Posted by Timothy Adams
We were lurched from our virtual lunch tables, who ushered us to our weekly meeting called by the distant tolling of a bell from President Morticia Pingston. Our invocator was introduced by Terry Terry, who transformed into Kayla Green for the formal introduction of Sofia Levchenko. John Dale Smith played America the Beautiful from parts unknown.
Introduction of guests and visiting Rotarians was eerily quiet. Diane Sanborn reported to the club that all club members are in good health and “spirits”.
President Morticia moved on to club announcements, recognizing Susan Angel our club’s PR committee chair with raising the soul of our clubs website. The club engaged Inverve Marketing to upgrade our site and burying the old sites appearance never to resurrected again. Our own Lisa Smith heads up Inverve Marketing and assisted by Inverve’s Angelique DuPhene to freshen up the site to comply with Rotary International standards and to lure wayward souls to view our clubs many activities and to celebrate our long history.
Darwin Brewster presented October birthdays with the question, “what would you do if COVID ended today”. Most answers were traveling and family reunions. However, some would uninstall Zoom from their computers and burn all the newly acquired masks. A special shout out to Dave O’Leary who turned 90 this year. In all October Rotarians raised $1,666 with over 60% participation.
President Morticia made our last announcement of the day, recognizing Diane Sanborn for renovating a City Pulse declared “Eye Sore of the Week” on Seymour Street to highlight club members doing their part to make our community great.
Special music was presented from the Dapper Dans who perform at Disney when allowed with their Zoom version of the song Happy Halloween.
President Morticia rose from break to thank and introduce our Chair of the Month Terry Terry, but our meeting was interrupted by a possessed by Donna Gardner with a creative introduction of our speaker Terry Terry (spooky I know). President Morticia was able to finally exorcise control of the meeting away from Donna Gardner to formally introduce Terry Terry to share some of his life experiences and lessons he has learned along the way.
Terry Terry has always been an activist and community leader where ever his travels have taken him being arrested in Central Park (for political theatre), provoking elephants in the wilds of Africa, running with a gang of motorcycle enthusiasts, as well as founding the a park in his days at Michigan State University.
Terry Terry began his activism at Michigan State University by setting up the People’s Park in the middle of campus to protest the Vietnam War, where they camped in tents and peacefully occupy the location even when ordered to leave by police. This taught him how small actions can help develop a community.
Next his adventures took him to the east coast traveling with a performing arts group, which brought him to New York City and Central Park. Eventually this led to being thrown into a paddy wagon and hauled off to jail, ultimately being banished from New York City for six months. This taught him a life lesson that expressing your views comes with risks.
The next adventure took Terry to Africa to film a tribal drum ceremony. During this trip he became extremely ill, which through unfortunate circumstances Terry locked himself out of his room and after surviving the night he was stranded for the next four days. This experience taught him to remain calm in the face of adversity.
His other life events led him to lead the development of training materials for the Harley Davidson Motorcycle Club in the United States. During this project, Terry inquired why Harley Davidson was not creating these programs for other countries around the world. The advice was taken, and this allowed him to experience motorcycle tours throughout the world as part of his work. The lesson here is to enjoy what you do, surround yourself with smart people and work with passion in the opportunities you are involved with.
As Terry summarized his life experiences, he shared the following advice for our day to day lives. Accept that everything changes, suffering usually comes from within if you are truly paying attention, be passionate in all the things you do and try different things in your lifetime, surround yourself with good people, hire people that are smarter than you in the things they do and stay in touch with friends and family.
Rotarians submitted many questions, but the winner was hands down Kevin Schumacher (channeling Elvis Presley’s spirit on Zoom) wondering “how many times Terry has done something he could have been arrested for and was not”, Terry’s response was “no comment” leading this scribe to wonder if the statute of limitations is still open for these adventures.
President Morticia was able to bring our weekly meeting its demise, reminding our speaker that a contribution will be made to local project in his name to acknowledge his presentation to our meeting. We will be meeting next Friday in spirit via Zoom.
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