September-November 2010


Newtown Lions Schedule September through November 2010

September 6  Monday                         Labor Day Parade

September 8 Wednesday                    Regular Meeting

September 15 Wednesday                  Board of Directors Meeting

September 25  Saturday                      Newtown Health Day

September 22 Wednesday                  Regular Meeting

October 9 Saturday                              Orchard Hill Clean-Up

October 13  Wednesday                     Regular Meeting

October 16  Saturday                           Mustang Raffle Drawing

October 19* Tuesday                          Pizza and Politics

October 20  Wednesday                     Board of Directors Meeting

October 27  Wednesday                     Regular Meeting

October 30  Saturday                           Great  Pumpkin Race (all hands needed)

November 6, Saturday                         Progressive Dinner

November 10 Wednesday                  Regular Meeting– Membership Night

November 17 Wednesday                  Board of Directors Meeting


President’s message August 2010


My son Paul sent me the story below.  I don’t know the author but I think it says a lot about our views of what is really important to us:

An expert in time management was speaking to a group of business students and, to drive home a point, used an illustration those students will never forget. As he stood in front of the group of high-powered overachievers he said, "Okay, time for a quiz" and he pulled out a one-gallon, mason jar and set it on the table in front of him. He also produced about a dozen fist-sized rocks and carefully placed them, one at a time, into the jar.

When the jar was filled to the top and no more rocks would fit inside, he asked, "Is this jar full?" Everyone in the class yelled, "Yes."  The time management expert replied, "Really?" He reached under the table and pulled out a bucket of gravel. He dumped some gravel in and shook the jar causing pieces of gravel to work themselves down into the spaces between the big rocks. He then asked the group once more, "Is the jar full?"

By this time the class was on to him. "Probably not," one of them answered.

"Good!" he replied. He reached under the table and brought out a bucket of sand. He started dumping the sand in the jar and it went into all of the spaces left between the rocks and the gravel. Once more he asked the question, "Is this jar full?"

"No!" the class shouted. Once again he said, "Good." Then he grabbed a pitcher of water and began to pour it in until the jar was filled to the brim. Then he looked at the class and asked, "What is the point of this illustration?"

One eager beaver raised his hand and said, "The point is, no matter how full your schedule is, if you try really hard you can always fit some more things in it!"

"No," the speaker replied, "that's not the point. The truth this illustration teaches us is: If you don't put the big rocks in first, you'll never get them in at all."

To me, and probably to most of our fellow Lions, service to our community is one of the big rocks.  It is the reason our organization exists.  We are not a social club, even though we all enjoy our fellowship and the Club’s social activities with our wives.  Our focus is embodied in our motto: “We Serve.”  For those who have been very active in our programs or other service projects around
Newtown and elsewhere, thank you.  For those who are still looking for something to commit to, ask yourselves “What are my big rocks?”

Proud to be a Lion.


                                                Facts from History

There is an old hotel pub in Marble Arch, London which used to have gallows adjacent.  Prisoners were taken to the gallows to be hung.  The horse drawn dray, carting the prisoner was accompanied by an armed guard who would stop the dray outside the pub and ask the prisoner if he would like one last drink.  If he said “yes” it was referred to as “one for the road.”  If he declined, that prisoner was “on the wagon.”


            They also used to use urine to tan animal skins so families used to all pee in a pot and then once a day it was taken and sold to the tannery.  If you had to do this to survive you were “piss poor”.  But worse than that were the really poor folk who couldn’t even afford to buy a pot.  They “didn’t have a pot to piss in”.  They were the lowest of the low.


                                                Doings of the Pride


            This fall another good Lion will bite the dust.   On September ll at the Fox Hill Inn wedding bells will chime for Doug Hensel.  We wish him and his bride, Sarah Lynch, all the good luck in the world. Honeymooning at Oahu and Maui should give them a good start . . . . Roger Capobianco spent some of this summer helping out the Connecticut Special Olympics program which he has done for a good many years.  This year his task was to be score keeper. . . . Bill Denlinger is back in business.  Our Lion attorney , after a respite, has set up shop again, this time in the Chase building on Main Street.  He looks forward to resuming practice. . . . Jim Larin and wife, Nancy, and her brother and his wife have just returned from Alaska.  They drove there in a big RV. On their cruise in Prince Edward’s Sound, they saw glaciers and animals like sea lions and killer whales.  On land they were excited by frequent sightings of elk, caribou, moose, deer, black bear and grizzles.  . . .  Ed Miklaszewsky and his wife, Donna, also have been traveling.  They spent five days in London touring the city and enjoying a bike tour of the parks and gardens of Buckingham Palace.  Then it was off for a cruise to Stockholm, Helsinki, St. Petersburg.  While in St. Petersburg, Ed particularly like the Hermitage with its three million pieces of art, traveling on the subway and visiting an open air market. . . Kerry and Andrea Brosnan enjoyed a week on a ten acre island off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard.  There was a pond or lake there as well being right next to the ocean as well as swimming.  While there Leo, aged seven, flying his older sister’s kite, lost control of it and it drifted away lodging in a tree across the way.  It turned out to be a cottage owned by James Taylor who is one of Kerry and Andrea’s favorite singers. . . . Bruce and Jane Landgrebe spent almost two weeks cruising along the coast of Norway.  They had brought warm clothes but found themselves in shorts much of the time.  They saw no iceburgs, in fact, not much snow but did see reindeer.  One of the unusual things was being in the Arctic Circle with practically twenty-four hours of sunlight.  Sunset was at 11:57 and sunrise at 12:00.  . . . Jon and Lydia Christensen were on vacation, too, but it was certainly a working one as they spent a good bit of time fixing up their Massachusetts cottage. . . .  Did you ever see “Little Rascals?”  Well, supposedly in there a group of boys belong to the Women Hater Club.  Well, Lion Frank DeLucia belongs to one as well.  It seems that every summer he, his sons and grandsons, journey to Vermont and go fishing and play golf for a week.  They have done this for a number of years and have dubbed themselves the Women Hater Club!. . . .When you see our friendly greeter, John Kopins, at our first Lions meeting this fall, you will have to address him as Honorable John, as he is a members of the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Corps which spends much time and money building monuments to our service men and women and honoring them in various ways. This is the oldest U.S. organization to do things of this nature.   Kudos Honorable John!


                                                Scam Targeting Older Men

                                                            By Lion Rex Wilkins from Utica


            You often hear of a scam taking advantage of older women.  But things can happen to older men, like me, as well


            A heads up for those men who may be regular Home Depot customers.  Over the last month I became a victim of a clever scam while out shopping.  Simply going out to get supplies has turned out to be quite traumatic.  Don’t be naďve enough to think it couldn’t happen to you or your friends.


            Here’s how the scam works:  Two seriously good looking 20 something girls come over to your car as you are putting your shopping into the trunk.  They both start wiping your windshield with a rag and Windex, with their breasts almost falling out of their skimpy t-shirts.  It s impossible not to look.  When you thank them and offer them a tip, they say, “No” and instead ask you for a ride to McDonald’s.  You agree and they get into the back seat.


            On the way they start undressing.  Then one of them climbs over into the front seat and starts crawling all over you, while the other one steals your wallet.  I had my wallet stolen June 4th, 9th, 20th and 29th and three times in July.


  So tell your friends to be careful.  What a way to take advantage of older men!


                        American Lion-Andrew Jackson in the White House

                             by Jon Meacham

                                      Book Review by Lion Jim Larin


          Andrew Jackson, seventh president of the United States is one of the most controversial, yet one of the most influential Presidents of the nineteenth century, and was undoubtedly the most charismatic leader since the founding fathers.  He sprang to national prominence by commanding greatly outnumbered US forces  in the final conflict of the War of 1812, the Battle of New Orleans - perhaps the most surprising military victory in history.


          He has an extraordinary lists of bests and worsts attributed to his leadership: Jackson was raised in impoverished circumstances with an absentee father.  From this modest circumstance he  became the first President who was not a member of the educated gentry; he was the first populist president who widely campaigned for voter support in the presidential elections; he was the founder of the Democratic Party; he was Commander of US troops in the invasion of Florida and the subsequent Indian Wars; he  presided over the mass migration of Indian populations from the southeast to the Oklahoma Territory; he was a staunch supporter of the Union , yet was an unrepentant slave owner; he averted the potential disintegration of the Union  precipitated by the "South Carolina Nullifiers", thereby postponing the Civil Was for nearly thirty years. He was pugnacious and combative and engaged in numerous fights and several duels. He killed a man in a duel over a gambling debt carrying a bullet from that duel in his chest for nearly 40 years.


          Jackson was strong willed and sharp tempered.  His  presidency was characterized by partisanship and controversy. As president Jackson cast himself as a "President of the people" - a supporter of the average voter versus the moneyed elite.  Jackson initiated a stronger role for the president and established precedents for today's Imperial Presidency. He replaced many cabinet officers and government officials, inaugurating the political "spoils system". He was, altogether a most interesting person.


          The narrative by Meacham is executed in a very readable style and is not overly long - 355 pages in the Random House paperback edition.  Altogether it is an entertaining read about an interesting historical figure.     


                        What to Do about a Dog that Snores


A couple has a dog that snores.  Annoyed because she can’t sleep, the wife goes to the vet to see if he can help.  The vet tells the woman to tie a ribbon around the dog’s testicles and he will stop snoring.  That night a few minutes after going to bed, the dog begins snoring, as usual.  The wife tosses and turns, unable to sleep.  Muttering to herself, she goes to the closet and grabs a piece of red ribbon and ties it carefully around the dog’s testicles.  Sure enough, the dog stops snoring.  The woman is amazed.


Later that night, her husband returns home drunk from being out drinking with his buddies.  He climbs into bed, falls asleep  and immediately begins snoring loudly.  The woman decides maybe the ribbon might work on him.  So, she goes to the closet again, grabs a piece of blue ribbon and ties it around her husband’s testicles.  Amazingly, it also works on him!


The woman sleeps soundly.  The husband wakes from his drunken stupor and stumbles into the bathroom.  As he stands in front of the toilet, he glances in the mirror and sees a blue ribbon attached to his balls.  He is very confused, and as he walks back into the bedroom, he sees the red ribbon attached to his dog’s testicles.


  He shakes his head and looks at the dog and whispers,  I don’t know where we were . . . or what we did . . . But, by God we took First and Second place!



Focus on our Wives

            Ella Chen, wife of Lion Jason Hsu, is a busy, busy lady.  A licensing and marketing executive for Dow Chemical, she has a lot to do with the terms and conditions of  licensing of global contracts.  And is she on the go!  Ella must have enough frequent flyer miles that she could never use them all.  Seventy percent of her travel is to China but the rest is scattered throughout the globe.  With a material sciences undergraduate major and an engineering masters from Columbia, she is very much in demand.  Ella also spends a lot of times with her children, Allison and Andrew.  Allison, a Gates student, qualified for the Center for Talented Youth organized by John Hopkins.  She spent three weeks at this seminar this summer, building two cars.  Andrew, their senior son, spent the summer shadowing a doctor to see if that is a career path he would like.  With busy children’s activities and a demanding career, Ella says she doesn’t have much leisure time at all.  When she can snatch a free moment she says she does love to read.

He Couldn’t Get to Work on Time


Charley, a new retiree greeter at Wal-Mart, just couldn’t seem to get to work on time.  Every day he was five, ten or fifteen minutes late.  But he was a good worker, really tidy, clean shaven, sharp minded and a real credit to the company and obviously demonstrating their “Older Person Friendly” policies.  One day the boss calls him into the office for a pep talk.  “Charley, I have to tell you, I like your work ethic, you do a bang up job, but your being late so often is quite bothersome.”


            “Yes, I know boss, and I am working on it.”


“Well good, you are a team player.  That’s what I like to hear.  It’s odd though your coming in late.  I know you’re retired from the Armed Forces.  What did they say if you came in late there?


“They said, ‘Good morning, Admiral, can I get you coffee, sir?”