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Bulletin Editor
Don Shoecraft
WATCH our meeting video of speaker Marvin Mutch.
Rod Linhares  commenced the meeting with a solemn reflection on the tragedies in Dayton, Ohio and El Paso, Texas, singling out a quote by Glendon Oakley, Jr. Oakley, an Army Pfc. stationed at Fort Bliss in El Paso, was hailed as a hero for running towards gunfire to save children at the Cielo Vista Mall.
I didn't even think. I just grabbed as many kids as I could and ran five stores down to the exit," he said. "We got there and ran into a whole batch of police pointing their guns at us. I wasn't focused on myself, and I wasn't focused on my surroundings ... I was just focused on those kids…I heard four kids died. I wish I could have gotten more kids out of there."
Daughter Julia accompanied dad Tony Villanueva, who introduced her as a "potential Rotarian." He didn't clarify, but the hope here is she's interested in this club and not some other.
Medical care being what it in these parts, it was only a mild shock to see Bill Walters back at his post at the sign-in table only a few weeks following his stroke. It was a pleasant surprise and Bill was typically low-key about the experience, which must have been an unpleasant surprise.
Bill Kenney reports that Dave Moore's wife, Yvonne, has suffered a broken wrist and has been treated at USF medical center.
The date has been set: Saturday, Sept. 21, for Mystery Night, the excursion in which you pay money to be transported to a location about which you have no foreknowledge to be entertained in ways you do not expect. It usually involves eating and drinking and conviviality. Times and cost and details (none) will be forthcoming.
The next social event will be an evening at the Burlingame Grill 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 19. Hurry to sign up with Liz Mayta by this Thursday, Aug. 15. The band Pure Ecstasy plays.
Apologies to the Bolsheviks, but we borrow in name only to describe the Popsicle President's (this one may stick, but I'm open to bribes) exercise to mix things up and get everyone to know one another. First she tried to jumble the seating (the jumble sure looked awfully orderly in a this-is-where-I-always-sit kind of way), then assigned seatmates at tables to interview each other and make a general report.
Just her luck the first to report back was Tom Huening. "We decided we're not going to play," he said. But, it only took a second for him to open up like a clam on a hot grill. Sorry we did not hear the name, but his interviewee's favorite Rotary impression was her first Fun Run. Heather Cleary drolly recounted how her interview with T. Jack Foster went. "He doesn't remember the date he joined, but he was President in 1975. I was two in 1975." Jack had a ready reposte: "We wouldn't let her in back then." Nancy Stanton said Joan Rosas' favorite activity was meeting the SMART program kids, but, as an educator, she naturally gravitates to students.
Brian Sullivan: "I'm thrilled to do this." His correspondent was Tom Mohr, about whom he said, "I've been to his house a couple of times. He seems like a nice guy. That's it."
Marvin Mutch
Former San Quentin 'Lifer'
Mr. Mutch served 41 years of a 7-to-life murder conviction before being freed in 2016, the result of numerous individuals' and organizations' efforts to revisit his 1975 conviction and prove his innocence.
Despite poor evidence of his guilt presented at trial "my life was stolen by the State of California," he said.
He did break down slightly while telling his story, but not as completely as when he brought up the name "John Kelly" and explained how much he loved the man.
Kelly, he said, helped countless inmates at San Quentin and never gave up the faith that for Mutch one day justice would prevail. On the podium next to him was the wristband 500 mourners wore at John 's funeral; President Anne presented it to him which, he said later, was a special moment.
Mutch came from a dysfunctional family and spent much of his childhood cycling through 20 foster homes. His most heartbreaking tale of that time described how all the boys in the home for "wayward children" were rounded up by police and interrogated for any crime, which got his rap sheet started at a young age. He was "suspected of burglary" by this method at age 11.
"Later they'd pull up your record and say, 'This is the guy.'"
The murder of a young woman in a park he had visited put him behind bars at 18, despite the fact that his shoes did not match footprints in the mud where her body was found and the fact he was not in the park at the time of the murder.
He credited the work of the USC Post Conviction Justice Project and Susan Rutberg of the Golden Gate University Innocence Project and several others for his release.
Of San Quentin, he said "it's a dark place," and of those who go on with their lives while the state spends $20 billion a year on mass incarceration, he added, "they're doing it in your name."
Nicole Cherok had some riddles to share. What starts with "E" and ends with "E" and has one letter between. Envelope!
What do you get if you cross a snowman and a vampire? Frostbite!
Why don't ants ever get sick? They have antibodies!
To which President Campbell added, Why do nurses carry red pens? In case they have to draw blood!
OK. That's enough with the exclamation points.
Jim Engel, our former member and now a visiting Rotarian, will have to be satisfied with a 'welcome' and a photo.
Thank you to Joy Morriss for introducing our speaker.

President Anne Campbell
Upcoming Speakers
Aug 15, 2019
Heart Transplant Recipient
Aug 22, 2019
Rotary Hacienda & Floritas
Aug 29, 2019
ReThink Waste
Sep 05, 2019
Director General, Taiwan
Sep 19, 2019
Chase Arena
Sep 26, 2019
View entire list