Spindrift July 27, 2023


Shirley Lashmett opened the meeting and led the prayer. She expressed gratitude we were able to gather in this free country and asked God to help us maintain our freedom. She prayed for God’s help in our new fiscal year with new fundraisers. Ron Lashmett led the pledge.


Richard Swinney gave an update concerning Bob Kinton who was hospitalized but recently moved to a recovery facility (Victoria) in Costa Mesa. Bob can’t receive guests but Richard encouraged us to call him. George Lesley welcomed back Roy Shlemon who recently completed surgery to relieve his sciatica pain. Roy expressed thanks for the phone calls and transportation he has received. In particular, he recognized James Vale who drove him to South County for his 6:00 a.m. surgery and waited for Roy to bring him home.


Shirley introduced Chuck Seven, our newest member, to give his “Three Minute” talk. Chuck was born in Eugene, Oregon and grew up on the Oregon coast. He attended the University of Oregon where he played baseball and football (started on baseball and was a “dummy” on football). The summer after freshman year, he worked as a lumberjack (for a day) and finished that summer working in the sawmill.

Chuck shared his three most interesting facts: (1) he was born on leap year day; (2) he is an Oregon Duck; and (3) he has four children (two boys and two girls). Some might consider the twists, turns, excitement, and successes of his professional endeavors to be his fourth interesting fact.

Chuck’s first position after college was selling insurance with Penn Mutual on the east coast. Although thriving, three years later, he was lured back to Oregon by the opportunity to own and manage a janitor supply business. This business took off, it was a distributor for 300 companies. A tough divorce, however, landed him in Orange County where he joined a computer company and rose to top salesman by his second year. He left there to launch a company that designed software to rank hundreds of insurers for purchasers. His next move was to commercial and industrial real estate where he became involved with the unions and active near John Wayne Airport. But, because of trouble with the County of Orange, he moved to Viet Nam in hopes of starting an aviation business. He dodged the restrictions of the communist party and eventually owned a company involved with test pilots and transporting supplies one way and refugees on the return. In the end, the CIA and FBI suggested he leave Viet Nam. He returned to the United States where he had a charter business flying sick, injured, and deceased people home, and collaborated with insurance companies to provide insurance for this service. Currently, he works in estate planning, including selling life insurance with a colleague who has sold more life insurance than anyone in history.

Sadly, Chuck’s wife, Bell, passed away two years ago at the age of 64. We are lucky to add Chuck to our membership.

Shirley and Ken DuFour updated us on the Exchange National Convention in Phoenix. Four hundred and thirty two members attended, roughly a third of the attendance at Shirley’s first convention. The hotel was nice and the food was good. Although the daytime high was 115 degrees, the indoors was comfortable with reasonable air conditioning. Shirley conducted a show and tell. She showed her lanyard displaying her various roles and honors from Exchange. Dr. Bob Wood missed the convention and retrieving his honors. Fortunately, Shirley grabbed and gave him one of them that stated “Genious.” She showed us a stuffed teddy bear from a custom teddy bear vendor.

Shirley and Ken highlighted two noteworthy vendors. Vet Tix supplies tickets (e.g., movie, professional sports games, concerts, etc.) for veterans. Eventgrove promotes fundraisers by creating and maintaining an event website, and marketing and selling tickets for the event. Eventgrove represented a beer drinking fundraiser for which a $12,000 payment yielded $182,000 in revenue. Ken believes we should consider Eventgrove for the Movie Event or Field of Honor.

Shirley said several officer candidates gave interesting speeches. Neither Shirley or Ken were thrilled with the woman who presented at the One Nation Under God luncheon. Although impressed by obstacles she overcame, she talked in circles and perhaps a bit too long. They also heard from the national ACE winner who had a notable resume. Aside from losing her father at a young age and issues with her mother, however, the ACE winner didn’t explain challenges she conquered.

Shirley was pleased with the entertainment. Exchange’s Marilyn Kohler now lives near Phoenix. Her Sizzling Seniors (60+ age entertainers) Arizona group opened with a western themed performance. The Elvis impersonator was pretty good, but the magician, the main act, was not exceptional.

Ken appreciated the hospitality rooms stocked with snacks, hors d’oeuvres, and beverages and with lively conversation. There was a first-timers room where Exchange leaders welcomed those new to the National Convention. The Texas Louisiana suite had nightly Texas style shows along with a dish of blanco queso with a spicy kick.

As to business conducted, the national officers were elected. Ken had two major takeaways. All Exchange chapters are challenged with member recruitment and fundraising.

Richard and Shirley were raffle winners and each won $30.

Shirley concluded the meeting with her thought of the day – “Always have love to share, cash to spare, tires with air, and friends who care.”

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Mike Marquardt

Mike Marquardt