Lions Schedule  February 2012 to March 2012

Sat.  Feb. 4      Midwinter Conference

Sun. Feb. 12    Valentine Day’s Dinner with wives at Cappellaro’s Grove in Bethel

Wed. Feb. 15  Board of Directors Meeting

Wed. Feb. 22  Regular Meeting        

Wed . March 14. Regular Meeting

Wed.  March 21  Board of Directors Meeting

Wed.  March 28  Regular Meeting with children and grandchildren


   President’s Message

Fellow Lions,           

While we are currently in a quieter time of the year in our Lions’ calendar, please remember that our mission continues to be that of “Volunteerism”.  I say this as our activity schedule becomes more and more hectic as we approach the spring.  While we have a core group of members that always step up to assist in or implement our various functions, we can do so much more with the participation of all club members.  We are ramping up activities for the Duck Race, the Mustang raffle, Lose the Litter/Earth Day and our new endeavor, planting American elm trees.  There are opportunities for all members to follow through with their pledge when they joined the club: that of participation.  We never have a lack of things to do, and we derive a great deal of fun and satisfaction from participating.

Lions Arfaras, Krueger and myself attended the Lions District 23 Mid-Winter Conference on Saturday, February 4th at the Farmington Marriot.  At this conference we took the opportunity to present over $10,000 to Lions’ charities that fall into our first priority budget category for blindness and diabetes.  Once again your Newtown  Lions Club was a leader in overall contributions at this function.  We are a leader because of our commitment to do the work that it takes to aid those who are physically or financially challenged. 

            All work and no play is not what we are about.  We can enjoy each other’s company at our Valentine’s Dinner dance on February 12th.  On Monday March 19th we will get together for what has become our annual dinner at Lion Gary Frey’s restaurant, Gary’s Ribs on Route 7 in New Milford.  More details on our dinner at Gary’s will come out of our Social Activities committee shortly.

            Thanks to all for your continued efforts.


                                     Married for Sixty Years        

 An elderly Italian man lay dying in his bed. While suffering the agonies of impending death, he suddenly smelled the aroma of his favorite Italian anisette sprinkle cookies wafting up the stairs. He gathered his remaining strength, and lifted himself from the bed. Leaning against the wall, he slowly made his way out of the bedroom, and with even greater effort,

gripping the railing with both hands, he crawled downstairs. With labored

breath, he leaned against the door frame, gazing into the kitchen. Were it

not for death's agony, he would have thought himself already in heaven, for

there, spread out upon waxed paper on the kitchen table were literally

hundreds of his favorite anisette sprinkled cookies.

Was it heaven? Or was it one final act of heroic love from his devoted Italian wife of sixty years, seeing to it that he left this world a happy man? Mustering one great final

effort, he threw himself towards the table, landing on his knees in a rumpled posture. His parched lips parted, the wondrous taste of the cookie was already in his mouth, seemingly bringing him back to life. The aged and withered hand trembled on its way to a cookie at thedge of the table, when it was suddenly smacked with a spatula by his wife......

"Back off!" his wife said, "They're for the funeral."

                                    Focus on our Wives

            Friendly, cheerful Josie Schmidt is the spouse of Lion Bob.  A teacher of twenty-three years, most of them at Middle Gate School, Josie took time off to rear Laurie and Eddie.  Both have children and Josie loves playing grandmother.  As Laurie lives in Southbury, Josie sees a lot of her three boys and one girl.  Eddie, a documentary film maker in California, has one son but because of distance they don’t see him nearly as often.

 Josie and Bob are good partners in many ways.  They perform as a duo called Solid  Gold Times Two.  Bob has encouraged her to pick up the flute which she had played in high school and she is enjoying that as well as singing with him.  They have gigs once or twice a month ranging from house parties to senior centers.  Josie loves it when the seniors  start tapping their feet, smiling and singing along.  She finds that very gratifying.  An active member of the Town and Country Garden Club, Josie is an avid  gardener.   Another interest is crocheting.  For many years she crocheted baby items but as there are no more babies in the offering, she is moving in different directions.  Currently she is crocheting a scarf for Special Olympics.  One final note:  Do you think we go to all those Duck Race meetings just because we love the project or because Bob is such a good chairman?  Guess again!  We go because of Josie’s wonderful cookies! 

 The Horny Dragon Slayer

Once upon a time lived a beautiful Queen with large breasts. Nick the Dragon Slayer obsessed over the Queen for this reason. He knew that the penalty for his desire would be death should he try to touch them, but he had to try. One day Nick revealed his secret desire to his colleague, Horatio the Physician, the King's chief doctor. Horatio thought about this

and said that he could arrange for Nick to more than satisfy his desire, but it would cost him 1000 gold coins to arrange it. Without pause Nick readily agreed to the scheme.

The next day, Horatio made a batch of itching powder and poured a little bit

into the Queen's bra while she bathed. Soon after she dressed, the itching

commenced and grew intense. Upon being summoned to the Royal Chambers

to address this incident, Horatio informed the King and Queen that only a special

saliva, if applied for four hours, would cure this type of itch, and that tests had

shown that only the saliva of Nick would work as the antidote to cure the itch.

The King, eager to help his Queen, quickly summoned Nick to their chambers.

Horatio then slipped Nick the antidote for the itching powder, which he put into

his mouth, and for the next four hours, Nick worked passionately on the Queen's

large and magnificent breasts. The Queen's itching was eventually relieved, and

Nick left satisfied and hailed as a hero.

Upon returning to his chamber, Nick found Horatio demanding his payment of 1,000 gold coins. With his obsession now satisfied, Nick could have cared less and, knowing that Horatio could never report this matter to the King,  with a laugh told him to get lost.

The next day, Horatio slipped a massive dose of the same itching powder into the King's underwear. The King immediately summoned Nick.   

Doings of the Pride

 Hats off to Lion Steve Bennett!  For years he has spent a number of hours ringing Salvation Army bells for both the Lions Club and the Newtown Congregational Church.  Because of his good work, he was asked to co-chair the event.  From all accounts afterward, he did an excellent job.  . . .  Dick Kovacs is recovering nicely from two serious December operations.  It was found that he had cancer in his lung and his doctor was ready to operate but then because of a pre-op exam they found that his gall bladder was full of stones so that had to be removed first.  I bet Lion Dick will never want to see a hospital again.   He and Lions Stakel and Christiansen and their wives recently spent an interesting afternoon at the air museum at Bradley.  They marveled at the size of the B29 and enjoyed all the other planes, as well. . . . Lion Christiansen also reminds us of the good Leo project of selling daffodils.  The flowers are available in either plant or cut form.  If interested, call Jon. . . . We have a world of travelers this winter.  Spending anywhere from two weeks to four months in Florida are Lions Arneth, Bruno, Christiansen, Evagash,  Hostetler, Landgrebe, Larin, and Mounts.  We  hope our snow birds will have lots of sun and good golfing.  And traveling somewhere in the wilds of South America is ex-prez, Walt Schweikert.  Meanwhile,  pounding nails and lifting sheetrock in Biloxi, Mississippi were Jerry Cole and Ed Miklaszewski, joining other volunteers who were working to restore housing destroyed by Katrina. . . . Chuck Paulsen has recently completed his book, Math Anxiety Relief for Nearly Everyone.  He is now in the throes of self publishing the book.  He said there are many resources available for people who want to self publish.  He commented “The internet has changed how books can be published.  No longer do authors have to be held hostage by publishers and agents.”  But beyond publishing there is still the problem of sales, which Lion Paulsen is still working on. . . . Mike Savanelli has recently moved to ITT where he became the; vice president and chief tax  officer.  All tax matters go through him.  ITT is involved in many areas including energy, electronics, aerospace and transportation.  World Wide they have 8000 employees.  Good going, Mike! . . . .Finally, we want to offer condolences to Jim Cotter who recently lost his father.  Mr. Cotter lived to the good age of ninety-one and from all respects was a highly regarded man by many people.  Our collective sympathy is flowing your way, Jim. 

                        The Lions’ Widow from Kalamazoo 

Vera, a widow of a Lion from Kalamazoo recently wrote her friend Clarice.

“I got a new stick deodorant today.  The instructions said:  “Remove cap and

push up bottom.”

            I can barely walk, but whenever I fart the room smells lovely!” 

The Big Burn by Timothy Egan, a winner of the National Book Award

Book Review by Lion Bill Denlinger 

In 1899, Gifford Pinchot, a 38 year old single, wealthy, athletic, outdoor enthusiast visited Theodore Roosevelt, with whom he had a previous acquaintance, at the governor's mansion in Albany. During the visit they became fairly close friends, helped along by Mr. Pinchot's participation in boxing and wrestling matches at the governor's request.

Soon Governor Roosevelt became Vice President Roosevelt and then, with the assignation of President McKinley, President, and in 1904 was elected President in his own right. Pinchot became chief forester, a presidential advisor, and eventually the head of a fledgling forest service. This book covers the tremendous political battles against the robber barons who would use the vast untouched forests of the nation for their own benefit. President Roosevelt succeeded in putting millions of wilderness acres under government control to save for future generations, but could not get adequate financing to protect the forests.

In 1910 the largest forest fire in the history of the United States devastated large parts of Idaho, Montana and Washington. The book largely details the heroism of the small numbers of firefighters, aided by untrained locals and immigrants. It also details the death and horrors created by the fire.

The "big burn" enabled Roosevelt, Pinchot and many like minded people to succeed in funding the purchase of additional forest lands, mainly in the East, and the hiring and training of a forest service to protect our national heritage.

This book was well written and educational. I enjoyed it.