project occurring virtually next door to the Country Club. There will be more details in next week’s newsletter, but to be inspired and motivated to come and bring guests, watch the video at this website which has gone viral around the world:

Click HERE to see the video of the Tacoma American Lake VA Hospital Golf Course.

Anonymously Submitted.



Today’s meeting was living proof that GYROs don’t have to be snowbirds to have fun in February. 23 or so members plus 4 guests; Steve Williams, back for a second visit, two new guests; Darrell Fisk, introduced by new member Tom McAvoy and Rich Wall introduced by another new member, Everett Cooper, plus perennial guest, Dave Sheean’s son Ketner, were entertained by the incredibly energetic Dr. Michael Hirsig, an emergency room physician who covered in rapid fire, topics ranging from the intriguing foreign objects revealed in Hospital Emergency Room Xrays, to golfing with a North Korean Army Colonel (with attendants) in North Korea to Obamacare.

Dr. Hirsig is a member of Mt. Rainier Emergency Physicians which, amongst other tasks, contracts with Good Samaritan Hospital to provide emergency room care for about 200 patients per day, most of whom who don’t pay for their care. (E.R. doctors are subject to being fined $50,000 for each patient they refuse to treat without payment.)

Our Dr. Ralph Johnson paid tribute to the advancements in the professionalism of Emergency Room Physicians from when he was a young surgeon (and used leeches).

In 2005, Dr. Hirsig went to North Korea as one of a team of 26 volunteers after our government paid North Korea huge sums of money for permission to attempt to retrieve the remains of U.S. military personnel at Chosin Reservoir where 5,000 Americans died. After two months of intense and frustrating effort, the team found 4 sets of remains.

The failure of communism was graphically illustrated by the satellite photograph of the Korean Peninsula at night. North Korea is almost entirely dark and South Korea looks like our East Coast.

Our several new members are bringing a new energy to GYRO. One of them, Tom McAvoy, is bringing the speaker for next week, Phil Lynch, an attorney who will tell us about the prosecution of Saddam Hussein.

Senior Associate Gyro Scribe Phil Sloan

Tuesday  February 19, 2013

Oh ya sure, ya betcha. It was rainy (what a surprise) and cold but there were still 18 hardy souls who showed up, sorta like through rain, sleet, snow and dark of night, the way the US mail used to work. Brother Dave Sheean continues to set new indoor records for generating speakers and guests. Dave introduced old friend (that just possibly could be redundant) Tom Fortt. All of Dave’s friends by definition must be old. The question is are they chronologically or geologically (can you say Pleistocene) old? Anyway, we clapped for Tom and he seemed to tolerate us. President, possibly for life, Neeb with great ceremony, which easily lasted 7 seconds, proffered the official welcome package of Gyro stuff to new member Steve Williams. Back to President for Life Papa Doc Neeb, Gyro is way past due to introduce new members to our Board of Directors. The perks are about equal to the work involved. But if one is scrambling to identify the availability of great achievements to be included in a hopefully much to be delayed obituary, the hallmark of success might easily be as a member in good standing and as a previous member of the Board of Directors of Gyro. Wow! It was suggested by Pres. Neeb that it might be advisable to get the agreement of a candidate before submitting his name for extensive vetting, equal in time to the above mentioned presentation of the Gyro welcoming stuff, and then consideration.

Another fine speaker. Jeff Jagosh introduced Anthony R. Hemstad, President and CEO, World Trade Center, Tacoma. There are 330 World Trade Centers world wide. Unfortunately, we remember just the one, and 9/11. The organizations are designed to coordinate business to business trade. Fully 50% of the current inquiries involve doing business with China. A word of demonstrating what they really do, it would be “Dolly Levi” (which is really two words) who is the matchmaker in “Hello Dolly.” Washington is the second most trade dependent state in the nation with the big names obviously including Boeing and Microsoft. Ag products are number two in volume behind Boeing. A full 40% of the jobs in Washington State are international trade dependent. The World Trade Center now receives very little state funding and is heavily dependent on private funding mainly from larger corporations.

In the weeks to come, whiz bang speakers. Next week we will hear from Dr. Michael Ursig who is an emergency room doc. So bring all of your records and X-rays and just possibly you can get some free medical advice. The following week we will be equally fortunate to hear Phil Lynch, Assistant United States Attorney, Tacoma Branch Office Supervisor who while in the army was a part of the team preparing to prosecute Saddam Hussein. He was also a classmate of a fellow named David Petraeus so possibly good stories there as well. So, all in all, get out your magic marker and circle Tuesdays with Gyro.

Your occasionally dutiful scribe temporarily abandons Gyro for warmer desert climes but leaves the job of scribe in the most capable hands of Brother Phil Sloan.

‘Til the anon,

D. Loving

Tuesday  February 12, 2013

It’s  Valentines Day tomorrow so by the time you receive this missive, and you have forgotten to get your Valentine a Valentine, then you are probably reading this in the garage where you, deservedly so, will be sleeping for the next week. Alas, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. As was yesterday’s Gyro lunch. We thought we had a speaker lined up but Norman Bates was a “no show.” I did get a question yesterday as to who is Norman Bates. I need mention but one word …”Psycho.” We had no Norman and no guests. We still had a bunch of Gyros luncheoning. We had jokes, most of which, well maybe some of which, could be retold at your Gyrette’s next DAR meeting.

Since we (that’s the royal “we”) were on the topic of movies, and since I clearly don’t have much to relay to you due to the absence of speaker Norman Bates, I shall act as your movie reviewer. So if your busy day so requires, you may ignore the balance of this finely crafted newsletter and skip to the bottom for info on next week’s very interesting speaker. One of the all-time scathingest (I seriously doubt that that is even close to a real word) movie review ever written was by Pauline Kael of the New York Times. She was noted for having an acerbic pen and in her page long columns, she would go to great lengths to either praise a movie (not often) or tear it to shreds (often.) Her review of “Cleopatra” with the much gossiped about Dick and Liz went roughly as follows: “Cleopatra’s barge came down the Nile…and sank.” That was it. The only verbiage for an entire column. Seems brevity is the soul of wit. So here goes.

“Les Miserables.” Great music, some good singers, some other singers.

“Lincoln”. You’ve undoubtedly read all there is to read about it. But if by some bizarre
twist of fate you actually haven’t seen it, turn off “Survivors XXIII” and go
see it. Daniel Day Lewis looses his Anglo-Irish accent and becomes Lincoln.  Sally Field plays Mary Todd Lincoln and was equally marvelous though somehow snubbed by the Academy for an Oscar nomination.

“Hyde Park on Hudson.”  A fun movie. Bill Murray plays FDR entertaining the King of England prior to the outbreak of WWII.

“Argo.” The punch line in the movie though a bit racy is “Argo —- yourself” a comment said and then repeated in case it was missed the first time by John Boehner to Harry Reid walking into a meeting with the President in the Oval office. You know, there’s never a bar of soap around when you really need it.  A terrific movie based on fact.

“Zero Dark Thirty.” The beginning 20 minutes are a bit raw when we see extensive use of the oft debated use of Dick Cheney’s “enhanced interrogation” in an attempt to track down Osama Ben Laden. Even though we all know how it ends, a gripping movie that is over 2 an1/2 hours long which is a long time to hold your breath. Awesome.

“Side Effects.”  A sleeper. After the first 25 minutes you start sneaking a peak at your watch. But then, very slowly and deftly, you are sucked into a marvelous plot. Neat.
“Silver Linings Playbook.”  Best picture nomination. Oscar worthy…suspect.

Oh yeah. Next week’s speaker will be Anthony R.  Hemstad, President and CEO, World Trade Center, Tacoma. Washington is one of the most trade dependent states in the U.S. and we should be excited to hear how foreign trade affects us all. See ya next week.

‘Til the anon,

D. Loving
Occasional movie reviewer and scribe

Tuesday February 5, 2013

Even though the monsoon season was, is and will be with us for awhile, we still had a bunch (18) of Gyros discreetly grabbing for the cookies post luncheon on Tuesday. The cadre of candidates willing to join our parade and put self above service keeps marching along. And let me tell you boys and girls, moms and dads, that word starts with “P” and rhymes with “G” and that stands for Gyro. General Bill Harrison introduced Bill Young as a first timer for Tuesdays with Gyro. Jurgen Huck and Randy Lindblad are now firmly entrenched as Gyro new members as there are now name badges for ‘em and ever’thing. These signify that they are truly card carrying Gyros…if only we had cards to carry.

New member Bill McAvoy introduced our speaker David Flentge, President and CEO of Community Health Care. It was most alarming to note that many Gyros such as Bill, Dick Bowe and Ralph Johnson to name but a few, have and continue to play, major roles in contributing to and participating in the management of such organizations. Though uniquely qualified and deservedly proud we are of them, these actions put to the test the long held tradition of “Self Above Service” which is a hallmark of being a Gyro. But their activities may address a problem experienced by others among us in that the difficulty with doing nothing is the inability to know when you are finished. President Flentge shared with us the startling information about the costs of uninsured residents of Pierce County and the numbers of residents that have absolutely no health insurance. The bill for emergency room services for the uninsured in 2010 was $200,000,000. Not only did the local hospitals have to write off that amount, but by far, most of those hospital visits were in reality not true emergencies, but rather clinical care for those without medical insurance. This represented over 17,000 patients, 11,000 of which were children. In Pierce County, it is estimated that there are over 110,000 residents without insurance and that represents 1/7 of the population. Community Health Care currently operates 5 clinics, 2 of which have dental facilities and 4 have pharmacies. A new 59,000 square foot facility in the Hill Top neighborhood is currently under construction. It will offer urgent care, dental service and a pharmacy as well as being a teaching hospital for both the Franciscan and MultiCare organizations. It is designed to provide these and other services for the roughly 17,000 uninsured in that area. But, these are not free services. Rates start at $30 for a medical visit and $35 for a dental visit and are adjusted on a sliding scale depending upon the patient’s income. But service is never denied and where required, will be provided for free.

Next week’s speaker has yet to be finalized. It has been mentioned that Norman Bates from the Bates Motel School of Management may be visiting us next week. If so, I would suggest not showering prior to joining the Tuesday lunch bunch!

‘Til the anon,

D. Loving

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

And the band keeps playing. Another lunch bunch of more than 20 Gyros…in January! Also, another great speaker. Speaking of speakers, so to speak, we have some terrific ones scheduled so if you are not already a Gyro, you dang well should be. Humm,… but if you are already reading this Gyro newsletter that would presume you are also already a Gyro. See, it just shows to go you that you cannot fool your erstwhile scribe for very long and that he is NOT just another pretty face. Future speakers will include: Gen. Tim Lowenberg, a fellow Gyro but seemingly due to an assortment of wars has found time for more important things, Dr. Mike Hirsig, an emergency room doc who we most definitely want to only know socially, Gen. Bill Harrison will be pulling rank for other speakers to highlight but a few. Gyro Bill Jackson has prevailed upon Dr. John Vaccaro, noted urologist, to come visit with us. That should really draw a madding crowd as the topic of prostates glands may slip into the conversation. One could speculate that some Gyro prostates are the size of Buicks while others are long gone. That pesky little thing may be near and dear to our heart, or possibly another organ which hopefully is not vestigial. Next Tuesday, David Flentge, President and CEO of Community Health Care will break bread with us. It is important to always have a good crowd if we are to continue to present our speakers with an appreciative audience. Thanks.

Ernie Bianco introduced new Gyro Ev Cooper. Ernie began by sharing with us while playing with Ev in a golf tournament, Ev missed winning $1,000,000 for a hole-in-one because the marshal had just gone home. One would tend to be less than stoic on such an occasion and be tempted to slice somebody’s’ wrist; the marshal’s or one’s own. But, “oh well.” We know what happens. Ev shared sea tales of his service in the merchant marine. A true son of Massachusetts, he told us about various ports of call including “Cuber.” Ev graduated from the Maine Maritime Academy in 1958 and promptly went to sea as a second engineer. His first ship was the SS Constitution and as an officer, was permitted to dine with the First Class passengers. A delicate palate was promptly destroyed when he transferred to freighters. His ticket on freighters was accompanied by a maximum of 12 passengers. Any more than 12 requires a ship’s doctor. It may not be well known that a cruise ship with from 13 to 3,000 may leave port without a captain, but may not leave port without a ship’s doctor. Based on the recent events so dramatically demonstrated by the Italians, they may have exercised that opportunity. Three of Ev’s voyages have been around the world which take four months to complete. His travels have taken him to 41 different countries. His voyages have been traded for a long career at SeaLand which one would assume is a very good customer of The Port of Tacoma. What a clever segue! We should prevail on Gyrette Connie Bacon to bring us up to date on happenings at the Port.

Finally, there were no guests, but there was our speaker, there were jokes and there were cookies. What more could one ask?

D. Loving

Ed note: If you attributed the “shows to go you” rather than it “goes to show you” as yet another typo with which u are often burdened; know…” nay.” N fact (OK, enough’s enough) it is a “Spoonerism” so named after the Rev Wm. Archibald Spooner (1844-1930) Warden of New College, Oxford who was notoriously prone to getting his “birds wackwards.

And now, as always,

‘Til the anon.

Tuesday January 22, 2013

Well, there were two meetings yesterday. One was a picture of good taste and decorum. The other was not. The Gyro Board met yesterday and after an extensive discussion lasting easily two, maybe even three seconds, the decision was unanimous; Randy Lindblad and Jurgen Huck should be invited to join our merry band of Tuesdays with Gyro. Appropriate follow-up would be referred to the Investiture Committee … except that in the hallowed tradition of Gyro, we don’t have committees as we are clearly “Self Above Service.” But one could argue that at some time, we may need to create secret handshake, password and stuff. We will refer this to the non-existent committee. The other meeting was the televised spectacle of one bloviating senator after another each trying to elbow the others out as to who could be the more obnoxious and braying for his 15 minutes of fame. Maybe we should invite them to attend Gyro for lessons in decorum. We had guests: Ernie Bianco reintroduced Everett Cooper (more later) and Bob Ketner did likewise with Steve Williams. ‘Tis the second time for both. Banns thus posted.

Our speaker, Jeff Laskowski, told us a whole lot about gas pumps, and though one could speculate a topic a bit mundane, ‘twas quite the opposite. The industry has evolved over time from hand cranked machines of dubious accuracy to sophisticated “Unattended Payment Terminals” which in the near future may be activated by your Smart Phone. This said, your scribe may be walking because he neither has, nor desires, a phone smarter than him, but that is not saying much. To coincide with a growing sophistication of electronic transactions, gas “dispensers” are a part of the electronic banking business and thus developed to prevent “skimming” which means stealing your credit card number. As to standing on your bumper and holding the hose over your head to get the last few drops, don’t do it because you really aren’t getting that much gas. Also, as the sign clearly says “Don’t Top Off” because this plays with the 28 vapor barriers in place and doesn’t generate more gas for your car. The recommendation about not smoking and “No Open flame” seems to also have some merit.

Next week, another really neat speaker, Gyro two time guest, Everett Cooper. If that name rings a bell, you’re close. C. Everett Koop (OK, maybe it’s not really that close) was Ronnie Reagan’s Surgeon General and told us all to quit smoking. Our Cooper will be sharing with us his tales of being in the merchant marine. I do not think you should anticipate a parrot on his shoulder or lots of “aaahr matey”, but you never know. So the best way to find out is to come and join the lunch bunch of Tuesdays with Gyro.

‘Til the anon,

D. Loving

Tuesday January 15, 2013

Apologies for the tardy arrival of your much (?) anticipated Gyro newsletter. It was with a heavy heart that I was to announce the passing of my OLD laptop (old as in using the Sanskrit operating system) upon which this missal is ploddingly two fingers typed. But wait. What ho! A mystical man speaking in tongues with words like bytes and ram, Lazarus like, brought my laptop back from the dead. To paraphrase Mark Twain, the laptop’s death was greatly exaggerated. That settled…news of true importance. Another madding throng of 21 Gyros Tuesday. New guests are like the clowns at the circus who keep tumbling out of a tiny VW. Ernie Bianco introduced Ev Cooper who not only was a guest but succumbed to the pressure of being next week’s speaker. Ev will share with us mysteries of fuel delivery at the gas station and probably explain why you need not be embarrassed anymore standing on your car’s rear bumper holding the hose over your head to get the last few drops of gas. But then again, maybe you weren’t embarrassed.

The Christmas Party surveys are in; the ballots are counted. As would be appropriate for such an august announcement, as evidenced by the recent Emmy Awards extravaganza, there should be an appropriate swelling of grandiose orchestra music paralleling a equally impressive swelling of bosoms somehow Scotch taped or Super glued, or something into flowing gowns with a dazzling displays of cleavage as the results are breathlessly revealed. It was unanimous. Gyros wanted the Christmas Party to stay as it has been: great food, appropriate grape included, black tie optional, dancing, dessert and cookies. One oft received comment was a smaller number of ‘Roes and ‘Rettes was favored, so with a limit of 60 next year, and for those of you with busy social calendars, you best circle Tuesday, December 10th. One need not send me a check yet.

Dick Bowe introduced yet another great speaker: Ron Langrell, President of Bates Technical College. The college has a head count of 10,545 students, offering 49 associate degrees and 65 professional certificates in 53 different programs of study. Bates used to be 90% state funded, but is now 50% and in the future is projected to go to 30%. This represents quite a challenge for Langrell who has the distinction of being the 8th president in 13 years. Hopefully 8th’s the charm. Bates represents a valued alternative to offset the disastrous attrition rate of Tacoma high school students between the 9th and 12th grade of over 50%! The percent of those achieving employment after a Bates graduation is in the high 80’s even though there will always be some students who drop out after one session, the “One and Done’s” sorta like University of Kentucky basketball “student athletes.” Fully 25% of the course week is now done online. Lastly, there is a modest amount of curriculum overlap with Clover Park CC, but it is not significant. Bates is a very important part of our community.

‘Til the anon,

D. Loving

 Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The Gyros reconvened on schedule Tuesday and seemingly no one showed up last Tuesday while the Club was closed (well, nobody admitted it at least.) We had so many Gyros eager and anxious to start the New Year with fellow Gyros that we ran out of lunch chits. We had a guest. Bob Ketner introduced Steve Williams who is a friend as well as a neighbor. Good fences make for good neighbors. It just may be possible someone else may have used that line before me. The Christmas party questionnaires are still coming in. Once collected, the responses will be shared with the ever diligent Board and then reported in a future newsletter. One response I was initially quite excited about offered that since your scribe and Christmas party planner had spent so many hours (OK, maybe minutes) that he was encouraged to take Gyrette Penny Loving on a deluxe 2 week trip to the south of France starting with 2 first class tickets on Air France. I was astounded and flattered that the ever parsimonious Rick Carr would agree to such largess until I discovered that the questionnaire was signed “Penny Loving.” Alas. Alas.

Our speaker was Nick K. Adams and his topic was “The Uncivil War” but, best I could figure out, it wasn’t his topic. This is not to say it wasn’t a unique presentation. He had discovered letters written home by his great, great grandfather detailing both the horror and boredom of the Civil War. Nick proceeded to share a number of them with us. The presentation was uniquely interesting to me as I too have letters written by my great, great grandfather as he was also serving in the Union army, or depending on which side of the Mason-Dixon line you lived on, The War of Northern Aggression. Fortunately, my great, great Grandfather, returned home. Unfortunately, Nick’s did not. There were many interesting things beyond just the retelling of daily events. The language though quite formal was quite eloquent for a high school educated Minnesota farm boy in 1860. Equally impressive was the beautiful penmanship, surely the Palmer Method, which was flowing and quite legible. In 150 years, we have unfortunately REGRESSED to where cursive writing ISN’T EVEN TAUGHT in many grade schools any more. I fear we shall go back to signing our names with an “X” in the future. During the war, a volunteer was paid $14 a month while a drafted soldier was paid $11. The widow was paid $5 a month as a war pension and each child received $.50 a month. As an aside, my family has a “Call for Volunteers” that was printed in the weekly town newspaper which asked for volunteers for only 90 days as that was all that would be needed to “Whip the Rebs” and thus be home in time for spring planting. Needless to say, 90 day volunteers became 3 year volunteers and more people were killed or wounded in that uncivil war that all of our other wars put together. Another quite interesting aspect was that in spite of complicated logistics and no automation, a letter from Yazoo, Mississippi got to Minnesota in 10 days. No need for an irreverent editor’s note here.

Next week’s speaker will be a player to be named later.

‘Til the anon,

D. Loving




Wednesday December 19, 2012

OK, though against my better judgment of actually including something important rather than the drivel and inane remarks about horses being tied up in the Handicap Parking at the Country Club, there is stuff Gyros need to know. The first and now more importantly than ever, a wish for a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A SAFE, HAPPY, HEALTHY AND PROSPEROUS 2013 TO YOU AND YOURS. As has existed for millennia at Gyro, banns have now been formally published for Mssrs. Jurgen Huck and Randy Linblad to become card carrying (how’s that for mixing historical references) members of Gyro. Said banns will be officially published one more time in the first newsletter of 20 13 after we reconvene January 8th. Prior to lunch, your august Board of Directors met, conducted business as necessary, and acted as if we actually knew what we were doing. If your phone hasn’t wrung with one of those mysterious “Caller Unknown” listings, it looks as if you have escaped “volunteering” for a Board position. And rhetorically speaking of speaking, we did adjourn promptly to the traditional wine and joke Christmas lunch. There was some distinct muttering going on as we convened WITH jokes, but NO wine. Since financial wizard Rick Carr was in attendance, and the pitchforks were out and torches ready to be lit, wine, as in ” water for my horses and wine for my men,” miraculously appeared. So a cadre of 15 hard core Gyros munched and joked.

One of the issues discussed by your ever vigilant Board was future direction for the annual Christmas gala. At the 11th hour, the party was being cancelled. But some members as The Bard of Avon calling (I confess, that is really cheesy but r couldn’t pass it up) saved the day and as the bard would no doubt say “All’s well that ends well.” As it turned out, the merry party goers felt this was one of the best parties ever because there were exactly 50 ‘Ros and ‘Rettes and everyone could meet and greet one another in a comfortable atmosphere. Depending upon the results of the survey, it was initially felt that whatever the format next year, should a party still exist, it should have a limited number of party goers on a first come first serve basis. As was mentioned, some personal telephoning was required to acquire the minimum number the Club desired. Gee, and as was to be expected, we did get a couple of “my wife was supposed to have called, she must have forgotten” which is strikingly similar to the old saw of the dog and the eaten homework. Anyway, there is a questionnaire enclosed with this newsletter so, at the request of your ever diligent and full service Board, please take a few minutes and share your comments and opinions regarding the annual Gyro Christmas party. Thanks.

‘Til the anon and 2013
D. Loving,

Wednesday December 12, 2012

There is only time for a quickie, but then, what red blooded American Gyro doesn’t enjoy a quickie now and again…quickie, as in newsletter, of course! If you weren’t at the Tacoma Golf and Country Club on the evening last, shame, shame. ‘Twas a gala of handsome men and beautiful women. The only thing more fitting would have been a red carpet and playing searchlights lighting up the evening sky as the 2012 Gyro Christmas party unfolded. But being the ever tasteful and graciously and elegantly understated organization that we are, no red carpet. But 50 Gyros and Gyrettes partook of the glamorous evening and the bountiful array of food, beverages, a special dessert, and, cookies, enjoying the Country Club’s warranted reputation for great food and service. A wonderful combo again provided background music to dine by morphing into even more delightful music to dance to. What more could one ask, you might say? But fear not; the answer is … the attire of our own beloved past president, Laird Brown. At a previous Christmas party, he dazzled us with kilts, et. al, and one doesn’t ask what the entails, or as the case may be, doesn’t entail, as befits a gentleman named Laird. It will be a hard act to follow should Dugald Stewart also break out the kilts, and I for one, would love the keening of the pipes, though a bit difficult for Christmas carols. So you need not wait any longer! Now, being a new, true Southwesterner, Laird arrived in cowboy shirt, cowboy pants, cowboy jacket, cowboy boots and hat, the latter of which is appropriate to them thar folks, and never comes off. I cannot speak to the issue if Trigger was tied up in the Handicap Parking zone out front. For those of you already locking up your oh so busy social calendar for the coming year 2013, you might want to write “Gyro Christmas Party” on Tuesday December 10th. I believe we have discovered that 50 Gyros/ettes is a wonderful number of party goers so future galas will be even more sought after.

This coming Tuesday we will have the traditional wine and joke luncheon. This will be the last Gyro gathering of the clan until Tuesday January 8th. Prior to Tuesday’s lunch, there will be a Board of Directors meeting starting sorta promptly at 11:00 in the bar (where else.) Forewarned is forearmed. You might want to just happen to be there refreshing with a pregame refreshment to forestall your unknown altruism wherein you may just ( as Gomer Pyle would say, and trust me it really hurts deep down in my soul to quote Gomer Pyle “surprise, surprise, surprise”) have “volunteered” for a position in this august organization for 2013. Anyway, see you Tuesday for the last “Tuesdays with Gyro” of 2012.

‘Til the anon,

D. Loving


December 4, 2012

Now is the time for every good man to come to the aid of his Gyro Christmas party! With 7 days to go, we need 15 more couples to commit to supporting what has always been a wonderful Gyro tradition. The Country Club needs a minimal head count for what we will be obligated to pay, so, lend me an ear and call with your reservation and menu selections by THIS FRIDAY!!!

One of our largest lunching and munching crowds of the season anxious to hear TNT columnist Peter Callaghan insights into the local and national elections created one of our first SRO situations. Prior to Peter taking the floor, Nick Adams and Dick Cope were quickly introduced as guests of speaker chair, Dave Sheean, thus saving more time for Peter, always a Gyro favorite speaker. On a state level, there hasn’t been a Republican governor since 1980, Seattle votes Democratic by a mere 80% and Pierce Country by 60% , thus making it extremely difficult to have a Republican governor. Somewhat surprisingly, the most questions which Peter so graciously answered focused primarily on the national level, and to a large degree on why Romney lost. One could speculate that there are a lot of very important people with very red faces, for an assortment of reasons, asking those same questions. One of the surprising elements to surface was that even well into the election night, Republicans were convinced that Romney would win, possibly handily, and that there would be a chance to recapture the Senate. Supposedly, Romney was so sure that he would win that he hadn’t even considered a concession speech. As Peter explained, the polling was skewed to a large degree to what I might refer to as a “Jeopardy” concept of first providing the answer and then finding the question. But there was one apolitical geek, Nat Silver, who works for the New York Times who called the race days, even weeks, before the election and was uncannily correct. It was Peter’s assertion that in point of fact, there were no real political candidates preference changes from February to November. The billions and billions of dollars spent were really to no avail. He referred to Vegas tycoon, Sam Edelman, who spent $54M of his own money first supporting Gingrich and then Romney, thus to a degree somewhat debunking the impact of the Super Pacs. A colleague in Ohio started counting TV commercials airing just one November evening and reached 60 consecutive commercials. But the most interesting response to a question was Peter’s assertion that the liberal demonizing of Obama is way off line and that in reality BO is a moderate Demo and even more so with his current positions would be a Repub 20 years ago. As to be expected of a white, Country Club, professional, male audience, there was a collective gasp of disbelief. Peter did explain his rationale. I think it is safe to say, he didn’t make the sale of changing some preconceived impressions. We finally allowed Peter to get to his late lunch well after 1:20.

Next week, THE GYRO CHRISTMAS PARTY, and therefore no formal Gyro lunch bunch. But we will be working on the Jim Gallinatti philosophy that since he does eat lunch on Tuesdays, and the Country Club bar is open on Tuesdays, therefore there is no valid reason not to eat lunch in the bar this coming Tuesday with his friends. So there.

‘Til the anon,
D. Loving


November 27, 2012

‘TIS A TWICE TOLD TALE! The Christmas Party info is a repeat of the good stuff shared with you last week, or as the case may be, this week seeing as the Turkey Day festivities interfered not only with the nimble fingers of your occasionally dutiful scribe but also our mailing service and the always efficient post office. It’s the latter two I am unabashedly putting the blame on rather than my tardy typing.

The Christmas Party! So listen up, so to speak. ‘Twil be on Tuesday (Gyro Day), December 11th, at the Tacoma Country and Golf Club. The bar will open at +/- 6:30. It will be a no-host bar. We did have a hosted bar several years ago, and the ever thirsty and cheap Gyros acted like they hadn’t seen liquor in years and Treasurer Carr is still making installment payments to the Country Club. Dinner, with wines, will be served at 7:15. Attire is black tie optional (brown wing tips and white socks are not.) So what do I do, one might ask, to partake of the gala evening? And one actually might ask. Decide on your choice(s) of entrée(s), write a check PAYABLE TO GYRO, AND IN THE MEMO LINE, INDICATE YOUR MEAL CHOICES for a mere $150 (same as last year and a deal at twice the price) and send to David Loving, 11214 Greystone Dr. SW, Lakewood, WA. 98499. It as easy as that.

We had no new guests today, but we did have jokes. Previous guest Randy Lindblad is working through the long, tedious and extremely selective process of eventually becoming a card caring Gyro. The Board, if we actually know who is on the Board, now moves into its secretive session and deliberation. As a word of warning, being absent from any of our functions does increase the possibility of one being “volunteered” in absentia for future Board assignments! Our speaker today was City Manager Andrew Neiditz who shared with us some of the accomplishments and costs of running Lakewood. One of the things he is most proud of is the elimination of some of the more tawdry elements previously located on Ponders and Pacific Ave. There may have been some disgruntled Gyros missing their therapeutic massages, but nary was a sigh, or moan, heard. The new Ford dealership and the pending arrival of not one, but two Marriott motels will significantly help Lakewood’s tax base. I’m sure we were all saddened to see the lovely abandoned trailer park’s demise eliminated as it previously was the “welcome to Lakewood” landmark. Local government is non-partisan and thus Council members do not run as Demos or Repubs. Lakewood has a biennial budget of $67M. Payroll is the largest single line item expense which includes 100 cops. In total, there are 230 city employees.

Next week, another good and loyal speaker, Peter Callaghan from the TNT. He will share with us his insights and perspectives on the results of the recent election. We need to munch as a bunch to reward speakers’ for their time and talents to visit with we lowly Gyros. See ya there. Thanks.

‘Til the anon,

D. Loving


November 20, 2012

Your loyal scribe trusts that you had a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Tuesday with Gyro produced a guest, a wonderful speaker, more guests and a cast of thousands (that may be a bit of Trumpian hyperbole but a whole bunch of Gyros!) More later, so read on.

The Christmas Party! So listen up, so to speak. ‘Twil be on Tuesday (Gyro Day), December 11th, at the Tacoma Country and Golf Club. The bar will open at +/- 6:30. It will be a no-host bar. We did have a hosted bar several years ago, and the ever thirsty, and cheap Gyros acted like they hadn’t seen liquor in years and Treasurer Carr is still making installment payments to the Country Club. Dinner, with wines, will be served at 7:15. Attire is black tie optional (brown wing tips and white socks are not.) So what do I do, one might ask, to partake of the gala evening? And one actually might ask. Decide on your choice(s) of entrée(s), write a check PAYABLE TO GYRO, AND IN THE MEMO LINE, INDICATE YOUR MEAL CHOICES for a mere $150 (same as last year and a deal at twice the price) and send to David Loving, 11214 Greystone Dr. SW, Lakewood, WA. 98499. It as easy as that.

We had guests upon guests. Dick Bowe introduced Randy Lindblad for a second time. Bob Ketner again introduced Jurgen Huck who is about to sign the pledge and be saved, and All-world speaker getter Dave Sheean introduced Dick Cope, again Charlie Hyde (a past speaker) and Nick Adams. The day was like a day at the circus with the clown car (not saying our guests were same) where the clowns just keep piling out of the car. Our speaker was the much anticipated return of UPS Brit British historian Dr. David Smith, who, by the by, enjoys Gyro so much he wants to join our merry band of ne’er do wells. Dr. Smith is delightfully Downton Abbeyish who at times got into sentences it was thought he might not get out of. But not to fear. Not only was he wonderfully entertaining, but a gentleman of great presence who, in the middle of his presentation, walked across the dining room to ask the lawn crew busy blowing leaves to move along, and smartly. Love the Brits. He shared with us that the image of great pomp and ceremony of the monarchy went back many, many centuries is actually not true. The pageantry the Brits do so well with weddings, funerals and coronations is, in truth, only about 150 years old. As the sun slowly set on the British Empire, the pageantry rose. Simply said, it was a splendid PR move to offset the demise of the power and aura of the Empire. I for one have asked my Gyrette to start looking for a suitable hat lest we get invited to a future coronation. Dr. Smith was wonderfully engaging with anecdotes and even passed around one of his books of his stamp collection with stamps of George VI from the United Kingdom. What’s not to like with a fellow like this!!

So anyway lads.

‘Til the anon,

D. Loving


November 13, 2012

I used to have a Southern Baptist lay preacher who worked for me (and what’s not to believe from one of them) who told me: “when ever they say it’s not the money, it’s the principle, they’re lyin’ right to your face. It’s the money every time.” So yesterday at Gyro we talked about not the principle of those pesky tax collectors but the principle of keeping more of your principal. That is probably why we had 27 Gyros luncheoning, eating cookies and looking for free, of course, advice. More later.

We had guests. Dick Bowe introduced Rudy Lindblad and for some unfathomable reason, Dug’s previous guest, Tom McAvoy, made a return appearance. With all of the appropriate solemnity, a railroaded show of hands, and with no abstentions, Tom is a new card carrying Gyro. Due to all of these new members, we may have to really create a secret grip or something. At the least, we could have funny hats. As I recall, yesterday there were no jokes as we were grimly awaiting our speaker. Actually we were not grimly awaiting him, as he is a two time past Gyro president, but the subject of his presentation. Jim Morton detailed some of the potential tax changes that could go into affect in 2013. Jim showed us what exists currently and what would be the absolute worst case scenario. If all of those were to come to pass, there would be a waiting list for space to jump off of the Narrows Bridge. We have all heard about the financial cliff facing the country. We can also rest easy in that in the weeks to come the pontificating talking heads and bloviating politicians will fight for their unfortunately not limited to the proverbial 15 minutes of fame on what do to and who is going to pay for how to finance what and for and by whom. What PROBABLY will happen in 2013? Tax rates will increase on ordinary income as will rates on capital gains, the surcharge on net investment income will go from zero to “something” and the estate tax exemption will decrease from the current $5.12M to $3.5M???. To add insult to injury, Washington state has the highest inheritance tax in the nation. As wag Carroll Simpson toned, “if you are thinking of dying, die quickly.” The problem on what to do is that we won’t know what changes will actually come to fruition until mid December. So if one does nothing but wait, it will be too late to act proactively. The principle is to save principal.

Next week, a funner {sic.} topic. Dr .David F. Smith noted UPS historian and much enjoyed previous speaker will talk with us about the British monarchy and the empire. If there is one thing the Brits do really well, in addition to Downton Abbey, is monarchy. One need not wear a Union Jack lapel pin next week. Our speaker on the 27th will be City Manager Andrew Neiditz. So with speakers like these, no notes from home for approved absences will be accepted. None!

‘til the anon,

D. Loving



PS. A reminder that the Christmas party is Tuesday, December 11th. Hopefully the menu selection options will be finalized as well as prices, providing our own Rick Carr will graciously, as always, be his unparsimonious self and details should be included in next week’s anxiously awaited newsletter.

November 6, 2012

Well, half the country is happy, half the country is unhappy, but the whole country is delighted the election is over. One appreciates that each party has to sell its candidates and programs, but 2 billion dollars, and in all reality that isn’t even the ultimate number is —-!. OK, you fill in the blank. As the late, great Senator from Illinois, Everett McKinley Dirkson so eloquently stated; “A billion here, a billion there after a while we’re talking real money.”

BUT, on to the truly important stuff. We had Gyro on election day. Your occasionally dutiful scribe was dutifully acting as Nurse Ratchet to his Gyrette. But undaunted, your scribe will be playing Dutch Reagan (in a way.) The urban legend is that while in college, Ronnie did a radio play by play on a football game he didn’t actually see. But then again, urban legend also has pet alligators released as they grew too large living in the sewers of big cities. But there truly was Tuesdays with Gyro. Since no speaker, the time between lunch and the arrival of the cookies was more than adequately filled with an assortment of stories and jokes. I understand, some of which could have comfortably been retold at a church social. But as always, a level of country club decorum was maintained; as was to be expected. Dugald Stewart brought a guest, Dr. Tom McAvoy. We trust he will appear at a second gathering of the clan. But without doubt, the highlight of the day was captured by President for Life, if we are able to do so, Papa Doc Neeb. Pres. Neeb was somewhat delicately informed that his fly was open. He responded by saying “not to worry, a dead bird cannot fall out of the nest.” This is one of the all-world rejoinders and needs to be needle pointed, framed and mounted on a wall of fame.

Next week, our merry band will again reconvene. Brother Jim Morton will tell us about taxes, what do to and how soon to buy your tickets for the Caymans. The following week, Dr. David Smith, history professor from UPS will speak to us. If you were fortunate enough to hear him earlier, you will remember that we were still pestering him with questions at 1:30. He is a great addition to our list of speakers. Other speakers will include Peter Callahan, Lakewood City Manager Andrew Neiditz, to name but a few. But that does NOT let you off the hook for putting the bite on your friends and colleagues as future speakers. Cookies alone are not enough to get you to Tuesdays with Gyro.

‘Til the anon,

D .Loving


Tuesday October 30, 2012

‘Tis All Hallowed Eve; so trick or treat. Remember when Halloween was just ONE evening of stuff for little kids to do, where they could dress up in home-made costumes, or at best, a cheesy one from the dime store (what’s a dime store?) and go trick or treating without a parent or member of Seal Team Six with them? Urban legends quickly came into being about which houses to avoid because last year they gave out crummy treats like popcorn balls which got all over your good stuff and anyway, your mom made you throw them away because there could be razor blades hidden inside. Anyway, if you actually had prepared treats and they weren’t all consumed, bring ‘em to Gyro next Tuesday. We’ll have our own treats.

Speaking of Gyro, which your scribe occasionally does, Tuesday we had good friends, fellowship, jokes, stories, a speaker and cookies. What more could one ask? As Robert Browning would say: (and what would a Gyro newsletter be without Robert Browning!) “God’s in his heaven, all’s right with the world.” There were 18 Gyros, no Gyrettes and no guests to hear Curtis Hancock, Project Manager for the Tacoma Metro Parks, share with us the extraordinary long range plans for Point Defiance Park and the waterfront of Ruston Way. As lovely and awe inspiring as the Asarco smelter and smoke stack were to historical Tacoma, the plans for the future are even better. Some background: the park system has 56 parks, over 400 employees, the Pagoda destroyed by fire will be opening within the next four weeks at a rebuilding cost of $7 million, and Pt. Defiance Park alone encompasses 768 acres. The “missing link on Ruston Way” is that portion of the jogging/bike path that runs from the Dome all the way to Pt. Defiance but is currently not completed but will be in the very near future. The long range plans look out 10-15 years, and as one might imagine, many millions of dollars. ’Tis the City of Destiny

Next week is Election Day, and as of yet no speaker. But one and all should come, with left over treats, and bemoan whatever candidate one chooses. Elections are like golf shots. Everybody’s golf shot makes somebody happy. The following Tuesday we have our own Jim Morton who will share with us the secrets of avoiding taxes. Since you have closed your numbered account in the Cayman Islands, you best be there. Future speakers also include UPS’s historian Dave Smith, who if you were lucky enough to hear the first time, and we wouldn’t let him leave until almost 1:30, will speak to us on November 20th.

Go get your Gyrette, who we all know is the keeper of the faith and comptroller of the currency, and get your busy social calendar. In magic marker, circle Tuesday December 11th for the Christmas Party. It is probably too late to start stomach crunches so that you would be able to fit into your old tux. So just say to hell with it, and come as you are. Who wants a size 34” waist anyway!

‘Til the anon,

D. .Loving Scribe

Tuesday October 23, 2012

Your peripatetic prodigal scribe has returned and would be remiss not to promptly thank the Phils: Hayes and Sloan, for so capably filling in whilst I was AWOL to the climes of northern Michigan which is a state within a state east of Cascades and west of the Alleghenies. Tuesdays with Gyro produced a good (literally and figuratively) crowd of Gyros who welcomed back Jurgen Huck for a second time. His tenacity seems to indicate that he wishes to join our merry band and deserves to be considered for membership. This arduous process is limited to those who have checks that clear. Thus said, he may become a member and learn the Gyro secret handshake. Oops, I forgot. We don’t have a secret handshake. A topic for further consideration.

Our speaker was Bob Ecklund, GM of the metro YMCAs. This dovetailed nicely as Ray Chalker introduced Gyrette Charlotte who, in addition to the lofty credentials of being a Gyrette and married to Ray for 56 years (and not in that order of significance) is a “Y” Board member. If the “Y” built a new branch at the Roy “Y”, would it be called the Roy “Y” “Y”? (My sincerest apologies for that!) Bob shared with us the expanding functions the “Y” has absorbed as it serves 130,000 members through 11 branches with a staff of 1750 and an annual budget of $45M. The “Y” has expanded beyond an historic perception of noisy gyms and chlorine smelling swimming pools to a vast array of social, financial, emotional as well of physical demands of an ever increasing populace with no other avenues to those needs. The successes in stressful areas such as the Hilltop neighborhood in Tacoma are just short of miraculous. The “Y” is supplementing, and in many cases, replacing the traditional roles of schools, churches, government and, of course, families. The “Y” does good by doing well.

OK, get your calendars. Next week, our speaker will be Curt Hancock, from Pt. Defiance with future speakers to include our own Jim Morton telling us how to escape, if not death, some taxes, David Smith, UPS historian, who was mesmerizing about the magnitude of WWII, and the ever popular Peter Callahan to name but a few. So unless you have a note from a parent or guardian, you best dang well be there.

‘Til the anon,

D. Loving

Occasional Scribe

. Ed. note: You probably have not missed the pithy parsing of said scribe. As I look at my coffee table, I see copies of Time and Newsweek magazines. I note with sadness that the latter will cease to be published and will be only available on line. It seems ironic that in these tumultuous times of razor thin elections only costing a mere $2-$3 BILLION, and the Arab Spring, now Fall, that those two magazines each have a moribund 56 pages while “In Style” magazine with articles entitled “10 Ways to Get More from Your Workout” has 354 pages. Alas. Alas.


On this day of the second Presidential debate, while anticipating President Obama and Governor Romney to once again tell the world  of their plans for stimulating economic growth while reducing the impact of governmental regulations, our very own Past President, Doug Babbit, brought those topics to local relevance in Tacoma by giving us a lively, but all too brief, review  of his ongoing battles with  multiple  bureaucracies at the local, state and federal levels   to obtain permits  so the City, using stimulus money,   can renovate the obsolete Fire Station on Ruston Way  from its present precarious condition to a state of the art Marine Operations Center  accommodating vessels, vehicles and staff of the Police, Sheriff, County, State and Federal Government to collaborate in making our waterways and maritime commerce more secure and efficient. (Editor’s note to Scribe: That sentence will take longer to read than Doug’s speech).

Regardless of one’s political persuasion, we marveled at the diplomacy and patience of Doug, (traits he has seldom shown previously),   as he described the layers upon layers of regulations and regulators he has to deal with.  For example, almost none of us have ever heard of the marbled murrolet, in part, because none have been seen in this area for many years. Nonetheless, if and when the final permits are granted, whenever pilings are being driven for the new concrete docks, the City will be required to have observers in three boats circling the area to make certain that those marbled guys don’t suddenly reappear and become upset. Of course, piles may only be driven in the “fish window” in the months of October through December.

During the actual pile driving, so as not to affect whales who may come to observe the activity, only 100 impacts of the pile drivers may occur per day. Observers must stand guard on Brown’s Point to stop the work if whales approach.

The application process was begun in September, 2011and, if the Army Corps of Engineers grants the final pending applications, permits should allow construction to begin in February, 2013. Remember, much of the funding for this project has come from FEMA which is intended to make us more secure and to help avoid acts of terrorism.


Last week’s speaker, Bob Brown, corrected the title of the book he recommends on the abandonment of our military when we vacatedVietnam. The title is “An Enormous Crime” by Bill Hendon and Elizabeth Stewart.

UPCOMING PROGRAMS: October,23: Bob Ecklund director of the local Ys.

October 30: Curtis Hancock on Destination Point Defiance, its history, current events and its exciting future, including steps towards creating the Missing Link waterfront pedestrian trail betweenRuston Wayand the park.

November 13: Gyro Jim Morton on important considerations for tax planning for 2012.

Dave Sheean is laboring to fill our agenda – please call him at 253-381-1000. A challenge to all of us: Find speakers who can stir us up as much as Doug Babbit did

A reminder from our stalwart web master, John McGowan:   Please review the new Gyro Website he has created  at and send any comments to him.

Dutifully submitted, Phil Sloan, acting scribe.

18 Gyros present. Our spirits were dampened by the sad news that long time GYRO Harold Allen passed away last week. His most impressive obituary is in the News Tribune of October 10, 2012.

Our speaker was CPT R.W. (Bob)Brown,USArmy (Ret). Bob is active in the MOAA, Military Officers Association of America. His presentation, highlighted by a slide show of his personal photographs, gave us his sobering views of the Vietnam War, in which he flew 500 combat hours as a helicopter pilot. Amongst his medals are the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Bronze Star and the Air Medal.

49,865 commissioned and warrant officers completed flight training between 1962 and 1974.  2,191 of them died in combat. 1,350,000 American military members had their boots on the ground. Today, only 400,000 of them are still alive. He recommended the reading of the book “A Horrendous Crime” which tells the suppressed story of our government abandoning 2,500 Americans when we pulled out ofVietnam. He said that 19 million gallons of Agent Orange were “indiscriminately sprayed” over 6 million acres, more than 6 times the amount needed to kill all vegetation it touched. Today, our government compensates Vietnamese Nationals who claim damage from Agent Orange, but not our own military veterans.

Our speaker on October 16, will be the esteemed architect and two time past Gyro President, Doug Babbit who says “My topic is the renovation of existing Fire Station No.5 into aMarineSecurityOperationsCenterwhich will be a joint operations center for TFD and TPD. It is a complex and interesting project with all the hoops we had to jump through with the permitting process and the lease renewal with DNR, etc. I don’t think I’ll put that many people to sleep.” (Scribe’s note: we’ll see).

On October 23, Bob Ecklund of the YMCA (now just the Y) will address us.

We need Speakers! Please send your suggestions to Dave Sheean

Thanks to the Herculean efforts of John McGowen, the Gyro web site has been revised. You will find it at Look for, but don’t delete, the video of the GYRO Balladeers singing Cheerio!

First Recorded Senior Moment

 Island Dino

Tacoma                                GYROSCOPE           October 2,2012

NEXT MEETING – Tuesday, October 9 at TCGC – BOB BROWN got into aviation as an Army helicopter pilot inVietnam. Risky stuff, we can all remember. He’ll talk about it. After 20 Army years he went to Boeing working in various projects. He’s active in the Veterans’ Helicopter Pilots Association, lives inLakewood.

LAST MEETING – Jobs, jobs, Jobs – That’s whyCloverParkTechnicalCollegeis in business.

Average age is 31 and 2/3 of the students are women, mostly single with children, training for a job that pays above minimum, hopefully leads to a career. 5500 full-time equivalent students are involved with 49 different programs, each with its own appropriate courses. Top pay in aircraft (Boeing), electronics, nursing.

CPTC tries to weed out programs that lead to low starting wages.

SOCIAL CHAIRMAN & CZAR JOHN WINTERS planned and executed another stellar dinner for around 50 of us at the Yacht Club last Wednesday. The food was just right, the company outstanding, and the SINGING (wot’s that?) nicely in tune as an elite quartet (Sandy Mowry, Ralph Johnson, Stan Carlson, Phil Hayes) re-introduced the crowd to an ancient Gyro ritual known as singing “Cheerio, old chap, Cheerio!” See it on video at our website (thanks to JOHN McGOWEN), . Some even suggested we revive the custom of singing this at every meeting, as we used to do. Whether or not that will happen remains to be seen. Don Pilkey led our singing regularly and he couldn’t even sing, so there is hope. To whet your interest, here are the words so you can practice in the shower. The tune is really easy so no worries.




HEARD AROUND THE AIRPORT –  Alaska 358 cleared for takeoff, contact Departure on 124.7″  “Tower, Alaska358 switching to Departure. By the way after we lifted off we saw. some kind of dead animal on the far end of the runway.” “Tower, Delta 324 cleared for takeoff behind Alaska358, contact Departure on 124.7. Did you copy that report from  Alaska358?”  “Delta 324, Roger, and thanks, we’ve already notified our caterers.”

Tacoma                                GYROSCOPE            September 25, 2012

NEXT MEETING, Tuesday, October 2 at TCGC.Clover Park Logo

It’s where you’ll meet and hear JOHN WALSTRUM, President of CLOVER PARK TECHNICAL COLLEGE,  talk about how they transform literally thousands of people (including many JBLM GIs and single parents) into well- trained job-ready taxpayers. CPTC turns out more health sciences graduates than any other community or technical college in the state. And they’re gearing up to do more. Ask people “where did you get your training?” Chances are “community college” is the answer.

THIS WEEK – JULIE ANDERSON,Pierce County auditor, talked before, through and after lunch about the ballot verification process. Phil Sloan asked her to speak after he toured her shop a few weeks ago and saw the thoroughness of the checks used to make sure we get honest counts in our elections. No Chicago or King County here in Pierce! Her office oversees 500+ precincts. Costs? – in a general election it’s about $3 per ballot but in a special election costs soar to $6, so be careful about gathering signatures to get your special cause on the ballot. You might break the County’s piggy bank. Gyros finally declare themselves satisfied that Pierce elections are in good hands.

24 PEOPLE FROM 8 DIFFERENT COUNTRIES are stranded on a beautiful desert island, 2 men and 1 woman from each country – Italy, France, Germany, Greece, England, Bulgaria, Sweden and Ireland. After justjoke a month, 1 Italian man has killed the other for the woman; the 2 French men are living happily with the woman in a “manage a trois;” the Germans have a regular schedule so that they alternate with the German woman; the Greek men sleep with each other and the woman cooks and cleans for them; the English men are waiting for someone to introduce them to the woman; the Bulgarian men took a long look at the endless ocean and another look at the woman, then started swimming; the Swedish men are contemplating suicide while the woman bitches about her body being her own and the true nature of feminism (at least it’s not snowing and the taxes are low); all 3 Irish are starting to divide the island South vs. North and are setting up a distillery – they don’t remember if sex is in the picture because it gets a bit foggy after the first few litres of coconut whiskey, but at least they know the English aren’t getting any.


Tacoma                       GYROSCOPE        September 11, 2012

Meeting Tuesdays, Noon, at theTacomaCountry and Golf Club

NEXT MEETING, TUESDAY THE 18TH -Our best meetings are done by our own members and this will be no exception as BILL JACKSON describes how Managed Medicine was in- vented in the early logging camps of Pierce County. The saying was, “you pay me this flat fee and I will take care of all your medical needs.” So it all began, and now we have a rainbow of medical plans that do that very same thing. Pierce County was first in this, but that’s not all- how about the Frisbee that came from skimming pie plates down on38th Street, or dear old Mr. Baskin’s first ice cream parlor in Tacoma (but it wasn’t B&R then – ask George Pessemier about that). If you know of otherPierceCounty firsts bring them to next week’s meeting.

THIS MEETING – KRISTA LINDEN is a sprightly mother of 7 daughters – fervent, inspired and dedicated to helping mothers (usually single) bring healthy babies into the world. Over 1000 mothers are referred to her STEP-BY-STEP each year by DSHS and other agencies. Fetal alcohol and other substance abuse prevails in about 35% of the cases. Violence and diabetes are common. They offer help both before and after birth by mentoring, help with a place to live, job training, health care. They’ve been hit hard by state budget cuts, still strive to increase revenue from private sources. Still they are able to grow, and now are working to acquire part of the old Edgewood Flower Farm as a headquarters and homelike facility. Wanna help? Do it!

GYRO FALL DINNER PARTY – Wednesday, Sept. 26,6 P.M. at the TacomaYacht Club, Pt. Defiance. SOCIAL CHAIRMAN JOHN WINTERS needs a headcount so reserve your spot with him at 582-6373. No-host bar but complimentary wine on the tables. Cost is about $50 per couple.

“I have reviewed this case very carefully, ” said the divorce court judge, “and J’ve decided to give your wife $775 a week.” “That’s very fair, your Honor,” the husband said. “And now and then I’ll try to send her a few bucks myself.”

Cheerio, and always remember to drink the water upstream from the herd, and never squat when you’re wearing spurs.


Tacoma                           GYROSCOPE                      September 7, 2001


KRISTA LINDEN is the founder and leader at STEP-BY-STEP. Since 1997 this organization has pursued this mission: “To transform the lives of at-risk pregnant women so they will deliver a healthy baby, embrace positive parenting, and establish a safe home.” Step-By-Step has grown from a dream and vision into a multi-faceted organization with a team of 27 trained professional nurses, dieticians and counselors. They have expanded their reach to over l,OO~ clients today in Pierce, King andSnohomishCounties. This year, collaborating with Franciscan Health Systems, they will serve an additional 400 families. On October 13 they will sponsor a 5K fund raising Walk/Run.

SAVE THE DATE – GYRO’s ANNUAL FALL KICK-OFF DINNER PARTY at theTacomaYacht Club on WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 26. Social Czar JOHN WINTERS is meticulously planning all details for an elegant buffet dinner, wine included. Complete information forthcoming. Meantime mark your calendar.

MEDICAL ALERT – Researchers at GIGS (The Gyro Institute For Geriatric Studies) report that over the past few years more money has been spent on breast implants and Viagra than is spent on Alzheimer’s Disease research. They forecast that by the year 2030 there will be an overwhelming number of people wandering about with huge breasts and erections who can’t remember what to do with them.

MARRIAGE LESSON – A husband and wife had a bitter fight on their 40th anniversary. The husband gets up in a rage and says, “When you die I’m going to get you a headstone that reads, “Here lies my wife – Cold as ever.?” “Yeah,” she replies, “When you die I’m getting you a headstone that reads, “Here lies my husband, Stiff at last.”

This is the beginning of the Fall season 2012