Our January 19, 2023 lunch meeting was at Seascape.  The auspiciousness of the occasion was accented by a flyover by 3 Osprey heli-planes followed by a helicopter gunship  and Marine One.  They all would have joined us for lunch but we would have gone over our 25 person lunch allotment.

We had about 20 attendees in person plus 4 on zoom.

Dave was there in person- nice to see him again in person especially with his charming granddaughter-guest Ashleigh.  Also nice to have Trish back and Jimmy K made it too. Good to have the full contingent of club lawyers.

Al did a very hip welcome song on his keyboard a la Herbie Hancock. Rumor is that Sam is working on  a Hendrix-styled rendition of the 4 Way Test song.  Think Purple Haze/Rotary.

Co-President Kendra ran the meeting and had a few announcements.  Secret one- the reconnaissance team for an alternate venue was very pleased with the Fairfield Inn on 41st Ave.- working on a test run there soon.  Watch this space and your e-mail inbox.

Kendra also relayed that we had over- volunteered for storm-related cleanup.  The City of Capitola couldn't handle all of us, State Parks said they would only allow Rangers to help.  So Kendra gave her contact info to the Volunteer Center and told  us to stand by.  More on that adventure below.

Thought of the day Dr Art: mask up and join for cleanup.

Dr Art was also the Detective.  He asked several of the members to tell us how the storms had changed their lives.  Most of us reported nearly no effects, but Co-prez Laura had enough happen to make up for that: long power outages, trees down, road blocked and a tornado (Auntie Em!! Are we in Kansas?)

 Trish told about all the damage she saw at the beach.

Our guest speaker was Kent Benedict MD, a friend of Dr. Art's.  He gave a talk and power point (slide show of the 21st century) on a 37 day pilgrimage hike that he and his wife Paula took  over the Pyrenees in Southern France into Spain and over the Galicios Camino de Santiago and eventually to the Spanish Coast.

The photos of the scenery and ancient sites were dramatic, including a centuries-old cathedral and the remnants of a Roman legion fortress.
They walked about 13 miles a day and stayed in Pilgrim Inns and sparse but clean and safe lodgings in small towns and cities.
They were trekking at the perfect time- it was grape harvesting and wine-tasting season in the region so there was apparently a lot of hydration with vino.  Dr. Benedict said there was also an abundance of beer but it was  not as good as the wine.

He said that shoes can be a problem and his wife had serious issues- he showed the photos of her blistered feet which he treated (he is an ER doctor).  He called it the Agony of Defeet.  There should be a $20 fine.  Paula eventually ditched her hiking shoes for sandals which worked much better.
Dr. Benedict showed photos of a huge fire that crossed the trail.  He and Paula diverted through some local mountain trails to go around the fire while others gave up and called for transport out.

Dr. Benedict scattered his fathers ashes at the ocean at the end of the trail.
He also showed a photo of a Rotary peace pole at the end- there are thousands of them worldwide.
There was an article and photo about our fund-raising pickleball tournament in the Aptos Times.  The vivid and informative reporting is owed to Kendra's writing....

Kate won the lottery but she wasn't there to collect.

Kendra did a fabulous job organizing teams for our volunteer cleanup work.  Unfortunately she out-organized the volunteer center which waited until late Friday-early Saturday to assign us and instead of cleaning up the beach or a creek 7 of us ended up at a private residence in the Aptos Hills owned by a 66 year old woman.  Her driveway was flooded by a seasonal stream that dumped tons of mud and debris and moved her large wood she about 50 feet off its foundation.  The driveway was passable and the rest of the work required a bulldozer, not shovels and wheelbarrows, but the stalwart Rotarians moved mud and debris to widen the path for an hour or so and achieved as much as we could by hand.  Kendra has some before and after photos.  Some irony in that the owner asked for assistance in part because of her age and Kendra was the only one of us who doesn't have an AARP card. 

Reflecting a bit more on Dr. Art's detective question- the storm fortunately had little effect on those of us in my neighborhood but if we had gotten to 30 days of rain I was going to start going to church and looking at boats.
Volunteering Storm Clean Up Team are real Troopers!  Everyone was very busy working this weekend. Thanks to all our Rotarians who gathered together to help the community, Kendra, Ken, Eric, Laura, Dr Art and Grandson Noah, Lowry, Kelly, Becky, Julie, Nelson, Paul and Rotarian Bert Lemke, you guys rock!
Sunday our small but mighty group of 5 club members joined a swarm of volunteers to clean up Capitola Village and move mountains of washed ashore trees, limbs, fence posts, decking, and in general storm debris.   The volunteer descended upon the chaos like an army of ants among huge amounts of interlinked pick up sticks. We filled a humorous "green organic" dumpster to the top. While this was a great accomplishment, looking at the beach there is still lots to be done.  Watch for more information about the ongoing efforts that are needed and our opportunities to help. 
Have you seen it??? Our Adopt-A-Beach sign is MISSING!! So, if your out and about and happen to see it—most likely face down in a pile of driftwood—please grab it and then let us know you found it! Thanks!!!
Membership Monday is Monday (yes, but it has to be said) at 530 at the Hideout.  Hope to see y'all there.