Animated bugles

Editor, Paul Rosenberger

Editor: Paul Rosenberger



NOVEMBER 14, 2014

 Steve Wentworth introduced our speaker, Steve Speer, a retired microbiologist from ADM, who had ridden a touring bicycle from the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, D. C. to Seattle, Washington from April – June this year in honor of nine comrades who were killed in Vietnam where they served during the active U. S. military involvement between 1965 and 1975. The memorial lists 58,195 mostly 19-22 year-old men (Google said there were a few women listed). When he left on his bike in D.C. Steve was able to see the beautiful flowering cherry trees given to the U.S. by the Japanese in 1912 as a gesture of friendship. He had spent some of his youth in Japan where he’d seen those kind of trees.

Steve then told of his 90-day trip on long bike trails and non-interstate highways that was inspired by a story he read about a disabled sschoolteacher. Even though he had never done much biking, he had done a lot of planning for the trip. He mentioned obtaining a great resource about bike-friendly routes from a bike club in Indiana. He also discovered how many small towns have the early-riser groups enjoying breakfasts, so he typically awoke at 4:00 a.m. to be welcomed by these groups (maybe like Breakfast Sertomans!). His average speed was about ten miles per hour on his thin-wheeled bicycle. He said his biggest problem was the weather, too cold in April, too hot in June, and too windy, usually a head wind. He was frequently invited to stay overnight in a stranger’s home, and he did utilize some motels. He said he was a ‘lean’ packer, reducing his supplies to half of his original planned ‘necessities.’ He did not pull a bike trailer. He did, however, have a GPS that informed his family where he was each day and talked to them frequently.

Steve explained the positives of his trip, such as the friendly and kind people he met, especially singling out the unemployed ex-miners in West Virginia and the Native Americans on the reservations who shared their homes. He noted how you can appreciate the beauty of the land when you are four feet off the ground moving at ten mph.. He then used a 50-cent word, cathartic, to explain his feelings on his ‘dream trip.’ He also said that despite all the political nay-sayers we recently heard, he feels that the USA is doing ‘well.’

When he arrived in Seattle he and a friend attached four packets containing stories of his nine fallen comrades to four weather balloons filled with different amounts of helium to vary their travel distance. He did not include his name, but hoped that any finders would be impressed and consider the sacrifices of our veterans. He ended his talk by saying we should recognize our own dreams and never procrastinate about trying something big.

Thanks for sharing this incredible story today, Steve.




November 21 – Regular meeting at 7:00 a.m. at Scovill Golf Course Banquet Facility

November 21 –
Last Friday to order Sertoma Holiday Blend Coffee

November 25 –
Community Thanksgiving Dinner at Decatur Civic Center

November 29 –
Salvation Army Kettle bell – ringing at Sam’s 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.

December 2 –
Board meeting at 6:50 a.m. at Perkin’s

December 6 -
Salvation Army Kettle bell – ringing at Walmart ???

December 13 –
Christmas Party at Lance & Becky Gauble’s – Time TBA

NOVEMBER 14, 2014


 21 members and five guests including: George Batson, Noon Sertoma’s Sponsorship Chair, who collected final poinsettia orders, Tom Smith’s second-time guest, Cary Hise from Dansig Insurance, who took home an application for membership today, Barbara Hawbaker, Stu’s spouse, and Bob & Jessica Disbro, friends of the guest speaker, Steve Speer, came this bitter cold morning for a hot tasty breakfast and to hear Mr. Speer’s exceptional program.







Sheriff Stu Hawbaker told us that in the interest of time to hear the program, we could be honest and donate into the coffee cup for 1) lack of a Sertoma pin, 2) for any other ‘sin’ of commission or omission, and 3) for our assumed failure to know the answer to his trivia question, “What was Mother Teresa’s real first name?” Answer: Agnes. Our speaker, Steve Speer, drew out Mike Boliek’s badge for a ‘huge’ double 50/50 rollover prize.








VP Norm Jensen circulated some sign-up sheets for our annual Salvation Army Kettle bell ringing at Sam’s and North Walmart. The lists will be printed in next Friday’s newsletter. Dick Vissering asked for additional signups for the annual Community Thanksgiving Dinner on Tuesday, November 25 – ticket are $20 – treasurer Alex Prather will bill us in January. Chuck Shonkwiler read thank you note from Joyce & Jack Keller for our matching gift to the Decatur Power Tumblers.






VP Lance Gauble was very pleased to learn that Cary Hise will be joining our club soon to fill our latest vacancy, Jim Watson. Even though that’s a net zero, it helps. Bring guests









VP Will Sudduth reported that next Friday, Mike Boliek has invited Lynn Cazier to tell about his recent missionary work in Kenya, Africa. At the board meeting, we decided to meet on ‘Black’ Friday, November 28, at the Downtown Cafe to get energized for door-buster shopping. All spouses are welcome to attend these special meetings in November.







VP Hugh Rowden reported that our exciting Christmas party with the white elephant gift exchange will be at the home of Becky and Lance Gauble on Saturday evening, December 13. More details and starting time will be announced later. SAVE THE DATE.



 ************* FREEDOM ISN’T FREE *************



I watched the flag pass by one day. It fluttered in the breeze. A young Marine saluted it and then he stood at ease. I looked at him in uniform; so young, so tall, so proud. With hair cut square and eyes alert, he'd stand out in any crowd. I thought how many men like him had fallen through the years. How many died on foreign soil; how many mothers' tears? How many pilots' planes shot down? How many died at sea? How many foxholes were soldiers' graves? NO, FREEDOM ISN'T FREE!

I heard the sound of Taps one night, when everything was still. I listened to the bugler play and felt a sudden chill. I wondered just how many times that Taps had meant 'Amen' when a flag had draped a coffin of a brother or a friend. I thought of all the children, of the mothers and the wives, of fathers, sons and husbands with interrupted lives. I thought about a graveyard at the bottom of the sea and of unmarked graves in Arlington.

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