Friday, November 27, 2009



11/27/09 *Square Table at Squires


12/4/09 *Truth in Government - Hon. Joseph DiaGuardi
Bring food for Food Pantry

12/6/09 *French Gourmet Fellowship Dinner - Heights Restaurant, Mt. Kisco, 6:00 pm. $30 incl. tax and tip. Contact Sy for reservation

12/11/09 *What's New With the Red Cross - John Ravitz

12/18/09 *High School Choral Group

12/25/09 *Square Table at Squires


1/1/10 *Square Table at Squires

1/8/10 *History of Croton River -- Scott Craven

1/15/10 *Your Treasures Appraised - Stacey Winnick

1/22/10 What's New at Interact Rotary at High School

1/29/10 *The End - Don Wilde

Monday, November 23, 2009



November 20, 2009

On November 19, 1984, McDonald’s made its 50 billionth hamburger.
Our son, Michael, by actual count, has devoured at least 250 thousand of them.

You know what they say: If God had been a liberal, we wouldn’t have the Ten Commandments. We’d probably have had the Ten suggestions.


OPENING CEREMONY: The singing of our National Anthem was led by President Mark Seiden. Sy Yuter conducted us in a Salute to The Flag. And Bishop John brought a tear to every eye with his appeal to Our Maker for a little understanding of what it is to be human.

PRESIDENTIAL COMMENTS: President Seiden was eloquent in his comments. He made many of them. And some were very, very interesting. (Samples supplied upon request.)

MEMBERS’ HAPPY THOUGHTS: Bob Maher announced that the basketball game between the Basketball Professionals and a Merry Band of Klutzes was a roaring success. Bob Amsterdam agreed. The score—in favor of the Basketball professionals—was 197 to 1.

Frances Chu followed with her declaration that the Annual Chinese Dinner was equally Successful and that those who were not there missed a treat. It was a a lollapalooza!

She, in turn, was followed by Sy Yuter, who revealed that today was his birthday. Sy is twenty-one. This portion of the program ended with Ernie Pacchiana’s happy announcement that


NEXT WEEK’S SPEAKER: Next week—the Friday following Thanksgiving--we will gather at Squire’s Restaurant and Automobile Repair Shop to enjoy our weekly meal. The entertainment will be provided by Mr. Paul Rosen, who will perform for us his colorful collection of exotic bird calls.

THIS WEEK’S SPEAKER: Our speakers today were Mr. John Gallagher and Mr. Sean Pica, who is head of the college at Sing Sing prison.

Mr. Gallagher was interesting and Mr. Pica riveting in his account of his educational activities.

Mr. Pica told of the many prison inmates who were serious about receiving their high school equivalency diplomas, about their dedication, in many cases, to bettering themselves through education--though some of them were serving either long or life-sentences. Particularly inspiring were his stories about the immense difference education made in the life of Sing Sing inmates, how it helped change their lives and gave them something to look forward to after their release. It gave them a totally different view of themselves and of society.

Mr. Pica knows whereof he speaks: he once was a prisoner himself, for committing a crime he did not speak of.

The supreme test of Mr. Pica’s in-prison educating of prisoners: They almost never come back. They go on to do better things than they ever did before. And become different and better people than they once were.

Bravo, Mr. Pica! Would that there were more like you!

THE WEEKLY DRAWING: There were two winners of our weekly drawing. But, inasmuch as they have requested anonymity, we feel compelled to abide by their desire. Therefor, they shall remain unsaluted.

THE MEETING’S CONCLUSION: The meeting ended with Bishop John’s declaring that he was leaving the clergy to play middle-linebacker for the Dallas Cowboys football team.

Respectfully submitted by
Recording Secretary, Don Wilde


Dear Don,
Thank you for reminding us about the Chinese Dinner on Sunday, 3/15/09. It was truly a fun and memorable event that 60 Rotarians, families, and friends attended making it a success. However, I did not attend last Friday 11/20 Briarcliff Rotary meeting and I did not make that declaration. Thank you also for teaching me a new word "lollapalooza".
Frances Chu


11/20/09 Attendance - Robert Amsterdam, Antonia Conte, Etrusca Cosentino, Dean Dykeman, Zenith Eidel, Rodney Ertischek, Marie Fuesy, John Herzog, Rachel Leihbacher, Seth Leitman, Robert Maher, Geraldine Mahoney, Ernest Pacchiana, Mark Seiden, Donald Wilde, Elinor Yuter, Sy Yuter


Thursday, November 19, 2009

Ossining Food Pantry - from Marie Fuesy


The Briarcliff Rotary will be having a Special THANKSGIVING Collection of Food for the Ossining Food pantry this Friday, November 20th. Please remember to bring something for the THANKSGIVING table. Hopefully, everyone will be generous. Thank you. Marie


Friday, November 13, 2009



November 13, 2009

IT’S FRIDAY, THE 13th!!!.

MU-HA-HA-HA!! They’re coming to get you!!!


A little song
A little dance
A little seltzer
Down your pants.


OPENING CEREMONY: Our President, Mark Seiden was unable to make today’s meeting, so control was seized by Paul Rosen who comported himself with admirable aplomb, steering us through the Salute to the Flag. This was followed by a tear-jerking National Anthem heroically sung by Sy Yuter and Bishop John then rounded things off with a plea to our Maker for a little Divine understanding

PRESIDENTIAL COMMENTS: Mr. Rosen was blessedly silent on the subject

MEMBERS’ HAPPY THOUGHTS: Filling in for the absent Bob Maher, a member reminded us of the upcoming basketball confrontation, taking place shortly at the Briarcliff High School. Rotary members will man (and woman) the mementoes table, as well as a table crammed with edible and drinkable goodies. We will make a fortune.

NEXT WEEK’S SPEAKER: Instead of a speaker, we will enjoy a French Gourmet Dinner at the Heights Restaurant in Mt. Kisco. Don’t come alone! Bring your appetite!.

THIS WEEK’S SPEAKER: Today our speaker, Michelle Muir, presented a subject that left many of us scouring our minds for telltale symptoms:Alzheimer’s Disease.

In a disturbing video she showed, it outlined the causes and the disturbing progress this progressive disease makes as it courses inexorably through far too many psyches.

Seventy percent of Alzheimer’s sufferers (there are 10 million of them!) live at home, cared for by family and friends. Caregivers are spouses, daughters, sons, siblings, grandchildren, and, with any luck, concerned close friends.

Our society as a whole is affected by Alzheimer’s disease. Today the direct costs to Medicare and Medicaid for treatment is estimated at: $148 billion annually.

There is no cure for Alzheimer’s, but current treatments focus on helping loved ones manage one’s actions and mental functions. Medications don’t change the underlying disease, and help for only a few months or, at most, a few years.

Those of us who think we may be afflicted with Alzheimer’s (Symptoms: serious memory problems, sleeplessness, acute anxiety), or know someone who has these problems, should seek immediate medical help.

As of now, Alzheimer’s Disease is not curable—there are 91 drugs in clinical trials and more in the pipeline--but steps can be taken that will improve one’s chances of not being afflicted by it: exercise, a healthy diet, and engaging in mentally-challenging activities. Of course, the biggest preventative is having relatives who don’t have the disease.

One thing to keep in mind: Alzheimer’s is a journey, and medical help is on the way!


THE WEEKLY DRAWING: The second winner was Antonia Conte. I forgot the name of the first luck winner. (Oh! Oh! Alzheimer’s alert!)
Bishop John reportedly shot himself.

THE MEETING’S CONCLUSION: Our weekly meeting was brought to a raucous conclusion when Ernie Pacchiana did his impression of Gyspy Rose Lee and took off most of his clothes.

Respectfully submitted by
Recording Secretary, Don Wilde

11/13/09  Attendance - Lee Carozzi, Frances Chu, Antonia Conte, Etrusca Cosentino, Dean Dykeman, Zenith Eidel, Rodney Ertischek, Marie Fuesy, Peter Garth, John Herzog, Eric Lebenson, Rachel Leihbacher, Geraldine Mahoney, Ernest Pacchiana, Paul Rosen, Julio Salazar, Ken-Ichi Shimazu, Carl Weiner, Donald Wilde, Elinor Yuter, Sy Yuter


Tuesday, November 10, 2009


November 6, 2006

This Day in History
November 6th, in the year 2012, has been officially designated in some quarters, as “The End of the World Day,” and will be marked by earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and other unpleasantnesses.

Food for Thought
There are some 10,000 various smells in the world and barely a handful of deodorants.


OPENING CEREMONY: President Seiden conducted the Salute To Our Flag, Sy Yuter brought us to tears with his rendition our National Anthem, and Paul Rosen concluded this portion of our opening ceremony with a remembrance of the victims of the massacre on the grounds of a U.S. Army base.

PRESIDENT’S COMMENTS: President Seiden pointed out that we would soon be embarking on our yearly sale of grapefruit, and knew that we all would pitch in with glee. He then announced our guests and welcomed them. He concluded his remarks by stating that Mike Risko would be unable to serve as President of our club next year, but that he (President Seiden, not Mr. Risko) would get back to us promptly with a suitable candidate’s name.

MEMBERS’ HAPPY THOUGHTS: Ahh, there were so many! Sy Yuter proclaimed that his recent cataract surgery was a whopping success and that his eyesight has been restored to 20-20, so watch out! Zeneth Eidel hove to his feet to inform us that he was recovering successfully from prostate surgery. I was about to declare that the removal of both my arms went moderately well, and that with luck I’ll soon be back in action—but then I thought better of it, and sat down.

NEXT WEEK’S SPEAKER: Our speaker next week will be Michelle Muir, whose topic will be “The War Against Alzheimer’s Disease.”

THIS WEEK’S SPEAKER: Today’s speaker was President of ‘Life Project for Africa”, who spoke to us about “The Life Project for Africa.”

It was an excellent talk.

Mrs. Muir opened by pointing out that Life Project for Africa promotes education and health for Africans, providing homes, supporting African orphans, and tackling widespread poverty on the Dark Continent.

Her organization is partnering with Rotary International to provide needed water and, cooperating with U.S. hospitals, shipping supplies and equipment to Nija Hospital in Dar-Es-Salaam. “Life Project for Africa” also assists in the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS relief. She also made reference to the fact that, cooperating with U.S. hospitals and health providers, her organization is shipping medical supplies and equipment to hospitals in Africa, as well as participating in Presidents Obama’s Emegencylan for AIDS relief.

Mrs. Muir then showed us a video of some of the children in Africa, who are suffering from world-wide neglect. It was heartbreaking.

She concluded by suggesting that Rotary help would be much appreciated. It would be hard to disagree with her.

Thank you for an inspiring talk, Mrs. Muir. We will certainly consider your humanitarian suggestion.


THE WEEKLY DRAWING: The first winner was Rodney Ertischek. I was too downcast by the announcement of the first winner to register the name of the second winner, but I think it was Joan Crawford

THE MEETING’S CONCLUSION: Our weekly meeting ending with a parade of our Chapter in Brircliff’s “Canyon of Heroes” and the handing out of candy canes by a jolly, excited Reverend Herzog.

I hate to admit it: I cried.

Respectfully submitted by
Recording Secretary, Don Wilde

11/6/09 Attendance - Robert Amsterdam, Antonia Conte, Etrusca Cosentino, Zachary Cosentino, Dean Dykeman, Zenith Eidel, Rodney Ertischek, Marie Fuesy, Peter Garth, Rachel Leihbacher, Seth Leitman, Shelley Lotter, Robert Maher, Geraldine Mahoney, Fiala Portnoy, Vladimir Portnoy, Paul Rosen, Mark Seiden, Ken-Ichi Shimazu, Donald Wilde, Elinor Yuter, Sy Yuter

Sunday, November 1, 2009


October 30, 2009

On October 30, 1982, Portugal revised its constitution.
(Well, dammit, it’s about time!)

“He’s the only man I ever knew who had rubber pockets so he could steal soup.”
--Wilson Mizner, of a Hollywood studio chief


President Mark Seiden led us in a salute to our flag, Sy Yuter rendered us all agog with his rendition of our national anthem, and Reverend Lee brought down the house with his impassioned plea to Our Maker for a brighter, sunnier tomorrow.

PRESIDENTIAL COMMENTS: Mr. Seiden announced that our seasonal Greeting Cards (a box is now, or soon will be, available) and that each member of our Club is expected to sell at least one box—or else face the scorn and derision of the entire club membership.

President Seiden concluded by gracefully acknowledging our guests and our newest club members.

MEMBERS’ OBSERVATIONS: An announcement of the upcoming Bric-A-Brac sale was made, and we all were invited to bring in any items for appraisal. (Price: $25)

Sy Yuter then delighted us with the news that on November 5th (Mark that date on your calendar!) his cataracts are scheduled to be removed.

Mr. Fitzgerald stated that his committee is looking for four or five volunteers for the Magic Masters’ appearance at the Briarcliff High School on the 13th of this month. He showed us an advertising display piece, which would be placed in the window of Joe Weldon’s. as well as appearing in various locations throughout the village.

He urged us all to be there for the exhibition, which would feature the Magic Masters’, as well as several Briarcliff basketball greats, comprised mostly of Bob Maher.

NEXT WEEK’S SPEAKER: Our speaker next week will be Seth Leitman. His subject:

“Life Project for Africa.”

(Note: Don’t forget to bring food for the Food Pantry!)


Our speaker today was Briarcliff Historical Society President, Tom Vincent. He was eloquent in speaking of Briarcliff’s place in history.

Mr. Vincent started off speaking of the Phillips” family and of Walter Law, the founder of Briarcliff Manor, and of Mr. Law’s many contributions to the life of Briarcliff Manor,
“the town at the end of the Yellow Brick Road.” (I’ll bet you didn’t know that karaoke was invented in Briarcliff. Well, it was. But that’s a whole other story.)

Briarcliff began as a farming community and a rather fancy river town. But what makes Briarcliff “special”—in addition to its inhabitants—is its colorful landmarks: the railroad station, which became the Library; Law Park with its tennis courts, swimming pool, strolling paths and pavilion; Briarcliff’s eight glorious churches of varied denominations; its elegant Stanford White country club; the Briarcliff Junior College, (Now a part of Pace University); the Edith Macy Conference Center; and, of course, the famed Donald Trump Intergalactic Golf Course. (Gentlemen, please remove your hats!)

Briarcliff has had its celebrities, too: the author, John Cheever lived here, James Patterson lives here at present, and the modern dancer, Isadora Duncan, danced her heart out at Beechwood, and Johnny Weismuller trained for his gargantuan Olympic swimming feats at the old Briarcliff Lodge, since burned down--alas!

At one time Briarcliff was famed for its automobile Road Race, which drew upwards of 200,000 spectators and as the home of various social and business luminaries—the late Brooke Astor, for one, Ernie Pacchiana as another.

Mr.Vincent also spoke of our Caucus System, which is unique, in that candidates do not attach their names to either the Republican or Democratic parties and our historical Village Hall.

He closed by noting that at present there are 165 members of the Briarcliff Historical Society, but there is always room for a few more.

Any takers?

It was an informative and fascinating talk. Thank you, Mr. Vincent.

THE WEEKLY DRAWING: The winners were ?? (I’m sorry, I cannot find her name in my voluminous notes. Can anyone help me?) and new member Mark Risko. (Reverend Herzog, who was not in attendance, phoned in his outrage at not being named the winner in perpetuity.)

MEETING CONCLUSION:. The meeting ended precisely at 1:30 PM,. on a very high note: Zen Eidel was shot out of a cannon.

Submitted by.

Recording Secretary, Don Wilde

10/30/09 Attendance - Robert Amsterdam, Lee Carozzi, Frances Chu, Dean Dykeman, Zenith Eidel, Rodney Ertischek, Marie Fuesy, Peter Garth, Rachel Leihbacher, Seth Leitman, Shelley Lotter, Geraldine Mahoney, Ernest Pacchiana, Fiala Portnoy, Vladimir Portnoy, Mike Risko, Paul Rosen, Mark Seiden, Julio Salazar, Ken-Ichi Shimazu, Donald Wilde, Elinor Yuter, Sy Yuter