Friday, February 27, 2009

Meeting of 2/27/09

February 27, 2009

GREAT TEAM WORK: At 11:30, Ken put our flag in front of the Briarcliff Recreation Center. He also set up all the tables and chairs. And before 12, Paul & Ernie surprised us that they cut their trips short to join us at our weekly meeting. More than 12 of us greeted Paul & Ernie, that all pre-meeting works were almost all completed ... Frances


From Don Wilde


On this day in the year 1594, Henry IV was crowned King of France, and immediately shouted, ‘Where’s Shakespeare? I want to be made into a play!”

“Always remember that you are unique. Just like everyone else.”
--A wise and witty person.
OPENING CEREMONY: Our weekly meeting was officially opened at 12:21 PM by Mr. Pacchiana, standing in for the absent President Fulfree.

SALUTE TO OUR FLAG, PATRIOTIC SONG, AND BENEDICTION: Mr. Pacchniana sent tingles down the spines of club members by requesting Paul to lead us in The Pledge to Our Flag, Paul was followed by the canary-like Sy Yuter, who belted out a superb version of “My Country, ‘Tis Of Thee.” It was a hard act to follow, but follow it the Reverend Lee did, with an impassioned plea to The Almighty for a smidgen of tolerance and a major economic turnaround.

CLUB PRESIDENT’S REMARKS: Mr. Pacchiana reminded us that A Mighty Rotary Chinese Feast, including a Tai Chi demonstration, is scheduled for March 15th, and urged us to deliver our checks for $30 (a person) post haste to Paul Rosen..

ANNOUNCEMENTS, OBSERVATIONS AND HAPPY THOUGHTS: Zen Eidel happy-thoughted us by observing that his son and his daughter-in-law held a mah-velous party in their upstate theater on Oscar Night, and produced a front-page newspaper account to prove it. Geraldine Mahoney rose to announce the opening of the spanking-new Briarcliff Library next Sunday, from 2 to 4 pm, and urged all to attend. President Fulfree stated that he was departing soon for the Bahamas, and requested that we please try to contain our envy. Tim Allport continued by regaled us with a joke about the happy outcomes of a pregnant woman, followed by Carl Weiner’s observation that one club member’s garb closely resembled that of a Hell’s Angel.

NEXT WEEK’S SPEAKER: Our scheduled speaker for new week is a surprise.

TODAY’S SPEAKER: Our speaker today was our very own Shelly Lotter, who spoke interestingly on “The Club of Briarcliff Manor,” a senior citizen facility, which will rise on the site of the old Briarcliff Lodge on Scarborough Road.

The Club, a collection of attractive town homes and villas, surrounded by every amenity imaginable, is scheduled to open in 2013, at which time many of our Rotary Club members, I am pleased to note, will be eligible for inclusion.

The Club at Briarcliff Manor will include some 325 independent-living homes, as well as 60 supportive-living sites for persons requiring assisted care, Mrs. Lotter pointed out, and all can be either rented or purchased. The benefits to the Village will be many, including among a host of other things, a ball field open to all Briarcliff citizens and a $50,000 contribution towards the purchase of a fully-equipped fire truck.

The building of the community will start as soon as half the units have been sold; the cost of occupancy is not been set yet, but, Shelley indicated, it will be reasonable enough to allow Briarcliff citizens and others to age comfortably in place.

Construction is scheduled to begin in approximately two years, and. sales offices are now open in downtown Briarcliff and at various spots across the county, to accommodate prospective buyers.

Many choices are open to aging citizens—staying where they are, moving down South, doubling up with children—but, if you, personally, are thinking seriously about where to spend your retirement years, The Club at Briarcliff Manor, is well-worth consideration.

A most delightful and informative talk. Brava, Shelley!


THE DRAWING: The first winner was Paul Rosen; the second, Tim Allport. Bishop John was forcibly restrained from cannonballing out the window by the Reverend Lee.

CLOSING CEREMONY: This week’s meeting drew to a close precisely at 1:32 pm. It was celebrated by Ernie Pacchiana balancing our budget and the firing of multitudinous cannons.

Submitted by
Recording Secretary, Don Wilde

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Menu of 2/26/09 - From Juan of Amalfi Restaurant

Minestrone Soup ~ Ceasar Salad ~ Caprese ~ Penne with Vodka Sauce ~ Chicken Scarparo ~ Brocolli ~ Hot Rolls
Dessert - Tira Misu



Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Opening of the New Briarcliff Manor Public Library - From Geraldine Mahoney

The Village of Briarcliff Manor announces the
Opening of the new Briarcliff Manor Public Library and Community Center
Sunday, March 8, 2009; 2:00-4:00 p.m.
Festive Ribbon cutting ceremony at 2:30 p.m.
Light refreshments and Children's activity
Park at the Library, behind Atria, or at the Congregational Church
The Club at Briarcliff Manor, a luxury senior living community under development, is generously sponsoring this event.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Meeting Report -2/20/09 By Don Wilde

February 20, 2009

On February 20th-- many, many years ago-- Marjorie and Don Wilde were married.
It will soon be declared a National Holiday.

On this day in 1939, Ivana Trump, wife of Donald Trump, was born. Please send her a congratulatory card. She needs all the help she can get.
“He played the king as though he were afraid someone else would play the ace.”

---John Mason Brown, reviewing an unfortunate production of “King Lear.”


OPENING CEREMONY: Our weekly meeting was officially opened at 12:21 PM by
Rotarian Sy Yuter. Our president was tardy.

SALUTE TO THE FLAG, PATRIOTIC SONG, AND BENEDICTION: The Salute to Our Flag was led by Don Wilde’s grandson, Maxwell Stalker-Wilde. The golden-throated Sy Yuter followed with a rousing rendition of “My Country,’Tis Of Thee.” That,
in turn, was followed by Reverend John’s appeal to The Lord for mercy and a major uptick in the stock market. (Rev. John, by the way, looked tanned and ready, fresh from his cruise-ship sojourn to far-away places.)

VISITING ROTARIAN: Andrew Morzello, PDG Rotary District 7230;
President, Rotary District 7230 Foundation, Inc.

CLUB PRESIDENT’S REMARKS: President Fulfree, having arrived, introduced our guests and thanked the Club members who participated in the recent Rotary hospital venture. He continued by announcing that the Board would convene in two weeks’ time, and concluded with an appeal for donations to a fund set up in the name of a recently-deceased Briarcliff fireman.

ANNOUNCEMENTS, OBSERVATIONS AND HAPPY THOUGHTS: Gerry Mahoney announced that the new, improved library was up and running and enthusiastically ready to receive patrons. And Frances Chu reminded us of the upcoming Rotary feast, scheduled for Hartsdale‘s Central Seafood Restaurant on Sunday, March 15 at 6 PM. Reservations for the event.are $30 a person.

NEXT WEEK’S SPEAKER: Next week, our speaker will be our very own Shelley Lotter, who will bring us up-to-date on the New Briarcliff Senior Citizen Living Community.

TODAY’S SPEAKER: Our speaker today was the Hon. John Alfano. His subject:
“Rotary Charities.” He started by pointing out that, in Rotary’s quest for responsible giving, there were three levels in charge of Rotary charities. He went on inform us that, unfortunately, contributions were not deductible on our tax forms. Liabilities were up next on his talk, and he filled us in quite nicely on those.

Mr. Alfano spoke, movingly, about the good work that Rotary is doing on its National Days of Immunization, immunizing African children against polio with a potent vaccine.
He then went on to point out that that Rotary’s “Polio Plus” campaign was a marked success and plans are to continue with it.

One of the many eye-openers in Mr. Alfano’s talk was that in Nigeria the penalty for
contract-violations was DEATH.. Which presumably cuts down on the number of violations.

An interesting talk.


THE DRAWING: Because of sparse attendance, there was only one lucky winner in the drawing this week: Bob Amsterdam. Bishop John, tanned and ready as noted above, immediately asked for an investigation into presumed lottery-rigging by the Attorney General’s office

CLOSING CEREMONY: This week’s meeting drew to a close precisely at 1:32 pm. Rotary Club members celebrated by shooting off fireworks and carrying President Fulfree around the hall on their shoulders.

Submitted by
Recording Secretary, Don Wilde


Thursday, February 19, 2009

Rotary Menu 2/20/09 - From Amalfi Restaurant

The Chef Juan is going to cook us something different tomorrow, following is the menu for Friday, 2/20:

Soup - Cheese Tortellini in Brodo with Spinach
Salad - Caesar Salad
Appetizer - Cold Antipasto
Pasta - Stuffed Shell
Entree - Chicken Cacciatore
Vegetable - Broccoli
Dessert - Italian Cheese Cake

And of course, the delicious Hot Rolls. . .Yummy!


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

From Paul Rosen

I am in Utica this Friday so others will have to set up.

Fellowship Banquet of 3/15/09

Dear Rotarians, Families, & Friends:

Rotary Club of Briarcliff Manor is planning a Fellowship Banquet on Sunday, March 15, 2009, 6:00 PM at the Central Seafood Restaurant, 285 N. Central Avenue, Hartsdale, NY 10530.

Crispy Sea Emperor Roll ~ Chicken Soong in Lettuce Wrap ~ Peking Duck ~ Golden Stuffed Tofu & Shrimp with Walnuts ~ Fillet Steak with Chinese Broccoli ~ Lobster with Ginger Scallion over Crispy Hong Kong Noodle ~ Fillet Fish with Leek Chives in Black Bean Sauce ~ Snow Pea Leaf with Heart of Bamboo ~ Yangchow Fried Rice ~ Desserts - Fried Sesame Ball & Fresh Fruits

Cost: $30 per person for a Special Auspicious Chinese Banquet including tip, and table soft drinks. Cash Bar.

Hope you can join us. We have to confirm the number of tables (10 seats per table) with the restaurant in advance for this specially priced banquet by the 8th. Therefore, please RSVP Frances Chu at 914-941-4060 or send email to Frances at before March 6, 2009; and send following registration form with a check payable to "Cash" and mail to: Dr. Sy Yuter, 407 Cedar Drive West, Briarcliff Manor, NY 10510

To: Dr. Sy Yuter, Rotary Club of Briarcliff Manor
For the Briarcliff Rotary Fellowship Banquet of 3/15/09 at the Central Seafood Restaurant, I am
Enclosing a check of $ ________. Please reserve ______seats at $30 each for the following names:

My Name is _______________________ Telephone__________


Saturday, February 14, 2009

2/13/09 Meeting Newsletter by Don Wilde

February 13, 2009


On this day in 1994, Sergei Bupka pole vaulted for a record height of 6.14 m.


Today is Lana Turner’s birthday. I know a gentleman who would jump twice the height scaled by Sergei Bupka if she would just let him blow out her candles.


“He’s not at all mechanical. He’s just lately mastered the telephone.”


OPENING CEREMONY: Our weekly meeting was officially opened, with Ernie Pacchiana officiating, at 12:21 PM to the sound of trumpets and loud “Huzzahs!”

OUR CLUB PRESIDENT’S REMARKS: President Fulfree hustled in just in time to hear Mr. Pacchiana perform The Salute To Our Flag and Mr. Rosen give Thanks To The Lord for his continuing beneficence.

ANNOUNCEMENTS, OBSERVATIONS AND HAPPY THOUGHTS: President Fulfree announced that the Rotary Hospital Visit would take place this coming Saturday, at which time Stuffed Animals will be distributed to the Little Ones in the Children’s Ward. Sy Yuter alerted us to the fact The First Rotary Gourmet Dining Group Event would take place at Central Seafood in Hartsdale on March 15th, 6 pm and would feature a sumptuous, many-coursed Chinese feast. The cost is $30 a person: personal checks to Briarcliff Rotary before March 8th. Geraldine Mahoney followed up with the news that the new wing of the Briarcliff Library will be open to the public this coming Thursday. Hooray!! President Fulfree came back to announce the death of a Briarcliff fireman, services for whom will be held at St. Teresa’s church.

NEXT WEEK’S SPEAKER: Next week, our speaker will be the Hon. John Alfano, who will bring us abreast of Things Charitable with his talk on “Rotary Charities.”

TODAY’S SPEAKER: Our “Evening Valentine Day’s Party” was cancelled. In its place, we held our usual weekly knockabout meeting at the same old comfortable place—the Little House by the Tennis Courts.

OUR SPEAKER today was our very own Paul Rosen, who spoke compellingly on “The Unreliability of Eye-Witness Testimony.”

Paul opened his talk by pointing out that a recent study has shown that one-half of one percent of eye-witness identification is wrong. That doesn’t sound like much, but it amounts to 8,500 people being wrongly incarcerated each year in our prisons.

The mis-identification has many causes. Time is one factor. The more time that has elapsed between the time of the crime and witness-identification, the more errors creep in. Another cause of problems in identification is Emotion. Witnessing a crime is a highly emotional experience—an experience that tends to blot out or distort memories. Still another problem is Criminal Lineups. When presented with a number of potential suspects (selected by the police), we believe the guilty party is among them, and so we, as the eyewitness, choose the person who most-likely resembles the person who committed the crime. The same holds true when an eye-witness views photographs of suspects: we tend to think that the guilty party is among those shown. This is not always the case—maybe the criminal is not among those shown to us. Yet another factor is the repeated re-telling of an event. If we are wrong, the constant repetition imprints itself on our brain and solidifies our error. One more factor in misidentification is predisposition—the human tendency to jump to a conclusion that is sometimes wrong.

To illustrate this proposition, Paul told the story of two hunters. All day long they had failed to sight a bear. As sundown approached, they saw what looked like a bear and sounded like a bear, so they raised their rifles and shot. What they shot at was a couple making love in the woods.

They killed a woman.

One of the eye-witness tests, Paul continued, is to show a man rushing into a building to plant a bomb on the building roof. He is one person among many persons shown. Among those bystanders is a gorilla. Astonishingly, almost no one sees the gorilla!

So much for eye-witness reliability.

It was a splendid talk, that ended with Paul’s admonition to pay no attention to the crime shows on television that display identification equipment that does not exist. It’s only entertainment. Only fiction.

Bravo, Paul!


THE DRAWING: The winner of the first drawing was Shelley Lotter; the second lucky winner was “Mr. Money” himself, Ernie Pacchiana.

Bishop John, receiving the results in Barbados, where he is currently lolling about on the beach, pronounced the drawing “the handiwork of Satan,” and proposed a hand-wrestling match to the finish --winner take all.

CLOSING CEREMONY: This week’s meeting drew to a close precisely at 1:29 PM., with “Taps” beaten out on the drums by President Fulfree, accompanied by Geraldine Mahoney on tambourine and Zach Cosentino on glockenspiel.

It was awe-inspiring.

Submitted by
Recording Secretary, Don Wilde


Thursday, February 12, 2009

Rotary Menu 2/13/09 - From Amalfi Restaurant

Pasta & Fagioli Soup
Caesar Salad
Penne with Vodka Sauce
Chicken Marsala
Ricotta Cheesecake

On Chinese Banquet

A quote from
. . . What pleasure can a man take in fine cuisine unless he invites cherished friends, counts the days until the banquet . . .

When I was a child in Shanghai, China, Chinese Banquet usually consists of 12 courses or more. It usually starts with 4 or more small appetizer courses, then 4 medium size courses, and then 4 or more big courses. Courses are usually served one at a time, and we ate for hours. A simple Chinese dinner usually consists of 4 to 6 dishes plus a soup. A dinner of Western style (such as French, or Italian) also comes in 6 to 8 courses or more. In China, I was taught to just eat/taste little of each course so that not to overeat. After I came to US, I learned how simplely Americans dine, and also I learned to finish what is on my plate so not to waste food.

We had very few Chinese restaurants in Westchester 40 years ago. We had to drive to New York City for more authentic Chinese food. Our favorite restaurants were Tom’s Shangri-La and Shun Lee Dynasty in East side Midtown in the City. There, we used to have banquets with Peking duck, Shark's Fin and other Chinese delicacies when we ordered at least 3 days in advance. But, we also had to pay dearly for the good food and services.

Since President Nixon popularized Peking duck in this country after his visit to China in 1972, we have more Chinese restaurants in Westchester serving more authentic Chinese food. And now, almost all Chinese Restaurants have Peking duck on their menu. But still, Chinese usually pay more to dine in Chinese restaurants because we order better dishes.

Sy wanted to organize a Rotary Gourmet Dining Group and asked me to negotiate with Central Seafood, my favorite restaurant in Westchester, for an inexpensive banquet menu. It was a tall request because I usually paid at least $500 for a Banquet (of food alone) for a table of 10 for my guests in Chinese Restaurants. Today I went to lunch at Central Seafood. I negotiated, and negotiated, with Michael, one of the owners there and he agreed for Rotary a banquet price of $300 in cash for a table of 10 including tip.

The banquet menu consists of following auspicious authentic Chinese dishes for festive occasions. (On the left of each line is the description of the dish, and on the right is the Chinese symbolic translation of the dish):

1. Crispy Soy Bean Sheet Roll filled with Seafood --- Ju-I (To Your Heart’s Desire) Neptune Roll
2. Chicken Soong in Lettuce Wrap --- Good Luck Wrap
3. Peking Duck --- Love & Fidelity
4. Stuffed Crispy Bean Curd & Shrimp with Walnuts --- Happy Family full of Gold
5. Fillet Steak with Chinese Broccoli --- Return of the Spring on Earth
6. Lobster with Ginger Scallion over Crispy Angel Hair --- Success, Health, & Longevity
7. Fillet Halibut with Leek Chives in Black Bean Sauce --- Abundance of Wealth and Wisdom
8. Snow Pea Leaf with Heart of Bamboo --- Peace and Happiness
9. Yangchow Fried Rice
10. Dessert – Fried Sesame Ball

There will also be 2 bottles of Coke or Ginger Ale on the house. Cocktails and wines are available for purchase on separete bills. Pablo Cue (Past President of OCA Westchester) was there with me and he was amazed for the bargain that I negotiated.

I would like to suggest that we pick a day in March to have a Spring Festival to enjoy this banquet to welcome the Spring of the OX year.


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Visit the Children at Phelps Hospital 2/14

Rotarians, Just a reminder about Saturday 2 / 14 /09 at 11:30 am.
the following volunteered to be at PHELPS hospital by the emergency room to disribute dolls to the children in need of a extra love.
YOU ARE = Peter and Linda Fulfree , Gerri Mahoney ,Frances Chu, Antonia Conte, Rachel Leihbacher
Please be there, and if you can not attend get a replacement. -- Ernie


Please join us if you can make time for this special event. -- Frances


This Year's Rotary Theme

RI President Dong Kurn Lee

Make Dreams Real — Dong Kurn Lee, RI president — "In 2008-09, I will ask you all to Make Dreams Real for the world's children. This will be our theme, and my challenge to all of you."

Saturday, February 7, 2009

From Sy Yuter

Hi All.

Next Friday, Feb. 13, Paul Rosen will speak on Questionable Eyewitness Testimony. THERE WILL BE NO EVENING VALENTINE'S DAY PARTY.

Your in Rotary Service,

What Paul Harris Said

Please check out:

What Paul Harris Said

Google can translate the articles to all different kind of languages ofcourse including Italian, Japanese, and Chinese.




Friday, February 6, 2009


By Don Wilde


On this day in 1997 in England, Diane Blood won the right to use her dead husband’s sperm, proving once again the truth of the old adage, “Gone, but not forgotten.”


Hugh Hefner prepares for bedroom activities by coating himself in baby oil.


“If she loses any more weight, she’ll be only a voice.”
(Phyllis Diller, upon hearing that Audrey Hepburn was dieting.)


OPENING CEREMONY: Our weekly meeting was officially opened at 12:21 PM by Ernie Pacchiana, substituting for our tardy President. Mr. Pacchiana, himself, led us in an
inspiring Salute to Our Flag. Sy Yuter came next with a rollicking version of “My Country, ‘Tis of Thee,” and Father Lee brought things to a climax with an appeal to The
Almighty for mercy and a quick end to the present financial crisis.

OUR CLUB PRESIDENT’S REMARKS: President Fulfree introduced our guests (Elinor Yuter is no longer a guest; she is now an authentic Rotarian), and observed that we do not have a need any more volunteers for our Rotary’s visit to the Children’s Wing of Phelps Hospital. He instructed those who have volunteered to gather in the hospital’s parking lot
at 11:30 on the day of the visit.

ANNOUNCEMENTS, OBSERVATIONS AND HAPPY THOUGHTS President Fulfree then called for Happy Thoughts. Sy congratulated his wife, Elinor, on her joining the Club, and all members applauded enthusiastically in appreciation. Zen Eidel rose to suggest, in light of the economic downturn, that we have Depressing Thoughts. Mr. Eidel was roundly booed.

NEXT WEEK’S SPEAKER: Our “Evening Valentine Day’s Party” HAS BEEN CANCELLED! Sy Yuter is scurrying around, unearthing a speaker for our regular meeting next Friday. If he is unsuccessful, he will book a talented Beluga whale, who will entertain us by blowing bubble-rings in the shape of Paul Rosen.

TODAY’S SPEAKER: Our speaker today was Judy Foster, Executive Director of “Friends of Karen,” who spoke to us about the mission of her worthy organization.

She opened her talk by noting that “Friends of Karen” and Rotary shared the same philosophy: “Service Above Self.”

As proof, Mrs. Foster pointed out that “Friends of Karen” provides a much needed service to despairing mothers and fathers: Helping children with life-threatening illnesses and, of course, their families.

“Friends of Karen” helps by providing Financial Assistance, taking care of medical expenses not covered by insurance. “Friends” provides transportation, to and from treatment, including parking, in-hospital TV, telephone and meals. “Friends” takes care of household expenses, if there is a loss of income. “Friends” provides childcare for siblings, when parents must be with an ill child. (Siblings often feel ‘left out’ so their needs are addressed, as well.) And, alas, “Friends” helps with funeral planning and expenses, if the very worst happens.

“Friends of Karen” started thirty 30 years by helping with one child. Today, the organization provides aid to more than 500 children a year and to their desperate families, with assistance of every kind (see above).

“Friends of Karen” exists only in this area. Unfortunately, there are no organizations providing similar and needed services throughout the country.

“Friends of Karen” relies on individuals, corporations, foundations and government support to contribute needed dollars, in-kind gifts and volunteer time, and to maintain services to children and families in need.

It is not an understatement to say that Mrs. Foster was both eloquent and heart-breaking in her talk.

May the blessings of heaven be upon her, and upon all people who do good work.

THE DRAWING: The winner of the first drawing was the fetching Antonia Conti; the second lucky winner was our own Ernie Pacchiana, who is fetching, spiritually.

A heartbroken Bishop John, vacationing in Barbados, learning that he had lost again, burst into tears and was consoled only with the help of a very dry martini.

CLOSING CEREMONY: This week’s meeting drew to a close precisely at 1:29 PM. The occasion was marked by Mark Seiden’s volunteering to be shot out of a cannon, while holding hands with a midget.
Submitted by
Recording Secretary, Don Wilde


Today's Menu from Amalfi Restaurant

By Frances Chu

When I got to our meeting place at the Briarcliff Manor Recreation Center today, owner Maria and Juan the chef of Amalfi Restaurant were just delivering our lunch. It consists of:

Cheese Tortellini in Brodo with Spinach Soup
Caesar Salad
Caprese of homemade Fresh Mozzarella, Roasted Peppers & Plum Tomatoes
Cheese Ravioli with Due Funghi Sauce
Chicken Scarpariello
Fresh Vegetable Trio
Hot Homemade Rolls
Tira Misu

The soup not just smelled so good, but it was most delicious, just what we need for a freezing cold day. The Caesar Salad was at their usual best. We voted The Due Funghi Sauce as our new favorite for the day. Every course was perfectly prepared and I no longer mind that I have to help with the setup and bringing my plate back to the kitchen after we finished eating. Today, I even helped myself for a big serving of Amalfi’s famous homemade dessert -- Tira Misu. Yummy!


From Paul Rosen

A message to all. I may be tied up at my house with repairmentoday. The meeting will have to be set up by others. Please come early andhelp set up. The first thing to do is start the coffee. The pot is on thebottom left cabinet. Put in two envelopes of coffee and about 28 cups ofwater. Then get to setting up the tables.



Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Valentine Eve Dinner

I'm getting a head count for Dinner on Friday February 13, 09. Either mail me back with your
availability or let me know at Friday's lunch ( this friday ) Details will follow. Ernie

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

A Good Speaker's Program

On 1/23/09 Briarcliff Rotary, speaker Don Wilde spoke on the subject, “Things That Go Bump In The Night!” The earliest known example of this phrase appeared in 1918 in the Bulletin of The School Of Oriental and African Studies. “To a people…who…believe in genii, ghosts, goblins, and those terrific things -- things that ‘go bump in the night' protective charms are eagerly sought for.” Around the same time, the phrase was incorporated into a prayer: “From ghoulies and ghosties and long-leggedly beasties. And things go bump in the night, Good Lord, deliver us.”

Perhaps because the topic "Bump in the Night" was something I could relate to, I found the talk totally captivating. The delivery was superb – the sentences were short; he placed accents on words to get our attention; paused at the right moments… Then, of course, Don is a professional playwright. In addition to enjoying his talk, I also felt that I had a speech delivery lesson that day.

Following is Don Wilde’s “Bump In The Night”


Things that go bump in the night. Some 400 years ago, Shakespeare’s Hamlet said, “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamed of in your philosophy.” It was true then, and true now. There are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamed of in your philosophy.

How much of the world do you really understand? How much of what seems to be happening here on earth do you really honest-to-God believe in?

Do you believe in the Loch Ness Monster? Do you believe in ghosts and spirits? Do you believe in Heaven, that there is life --- a life that’s better than ours --- somewhere up there?

Some people say “No. No way.” Some people say, “Yes. I believe!.” And some say, “I-don’t-know.”….What do you say?

What do you say about GHOSTS? Do they exist? Catholic doctrine says ghosts are souls in purgatory, wandering spirits, longing for a home. But are they? Are they lonely immaterial beings seeking a place to rest. Are ghosts real? Many people swear that they are. Thousands upon thousands of people have seen them in the dead of night in backyards, in bedrooms, on staircases, on streets, in dark woods. They swear ghosts exist. That they are as real as—you and me. Are they?

What about PARALLEL UNIVERSES? How do you feel about them? Are there other universes----not other planets, but other universes, with their planets, and stars, and heavens, and millions and millions of beings----very much like our universe? Have you ever thought, if other universes do exist, maybe they’re superior to our universe? Maybe they’re better, more advanced. Maybe Earth and our universe and the people who exist in are low man on the cosmic totem pole. May be we are aeons and aeons behind beings on another planet. And maybe our universe is only one of hundreds. Of thousands. Of hundreds of thousands….Do other universes exist? Maybe.

And what about BEINGS FROM ANOTHER PLANET? Do non-earthlings exist? And is it just a myth that they are malevolent, scary-looking creatures, determine to conquer and wipe out us here on Earth? Is that true? Maybe they come in peace. Maybe they resemble us. Maybe they look a lot like Ernie or Paul. Is it possible that we are the only beings in all the world----that it is only us, floating in space—all alone? I don’t know. What do you think?

This whole question of REALITY---of what exists and what doesn’t exist; what’s real and what isn’t real----is one that everyone on earth—including some of the world’s greatest thinkers—have wondered about, have puzzled over.

Take TIME TRVEL, for example, Is it possible that time is something we can travel over, as though it were a long, long road? Einstein thought it was possible. Is it? Can we build a sophisticated machine that will fling us into the past or the future-or can we, through an act of will, transport ourselves? We can travel through time in our imaginations, can’t we? We can travel back and forth through reading, through TV, though movies. But can we actually travel forward or backward in time in reality—or in what we choose to think of as reality? What do you think?

Then there’s REINCARNATION---the idea that we come back again and again, until our souls are perfected and we find a permanent home in Paradise---in Heaven. That we all are destined to live multiple lives—multiple incarnations. Do you believe that?

Is reincarnation true? Shirley MacLaine thinks it is. I know that’s not very convincing. But there is evidence that the Bible thinks so, too. Do you know there are accounts of reincarnation in Genesis, Job, Deuteronomy, Psalms, and Proverbs----accounts that say we have lived before and that we may live again and again, until our souls are washed white as snow, and we at last are granted admission into Paradise----into a never-ending Heaven.

What do you think? Are those sections of the Bible right? Do you think you live only once? Or will you---and I -- come back again and again----here or someplace else—until we earn Eternal Life----Paradise—and never have to die again--ever?

Zoroastrians believed that to be true. Ancient Egyptians believed that to be true. Many Christians believe it to be true today. Do You believe it to be true?

Moving closer to home, what do you think about the LOCK NESS MONSTER? Does it Exist? Is it like some Swamp Creature—weird, dragon-like----lurking in the dark, mysterious, dangerous waters of Scotland’s Lock Ness?

Let’s examine the case of Monster closely. There are dozens of eye-witness sightings, people who swear that they have seen it. . . there are 17 documentary films of the monster. . .there are innumerable photographs and newspaper accounts. . .there are a slew of sonar hits bouncing off some large, moving, under-water thing. There appears to be very, very strong evidence that the Loch Ness Monster does exist.

But does he----or she----or it----exist, really? Or is The Monster in the Loch just the product of strange, odd-ball thinking? Are the people who claim they have seen Nessie imagining it? Have they seen nothing more than a gigantic seal. . .or an otter. . .or an underwater moving wave. . .or a huge boat wake----or maybe a very, very large fish?

Maybe the Lock Ness Monster is the result of mass hysteria, like the sighting of UFOs----we didn’t talk about those, did we? Or maybe it’s just a nice madeup story----like Santa Claus----or an ingenious way to boost the economy of the Scottish Highlands. You know the Scots. It could be just one of their amusing, Scottish money-making tales.

Maybe that’s all it is. A hoax, a way to squeeze money out of gullible tourists. But, still, there is strong evidence that the opposite might be the case—and it’s true. Maybe it is. I’m really not sure about the Loch Ness Monster. Are you?

Are all these things that we’ve been talking about today just dreams----dreams of ghosts, of parallel universes. . .of strange-appearing visitors from another planet. . .of traveling backward and forward in time. . .of reincarnation, the living of multiple, different lives. . .of even the existence of Nessie, the Monster in the lake? Are they truths or lies? Are they just the product of our fevered human imagination----invented stories that, in the dark of night, we here on Earth have dreamed up to entertain and scare ourselves half to death with?
(SHRUG) I don’t know? What do you think?

Shakespeare wrote, “There are more things in Heaven and Earth than are dreamed of----in your philosophy.”

Maybe there are. . .Maybe.


Sunday, February 1, 2009


Program by Sy Yuter

Location - Briarcliff Recreation Center, 48 Macy Road, Noon

2/6/09 Friends of Karen - Judy Foster
2/13/09 Evening Velentine's Day Party
2/20/09 Rotary Charities - Hon. John Alfano
2/27/09 New Briarcliff Senior Citizen Living Community - Shelley Lotter

Upcoming Events by Peter Fulfree

2/14/09 Rotary visit to the Children’s Wing of Phelps Hospital, where Rotary members will hand out stuffed toys to the ailing children and cookies and donuts to the hospital staff. President Fulfree then called for Community News.