Spindrift May 14, 2020


When I joined the meeting at 10:01, there were about 15 people already on, and Duncan Forgey in Hawaii was talking about how hotels are controlling social distancing.

At about 10:06 we began the meeting with a question from Jerry Nininger to our speaker Laura Detweiler about the simplest procedure to get our flags ready for this year’s display. It’s being well-handled.


President Ken DuFour began by calling on Garry TeWinkle to provide a prayer. He picked a long time Navy colleague (from his own ship) whose thoughtful requests of God were very timely, including consideration of our current health concerns, and gratefulness for health care providers. He noted that today is the National Day of Prayer. Bet you didn’t know that. I didn’t, although your editor Zooms to church.

Deane Bottorf, using President Ken’s flag, led us in the pledge, and then as a bonus, played and sang “God Bless America” for a rousing meeting start. We got a special report from Cynthia Strassmann, who was driving with her daughter and will now become more active when she gets home.


We were delighted to welcome Laura Detweiler, the head of Recreation and Senior Services for the City. She has been with the City for a total of 20 years, and heads one of the departments highly relevant to us. Since their goal is to “bring people together” and “make life better for residents”, it’s a challenge to do this with the Covid-19 issues surrounding us. However, as we are emerging from this pandemic, Laura had several good things to report: 1. Sixty-five city parks in our community are now open., seven days a week. 2. Although our Community Center (Oasis) is now officially closed, it may open on May 10 with some restrictions; we’re taking this one week at a time. 3. Our beaches opened today for active use (no sunbathing though). 4. The tennis courts are now open, with the help of the USTA (United States Tennis Association) guidelines in defining the requirements. 5. For the homebound, we are delivering 200 meals/day and providing transportation when needed and do grocery shopping.

Newport Beach Speaker Laura Detweiiler
Newport Beach Speaker Laura Detweiiler

Her office stays in touch with the Office of Emergency Services and the Governor’s office. Recently, FEMA, together with the Orange County Dept of Health, has authorized up to three meals/day if needed. Call Oasis and they will handle the arrangements if you are qualified.

We are working on a “return to work” strategy to roll out a summer program, including the library services. We are dismayed that we are unable to have the Field of Honor this year but if we get an application in by May 27, it’s a “go” for next year.

Laura holds our club in high regards, and she feels personally lucky to live and work here. We do, too!

Q and A: Dr. Bob, claiming he needed a haircut, asked about when the barber-shops and salons might be opening. Laura agreed it was a good question, but noted that she thought that is NOT the next phase, but the one after that. Norm Von Herzen wanted to know when he could walk around Balboa Island, and Laura found out: “TODAY” is the answer.

Mike Gertner

Distinguished Mike Gertner was asked to explain how he got the nickname, “Flash.” It turns out that he was a well-known car racer earlier in his career at the time when Flash Gordon was a hero and his friends thought he was that important; hence, Flash Gertner. Shall we change it on the roster, Mike?

President-Elect George Lesley asked if anyone could remember the name of our former member who gave us big bucks. The answer is Ed Miltenberg, who was a not very active member of our club, but moved to Molokai, Hawaii, got rich, and when he passed, his wife and trustee worked with Jerry Nininger to transition some of his fortune to our club on an annual basis, and then a lump sum.


Long-time member Norm Von Herzen also expressed deep appreciation to Richard Swinney and others for keeping the Club moving with Zoom meetings.

Shirley Lashmett reported that the summer District Conference has been canceled and that an upcoming meeting will decide on how to handle the Youth of the Year and A.C.E. winners for the District. If our club’s candidates are involved, we will be notified.


BONUS REPORTS from your Senior Editor and Treasurer. We intend to continue the Spindrift three to four times a month as before, and we have two other editors, Dave Schapiro and Steve Pool who get a lot of satisfaction when they have completed an issue. Sometimes there may be room for an individual member to write a full column about his/her views or sometimes we might want you to summarize your life as if in one of our “three-minute talks” that usually run ten.

Treasurer’s report: We are saving money not having to pay for food, and I am confident that the Executive Committee and the Board will make fair decisions about the unspent money. In the meantime, you might as well pay the regular invoices but we’re not sending out reminders at this time. Thanks, Bob Wood