This week's meeting was very special.  All about UW's rowing team at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, and described in the bestseller, "Boys in the Boat".
Rotary Club of Olympia
The Wheel
Date:  10/19/2015
Today’s Program:  The Boys in the Boat
NOTE ABOUT PHOTOS FOR THIS PROGRAM: Many photos can be seen, including the medals won by the rowing team, by going to our home page and selecting the Oct. 19th photo album through the main menu.
Meeting Called to order:   12:27
Invocation by:    Nancy Riordan
Pledge of Allegiance led by:  Jim Balz
Song:  Allen Miller
Four Way Test led by:  Kelli Hegsted
Visiting Rotarians:  We were fortunate to have a great number of visiting Rotarians including Neil Falkenburg from West Olympia Rotary.
Guests of Rotarians:  We were very lucky to have many guests, at least 17 but probably many more. In fact we had to set up two additional tables to accommodate everyone.
Happy Bucks:  No time as we had a very busy agenda.
Program:   “The Boys in the Boat “
Introduction:  “Nationally, regionally and locally we are not immune from seemingly continual negative news events. So we look for occasional good news stories, especially heroic occurrences that sustain our overall Positive outlook on life, and the prevailing belief that the power of the human spirit can prevail over the world’s adversities…”
Tim Hume:  “I am here on behalf of my father Dale who was very proud of his older brother.” My uncle was nine years older than my father; our family had to move Anacortes when work was harder to come by here in Olympia. By the time we moved back my uncle Don was a senior and wanted to graduate with his friends. To give you a sense of who he was he rowed from Anacortes after graduation to the family West Bay camp. My father was there waiting for him. Don started at the University of Washington in the fall of 1934 and made the crew, and as you know from the book, the 1936 Olympic Team. What you might not know is that the Olympia Community helped him get there. The crew members were expected to raise the money to make the trip. Tim read the inscription from a gold watch, “From the Citizens of Olympia” it is a memento that came with financial support from the Olympia community.
Tim also shared a story about his uncle and Jesse Owens’s becoming the shuffleboard championship team on the ship to Germany.
Judy Rantz Willman:  “I sometimes wish I had a time machine to see, hear and experience the past…”  I started the project some time after finding treasures in my father’s attic, photos and newspaper stories about the crew that represented the U. S.
in the 1936 Olympics. I admit that what motivated me to have a book written was perhaps selfish, I did not want these men to be forgotten, I wanted it to serve as an example of true Olympians (amateurs not professional athletes), I wanted it to serve as an example for others and to be an inspiration for all of us to be our best. For my father being on the crew changed his life. In 1979 he was inducted into the Husky Hall of fame it was a proud moment for all of us.
My father was always supportive of our passions. Even if it involved a horse and a buggy of sorts.
My father when courting my mother had my grandmother along for company. Once the car lights went out and my mom standing on the running board held a flashlight to guide them home. The same care broke down on another date and it was a long walk home.
Judy shared that the story is true for it is too improbable to happen otherwise.
That the work/research took six years and that the book needed to be like a time machine.
That what is important to us as humans is what we can be when we are at our best.
What influence did the crew coach have on the team?  He is not mentioned in the book.
The book talks about George Popock taking Joe Rantz under his wing was this unusual?
He often took a young oarsman under his wing. Someone needed help to open up and   become part of the team.
What was it like in Germany during the Olympics?
They were aware of things but they were there for the race and focused on doing their best for the team. It was early and before most of us understood what was to come.
The backdrop and background about Germany was done by Dan he created the setting and new where he wanted to go with that.
What about a movie?
     We are not involved but a group is actively thinking about it…
Next weeks Program will feature the CEO of St. Peter’s.
Next week the nations observe Veteran’s Day
Gretchen “Wins the Raffle”
Meeting adjourned :  1:32