Bob Sheridan started by reminding us of the vast and incomprehensible nature of the universe and then lead us in a prayer of gratitude to our Maker and for the world he gave us to inhabit, acknowledging how little of it we understand, but that we trust in Him to always guide and protect us. George Kunberger kicked off the Pledge of Allegiance.
We had two guests this morning. Dave Jones our guest and speaker and Don Crawford’s buddy from New Orleans, who also happens to be Erin Downey’s dad.
JUST REPORTING WHAT I HEARD
The two smiling Optimists pictured above Mike Lavin and George Bassola were graciuos voluteers for Bill Parry and the Dingmaster who showed up at 6:00 AM to pass off their greeter responsibility so they could run off to some important meeting. I thought I heard them say something about Tijuana, but I might be wrong.
Lawn Bowling: The second practice session for the upcoming match with the Rotarians is next Tuesday 5-7 PM. We had only six people at the first practice and we need some more folks to make a good showing. The match is on Nov 2. It’s a fun day. All the pizza and beer you can drink (well maybe not all). The cost for the refreshments is just $5. So a real deal. Don’t miss it. Contact is Bill Carinder firstname.lastname@example.org.
Strand Clean Up was lighted supported by the Optimist Club (3 folks showed up) and we had to rely heavily on the Jr ROTC group from the high school to get the job done
Prayer Leaders; Contact Charlie Ahren at email@example.com or find the signup sheet at the next meeting.
School Liaisons; Jim Jamison, as our new external VP, is looking for volunteers to be liaisons with the many school groups we support.
Coronado Film Festival Volunteers needed: Mark Blumenthal has a sign up sheet going around for volunteers to help decorate the sidewalk with stars as part of the upcoming Film Festival.
Coronado Round Table Talk; Tomorrow 10:00 in the Winn room, Coffee at 9:45. Speaker is Tom Morelli who will speak on Prison Ministry in San Diego County
John Brassert: is recovering at Plaza Village in National City. He’ll be there for about three weeks. So if you have a chance stop in and wish him well.
Halloween Happening is tomorrow from 3-5:30. Volunteers still needed. Contact Dianna.
Our speaker today was Dave Jones who gave a talk on “asking the right questions about mental health”. Dave, in a light moment introduced himself as a member of a drinking club in North County that happens to have a Rotarian problem. He also noted that he has no professional credentials for talking on this subject, but he was wearing a jacket, so he looked professional. This was all meant to be a light hearted introduction to a very serious and somber presentation on why people commit suicide and sometimes take others with them.
Dave started by sharing with us his own story of mental illness in his family that went back to his grandfather and then his father, that eventually lead to Dave loosing both his mother and father in one tragic event (due to his father’s severe mental illness) when he was still a small boy. He also shared a story of a local family (son and mother) who were both killed as a result of the son’s mental illness. Then of course, we are all too failure with the rash of mass shootings that often end in the suicide of the shooter. All of this human suffering is the result of mental illness, and mental illness is one of the fasting growing causes of death in the US.
In sharing these stories, Dave was illustrating that whenever these tragedies occur, our first reaction is to ask “Why Did This Happen?”. This is a normal human reaction to try and explain how tragic things happen. However the facts are that there is rarely an answer to this question In the mentally ill mind, driven to suicide and murder, what healthy people would consider rational thoughts, just are not there.
Dave’s point here, was to suggest that we (society) should not simply be asking why did this recent tragedy happen. We should be asking WHY to a much broader spectrum of issues, that get at the heart of treating and healing mental illness. To address the illness before it ever evolves into someone feeling they have no alternative but to commit suicide. Some of the WHY questions Dave suggested we should be asking are:
- Why do 50% of the people in prison have mental illness?
- Why are 80% of people in prison for drug related crimes?
- Why do we spend so much on cancer research and so little on mental health?
- Why can’t we eliminate the stigma associated with mental illness?
- In some parts of the developing parts of the world, despite a lack of many basic necessities the suicide rate is very low. Why can’t many people in the US face the reality of their situation.
- Why do people consider suicide victims to be selfish, when they are really very ill? There is a lack of understanding of the underlying issues
- Why are we continually shocked when someone commit’s suicide?
- Why are so many people in the US treated today with antidepressants and often do not seek therapy?
- Why don’t we talk about mental illness?
- Why are we not aware of the signs of mental illness
- We should consider mental illness as a cancer in the brain. We would not have brain cancer treated, but we often don’t treat mental illness?
Dave is also a member of the San Diego Suicide Prevention Council and we want to thank Dave very much for his service to the community and for the very personal and meaningful talk this morning.
Lots of brags today;
- Jim Callaway gave us a quick catch up on his recent activities including a 3 week cruise, winning every 5k race he participated in over the last 3 months which was about 12 and he told us about falling in the last race, badly hurting his shoulder (requiring surgery) but still winning the race. Wow that’s stamina
- Carla Fargo bragged about her father in law Capt. Fargo who was responsible for getting the land made available from the government so that there would be a place for the YMCA to have Camp SURF.
- Jim Jamison bragged about the 16 Coronado Residents who are being inducted in the Avenue of the Heros this week and that today marks the 75th aniversary of the sinking of the USS Princiton in the Battle of Leyte Gulf
- Shannon Pavell Bragged about Irish Flynn becoming th new President of the Coronado Hospital Foundation Board. Irish added in that he finally broke the glass ceiling by becoming the first male to hold that job.
- Erin Downey bragged about our Jr Optimist President Cole Mullins being named Home Coming King this year.
- Karl Mueller noted that Sandy Ferguson passed away recently on CHS Home Coming Day. Sandy was a long time beloved and respected teacher and advisor at CHS. In fact April 26,1994 was named Sandy Ferguson Day by the Mayor of Coronado, for his contribution to the CHS students
- Dr. Moore bragged about my (George Kunberger) recovery for shoulder surgery, of course Joe was the first Doc to help me with my shoulder injury. The good Doctor also thanked me for producing such good bathroom reading material in the form of the Green Sheet.
One photo our beautiful sunrise this morning for those early birds, taken by Lee Cargill. The other for those who may miss Fall in the East is a picture right near our home in Pennsylvania, where I’ll be spending the holidays with family. I’ll miss beautiful Coronado and my Optimist friends, but I’ll be in another beautiful part of the country with Diane and our kids. God is good my Friends.
Oct. 17, Buck Rogers,45 yrs. a member, by Lew Hardy; Karl Mueller, Oct. 21, 5 years by Lee Pontes; Cheryl Sylvester, Oct. 22, 4 yrs, by Jim Zoll; and Bridgette Jorgensen, today, 1 yr., by Cynthia Kosciuezyk.
Oct. 18, John Downey from Pottsville, PA; Oct. 22, Jack Couture from Boston Mass,; and Jim Alley, tomorrow, from Sacramento, CA as well as Mike Croll day after tomorrow from Niagara Falls, N.Y.
Next Week’s Speaker
For reasons best known to the people who sell popcorn, the last week of October, beginning today, was chosen for National Popcorn Week. Popcorn is part of our national heritage having been introduced to the Pilgrims by Native Americans. National Popcorn Week, of course, is an event many optimists take with a few grains of salt.
Of international consequence today is also United Nations Day, commemorating the adoption of the U.N. Charter in 1945. In 1963 on this date Adlai Stevenson remarked that “The journey of a thousand leagues, we say, begins with a single step. So we must never neglect any work of peace that is within our reach, however small.” He went on to say that “Our efforts will be erratic, and the world will remain a dangerous place to live”. The last half century of events has confirmed his prediction.