Newsletters Sept 2013-May 2014

May 20, 2014

Parting is such sweet sorrow. You know, those words sorta have a ring to them like maybe some other fella may have actually used them first. But, ‘tis true, today was the last Tuesday lunch of the season for Gyro. But nae, forsooth, what hold and stuff, this mighty band does not disband but merely slumbers until we meet again SEPTEMBER 9. ‘Tis also true that for those stalwart Gyros who do happen to eat lunch on Tuesdays, one might find comfort and solace to discover that kindred spirits might just be found in the Tacoma Country and Golf Club bar, 12:00 noon and with the safe assumption that wine and other spirits including gin clear liquids, so to speak, will still be available.

A brief note. The Installation Party with poobahs from District IV, the formal installation of new officers and Board members, was cancelled due to an underwhelming support by fellow Gyros. Also, it may, or may not, be a safe assumption that Carroll Simpson actually “volunteered” to become a member of the Board, with all of the rights and privileges thereof, once discovered what they might actually be. We had guests. Dave Sheean (who else) introduced Ketner Sheean, Rob Wekell and Robert Hacker. Connie Bacon did a dine and dash, but it was nice while it lasted.

To say that the 2014 US Open tournament is a big deal is a humongous understatement; a $140-$ 150 MILLION understatement. That is the estimate of the financial impact of a US Open, so saith Dame Denise Dyer, Director of the Pierce County Development Department and coordinator with the United States Golf Association for the ’15 Open. Some quick facts: 9,000 will attempt to qualify as it truly is an open tournament, probably 20 amateurs may make the cut, it is a 7 day event including practice rounds and the formal 4 day tournament, Chambers Bay is only the third muni course for a US Open, there will be an estimated 235,000 visitors over the 7 day period with about 35,000 per day, the average visitor will spend c.$1,200 per day, 87,000 room nights will be booked, $16-$17 MILLION in chotchkies (I have no idea if that is spelled correctly and Spell-check does not speak Yiddish) will be purchased, there will be 5,000 volunteers from 48 states and 19 countries, 3,000 on the wait list 2,000 media credentials have been issued, and oh yes, on a sad note, Homeland Security and bomb sniffing dogs will participate as the Boston Marathon bombing delivered a dramatic wake-up call, there will not be an ocean liner anchored in Commencement Bay, Tiger Woods is not renting our home. The Open will have long lasting intangibles. For example, 12 Scots recently flew over to play the course, and then flew home…and that from Scots! Take that St. Andrews. The list associated with the Open goes on and on, and thus easy to see how important it is to have the first ever Open in the GNW.

Have a wonderful summer.

‘Til the way, way anon,

D. Loving


May 13, 2014

Yawn. Snore. ZZZZZZZ. Just another SRO Gyro luncheon, as is to be expected. 32 Gyros, no guests, no ‘ettes. President in Waiting (to leave office) Martin Neeb moved the assembled mélange along smartly and insouciantly introduced the penultimate speaker. Martin admitted that he learned the word “penultimate” which means “next to last” and has been patiently waiting a chance to use it. I learned the word “insouciant” and felt, what the heck, as this is the penultimate (aha, take that Martin) newsletter, I would use it whether it made sense or not.

Tom Murray pulled rank on Neeb and Sheean and introduced Wayne Rankin, Executive
Director, Mt. Rainier Scenic Railroad. The formal name also includes “Western Forest Industries Museum” as well but some marketing guru probably and wisely suggested that the latter just might be a few too many words; they just don’t trip off the tongue. Wayne has had an extensive career in managing these types of entities including key positions at Disneyland and working with some guy named Stephen Spielberg. Wayne was enticed to leave the world of retirement which so many of us delightfully inhabit, come off the bench and assume his role as Executive Director. The Mount Rainier Scenic Railroad, et. al. is without doubt one of the, unfortunately, best kept secrets in the GNW. As Wayne candidly admitted, he has lived in this area for years and never even heard of it. Tom, who seemingly has some sort of family history in logging ‘n stuff and Wayne are on the track (OK, sorry for that) of increasing the national awareness of the railroad. The Mount Rainier Scenic Railroad has 10 functioning steam locomotives, authentically reproduced buildings of original logging camps, machine shops often required to create replacement parts for the long extinct manufacturers of the steam engines, a steam sawmill to name but a few of the many attractions. The typical excursion includes a 45 minute ride in a steam driven train from Elbe to Mineral with an hour for wandering around the various exhibits and the return trip to Elbe. Since “we have a friend at the factory” who can pull a few strings, he Gyros are heartily invited to participate in a summer Gyro party August 16 which not only
includes all of the above; but wait, moms and dads, boys and girls. This special trip will include the famous Tacoma Banjo Band. So bring kids, grands, friend and neighbors. Call John Winters ASAP at 582-6373 to sign up. All aboard.

Next week, another great speaker as is to be expected. Ms. Denise Dyer is the Director of
Economic Development of Pierce County Executive Office. All of that being said, she is a main honcho for the upcoming US Open golf tournament to be held at Chambers Bay in 2015. So if you were planning to qualify, you may want to get a few pointers as the local rules like “rolling the ball over 6 inches” or is it 6 feet and the discreet foot mashie away from the “out of bounds” stakes probably need to be eliminated. She’ll give you the scoop.

So, ‘til the anon,

D. Loving


Tuesday May 6, 2014

Tum da da dum, tum da da dum, tum da da dum! If for some unfathomable reason your tin ear did not immediately identify the above, those are the opening bars of “Hail to the Chief.” That said, so what? ‘Tis merely a cheesy vehicle to remind you of the upcoming and always moving installation of the new Gyro President, The ceremony replete with swords, plumes and sashes (possible) supported by the Marine Corps Band (obviously not remotely possible) as always could well last two maybe even three minutes. To be perfectly honest, it’s sort of a lame excuse to have something we Gyros do do so well…have a party. For both ‘roes and ‘retts, this, is a chance for a fun get together before the summer equinox or maybe that should be the summer hiatis, or something. Anyway, here are the details: Thursday, May 22, no host bar (OF COURSE…do you think us crazy?) 5:30, dinner 6:30, easier to get to location, the ever lovely Tacoma Country and Golf Club, ergo, great food, and…$20 per couple cheaper than last year! Single ‘roes and/or ‘rettes welcome. What, you sheepishly may inquire, is the price? $30 pp. Now I ask you, what more could one want? In case you didn’t do too well on your math SAT’s, that equates to roughly $60 per couple. So, if you haven’t already signed up, call or email future president, assuming all goes as planned at the Installation, Roy Kimbel 572-2073 or And, I don’t want to tell you again! One more bit of “bidness.” With amazing alactrity, Rich Wall and Ev Cooper were unanimously, and almost seriptiously voted in as new Board members.
Whew. All of that said, we had yet another good Gyro crowd, ignoring past references to “soles” and “souls.” Brian Sonntag shared some of the experiences of his 20 year career as Pierce County Auditor and then Washington State Auditor. It seems that there was a quick word association with the names of previous county auditors and “indicted” and “arrested” seemed to lead the list. One might naturally also equate the “auditor” image as either a morose individual wearing a green eyeshade and a pocket protector stuffed with free ball point pens or a steely eyed scourge with “I’m from the government and I’m here to help you” attitude. Brian is neither and quite a genial fellow; honest, able, and sincere in wanting to protect the taxpayer. Hard to explain, but easy to appreciate, the State has no individual comparable to a corporate CFO who is watching the flow of monies, both coming in, and more importantly, going out. Thus, the Auditor! Brian’s department had 265 employees and addressed all state expense areas. Local school districts often provided most of the discrepancies. The state auditor has no formal authority and is dependent upon local authorities to pursue legal recourse. His department either informed the appropriate entity of an imminent audit with a two week notice, or sometimes like the Tooth Fairy, just showed up. As one could well imagine, always a highlight of someone’s day.
Next week, Wayne Rankin, EVP, Mt. Rainier Scenic Railroad. All aboard!

‘Til the anon,
D. Loving


April 29, 2014

64 soles were present and accounted for yesterday, and nary a guest. If you weren’t there on Tuesday, and there really is a there there (to paraphrase a more literate soul) then you missed out on a wonderfully informative and moving recitation of the heroic work of so many at the Oso mudslide disaster. Long time Gyro friend and presenter Ed Troyer of the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department had planned to speak on two major topics: Plan “A”, the Oso tragedy, and Plan “B”…well, we don’t know what “B” was because never got past Plan “A” to Plan “B.”

It was obvious from the get-go that there would be no survivors, though not initially so stated. We are indeed fortunate to have a local “Urban Search and Rescue Task Force” comprised of a great many disciplines. The death count started at 540 and was continually and thankfully revised down to 136, all but 2 recovered and those two most likely never will be. There remains one unidentified. The initial rush was quickly and systematically reorganized into teams of 10 consisting of heavy equipment operators, spotters for the grizzly task as may be imagined and loggers.  Though FEMA (“You’re doing a great job Brownie”) deserved the reputation it rightfully deserved in the Katrina fiasco, it did a great job at Oso. Federal funding was immediate and without any red tape. For example, over 100 chainsaws were needed and promptly supplied. The list of volunteers and support staff was almost limitless. Restaurants like Masa, Asado and others immediately provided hot food for all of the workers. Each time a body was discovered, the various workers would stand at attention and though covered with mud and grime, provide the dignity and respect as deserved. There were chaplains, funeral support, even a bagpiper. Cadaver dogs are fantastic. They discovered 75% of the bodies. But a strange phenomenon occurred with the dogs. They were tireless in working through the mud and debris to do the job they were trained for. But if they had no results after three days, they became depressed. New teams had to be inserted into the search. There were three different teams, one of which came all the way from Minnesota. The breed varied from labs to mutts from the pound. But, they all knew their job. The dog handlers were almost exclusively women. Over the length of the search, 25 different dogs were used.  There were unfortunately some injuries on the part of the rescue workers. Most were minor, but there were a few broken bones. The support effort was thorough and thoughtful and included but not limited to: Red Cross workers, grief counselors, funeral staffs, even SCUBA divers during the initial search. All in all, though a horrific disaster, a splendid example of a well-coordinated multi-faceted operation. You can probably understand why we never got to “Plan B” on Tuesday.

Next week, another interesting speaker, Brian Sonntag, former Pierce County auditor.

So bring your soles to “Tuesdays with Gyro.”

‘Til the anon,

D. Loving


April 22, 2014

“It must be a Tupperware Party!” With so many faces not known, our dutiful scribe thought he had stumbled into a Tupperware Party or possibly an Amway meeting. But since no one ask me to buy a 10 year supply of something I would never need, my reservations were cast asunder and ‘twas only we Gyros and lottsa guests. In fact, the Tupperware image was replaced by my fifth grade winter gym class game of musical chairs (we needed inside alternatives when the temp dropped below zero…a school policy) and there was a scrambling for chairs like when the music stops, as it was a full house of 31 souls. Guests? You betcha! Dave Sheean, having gone through his 7 years of college, 6 years of high school, middle school and reform school, introduced friends from pre-K or possibly from Ponders, Peter Norman and George Jay. Dick Bowe introduced another doc, Vet Mike Jones, whose business card claims he specializes in treating “exotic and small animals” (the opportunity for a clever and hopefully witty bon mot ignored) , and to add a little class to the assembled throng, Clark D’Elia, past president of the Tacoma Symphony. John McGowen our ever so skilled webmaster, who cannot be charged with working in the cloud, introduced Dick Muri the state representative from the 28th District. Dick is a Republican, and if ever a Republican can feel comfortable, it is at the Tacoma Golf and Country Club. More club “bidness.” Seemingly Rich Wall and Ev Cooper have volunteered (we trust they know so) to be incoming Gyro Board members. And last, but certainly not least, the formal and desultory discussion re: new officers which lasted well into 3 seconds, by unanimous acclimation the new officers are: Roy Kimbel, Pres, Dave Sheean VP and Speaker Chair, Dick Bowe, Sec, and Rick Carr, assuming not on the lamb in some country without extradition laws, Treasurer.

Oh, yeah, in addition to all of the important Gyro stuff, we also had a really good speaker. Roger Edwards gave a “Show and Tell” presentation on the history of Tacoma’s own Salmon Beach. The history of which goes back well beyond the era of the Great War, which some Gyros may remember well. There were wonderful old snapshots of the early settlers who were in actuality squatters, but nary a scofflaw or scalawag in the bunch. Besides enjoying the beauty of Commencement Bay, there wasn’t the nuisance of those irritating inconveniences like pesky property taxes. It must have been difficult to establish a property value as the property ebbs and flows with the tide. However, some things really do change and those Rube Goldberg fish camps can now be snapped-up for ½ million dollars…and one should safely assume, property taxes as well. But all in all, a wonderful retelling of a bit of the Tacoma story.

Forewarned is forearmed. Get to Gyro early to avoid an unseemly bit of musical chairs to get a place to sit and positioned for the cookies. Ed Troyer, the right hand guy for Sheriff Paul Pastore will be with us next Tuesday and he is always an entertaining and informative speaker. Sorry, he will not fix your tickets.

‘Til the anon,

D. Loving

April 15, 2014

One need not be reminded of the import of today. This pap that you receive weekly has consistently avoided health updates or funeral announcements of fellow Gyros. Consistency is not the hobgoblin of little minds but rather “a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.”  That said, I would be remiss not to remind all Gyros of the memorial service for Phil Hayes, Saturday April 2611:00 at the Foss Waterway Seaport Museum.   Phil was not only a 40+ year member of  Gyro, as well as a past president, but actually knew all of the words of the Gyro song “Cheerio, old Friends, Cheerio” The Foss Waterway Seaport Museum was basically Phil’s creation and one might well imagine the primary benefactor and check writer.

24 fellow Gyros, another very interesting speaker and cookies. What more could one ask?  Randy Lindblad introduced Tony Tipton Director of Pierce County Parks and Recreation. Though not amusingly dysfunctional as the TV show, and he isn’t nearly as pretty as Amy Poehler, he said he would spare us some of the occasionally startling comparisons. He shared with us that his is probably the only department where people are actually happy to see you.  Tony followed with the question: “How long is it until the 2015 US Open golf tournament?” There were some desultory murmurs. His answer:  “428 days, 19 hours.” That got a big laugh. The Park Department shares that responsibility with the USGA. The USGA told Tony that the tournament will require 4,500 volunteers and after the formal announcement, it should expect to receive requests from about 500 people within 3 to 4 months. It actually received over the 4,500 requests in THIRTY SIX HOURS! There is now a waiting list of 3,600 to be a volunteer. And…you have to pay to be a volunteer, $165. But there are great perks: free food, extra tickets, transportation to and from the course and special clothing to name but a few. US Open tickets go on sale June 9th and they anticipate attendance to be c.35, 000 per day. As was to be expected, there were lots of questions about transportation, parking, viewing, housing, etc. Since there is no real clubhouse, should we expect to see Tiger and Phil sitting on a car bumper in the parking lot putting on their golf shoes?  Sorta, yep.  But there will be a very extravagant infrastructure of mobile facilities for the players, their entourages, sponsors and spectators. Tony was neither asked about not ventured any predictions about June weather in the GNW. As to the topic of parks in general, in Pierce County, there are parks controlled by: the Federal government, the state, the county, the Metropolitan Park District, various cities and both non-profit and for-profit private parks. With that assemblage of entities, I believe one could safely assume putting together the ’15 US Open is a piece of cake.

Next week, author Roger Cushman Edwards, great grandson of “Old Cush” Cushman who arrived in the Washington Territory in 1852. Some of you older Gyros may remember “Old Cush” who settled in Salmon Beach. Roger started the Salmon Beach Historical Society and is working to make it a state historical district.

‘Til the anon,

D. Loving


Wednesday April 8, 2014

Your occasionally dutiful scribe returns to pen these noteworthy newsletters and must begin by thanking Phil Sloan and others who so eloquently filled in during my absence in search of sun. I did note that when we left Lakewood, it was raining, and upon our return almost 6 weeks later…it was still raining. Exactly how long is a “cubit?” Anyway, I see no large crafts being constructed so one can presume the worst is over.

Gyro bidness! After a certain amount of tooing and froing, and an utter disregard for Gyro by-laws and Roberts Rules of Order, multiple time guest David Cotant, who has been at more meetings than this scribe, was swept into membership on a wave of enthusiasm. Just another example of “self above service.” He may, therefore, receive in the very near future, an official membership packet outlining the perks and benefits of being a Gyro, once we figure out what exactly they may be. All of that “may” happen. But what “will” happen, is a love note from Rick Carr asking for membership dues. Your ever diligent Board of Directors, after much smoke filled back room shenanigans, has created a slate of officers for the coming term of office, which traditionally has been just shy of Papa Doc Duvalier’s President for Life term. Being ever mindful of long established and equally long ignored procedures, said Board is vowing “transparency” (God, what an overworked term, equaled only by “physicality”- which much to my dismay is not like “irregardless” but is actually a word.) Therefore, the proposed slate is as follows: Pres.- Roy Kimbel, VP/Program Chair- Dave Sheean, Sec.- Dick Bowe, Tres.-Rick Carr Madoff. Committee chairs are open and along with positions for new directors; volunteers welcome. If said postions are capably filled the work of press gangs will be avoided. Should one be wafted away with enthusiasm, please call Roy Kimbel at 253-572-2073. If the lines are swamped, keep trying. As to the above duly noted officer slate, at the convening of lunch on April 22, there will be a vote by those in attendance to railroad the aforementioned slate into officialdom.

Another great crowd Tuesday, as is now the norm; 27 “usuns.” Dr. Ralph Johnson introduced son Tague who told us all about the amazing world of Arabian horses. The horse world is bigger than one might have thought with more than 7 million horses in this country with 2 million owners. Arabians is the breed stock where all horses have evolved and Arabians have been traced back over 4,500 years. The breed as not as large as the Thoroughbreds that we see at the Kentucky Derby. Though smaller they have much greater endurance. The price of an Arabian varies significantly, and goes from mere thousands to seven figures. The cost of maintaining such an animal may be equally dear, and thus it is obvious that one is not horsing around when investing in a pure bred Arabian. So if you have sworn off boats as a way to spend money, giddy-up.

Next week’s speaker will be Tony Tipton from the Parks Department. Unfortunately, Amy Poehler will not be present.

‘Til the anon, again,
D. Loving
PS. MARK YOUR CALENDAR!!. The always moving Officer Installation ceremony will be May 22 at the Tacoma Country and Golf Club.

21 Gyros- one returning guest, Dave Cotant who soon will no longer be a guest.
Our own Bill Jackson, retired radiologist and historian of Tacoma’s medical profession, promised us a surprise speaker-and he came through-the surprise speaker was Bill Jackson! A year or so ago, Bill gave us the history of Tacoma becoming the birthplace of prepaid medical plans in the United States and Tacoma General Hospital being founded in 1882 as the Fannie Paddock Memorial Hospital in what was once a house of ill repute in Old Town. Today, he fascinated us with photos and the story of the remarkably rapid evolution of Radiology from the primitive invention of x-ray tubes in 1895 in Germany by Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen, for which he was awarded the first Nobel Prize in Physics. The chronology of the talk covered the early application of x-ray in medicine in Tacoma to the application of computers in medicine in the 1970’s. He will return for a command performance at a later time to bring us up to date on modern imaging post 1970.
Tacoma General installed an “Electrical Room” in early 1897 less than two years after it’s invention in Germany. The early equipment would not win a prize for modern Apple styling, being instead large, dark, functional, and intimidating. Despite their size these early these early machines did not produce high intensity radiation. An article from the Tacoma Ledger, Jan. 1, 1897, told of attempted x-rays of a man’s neck of up to 10 minutes in duration that were unsuccessful. X-ray therapy in the early 20th century consisted of truck sized radiation therapy machines and radioactive radium needles. Radiation doses were high to the doctors and the patients before it’s damaging effects were known. Early Radiologists and Dentists lost their fingers from the destructive high doses and leukemia rates were 20 times higher than the general population. The development of fluoroscopy, studies of the bowel, gall bladder, urinary tract, spine, arteries, veins and brain using different types of contrast agent were presented. With the attention spans waning and appetites rising the talk was brought to a timely conclusion with presentation of the first CT scan in Tacoma heralding the dawn of the use of computers in medicine. (Scribe’s note- The above summary is the product of Bill Jackson’s editing of the draft submitted to him for approval. He deleted the scribe’s references to the excessive costs of medical care
and the scribe in turn deleted his editorial on the evils of Obamacare.)
  • 11:00 a.m. Board Meeting and wine tasting in the Bar.
  • 12:00 Noon. Our Speaker will be Tague Johnson, son of Ralph Johnson, on the history of ARABIAN horses, not Thoroughbreds as erroneously reported last week. To compound the scribe’s faux pas, Ralph announced that his pony balked when told that 17 Gyros signed up for the free rides in the parking lot after the meeting, so instead, we will have stick pony races.
4/15: Tony Tipton- Director of Pierce County Parks and Recreation Services. (Thanks to Randy Lindblad).
4/22: Roger Edwards- on the History of Salmon Beach (Thanks to Dave “Sheehawn”).
One fine evening in May (Date TBA) Installation of Officers and Year End Gala at TCC- Gyrettes invited.



Depending on who was counting, 28 GYROS and 3 Guests: Dr. David Cotant (for 3rd time), Dean Minor (guest of Dick Bowe and Bill Jackson) and Michael Mayer, son of Harold- visiting from somewhere up north. A great turnout in spite of the weather forecast; showers with a chance of cookies.

Accolades to Nick Malden for winning Joke Master of the Day!

Our speaker, Bill Johnstone, now retired after more than 30 years of being a leader in the union movement in Puget Sound. He was brought to us by Bill Jackson, who must not be his friend, because asking a labor leader to address our group of GYROs is about as fair as asking a vegan activist to address a butchers’ convention.

Mr. Johnstone gave us a fast paced review of the history of labor unions which began more than 2,000 years ago. Our earliest settlers formed the foundry workers guild in Jamestown, Virginia in 1610. Over the years, Unions have fallen in and out of favor with our government, but from its inception, Pierce County has always been a union town. The Printers’ Union was the first, formed in 1883 and two railroad unions soon followed. As the population grew from 17,000 in 1897 to 36,000 in 1890, the unions grew more powerful. City workers were unionized in 1890. The fastest growth of unions was during WWll and, at its end; Pierce County was the most heavily unionized county west of the Mississippi. 35% of private sector workers were unionized. Since then, union membership in the private sector has declined, dropping to 26% in 1973 and today, that number is only 6%; 12% total counting the public sector.  Mr. Johnstone opined that today unions are in trouble, in part because they are no longer collaborative with management.


April 1: Bill Jackson will present a SURPRISE SPEAKER !!!

April 8: Tague Johnson, son of Ralph Johnson, International Authority on Thoroughbred Horses. Ralph is so excited that he is bringing his pony and will offer free rides in the parking lot after the meeting.

The First Meeting after the Summer Break: Admiral Dietrich Kuhlman, the
Commander of all Navy Submarines brought to us by Rich Wall.



16 GYROS, 2 Gyrettes (Barbara Neeb and Mary Lou Sommer) and 2 Guests:  Dr. David Cotant for the second time (with a better joke, thanks to the coaching of John McGowen) and  Roger Edwards, (who was introduced as “Ralph Edwards” by Dave “She-Hahn”).  Roger will be speaking to us in the near future on the history of Salmon Beach. The low attendance was the result of it being the day after St. Patrick’s Day and it was STILL raining.  Our wise snow birds apparently have deferred returning until the rain stops sometime in July. 

Our speaker was Christine Hall, the Senior Director of Marketing &Public Relations,  at Franke Tobey Jones, whose talk was supplemented by Martin Neeb (with Barbara nodding her head in agreement and later shaking her head  when Martin told the worst joke of the day.  She was overheard muttering something about still not being able to train him after 50 + years of marriage.) She presented Tobey Jones in a whole new light. It is much more than the elite retirement home this scribe had always assumed it was. A non-profit 501(c) 3 corporation, it provides a wide variety of services for the public, including its Senior University offering a Lifelong Learning Curriculum taught by professors from local universities and experts in many areas of interest, a Senior Family Wellness Center, a gourmet restaurant, Summer Concerts on the Lawn on Thursday evenings in August. Two of our single GYROS were seen shining their shoes on the backs of their pant legs in eager anticipation of the Senior Prom coming up on June 28 from 6-9 PM.  One said the ratio of Chicks to Guys will be highly favorable and, if he doesn’t get lucky, he will be able drive himself home before it is dark.

The   August 7 concert by the Puget Brass, a traditional British Brass Band could be a good companion for GYRO Tom Murray’s party on his train in August which will feature a band of seemingly dozens of Banjos.  (Details to follow).  GYROs don’t formally meet in August, however   it has been  proposed that  we  collectively attend  both the Brass Band Concert  and  Tom’s  Banjo Band Party  so  we can tout ourselves  as   a cultural society  and not merely a bunch of guys interested in “Self above Service.” 

                                                UPCOMING PROGRAMS:

March 25:   Bill Johnstone, on the history of the labor movement in this area. This topic is relevant and timely because of the recent issues with the Boeing Machinists Union. (Thanks Bill Jackson).

April 1:  No speaker yet scheduled. Get your name in print:  Nominate a speaker and notify Dave Sheehan- 253-381-1000.

April 8:  Tague Johnson, son of Ralph Johnson, International authority on Thoroughbred Horses. 


 March 11, 2014

18 GYROS present and one guest, recently retired Dr. David Cotant.   Based on the bad joke he told, he is qualified to become a GYRO.

The weather was the first sunny and  dry day in recent  memory, hopefully  a portent of the annual return  of our snowbirds, not to San Juan Capistrano, but to  GYRO lunches on Tuesdays with Jim Gallinatti.

Our speaker was Dr. Bill Baarsma, retired UPS Professor and former Mayor of Tacoma, of which there have been 44, (depending on when the count begins.)  Professor-Mayor Baarsma  gave us a fast paced and amusing Yin and Yang review of Tacoma’s  notable and scandalous mayors, including Mayor Weisbach who led the expulsion of the Chinese in 1885. The first Mayor of Tacoma City was Brigadier General John Sprague, who in 1873, was instrumental in Tacoma, not Seattle, becoming the terminus of the Northern Pacific Railroad, a feat which Seattleites resent to this day. Of particular interest was Mayor Angelo Fawcett who ran many times, winning some and losing others, was recalled and then defeated his successor. He served in 4 different decades. Two mayors died in office, including Jack Hyde who served only a few days and for whom Jack Hyde Park on the waterfront is named, confirming the way to have a street or park named after you is to  become the mayor! Bill was just getting warmed up when he ran out of time, but we made him promise to return later.

He made us all proud knowing that Tacoma’s heritage is not bland and smug like that of our neighbors to the north.

Next Meeting: March 18, 2014     GYRETTES INVITED ! 

Our speaker will be Christine Hall, Franke Tobey Jones Senior Director of Marketing and Public Relations.  Her topic will include the history of Tobey Jones  and the advantages of such places for Gyros and Gyrettes. She will be introduced by our leader, Martin  Neeb who enthusiastically resides at Tobey Jones with his wife Barbara.  This timely topic is of relevance for all of us,  so Gyrettes, please join us.


February 25, 2014

Well, can’t give you a big YUP for attendance from last week. I think the snowbird population has finally gone astray…well, maybe not in their minds. Hope the warm weather is worth missing Gyro social time…ha, ha. We had 18 enthusiastic members who heard (and asked many pertinent questions) of our speaker Ken Gibson, Executive Director, TACID (Tacoma Area Coalition of Individuals with Disabilities). And, I am sure that our other 62 members were there in spirit while playing golf, tennis and basking in the sun (yah, right).

Before I share with you the thoughts of our insightful speaker Ken, there are two important announcements you need to see:

  1. The Executive Committee will meet at 11 a.m., Tuesday, March 4 to discuss officers and Trustees for 2014-15. Our by-laws provide very little direction for this process. We have basically been winging it over the years. Well, that has worked so maybe we want to continue with that. Anyway, we need to discuss that and where we will hold our installation in May. I believe someone was also contacting our District Governor (or his disciple) for availability which would be helpful to know for this meeting.
  2. We have no speaker for March 4. However, do not let that deter our social time. PLEASE BRING YOU BEST JOKES AND WE WILL HAVE A “MARATHON JOKE DAY”. BEST WE LEAVE OUR FEMALE FRIENDS HOME.

Now, the meeting recap: Ken Gibson, Executive Director, of TACID shared how TACID supports people with all disabilities either through support groups at TACID or referral to other community agencies.  TACID was founded in the early 80’s (GYRO brother Dick Bowe was a founding Board member) by a coalition of private citizens and the City of Tacoma to join 4 disability groups together…blind, hearing, mental health and physical disabilities…to provide greater service to this group of people. Studies were showing that when people had one disability, many times others disabilities surfaced. As it still does today, it brought peers together to provide support for one another. TACID serves nearly 4,000 Pierce County people and, last year, recorded over 12,000 hours of volunteer time to support their efforts. 38% of the population over 65 has a disability of one kind or another that requires medical or social support. TACID is located on the TCC campus. Funding comes from City of Tacoma, City of Lakewood, Foundation grants and community contributions.

PLEASE REMEMBER: March 4 is “Marathon Joke Day”. Bring some jokes. Don’t rely on someone else to do it or it will be a pretty boring meeting. Also, EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEETS AT 11 a.m. in the bar.

Your (as Phil Sloan calls it) “scrivener” for a day in D. Loving’s absence,

Roy Kimbel

February 18, 2014

Yup, you guessed it. Another great crowd of Gyros at lunch, about 29. “About” means that I didn’t actually count noses, not that there were actually portions of Gyros in attendance. But I can say there were no cookies left as we adjourned. There were no guests. We are delighted to announce that Jack Butson and Bob LeLand are officially Gyros and thus entitled to all of the many benefits thereof…once we figure out what those benefits actually are other than the ability to have lunch on Tuesdays with friends, hear entertaining speakers and send Rick Carr money. As the saying goes, we don’t do good works, we don’t sell light bulbs to raise money for worthy charities, we just have lunch; “self above service.”

Speaking of good speakers, so to speak, yet another; Noel Shillotto, bankruptcy attorney. In addition to the ominous “bankruptcy”, he also freely admits to have known Phil Sloan for a long time. One might speculate whether there may or may not be a correlation between “bankruptcy attorney” and “Phil Sloan.” We do know that Phil does have his police scanner on at all times so as to not miss a good car wreck. Noel’s opening comment is that bankruptcy discussions are often initially shrouded with lots of explanatory discussions but quickly disintegrate to the core issue; it is “always about the money.” The worst client to walk in the door is the stylishly dressed female realtor, driving a Cadillac Escalade, who hasn’t closed a sale in over 6 months with a Titanium credit card and $250,000 in debt. But one might suspect a conundrum. How does one take on a client who is broke…and yet get paid? The answer- three simple rules to abide by: 1. Get your money up front. 2. Get your money up front. 3. Get your money up front. One of Noel’s clients in addressing said issue asked him if he accepts cash. And to paraphrase that great American linguist Yogi Bera, “cash is as good as money.” Noel over the course of his career has had over 5,000 cases. As often as not the initial discussions (one can certainly speculate the hourly meter would be running) involve him playing the part of Dr. Phil and sympathizing with the trials of outrageous misfortune. In this country, there are about one million bankruptcies a year with the vast proportion being Chapter Seven which means the liquidation of assets to settle debt. One of the first questions asked is that there is a perception that bankruptcy proceedings will not acquire one’s primary dwelling. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. Bankruptcy does not have the life altering stigma it used to have. After 10 years, bankruptcy is removed from any credit rating. But, by the same token, having that on one’s credit report most certainly raises red flags and reduces a credit score by about 200 points. But at the same time, it will not eliminate the immediate flood of unsolicited offerings of new credit cards. But there is one serious stigma on a credit rating and that is a home foreclosure. The concept that one will do most anything before loosing a home is the rationale involved. Even a short sale is an acceptable solution rather than a foreclosure. The questions kept coming, but if you weren’t there to hear them, all that can be said is that once again, you missed out!

Next week, Ken Gibson, Executive Director, Tacoma Area Coalition of Individuals with Disabilities will be our speaker. A great offering and a great operation with fellow Gyro Dick Bowe as one of the original founders and long term board member.

‘til the anon, and in advance, thanking the more than capable scribe subs during my warm clime absence,

D. Loving

Tuesday February 11, 2014

Whadda ya mean, our intended speaker was a “no show”! No problem. With little advanced notice, fellow Gyro Col (Ret.) Rich Wall most ably filled-in not only with a mesmerizing presentation, but ‘twas accompanied by a power point presentation. It just shows to go you (a wonderful Spoonerism) that we Gyros are: a.) quick on our feet, b.) have interesting tales to tell or know of friends with interesting tales to tell. Anyway, 23 of us for lunch, your occasionally dutiful scribe (and a sincere “Thank you to bro Phil Sloan who more than ably subbed for me as I inhabited in a “cozy” drift boat in 36 degree weather searching for Steelhead) introduced guest Kent McCulloch.

Rich’s presentation was called “US Secret War in South East Asia, 1964-1972. Wow. I probably couldn’t relay all of the details presented by Rich unless you have a high security clearance. Rich had three separate tours in Viet Nam. During his presentation, you were awaiting the barked order: “mister, drop and give me 50”, or as the case may be,” I will drop and give you 50.” Rich was involved in classified operations in Cambodia, Laos and North Viet Nam. The organization that conducted the covert war was known as SOG (Studies and Observation Group). There were air, land, sea, psychological, and agent sections. Rich was directly involved in the ground and air operations. He was part of a unit that inserted five man recon teams deep behind enemy lines along the Ho Chi Minh trail. These teams were usually made up on two US Special Forces and three Montagnard scouts. Missions included wire tapes, road watch, interdiction, bomb damage assessment. Other related activities were psychological operations, counterfeiting and ammunition contamination. This unit was relatively small,500 to 600 personnel made of mostly of some of the best NCO in our armed forces. This unit drove the NVA to the point where they had to dedicate the equivalent of 3 divisions (25000 men) to secure their base areas and counter the recon team efforts. These NCO’s with thru their sacrifices were awarded 11 Congressional Medals of Honor, over a roughly ten year period. Now you understand why one should never miss Tuesdays with Gyro!

Next week, we have another speaker from a group that I choose to label as “Individuals Who You Hope Don’t Recognize You and Call You by Name.” This group has most recently included an ex-sheriff, a prison warden, a member of the Pierce County Prosecutor’s Office and next week, and a bankruptcy attorney. Noel Shilto will share interesting case experiences which we trust will not be using your name.

So,’til the anon,

D. Loving



Super Bowl 2014 plus 2 days

Today’s headline in The News Tribune read: “Work of 12th Man wears out commuters; Monday subdued.” Perhaps the 19 GYROS (sans guests) were prolonging the euphoria because the loyal band who gathered this day was still subdued. The most probable explanation is that they were dreaming of joining our missing snowbirds in warmer climes to squander their winnings from their bets on the point spread.

Our Speaker, Andy Phillips, is known to several in the audience. Several claimed to know him from having been beaten by him on the tennis court, but a couple (who will remain nameless) admitted to having met him in at least one of his professional capacities. Our fearless leader, Dr. Neeb, told us that he lost to him at least 11 of the 12 times they played tennis.

Dr. Phillips has more degrees and has had more jobs in leadership positions than your subdued substitute scribe could keep track of. He holds at least two doctorates and has been the head of Western State Hospital and other similar institutions all around the country. Today, he is the head of the Health Systems Administration for the Washington Department of Corrections. (Now, fellow Gyros, you may speculate as to when and where our Gyro brothers met him. The winner can claim an extra cookie at the next meeting.)

Today’s informative talk focused on an overview of the Washington Prison System. Today, Washington has 17,000 incarcerated prisoners and another 1,000 in work release programs, up from 6,000 30 years ago. That population is the 42nd largest in the nation and in part is attributable to the governmental policies of getting tough on crime. Because of rising costs and an aging population, that policy is being questioned. Our prisons are at 102% of capacity. All able prisoners are expected to get at least a GED and must be attending classes or working. College level classes are available under a program of the State Junior College adult education system. Special emphasis is being given to veterans. In  Aberdeen there is a specific unit which provides programs for veterans. There are programs for those with developmental disabilities, senior citizens, a nursing home and for those with drug addictions. A goal is to cut down on recidivism. The rate is 28% within 3 years of release.

When asked why the State provides such medical care as heart surgery, joint replacement, etc., Dr. Phillips offered this poignant answer: “In medicine, a patient is a patient”. We hope he will return to address us again. At a later date, a colleague of his will address us on the inner workings of Western State Hospital.


2/11:  Bill Johnston: a labor leader who will speak on the labor movement in Pierce County, past, present and future.

2/18: Noel Shillito: Bankruptcy Lawyer with war stories from 40 years of practice. (10% discounts for GYROs.) There will be a Board Meeting prior to the meeting. (Presumptively not to negotiate a group discount).

2/25: Rich Wall, a new GYRO: The Secret War in Southeast Asia from 1960 to 1975. He had 3 tours of duty in Viet Nam. This promises to be a riveting presentation.

A Memorial Service for Phil Hayes will be held in March. Details will be provided later.

SECOND NOTICE: membership applications of Jack Butson and Bob Lalande.


Tuesday January 28, 2014

‘I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice Chianti.” For those few who never saw the movie “The Silence of the Lambs” that is the famous line uttered by the psychopath Hannibal Lecter. Well, more about mental health, or the lack thereof, and Gyros in the third half of the newsletter. Gyro “bidness”; 24 lunchers and munchers, no guests, and Mssrs: Jack Butson and Bob LaLande seemingly have made a leap of faith and want to become Gyros. Therefore, said banns are now posted for Jack and Bob. And by the way, if your calendar is starting to fill up, the Gyro Christmas Party is December 9th.

They just keep coming. Another wonderful speaker; Michelle Neeb, daughter-in-law of the President (of Gyro.) Michelle works for the Pierce County Prosecutor’s Office as a child interviewer. Michelle is quite charming and started her presentation by admitting she was nervous and unaccustomed to public speaking as she normally only speaks to children and only on a one on one basis. A wag in the audience piped up with the quip of the day: “that’s OK, we can’t hear you anyway.” That got a big laugh, by those who heard it. Michelle explained that in college she had majors in anticipation of being an FBI profiler (can we say Agent Clarisse Starling…again the “Silence of the Lambs”?) But, that required first actually becoming a gun toting FBI agent. So she went to work for the Pierce County Prosecutor and morphed into her current position; which by the way, there is no formal educational training. It is the combination of personality, rapport and on the job experience. A bit of explanation. That position interviews a child, between the ages of 4-16, just once. And as often as not, due to attention span or emotional distress, possibly for only 20 to 30 minutes. The position is not that of a social worker, therapist or CSI crime solver. The kids she interviews may have been a victim or seen a crime committed and it is her responsibility in that brief period of time, supported by police and others on the other side of a two way mirror, to recommend how to proceed. There are no male interviewers, Pierce County has three, yet King County has only one. The average on the job training is at least a year and one half before an interviewer is capable of conducting a solo interview. The hard question to ask and to be answered is how one maintains a sense of empathy with such a revolving door of tragedy. The answer is balance; a sense of compassion, “it’s the job” and jadedness. Michelle was delightful in answering lots of questions with candor and we would welcome a return engagement.

Next week, yet another in a long line of speakers not to be missed (which, unfortunately, I will.) Andy Phillips was the former Superintendent of Western State Hospital. It is most tempting to make cheap jokes about the correlation between inmates and Gyro members, but good taste prevails. The following week we will hear from Bill Johnstone who is a Washington State labor consultant. On February 25th, Rich Wall will talk to us about SEAL Team 6 (cammo face paint not required!) So you can see, you better always just block out noon on Tuesday for “Tuesdays with Gyro.”

‘Til the anon,

D. Loving


Tuesday January 21, 2014

If you weren’t at Gyro yesterday you must have been in Davos, Switzerland for the annual World Economic Forum. It’s understandable. Both offer camaraderie and good speakers; but what about cookies? But consider this. On one hand, to go to Davos you have to fool with the problems associated with international travel and getting your G-5 ready. On another hand, membership is a touch more expensive; $55,000 annually for Davos, $160 for Gyro, assuming Rick Carr is not behind on his car payments. On yet another hand, the Davos meetings last days, while Gyro is but minutes. So, if you have nothing to do next Tuesday, and understandably having nothing to do may be disconcerting as it is difficult to know when you are through, you might as well come to Gyro. We had another great crowd, 29; no guests; a good speaker. New members: Young, Judy and Hosea had welcoming packets which included classified information about the secret password, secret grip and other such stuff I really can’t put in writing!

Speaker Chairman, par excellence, was supposedly ill (Davos, anyone?) so Pres. Neeb introduced yet another in a long line of interesting speakers; Mitch Barker, Executive Director of the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs. None of the Gyros seemed the least bit edgy so we are assuming none are in the Witness Protection Program. His association works quite well coordinating the activities of local sheriffs, city police chiefs, tribal police and military police. Traditionally there is friction, especially between sheriffs, who are elected (and reelected and reelected) and city chiefs who are appointed by city government with often short tenure. This is especially true with sheriffs in the South. Does such a statement conjure images of Bull Conner? Yikes! The association does nothing in the way of fund raising and works primarily on policy issues. An example. Recently a driver was arrested for DUI- his 16th. Yet, in Washington, the 5th DUI is considered a felony which mandates a 10 year sentence. So how 16? No real answer. 1/3rd of the people now incarcerated are actually suffering some degree of mental illness. As budgets for mental health are cut, support is cut and individuals with mental health problems are dumped on the penal system. There is a 50% reduction in the availability of qualified candidates for law enforcement positions. Most of those candidates are college educated, but fail background testing which is generational. On a typical application there are questions such as: “have you ever downloaded music to your ipod”, “have you ever smoked marijuana” (duh, college students??) If honestly answered “yes”, they would be disqualified. Younger people do not view these issues in the manner of currently existing standards. The issue of legalized weed was naturally raised. There was no way a topic with such emotional baggage could be addressed other than 175 metric tons of weed is consumed every year in Washington. Just imagine the tons of Twinkies, Doritos and chocolate anything consumed at the same time.

Next week another not to be missed, and I’m not telling you again, speaker. Michelle Neeb, (name sound familiar?) daughter-in-law of our Pres. is a child interviewer for the Pierce County Prosecutors Office involving cases with children as witnesses or victims. It will be another SRO “Tuesdays with Gyro.”

‘Til the anon,

D. Loving

Ed. note. Re; paragraph one, above. As a suggestion, I would not put much faith in someone who has 3 hands, especially if you have a granddaughter.


Tuesday January 14, 2014

Your occasionally dutiful scribe sits before his laptop with the index finger on each hand poised to share yet another “Tuesdays with Gyro.” But, how can the words of the respected UPS historian Dr. David Smith be appropriately conveyed on this one page of a newsletter; which often is deigned to be pithy yet hopefully never petty? Dr. Smith has delighted us Gyros previously on the topics of WWII and the British monarchy. Today, his topic was anti-Semitism… and the holocaust. Usually, as our speaker begins, there is a jostling for seats, the rattle of silver, the always irritating cell phone ring, and, of course, positioning for the arrival of cookies. But, today was different; cordial, respectful, reserved, anticipatory.

Dave, as he delightfully likes being called, began a brief capsulization of the period 1939 to 1945. As he so stated, understandably, this 13 week course at UPS is extremely difficult to teach. He claims that one of the attributes of his teaching style is that “I am quite funny.” (How terribly British!) He is the college professor we all wish we had. But as he so eloquently stated, how can one be funny about the holocaust? One of the more startling facts that he presented is that not one of the infamous death camps such as Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen were in Germany. They were all in occupied countries such as Poland, the Ukraine, etc. Though just as notorious, the concentration camps were designed to house not necessarily to kill, and were all located in Germany. Though the Jews were the primary focus of extermination, they were not the only victims. Those with mental or physical handicaps, homosexuals, 7th Day Adventists are but a few. A special vehemence was directed toward the Roma’s, or Gypsies. In one night alone, 23,000 Gypsies were killed. The question always arises as to how such atrocities were enabled. Two of the major responses are that within each occupied country, there was collaboration, whether from fear or prejudice. Just as damning is the complicity of the major corporations in Germany from Krupp to Bayer who utilized the benefits of the massive supply of slave labor. Another factor is that people became brutalized to what was happening. In many, if not most cases, the brutalizers were not even Nazis.

After a sobering positioning, Dave Smith answered as many questions as time would allow. “Was Pius XII, Hitler’s pope?” In all probability, and for many reasons, in reality, “no.” But on one day in 1944, 5,000 Italian Jews were rounded –up and sent to the camps; 16 returned after the war. “What is the attitude today in Germany about the holocaust?” Modern Germany takes 100% ownership and acknowledges German responsibility for the holocaust. There are no deniers as elsewhere. They continually try to redeem themselves as to what happened during the war. “Are the numbers often quoted correct?” Basically, “yes.” The Germans were meticulous as evidenced by the tattooed number on each individual. Yet, to me, and maybe to you, there remains a stigma that cannot, or has not, been erased with time. Deep in the recesses of an admittedly one bubble off mind, I cringe with the VW commercial that proclaims the virtues of “German engineering.” Undoubtedly, that is weird, and irrational. But the trains that then ran on time ran on time to Auschwitz.

But, enough. We had another big crowd; 29 plus our speaker. We had a guest. Bob Ketner introduced Jack Butson for his second visit. Next week, another speaker not to be missed; Mitch Barker, Exec. Dir. WA. Assoc. of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs.

‘Til the Anon,

D. Loving


Tuesday, January 7, 2014

It seems as if we all take directions and play well with others. No one showed up for Gyro the Tuesday after Christmas, but lots did this Tuesday; 26 to be exact, which is especially rewarding as the lemming-like snowbirds are now leaving, assuming they haven’t already done so. And…the guests just keep coming. Dave Sheean, who has done an all-world job both on procuring speakers and introducing Gyro to prospective new members, did so again. He introduced Bob Lalande who…WAIT… WAIT…stop the presses! Bob actually admits to NOT having gone to grade school, or high school, or reform school, or college with Dave. We didn’t hold that against him, and welcomed him anyway. An idea which has gained great favor is for prospective new members to give us a very quick bio on who they are, what they have done, assuming they are not still in the ranks of the gainfully employed, et. al. Since we did not do that in the past, Pres. Neeb asked that the new member of the “pledge class’ of ’13 currently in attendance, to please do so. Gyros Tom Hosea, Darrel Fisk, Bill Young, and Rich Wall, none of whom seemed to be Whitey Bolger like, did so.

Gyro is extremely fortunate to continue to have the quality and variety of speakers for us to enjoy every Tuesday. Tom Murray introduced Brian Wise who is the Executive Director of the Mount Rainier Scenic Railroad and Museum. The organization has 9 old time steam (I guess that is a redundancy) engines in their collection and an additional one on loan. Six of the steam engines are operable. It takes about 10 years to actually restore one of those old treasures to actually be operational. For those of us not conversant with the history of logging in the GNW, these steam engines were designed solely for the purpose of hauling logs to the mills and never would go over 20 to 25 miles per hour. A unique opportunity for a future Gyro field trip or one for your family enjoyment is to take the trip on the steam train from Elbe (no, not the one made famous by Napoleon) to Mineral which is a 40 minute ride, enjoy the museum, and the 40 minute ride back. Thanks Tom for sharing this unfortunately, too well kept secret.

Next week, yet another great speaker; Dr. David Smith, noted historian at UPS. Dr. Smith has been with us twice before talking with us about WWII and the monarchy. This time he will talk to us about anti-Semitism, the Holocaust and how students of this age react to those events. Dr. Smith is always a delightful guest, even expressing a desire to be a Gyro if he wasn’t still teaching. Dr. Smith is terribly English and I keep watching for him in a small speaking part on Downton Abby. Best be there, on time, and in your seat as roll may be taken.

The following week, Mitch Barker, Executive Director of the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs will be our speaker. So if you are Whitey Bolger like, that might be the day to take a pass on the cookies.

So, ‘til the anon,

D. Loving

December 17 , 2013

I don’t know which is more disappointing for you; the fact that you didn’t win the Mega Million $636 lottery and I did (not a bad return on my investment of a dollar) or that there will be no formal Gyro luncheon next Tuesday. But, we are on the Gallinatti Program which maintains that one does eat lunch on Tuesdays and the TC&GC bar is open on Tuesday, so there you are. Be happy that I did win the lottery and that you didn’t since if you actually had won, the crazy uncle in the attic would be loose and your bail bondsman would be after you again. Don’t plan on trying the lottery again until it gets to a billion dollars otherwise it just screws up your income tax bracket. And even then, it would only be a billion, and as the late Senior Senator from Illinois Everett Dirkson so eloquently stated: “A billion, here, a billion there, and pretty soon you’re talking real money.”

We had guests today. Ralph Johnson introduced Saundra Raynor and Steve Anderson was introduced by… wait, wait, I know it strains incredulity, DAVE SHEEAN; yet another high school classmate; seemingly, one of the 27, 476. We also welcomed back some long time Gyros: Roger Rue, without a dog in training, and Lee Gingrich. It is always a pleasure to sup with old friends and for those of you who have been AWOL, we look forward to seeing you for cookies in the future. Another great crowd today (29) to hear Lowell Porter, Director of Emergency Management for Pierce County. To say the least, it was an eye opening and most impressive presentation. For example, scientists categorically state that within the next 50 years, there will be a 9.0 on the Richter Scale earthquake on the West Coast. Such an earthquake would be comparable to the one in Japan. Mt. Rainer is actually a living volcano and if it erupted as did Mount. St. Helens, it would have an impact 10 times greater than did Mount St. Helens. The Emergency Management of Pierce County divides its focus into three major disaster areas: natural, technical and man made. There is a system in place under Homeland Security labeled PC Alert which now alerts up to 600,000 people of an incident. Such would have been the case yesterday involving the horrific accident on I-5. But not all participants with the agency are actual employees. For example, there are over 1,700 volunteers such as Search and Rescue Teams that participate. Another innovative program is called “CART” which stands for Child Abduction Response Team which is a greatly enhanced Amber Alert program. At 1:20, Lowell was still answering questions. His was yet another example of why you should plan on spending “Tuesdays with Gyro.”

NEXT GYRO LUNCHEON, JANUARY 7TH; same time, same station. Gyro Tom Murray has arranged an extraordinary speaker from the Mount Rainer Scenic Rail Road organization for our 2014 opening luncheon. If you happen to have an actual and original steam locomotive, lying around, bring it for “Show and Tell.”

So, ‘til the anon, and wishing your family and you a very Merry Christmas and a Healthy, Happy and Prosperous New Year,

D. Loving

December 13, 2013

Brevity is the soul of wit; “half” and “dim” are also often combined with “wit.” I shall use “brevity” to describe the gala Gyro Christmas party. ‘Twas glorious. Beautiful women elegantly dressed, gentlemen, many in Black Tie, dining on steak and lobster, sumptuous wines, dancing ‘til dawn (OK, one can only go so far, maybe 9:30.) What more is there to be said!

Gyro, Tuesday. 23 of us, Lunch. Cookies. Speaker. As has become the norm, we had a guest. Bob Ketner, in absentia, introduced Jack Butson. This was Jack’s second visit and Jack has yet to bolt for the door. Our speaker was Dr. Dayv Lowrie from the Washington Dept. of Fish and Game. Apologies for last week’s newsletter that misspelled, and I must say understandably so, his first name as Davy. But, nae, ‘tis Dayv. I asked “him” (as I wasn’t sure how to pronounce his Dayv) about the unique spelling, and it is a variation of a Scottish name. Dugald Stewart beamed. Anyway, he talked to, us accompanied by moving and still pictures, about the more than 200 species of bottom fish in the Sound. In many cases, the said beasts were named appropriately as associated with what one might expect with the term “bottom fish.” Anyway, he thinks they’re really cool, as was Dayv. Bottom fish are a very important element in the eco-system of the Sound. At 1:25, he was still answering questions. We also learned that Puget Sound has unique qualities. Puget Sound is the second most caffeinated body of water in the world. Now there is something to be proud of! It seems that all of those Starbuck Double Lattes become precious bodily fluids and eventually end up in the Sound. “Precious bodily fluids” is a term coined by Gen. Jack D. Ripper in the classic Peter Sellers movie “Dr. Strangelove: or How I learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb.” Those caffeine tainted precious bodily fluids not only end up in our Sound, but in our fish. The result is that they swim more, eat more and thus require more oxygenated water. We learned that there are also some sexual side effects affecting male salmon as a result of women taking birth control pills, which as with the above mentioned fluids, end up in the Sound. Male salmon develop estrogen related female characteristics which confuses the natural mating patterns. So if there are any Gyrettes still on the pill, one can speculate upon the probability of that, for the sake of the salmon, the next time that randy Gyro comes knocking, avoid the pill and just have a headache.

Next Tuesday, December 17, another Gyro luncheon and a wonderful speaker. So you old time Gyros who believe the Christmas Party is the last luncheon of year, NO! Our speaker will be Lowell Porter, Director of Emergency Management for Pierce County. Those who have heard him maintain his topic has chilling implications. Maybe we need to revisit Dr. Strangelove and the bomb.

So, ‘til the anon,

D. Loving


Tuesday December 3, 2013

There were 4 tables with 8 seats, each of which was taken, which I figure comes pretty close to 32 souls, also 64 soles, to meet, greet and eat Tuesday with Gyro. As is now to be expected and the norm, we had guests. Bob Ketner introduced Jack Butson who seemingly knew almost every one and John McGowen introduced Dave Nielson, which was kinda confusing since Dave is a member. Dave doesn’t come much so we offered him cookies as an enticement to come back.

There was a high level of enthusiasm to hear Mike Veseth talk to us about wine and there were even plans afoot to have some tasting of various bottles of the wondrous grape. Though probably not too many true oenophiles nestled in our bunch, there are a significant number who make wine buying determinations other than the price on the box. But alas, all is not well that ends well. It seems that Mr. Veseth, in knowing more about we mortal Gyros, discovered last week that he was going to have a headache this week. He was a “No Show.” It was however, recommended that we do buy his book entitled…oops, I must have had a headache and forgot to write down the title. Pshaw. Pshaw.

But undaunted! We did what we often do before the arrival of cookies. We told jokes, many of which, well actually possibly a few, maybe one or two, could be told at your Gyrette’s next DAR meeting. We did get Phil Sloan to retell the snarky comment by what he calls his friend, believe it or not once you hear her comment. There is a movie at the Grand Cinema entitled “Nebraska” starring Bruce Dern. Dern plays the part of an aging drunk with diminishing mental faculties. He receives a Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes type of junk mail and thinks he has won a million dollars. He insists on going back to Nebraska to collect his prize. His son is understandably unsuccessful in dissuading him but concedes that he must accompany his dad to insure his safety. In one scene, they go into a room with a bunch of old men in various states of decline. Phil’s “friend” leans over and whispers “they must be Gyros.” I must tell you, I for one was most certainly not the least bit amused! J

Next week we will have a speaker; so there. Davy C. Lowry of the Washington Department of Fish and Game will talk to us, OK steady now, about…fish. His area of expertise is what is swimming around in the sound. They are now using ROVs, Remotely Controlled Vehicles, to gather information. Maybe not up to snuff with Jeff Bezos and Amazon’s new drones, but still pretty cool.

So, ‘til the anon,

D. Loving

Oops, again. I forgot that we did have wine bottles on the tables last Tuesday, and there was actual wine in them. They did unscrew rather than uncork, but nary a drop was wasted.

Tuesday November 26, 2013

It is the best of times, it is the worst of times (I thought this might be a novel, pun intended, way to start a long narrative) for the women at the women’s prison in Purdy. There is much more to tell so this may well be a new indoor record for the longest Gyro newsletter. So if you have something do to that is important, have at it. More about the gals in the third half of this tome.

First, hard core Gyro stuff. Your Board of Directors has really gotten its act together. We used to use the “Yup, OK by me” method. But no more. Therefore, the following individuals have officially signed the pledge and want to become Gyros; all of which means that should you have any reservations, they should be made known to Dug Stewart, Club secretary, by December 10th. Those individuals are: Bill Young, John Judy and Tom Hosea. Art Hutloff should have also been in that category but since he has been to more meetings than many of us, and since his application may be in “the cloud” whatever that means, we rode roughshod and voted him in. Welcome, finally, Art. We had guests, as is to be expected. Guests are like the proverbial clowns, possibly a bad analogy, at the circus who somehow keep tumbling and coming out of a tiny VW. Bill Jackson introduced Dale Hall and this is Dale’s second visit. Dave Sheean introduced Herb Munson. Your Board is announcing another new and proactive (I abhor “proactive” that overused and abused word!) program; and one which is designed to allow potential new members to introduce themselves as well as tell us a bit about themselves.. To date, many of the new members claim to fame is either they freely admit to knowing Dave Sheean or adamantly claim never to have heard of him. Finally, another great crowd today; 31 for cookies.

Now to the good stuff. Our speaker was Ms. Jane Parnell, warden of the Washington Corrections Center for Women. For those of you unfortunate enough not to have been at lunch, allow me to quickly disavow you of a mental image of Nurse Ratchett and wearing a spiked neck collar and tattoos. She could have easily passed for your next door neighbor, especially if you actually were in prison. Jane (I don’t really feel comfortable calling a warden by her first name) was still answering questions at 1:15. She didn’t even get a cookie. Lots to share. The facility was designed to accommodate 750 prisoners. There are currently 922. They take turns sleeping on the floors. Seemingly, she doesn’t have the ability to turn on the “No Vacancy” sign. 80-90% of the inmates have experienced some sort of abuse. 16 are “lifers” and 40 have sentences that extend long beyond their life span. The oldest is an 84 year old grandmother. It seems her husband was sexually abusing his granddaughter. She played Ma Barker and blew his brains out. I, for one, applaud her decision making. The average stay is less than four years. There are three separate sections of the prison which house felons according to the nature of their crime and possibility for future violence of which about 10% fit into that category. That violence question was raised. The women’s prison is very different on that score than the men’s where violence usually is race and/or gang related. The women’s problems are modest and usually interpersonal; “you didn’t speak to me today,” etc, etc. Quoting Jane; “It’s like 9oo teenage girls, all with their periods.” There are a great many opportunities for training and education. One of them is the training of service dogs, of which our own Roger Rue has first hand experience. There are so many programs that they need the expertise of over 700 volunteers, some of whom regularly commute from Seattle. The women in these programs are paid $.42 an hour and there are numerous deductions to be anticipated. That rate hasn’t been changed in almost 30 years. When the women are released, they are given $40… yup, $40. Another interesting question was the rate of recidivism. Men’s and women’s are about the same; 33%. Jane feels, at least for women, the primary cause is financial. Even with training and educational accomplishments earned while in prison, the problem is money, or more accurately, the lack thereof. I think it is safe to say that putting “convicted felon” on one’s CV is very possibly a significant deterrent to employment. Drugs are a problem in prison, just as they outside of prison. Jane’s perception is that drugs for men are recreational. Drugs for women are self medicating due to a history of abuse. Needless to say, the subject of conjugal visits was raised. Again, significantly different for men and women. For men, there are wives and girlfriends. For women, those relationships rarely exist. But conjugal visits exist but they usually involve family, primarily children. But the always thoughtful Gyros, putting service occasionally above self, offered themselves for an assortment of positions, so to speak. Escapes? One in seven years. One trustee did escape, but was so distraught, that she just sat down and cried, borrowed a phone, and called the prison to come get her. But, the signs still exist on Rt. 16 near Purdy to not pick up hitchhikers. Probably, a good policy. Jane would still be answering questions if we didn’t give her an excuse to leave. So if you weren’t there, see what you missed.

On that note, next Tuesday another speaker not to be missed, of course. Professor Mike Veseth from UPS will talk about wine and the “Wine Wars.” In addition, there is the possibility that we may have some grape to blind taste test and other neat stuff. So cleanse your pallet and be there on time. And in the meantime, I hope you had a Happy Thanksgiving.

‘Til the anon,

D. Loving

Wednesday November 20, 2013

OK, I may be changing my mind that is about being a tinfoil hat wearing conspiracy theorist. There really may be a secret cabal or intended coup by people, some of whom actually admit attending school(s) with Dave Sheean. This is not totally without a possibility since it is probable that a better part of a decade may have passed for said matriculation, thus affording many years of acquiring more friends. Also, there could be something in the drinking water, or as previously deftly and casually so mentioned, some sort of ray beam that may in fact require all of us to wear tinfoil hats for protection. Anyway, be alert. They… may… be… watching.  All of the above refers to the following seemingly willing to sign the pledge (certainly not for temperance after all, we are Gyros) to officially join our merry band of suppers on Tuesdays: Art Hutloff, Bill Young, John Judy and Tom Hosea. In addition of these good fellows, we had a slew of guests Tuesday including Charlie Hyde, Bob Smith and Rob Wekell, again some of whom also freely admitted to knowing Sheean, Dale Hall, guest of Bill Jackson, and Rod Anderson, who was a guest of somebody. So there you go. Act accordingly should you so wish.

The place was a madhouse; just short of a Seahawks game. Extra tables and chairs had to brought in as well as additional chits for lunch choices. Our speaker was the always enjoyable John McGrath, sports columnist for the TNT. To be totally candid, the words “dapper” and “chic” undoubtedly never have, nor will, be in the same sentence with the word “attired.”  In all likelihood, the most apt and diplomatic description of his sartorial splendor would be a reference to an unmade bed. But that said the stories and anecdotes on everything and everyone from player’s tattoos to Dick Butkus guaranteed another luncheon not to have been missed. I trust you remember the TV show “The Odd Couple’ starring Tony Randall as the fastidious Felix Unger and Jack Klugman as the disheveled sportswriter Oscar Madison. It is said art imitates life. “Tis so, and we have the real Oscar Madison, right here in Tacoma, Washington.

This coming Tuesday, yet another speaker not be missed, Ms. Jane Parnell, Superintendent, Washington Corrections Center for Women. I would respectfully ask that you abandon those post-pubescent and sophomoric fantasies of being locked up with smoldering, breathless, oozing, panting ,heaving, searching, glistening, wanting beautiful women, as I clearly have. It is important that we reward our speakers with attendance that justifies their commitment to speak to Gyro. Listen up, She’s the Superintendent.

A reminder! We are constrained on the number of merry makers we can accommodate at the Christmas party. We are rapidly closing in on that number. So if you are planning to attend, PLEASE let me know ASAP. Thank you.

‘Til the anon,

D. Loving



Thursday, November 14, 2013

Now, I am not a tinfoil hat wearing conspiracy theorist, but I think…well, more later.

The Gyro Christmas Party.
Where? The Tacoma Country and Golf Club
When? December 10th
What time? Bar opens at 6:15. Bring money, no host bar or sign for drinks.
Dinner served? 7:30

Attire? Black tie optional with appropriate dancing shoes. Brown wingtips and white
socks… not appropriate.
Singles and guests? Absolutely. We already have some. The dinner will be just like a
a Tuesdays with Gyro lunch, just better dressed and better food.
How do I sign up? Your check which will hopefully clear by the second time through and is your ONLY reservation confirmation.
What check? The one written payable to GYRO. REPEAT PAYABLE TO GYRO. If
payable to me, I will have a wonderful Christmas with lots of new stuff from the Apple store that I will never be able to operate. Werner Von Braun wouldn’t be able to figure
this stuff out! They come with no directions!
How much? Single-$75, $150 per couple. Due to some major sucking up and unseemly weeping, we not only have maintained the same price as the last four years but have added munchies during the cocktail hour!

What do we/I want to eat? On the “memo” area of the check, INDICATE YOUR MEAL CHOICE/S eg. steak, fish or veggie.
Whom do I MAIL the check to? David Loving, 11214 Greystone Dr Sw. Lkwd, 98499 Dancing? But of course. Practice your Arthur Murray moves.
How urgent? Now. We will be space constrained to c. 60 attendees.

Aren’t you curious about all of these guests and new members; some of whom actually claim not to have gone to school with Dave Sheean. Hummm. Is something afoot? I wonder. Do they know how much fun we have, good parties, stringent rules like either being at lunch, or then again, not being at lunch? Very tough, indeed. This week we again had guests. Herm Sommers introduced son John, John McGowen introduced Gyro poobahs from the Seattle club, Fred Foster and past District IV pres Bob Westover. Still on a roll, Dave Sheean introduced someone who actually admits not going to high school together, Jim Oliver. Tom Hosea supped with us for the requisite number of times and thus throws his hat into the proverbial ring for consideration for membership.

Our speaker this week told us about shrimp, oysters and crabs. No one from the audience volunteered additional stories about their crabs. Next week, our speaker will be the ever interesting Ed Troyer from the sheriff’s department. So, if you are on the lam, again, or in the witness protection program, you might choose to skip lunch or wear your Groucho false nose and glasses. Otherwise, we’ll see you next Tuesday.

So, ‘til the anon,

D. Loving

WAIT! Stop the presses. New speaker; John McGrath, from the TNT will talk to us about the hapless Mariners and the happy Seahawks. Get there early for a good seat.

Tuesday November 5, 2013

OK, listen up. It’s December 10th. More info in the third half of this newsletter.

He was a no show. Seemingly “tentative” was the byword for being AWOL. It seems that national defense somehow takes precedence over luncheoning with Gyro. Can you believe that! Anyway, General Brown was a no show and hopefully he will be available for future cookies. So, we soldiered on. (Sorry about that. ‘Just too good of an opportunity to pass up.) We proceeded with jokes, some of which were read off of an I phone. Somehow, that seems un-American or something. Maybe we need a congressional oversight committee to investigate. What was most certainly a Stanford grad proceeded to ask Jim Gallinatti to speak about the Cal football team. I am not assuming any overt linkage between “joke” and “Cal football.” Suffice to say, it was a terse review, mostly utilizing the use of monosyllables. Just maybe another rebuilding year for the Cal Bears. We had guests, of course. Dave Sheean, the internationally renowned introducer of friends from the many schools, and seemingly extended stays in some of them, he attended, and par excellence procurer of speakers again introduced Art Hutloff. Art has supped with us on many a Tuesday and thus ventures as a prospective new member. Jim Griffin introduced John Judy, who though not even a card carrying member, has already signed-up for December 10th, and Tom Hosea. Speaking of speakers, so to speak, next Tuesday our sparker will be Dan L. Ayers, Coastal Shellfish Lead Biologist from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. Be careful of the crabs.

Get your magic marker. Pencils won’t do. I’m not telling you again!

December 10th is the date of the annual Christmas gala of Gyro. Quick info: where…Tacoma Country and Golf Club, what time…cocktails 6:30, (no host cocktail party. Even the Koch brothers couldn’t fund free drinks for Gyros), dinner…7:30, attire… black tie optional, meal choices…darn good, dancing…of course, price (come on, it’s Christmas) same or modestly above that which hasn’t changed in three years)… the club will have final prices to me by the end of the week, changes this year…we may be limited to 30 couples, first come first serve, how do I sign up… through your occasionally diligent scribe (more later), what counts as signing up…your check which will hopefully clear this time, past excuses not now being accepted… “My wife was supposed to have called you!” (Sorta like my dog ate my homework.) Anyway, more details with the next newsletter. So go through the sofa cushions and start saving money for the not to be missed Christmas Gala with Gyro.

‘Til the anon,

D. Loving



October 29, 2013

A stellar turnout on a beautiful day with 29 Gyros and 7 guests who were Bill Young (Gen. Harrison), Tom Hosea & Steve Anderson (D.Sheean), Mike Jones (D. Bowe), Bob Duke (S.Williams), Charlotte Chalker (R.Chalker) and Wally Labrie who has applied for membership.  All were there to hear one of Gyro’s favorite speakers Detective Ed. Troyer a 27 year veteran of the Pierce County Sheriffs Department and head of Crime Stoppers.

The talk started on Gangs which were a big problem several years ago.  They were typically composed of ethnic groups but have decreased markedly and become more multicultural and nomadic.  Since numerous houses are currently being purchased by commercial groups for investment (rather than by individuals for personal use) these end up being rentals, many in “nicer” areas, which are used by these gangs for big parties which grow out of control.  When you have a problem in your neighborhood it is helpful for the law enforcement if you can provide photographs of the individuals, cars and license plates for identification purposes.  Also remember the law of “squeaky” which is that the squeaky wheel gets greased.  So report problems in your neighborhood frequently.  The big problem of Meth Labs which had numbered over 300 busts per year is now down to 7 in the last year partly as a result of tight control of the precursor chemicals.

The talk transitioned to the famous Powell case in which Susan was killed by her husband Josh and later he killed his 2 sons in a gasoline fueled fire/explosion in his own house.  Josh’s father Steven was found to have “issues” of his own and spent approx. 2 ½ years in prison and is due to be released in the next few weeks back into our county.  As a result of our PierceCounty’s collection of “newsworthy” incidents & individuals Detective Ed is a TV star (almost as famous as Mr. Ed) with appearances on Anderson Cooper, 20/20, Dr. Phil and Dateline.

In the aftermath of the Powell case a bronze memorial on a granite base was erected at the cemetery.  Donations from all over the country (except for one state) covered all but $45,000 of the $150,000 cost.  Another benefit is the founding of Charlie’s Dinosaur foundation to provide bags and clothing to needy kids which become apparent to the Sheriffs Department.  It uses a picture of a dinosaur drawn by Charlie Powell and is administered by the Crime Stoppers.

Next week Lt. General Jeff Brown will speak on the reorientation of I Corp to the Pacific theatre.

Also, lucky for you, one or both of our GYRO certified wordsmiths will return to this newsletter.

John Mc


OCTOBER 22, 2013

25 members present- no guests

The task of the apprentice scribe is lonely and thankless, but all doubts that his scrivenings go directly from the mailbox to the trashcan were abruptly dispelled this day when, upon his arrival, he was accosted by not one, not two, but 4  GYROS demanding retractions to cure  what they perceived to be affronts in last week’s minutes. Only Ralph Johnson was so pleased to see his name in ink that he volunteered to share his plans for even more thrills this week when he attends the extreme crocheting tournament at St. Pat’s.

Our speaker, Wes Wenhardt, the new director of the Foss Waterway Seaport, was presented by Phil Hayes. Last week this newsletter erroneously reported that Phil and Archie Mathew were co-founders of the Seaport, but they advised that they were preceded by fellow GYROS Tal Edman, Luke Curtis and Roger Rue.

Wes has worked in many places around the world, last in Auckland New Zealand. Although he has been here for only six weeks, he is already creating excitement for what will be a prime attraction for our city.

Most of us have already visited the Seaport but you should go back- it is getting better all the time.  The Seaport is Tacoma’s Maritime Museum. Its missions are to honor our history, educate future generations and keep traditions alive. The next time you have out of state visitors, instead of taking them to Pike Place Market and the Seattle Underground, introduce them to Tacoma’s waterfront starting with the Seaport. Tacoma has a unique and fascinating history.

Our speaker for next week, October 29, 2013 is Detective Ed Troyer, of the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department who returns for his annual update of happenings at the Sheriff’s Department. Even if you haven’t heard Ed before, you will recognize him from television as the speaker for the Sheriff’s Department. His talk will be interesting and informative. Let’s hope that this year there will be no news of one of the almost inevitable annual events which give Tacoma a black eye.

For news of upcoming programs, go to

Interim scribe Phil Sloan


OCTOBER 15, 2013

20 members present and a returning guest- Bill Young. (Thanks General Harrison).  Wally LaBrie missed the meeting,  but he has attended the requisite two (or more) times and has an application pending.

Tween the lip and the cup, scheduling a speaker was missed,  but our Dick Bowe gave us a spontaneous and intriguing report of his recent 3 week Overseas Adventures Tour to Turkey.  The trip was full of history and thrills, including a crash landing in a balloon and 4 nights on a Gulet, (Look that up in your Funk and Wagnall’s). Dick left us with the impression that the highlight for him in this nearly vegetarian country was a sneaked visit to a McDonald’s for a Big Mac.

The Chili Party last Saturday was a roaring success, alas, the Huskies weren’t. Nick Malden was a convivial host, but poor Barbara was confined to the galley where she toiled from start to finish. When asked how the food and red wine fight went, she said it started slowly and rapidly deteriorated when one of our band of merry makers challenged the group to a cornbread stuffing contest- that is, stuffing as a verb, not a noun, to determine who could stuff the most cornbread in the cleavage of the ladies. Fortunately   Barb and Nick left the following day for a month in the sunshine. We expect to hear from Nick’s brother, Nigel, the lawyer.

The jokes were scarce and tended to not be reportable for general audiences, so this is an opportunity for some housekeeping.

To motivate you to visit our classy website,, created and faithfully maintained by John McGowen, only the speaker for next week, October 22, is mentioned here. Thanks to John, you can always find the schedule of speakers and all kinds of information, including the lyrics of our beloved theme song, Cheerio, at

The Schedule of Speakers is full for the rest of the year thanks to Dave Sheean’s hounding.  Next week it will be Wes Wenhardt, Executive Director of the Foss Waterway Seaport, otherwise known as the Tacoma Maritime Museum.  Our Phil Hayes and the seldom seen GYRO Archie Mathew are founders and major benefactors of the museum.  (Apologies if other GYROs are omitted). This program will be of great interest because most of us GYROs are boaters.  Phil is actively promoting its youth education program to pass on the love of the water and boating which has enriched our Northwest lifestyle lives.

Tom Murray asked us to reserve next August 16 (2014) for a ride on his train to the new Logging Museum. Music will be provided by 20 members of the Tacoma Banjo Band plus two tubas. To enhance your knowledge of their repertoire of 2,000 songs, you can join Tom most Friday mornings at the Star Center on 66th just off of South Tacoma Way.  Call him for details.

To liven up this dull newsletter in a really slow week, Ralph Johnson has graciously disclosed his schedule of thrills for the rest of this week. He and Dugald Stewart will be attending the annual Founder’s Day Banquet to mingle (and co-mingle) with Gyros from hither and yon and to pay tribute to our Founding Fathers. When you read this, it will have come and gone- but there is always next year.

To ice the cake on his exciting week, Ralph invites all GYROs and GYRETTES to join him this Sunday at the Normanna Hall at 15th and K for the Annual Lutefisk Dinner. (Ya, you betcha).

Interim scribe Phil Sloan


OCTOBER 8, 2013

The news will begin in a minute, but first, this IMPORTANT MESSAGE:

Senior Scribe Loving has fled to Montana in search of trout, so this humble apprentice was conscripted and given a maximum of two hours to place this in the hands of the printers so ALL GYROS AND GYRETTES CAN SPREAD THE WORD AND RSVP  BY THE DEADLINE OF 3 PM ON THURSDAY AFTERNOON ON OCTOBER 10 for our (sometimes) annual Chili Party which will be held at Nick Malden’s home this Saturday, October 12 . Here are the details: 12:30 Gates open. The main event, the UW-UO football game (The University of Phil Knight, aka Oregon) will begin a little after 1:00 PM. The betting windows will close 10 minutes before the kickoff.  Location: Nick and Barb’s home at 4139 Madrona Way, Tacoma 98407. (Near the old Weyerhauser mansion in the North End.

Food (chili, salads, cornbread, DESSERT) and beverages (beer, wine and soft drinks) will be provided IF you RSVP by the deadline. If you miss the deadline, you will be welcome, but you may have to bring your own provisions. Those who do RSVP may be asked to volunteer to bring something.

Chili Parties are a GYRO tradition and a good time is always had by all (except the hosts who oft times have sworn never to drink red wine again).  WARNING: If stomach discomfort lasts more than 4 hours, you should call your physician.   


After a false start last week, Noel Koran, the General Director of the Tacoma Opera proved that the wait was worth the while. He presented us with a topic that wasn’t expected to captivate our band of mighty men, but he aroused the Walter Mitty in many of us by first describing his life as an on-again, off-again actor, opera performer, university professor and now general director of an Opera. He taught and performed across the US and Europe and gave over 600 on-stage performances. Not bad for a guy in a field in which less than 5% of all trained performers ever find work in their field and when they do, their careers last about 5 years.  He also gave us an interesting lecture on the differences between American Grand Opera and the typical European Opera. Because of the huge expense of producing a Grand Opera, the few remaining major companies, including the Metropolitan Opera and The Seattle Opera can afford to produce only an average of 3 productions each year.

There are far more European companies. They are smaller and give many more performances, typically to audiences of 700 or fewer and are usually funded by governments.

The Tacoma Opera was founded 45 years ago. It is a small regional company which provides a “nurturing environment” for young talent. This season it will present 3 Operas, beginning this month with the beloved Gilbert and Sullivan operetta, The Pirates of Penzance which will be presented at the Rialto Theatre on Friday, October 25 at 7:30 PM and on Sunday, October 27 at 2:00 PM. This season’s other two operas will be The Barber of Seville (Friday, February 7 and Sunday, February 9) and Madame Butterfly (Friday, April 11 and Sunday, April 13). For information call 253-627-7789. Is a GYRO night at the Opera in order- or should we stick with our annual cage fighting outing?


Founders night- October 16 at Johnnies at Fife.  See our Web Page for details:

Next meeting- October 15- there will be a speaker (who is yet to be identified.)

Interim scribe Phil Sloan


October 1, 2013

 Of course there was Gyro. It was Tuesday all day, wasn’t it? We had guests, and a second visit attendee, and thus, we are so warned.  Dr. John McGowen, and web master extraordinaire, introed guest Dr. Lloyd Elmer and  the return engagement of Wally Labrie who for some unfathomable reason, is willing to take the pledge incumbent upon a new member and to faithfully fulfill the many duties so required of a new member. That would be true if we had duties. We had jokes. We had cookies. We had camaraderie.

  Our guest speaker was Dr. Noel Koran, the head guy of the Tacoma Opera. His remarks included…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………  Oops, he seemed to have missed his cue to enter stage right and sing for his super with the Gyros. He didn’t write, call or send flowers. But that’s OK; we are not a mean spirited bunch. We will invite him back right after we invite Nancy Pelosi.

 But this really is important. CHILI PARTY!   Gyro Nick Malden and his pin mate have volunteered their abode in the North End for Saturday, October 12th. There just may be a football game of some interest between the Huskies and the Quack Attack and plans would be made to accommodate those interested in both chili and football if we’re to continue this Gyro tradition in 2013. Time is short, but being ever light on our collective feet we’re in with a chance for a great event. Nick’s committed to providing beverages, but we need four different chili providers and others to sign up for bringing appetizers, salads and desserts. Volunteer early and get your first choice! Contact Nick or come prepared to commit at next Tuesday’s meeting.

Our speaker, if time permits after the details of chili or no chili, may be Jane Parnell, Superintendent of the Washington State Correction Center in Purdy. Her appearance has yet to be confirmed…it seems she may not be able to get away (OK, sorry about that.) The following week, Phil Hayes will be introducing Wes Wenhardt, Executive Director of the Foss Waterway Seaport, also known as the Tacoma Maritime Center. Speakers like these warrant marking your calendar, “Tuesdays with Gyro.”

 ‘Til the anon,

 D. Loving


September 24, 2013

‘Twas yet another spectacular Tuesdays with Gyro! Two additional tables had to be hurriedly brought in to accommodate our merry throng. There were guests: Jim Griffin introduced ‘Rette Wendy and other guest John Judy; Bill Jackson –Dean Minor and Dale Hall; Ralph Johnson-Don Warner; Phil Hayes-I forgot who; Dug Stewart- past Gyro Pres Bob Crabill. And… we had a special guest, Mike Mc Nally, Gyro International President, and past District IV exec Matt Johnson. How ‘bout that for some poobahs! As a reminder as to avoid omissions and grievous spelling errors, it would be most helpful to this scribe if guest’s names, spellings, etc. were provided. Spell check won’t help. Another ed. note: schools now don’t emphasize spelling due to the existence of spell check. Even more alarming, they don’t teach cursive writing! How does one write ‘Thank You” notes as your club secretary will now be able to do to our speakers using Tacoma Gyro note cards? Our mothers would be so proud. Old joke: “Why don’t Episcopalians have orgies?” “Too many thank you notes to write.” Other club biz: Rick Wall officially became a card carrying Gyro. Reminder: the new Board members are Roy Kimbel, Bill Jackson, Phil Sloan and Jim Ingram.

Brother, and Franciscan, OK not literally, Dr. Bill Jackson pulled some major strings to get our speaker, Joe Wilczek, Senior VP Div. Operations and CEO of the Franciscan Health System. The Franciscan involvement in health care in the northwest started with Bill Jackson’s sister and Sister, in 1891. Actually the first “sister” is incorrect, but the date is correct. Two Franciscan Sisters were sent to the northwest to offer health care. The system now manages 6 acute care hospitals in our area plus several in Oregon. ‘Tis big business. The Franciscans bought what is now St. Claire hospital from the previous owners for a buck…and then spent $130 million to bring it to where it is now. The new hospital in Gig Harbor cost $185 million to build, including a $1.4 million fish ladder over a stream that hasn’t seen a salmon, healthy or not, in years; or maybe ever. The organization now has over 12,000 employees and 2,000 medical staff members. The Franciscan Medical Group has grown from 19 doctors to 475. There is some sharing of capabilities with TG as a trauma center and the Carol Milgard Breast Center. Joe briefly addressed some of the issues affecting health care in this country, specifically the homeless population and the 50,000,000 uninsured Americans. The issue of compensation was raised. The answer, understandably, was adroitly addressed, especially as there were a number of Franciscan docs in the audience. If Rick Carr was there, he may have increased their dues. Seemingly, it is a variable schedule consisting of a number of elements from the number of patients seen, the area of medicine being utilized (who would want a brain surgeon on the cheap operating on you,) the degree of support for the Franciscan network, etc. Docs are well educated and should be well compensated. I do believe that is safe to say that none will be living under a bridge.

This coming Tuesday, another unique speaker. We are trying to elevate our collective cultural IQs and will do so Tuesday. Dr. Noel Koran, General Director of Tacoma Opera will be with us and thankfully, we will not have to sing for our supper. Dr. Koran has enjoyed an extensive international career in opera and theater and prestigious associations with Northwestern, Ohio State and U Dub. So please again be prompt to sign chits and find a seat.

“Til the anon,

D. Loving,

PS. Founder’s Night will be held at Johnny’s in Fife, the exact date TBA, week of  10/14.


Tuesday September 17, 2013

We were all in our seats when the bell rang. That has a ring of past school years but it also proves we take direction and play well with others. As requested in last week’s newsletter, our speaker was on a tight schedule and on Berlin Standard Time which meant she would start her presentation promptly at twelve hundred hours and depart at 12:40 hours…and I’m not telling you again. There was a bored {sic} of directors meeting prior to lunch. A major topic of discussion was, as always, upcoming parties. There is a great deal of enthusiasm for a Fall, nee Chili, Party. Thou enthusiasm be high, the problem remains as to where. Your occasionally dutiful scribe and Gyrette sold their house right out from under future Gyro chiliers without a clause in the contract so stipulating that future parties with people totally unknown to the new buyers would be held in their newly purchased home. Yikes. Also, Rick and Harriet Kirk have discovered a way to avoid Chez Kirk is to get out of Dodge and go to the desert. So, the problem remains: we need a volunteer with a large enough home, TVs to watch Huskies/Cougs/Ducks/ Beavs/ Buckeyes. OK, the latter may not be high on a lot of dance cards. If you don’t know what that expression means, ask your older brother. So cancel the planned WCTU Revival and offer your digs for the Chili Party.

Chief Warrant Officer 4 Anne M. Sprute brought us to attention. She is an incredible woman who started a crusade, if you will, to help service men and women transition from the military; and to offer them not a hand out but a hand up. JBLM is expected to release c. 6,000 service members annually for the next four years. At the same time, it is estimated that 13,000 veterans will depart military service elsewhere but will relocate to Washington State. These people will need everything from job finding skills to housing. Starting with a million dollar matching challenge from the Milgard Foundation, Anne was able through a combination for public and private funding, to raise $3.8M in just 8 months with the support of 30 different partners…and no government funding. The name of the organization she founded and of which she is the CEO is RALLYPOINT 6. In military jargon, a rally point is where you meet or to get reoriented. Number 6 is code for “I have your back.” It just shows to go you (almost a delightful Spoonerism!) that one person really can make a difference.


This coming week, yet another great speaker; Joseph W. Wilczek. He is the Senior VP Divisional Operations and CEO of the Franciscan Health System. The FHS is responsible for the operation of 6 acute care hospitals located in the Seattle area, an extensive physician group practice known as Franciscan Medical Group and two hospitals in Oregon. We should be honored to have him break bread with us so it is only fitting that we again be in our assigned seats with meal chits filled out when the bell metaphorically rings at 12:00!

So, ‘til the anon,

D. Loving



 Wednesday September 11, 2013

Ed.note. I sorta hate to even write “September 11th.” One feels like some how one should be more observant, or more of something without being maudlin. But there are days for those of us of a certain age where words like “Dallas”, “Challenger” and others  need not  remind as to where we were and what we were doing; just as “Twin Towers” will now be added to that list. I’m confident that every Gyro knows where he was when he heard the news that Kennedy was shot. But what is equally eerie, and I don’t recall the exact percent, but something like 68% of the American public cannot remember that terrible day in Dallas…because they weren’t even born. So on that note, Cheerio Old Chap, Cheerio, our hardy bunch with relatively intact memories, reconvened for another season. Cecil B. DeMille would have been impressed. Not only was every seat at every table taken, but, boys and girls, moms and dads, not one but TWO extra tables had to be hurriedly added to accommodate our merry band.

As previously noted, Gyros were encouraged to bring ‘Rettes. Dug Stewart introduced Norita, Buck Thompson, Joanne, Bill Gill, Phyllis and Rick Carr, Francie. I feel safe in saying that we are always delighted and relieved to see Rick as that indicates that he has not slipped off to some exotic Caribbean Island with no extradition treaty. We also had guests among our madding throng. Dave Sheean introduced yet another classmate, Art Hutloff. That said, it does bring into question the great number of “classmates” Dave has introduced to Gyro. There are just so many years of high school and college, unless additional time may have been required to satisfy scholastic endeavors. Dugald again, and yet again, introduced Rick Wall who was joining us for his 18th visit. You just have to admit that sometimes things just have to proceed at a slow pace. Speaking, so to speak, the question was raised why the ever anticipated newsletters sometimes don’t arrive promptly. Your occasionally dutiful scribe will address the problem. Wag, Rick Kirk, had the rejoinder of the day by commenting that getting the newsletter just the day before we actually meet allows us less time to forget what to expect. One of the many very nice things about Gyro is the genuine friendships that are built and sustained. We were all delighted to see the return of Roger Rue, long time Gyro, past scribe, many time presenter accompanied by furry four legged friends and full time dog whisperer. Let’s face it. We don’t do a damn thing but meet, hear neat speakers, eat cookies and enjoy truly good friends. So come on, what more is there to need? Welcome back Roger!

Phil Hayes introduced a man who, to cleverly coin a phrase, needed no introduction. Jim Will, if my math is reasonably correct, has been a Gyro for 60 years. Jim shared with us some delightful stories and anecdotes of past Gyro happenings, of parties that abruptly ended with Gyros admonished to never come back again, of individuals past and some present and flavored with spirit of friendship and camaraderie that has lasted for decades. Phil returned to the floor to read a poem that he wrote 35 years ago for the installation of a new president. Not only should we be impressed with the not quite Iambic pentameter of the poem, but that he actually knew where it was after 35 years.

Next Tuesday, Anne Sprute, CEO and Founder of RallyPoint/6 will share with us the details of the organization she created to assist service men and women and their families in transition, to get connected with jobs and training so that they don’t just survive, they thrive. You need to be there to hear her presentation and to support a valuable organization. We don’t take roll, we don’t fine, and we do offer jokes sometimes that may be retellable at the next DAR meeting…and cookies.

‘Til the anon,

D. Loving

PS. Anne is a wonderful and very busy lady. She will start her presentation PROMPTLY at noon. So please be early, sign you chits and get to your assigned seats. Thanks.


September 5, 2013

Remember back in 5th grade, you can actually remember back to 5th grade, can’t you, that on your first day back after summer vacation you had to write a one page essay on how you spent your summer. I appreciate that that was awhile ago and back when all public schools really did start the first week after Labor Day. So unless you won the Power Ball lottery and will magnanimously share your new found riches with your MUCH beloved Gyro brethren, or you scored two consecutive (and duly attested) aces, you are probably extended a hall pass and off the hook. By the way, is the correct plural “hole in ones” or “holes in one?” Anyway, best left unsaid that we may in all probability not need to hear how you spent your summer.

So therefore moving smartly along, this bit of pap is to remind you of one of the more important things in life and one is the reconvening of “Tuesdays with Gyro”…same time, same station…Tuesday (duh), 12:00 at the ever lovely Tacoma Country and Golf Club. For those of you who have a jam packed calendar and are working on November already, that date is Tuesday next, September 10th.

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT! Without Senate approval and nary a bloviate, there was a discussion among the poobahs of Gyro that easily could have lasted well into 5 or 6 seconds, to extend a warm and most genuine invitation to bring your Gyrette , or girl friend, but probably not both, to hear a very special season opening speaker. Jim Will will (clever, eh) be our speaker. He has been a Tacoma Gyro for over 60 years, which is longer than your scribe is old. OK, I do have to admit to some creative mathematical license here and a significant rounding. But anyway, Jim is our “eminence grise” so be there. One may expect cookies as well.

D. Loving