The Pines Manor in Edison, NJ was the site of the annual Eat, Drink & Share event sponsored by our new and improved Rotary District 7475.
The event was held this past Monday, on Veteran’s Day, November 12th. It was a very patriotic event. The evening opened with a Color Guard Unit majestically presenting our flag to the hundreds of standing Rotarians from our district. Cory Wingerter, Doug Merritt and myself represented our club.
The Veterans Day theme was amplified by the scrolling pictures of our fellow Rotarians who served proudly in our military services. Every branch of the service were represented; Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard.
When I walked into the entrance of the event, I saw John Wilson, our District Governor, who greeted me with a “Hello Tony.” I was impressed that he remembered my name. I then thought to myself with a laugh, “That’s either a good thing, or a bad thing.” Either way, it was good to see John.
I had another interesting experience. I walked into the rest room and there was a mature man in front of the sink and mirror grooming himself. I really wasn’t paying much attention to him at first. However, when I was washing my hands, I caught a glimpse of him out of the corner of my eye. I would guess that he was maybe in his mid to late sixties. He stood about five foot five and had long gray hair that was tied in a ponytail. It complimented a seriously long gray beard. He was meticulously combing and spraying his beard with hair spray. (Not something that you see every day). Respectfully (and humorously), it was like ZZ Top joins the Rotary. I enjoy interesting people and I have to say, his beard was holding up very well throughout the night. Not a whisker out of place!
Cory and I made the rounds, sampling a variety of food and beverages. (Hence the eat and drink portion of the evening.) Our club’s Vice President, Doug Merritt was working the room as only he could. Doug is not only a charter member of our club, he is also our club’s historian and goodwill ambassador. Everyone knows Doug! He took care of the share portion. Doug is known as the “Rotary Whisperer” in many parts of our district.
Overall it was a very enjoyable evening. We enjoyed seeing and speaking with many Rotarians from various clubs who we have gotten to know over the years.
The two best parts of the evening were: spending it with like-minded people, who have high ideals and who want to do well for our world. The other, was the true sense of patriotism that was evident that evening. I felt a sense of civic pride as the Color Guard presented our flag. The room was full of people with a variety of ethnicities and political viewpoints who stood as one to salute our flag. The common thread that we all shared was a true sense of American Patriotism.
Yours in Rotary,