2011-06-01, Tom Taney, Stories of Family Members Past

Club president, Richelle Ponder rang the bell to open the meeting. Dave Lemen gave the invocation.  Richelle then led us in the Pledge of Allegiance. Janet Green led the club in singing “God Bless America.” Next, we greeted one another and learned later that Willie Mays was the mystery greeter.  It was really Rita Sandoval. 

We had one visiting Rotarian, all the way from Tigard, OR.  We also had 5 guests of Rotarians.  Pres. Ponder announced that our Great Day of Service will be postponed.  It turns out that the responsible government agency forgot to secure a permit for the project.  We will learn later when we can proceed.  Barbara Rose announced that we have 25 restaurants participating in the Taste of Las Cruces gala schedule for June 9 starting at 6pm at the Convention Center.

After singing “Happy Birthday” to those Rotarians born (eons ago) in the month of June, Pres. Richelle turned the meeting over to Barbara Andrew, who introduced our speaker for the day.

The Program – Tom Taney   “Stories of Family Members Past”

Tom spent his childhood in California and Nevada before going on to West Point.  He moved to Las Cruces in 1993 and taught math in the school system.  With this background he asked us what he should talk about—surely not math!  Fortunately, he ended up talking about his family and how his search through the family tree, along with a book of poetry, led him into story telling.

As one explores one’s ancestry, you learn about your parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, etc.  In doing so, you hear stories about these people.  Some of the stories may surprise you.  In Tom’s case, it was his grandfather who left behind a book of poetry the he wrote.  Tom memorized some of the poems and has shared them with others (as well as with us in our meeting). 

If you consider your own family, you can explore your family tree by asking questions about a specific person’s birth, death, marriage or dating relationships, jobs, military service, brothers & sisters, children, hobbies, and name changes.  Your inquiry will no doubt produce fun stories that you can share with others.  The key is to get enough details as you can when asking about specific family members.  Tom’s grandfather was a “practicing engineer” for 50 years.  Yet, he had a talent for stories and for poetry.  Furthermore, he was somewhat of a prankster as a kid.

As Tom finished his presentation to us, he left copies of four poems that his grandfather wrote.  Each one seems to reflect (as in a mirror) what the man was like.

After the Program

Bill Harty won the drawing.  The can collected $44.  The 4-Way Test was recited as we closed the meeting.  

<prior week   following week>

Guests of Rotarians

Guest  Host
Janet McPherson Bob McPherson
Sarah Loman Steve Loman
Rick Merolla Paul Comeau
Diana Salopek Paulina Salopek
Celeste Salopek Paulina Salopek

Visiting Rotarians

Rotarian Home Club
Jim Sanders Tigard, OK

Make-ups

Rotarian Date Club
Elaine Szalay 6/1 Rio

Submitted by Blaine Goss Blaine Goss