Member Adventures

Member Adventures

 PLRC members have large hearts. They also have large personalities. This segment of our club's history thus presents some of their   extraordinary adventures, beyond the four corners of the club's direct mission. Here, one can now savor some intriguing features of   their lives outside of Rotary. 
 
Dave Leedom
 Dave is a private airplane pilot and builder. His blue biplane is a 1931 Waco RNF. "Waco" is the original
 brand/manufacturer. "RNF" is the model. 
The Waco Aircraft Company was an aircraft manufacturer  located in Troy, Ohio. Between 1920 and 1947 the company produced a wide range of civilian bi-   planes. The company   initially started under the name Weaver Aircraft Company of Ohio but   changed its name to the Waco Aircraft Company in 1929. Dave inherited the plane from his next   door neighbor. It is pictured here, flying east of Lakeside over El Capitan Lake.                                                              Photos by Clark Kent                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Dave also owns a one-off called a “DAL01,” meaning Dave A. Leedom’s first “original.” He co-owns
 it with his hanger mate (i.e., they are the manufacturers). They cobbled it together, using some   existing parts, while manufacturing the rest. It is pictured here, over Guejito Rancho north of Ra-   mona Air port.


 And then there's the third plane in Captain Leedom's fleet: A Piper J-3 "cub" made in 1945. It was acquired as a   "basket case" restoration project. As Dave says: "It looks good from a distance, but was a rusted hunk of non-flying steel. One hopes   that its pieces will all go back together to fly again." These two photos show Dave and co-pilot Cheryl Leedom.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                      

 Alan Brown
 Mitch's popular restaurant is located on San Diego Bay, in Point Loma's historic fishing neighborhood. There, you can see this dashing   diver, pictured just   inside the entrance. He is our very own Alan Brown−who you would no doubt immediately recognize.
 
 Various Rotary clubs periodically inject a “Who Am I?” segment into their weekly meetings. This articulation   provides the opportunity to learn more about the interesting history that fellow members have amassed out-   side of Rotary. This is a cog in our Rotary wheel that brings our membership story to life. It shows Rotarians   as the people of action we are. Telling these short stories, in this meaningful way, builds the club’s under-   standing of who we are, and what we do. It highlights the impact we’ve   make in our communities and   around the world.

 Alan's following video is back by popular demand, after its 2022 PLRC debut. It offers insight into the extra-   ordinary exploits of PLRC Member Alan Brown. Rather than attempting to paraphrase it, one video is worth far more than a thousand words. Click here (then click "Open file).  
 
 Peter Phillips
 The United States Sailing Association (US Sailing) is the national governing body for sailing in the United States. Founded in 1897 and   headquartered in Bristol, Rhode Island, US Sailing offers training and education programs for instructors and race officials; supports a   wide range of sailing organizations and communities; issues offshore rating certificates; and provides administration and oversight of   competitive sailing across the country, including National Championships and the US Sailing Team. 

 US Sailing is responsible for selection and training of the US Sailing Team representing the United States in the Olympic Games. Chall-   enged Sailors San Diego has an associated fleet of eight Martin 16, and one SKUD 18, sailboats. Thery are specifically designed for        adaptive sailing. The Challenged Sailors' facilities are accessible and equipped with a lift for transferring sailors from wheelchairs into   the boat.

 Challenged Sailors San Diego, Inc. was founded in 2014. It was awarded the 2022   "Robie Pierce Award," at the US Sailing Association’s Leadership Forum held in St. 
 Pete Beach, Florida. Its Robie Pierce Award recognizes an outstanding program for
 sailors with disabilities. It is given annually to an organization that has made not-  able contributions to promote public access sailing for sailors with disabilities. For-   mer PLRC member Peter Phillips, pictured left, is the Challenged Sailors President. 

 
 Receiving this award distinguishes Challenged Sailors San Diego among all of the great organizations providing
 access to sailors with disabilities in the United States. It recognizes the volunteers and donors who have given  their time and their resources to help develop our adaptive sailing program over the years since it was found-   ed in 2014. For more information on Challenged Sailors visit   its website.
   
 
 Frank White
 Frank is a Military Sensing Symposia (MSS) Fellow. In 2022, he received the Lifetime Achievement award
 which reads: “for Outstanding Contributions to the Military Sensing Profession.” Frank was a Navy Sound   Surveillance System Officer doing undersea surveillance. He finished up his active duty at the Commander   Anti-Submarine Warfare Forces Pacific, working closely with the country’s Submarine Force. Frank left the   Navy as an acoustic and intelligence analyst. Because of this background, he was hired by San Diego’s   Naval Undersea Center.
 
 The Military Services created the Joint Directors of Laboratories (JDL) in 1982, to implement collaborative   research and development initiatives in response to a Defense Science Board report. Because of his novel research, Frank was put on   the JDL Data Fusion Sub-panel (DFS) in 1984. He chaired the DFS for the next 20 years. There is now a thriving National and Inter-   national Information Fusion Community, which evolved from the creation of the DFS. Frank was pressured to document the JDL history,   which he accomplished this past year. Click here, for the resulting paper─submitted as Frank says “with my apologies for the necessary   jargon.” 

 Bob Baker
 Bob & Belle Ann Baker are pictured, sailing aboard their sloop─the Campana Del Mar. She is on
 her way home from Mexico, en route to a First Place finish in the Yvonka International Yacht Race.  
 Campana Del Mar is a Kettenburg 41 vessel. It was manufactured and previously owned by Paul
 Kettenburg. Paul was a past member of Point Loma Rotary, and owner of Kettenburg Marine, an     iconic boat yard on Shelter Island.

 Bob and Belle Ann placed first in 2010. Their race started in the San Diego Bay and ended at a  
 Coronado Island. As Bob comments: "Feel free to ask me more about this adventure."  
 
 Dick Thorn
Dick Thorn not only fights for his law clients, but is the consummate PLRC team player. Un-
beknownst to most PLRC members, however, he is a staunch supporter of the Pop Warner (PW) football organization. As you'll see in the (right) photo, that spark was ignited in fifth grade, when Dick became a PW player. This signed football was presented to Pop at his roast by Knute Rockne, Babe Ruth, and Tadd Jones in NYC in October 1929. It's now an icon in the Thorn residence. 
 
Pop Warner is a non-profit organization. It is the leading youth football, cheerleading, and dance organization across the United States. Pop Warner’s core focus is to serve youth. Its members strive to: (1) encourage and increase youth participation in football, cheerleading and dance; (2) ensure a safer and positive playing environment for all participants; and (3) instill life-long values of teamwork, dedication and a superior work ethic on the playing field and in the class- room. In fact, Pop Warner requires each participant do demonstrate scholastic aptitude to participate in its sports programs, and awards college scholarship funds to its highest-achieving student athletes. (This edited description paraphrases the official website version of the PW mission.) 
 
Pop Warner was Dick's great, great great uncle---his mother’s grandfather's brother. Although a lawyer, he did not practice law. Pop started coaching a group of native Americans called the Carlisle Indians. He thus encountered the greatest athlete of the 20th century: Jim Thorpe. Pop went on to coach at Stanford for the majority of his life.  

One can readily observe how Dick embraced all of the above values in his high school and college days. In his senior year in high school, as a member of the Grossmont Foothillers football team, he was named All League Offensive Guard (pictured left). In his freshman year in college, as a member of the United States International University football team, he was named Best Defensive Freshman (pictured right).
 
Judy Byram
Uncle Sam pointedly said to Judy Byram "I Want You." He offered the best oppor- tunities that any graduating civilian could hope for. Over four decades later, look- ing back over it all, the national defense tasking was challenging. The travel op- ortunities were unlimited. She and her teammates worked afloat, on the US east and west coasts, and in some middle states, Alaska, Hawaii, and Japan.

Visits to Naval facilities, to better understand Naval operations, were essentially unlimited. Most of their day-to-day operations were based in or near Point Loma, San Diego. But their cohorts travelled to various facilities to collect data to better understand the following: acoustic facilities for ship and submarine tracking; signal facilities for direction finding; P-3 aircraft for sono- buoy operations; cruisers and carriers for battle group operations. 
 
They brought the data home to San Diego, sometimes in teams, some-
times solo, analyzed it, and then wrote reports to facilitate senior lead-

ership information and decision making. Most tasking came from Naval commands in Washington D.C. Most of it was highly technical, requiring specialized training in the use of algorithms and models. They also created software in on-site Point Loma laboratories, before taking it to the fleet for installation. More senior tasking involved answering ques- tions from leadership via designing analyses, running software models, and Judy’s favorite task: deciding how best to use viewgraph coloring, software tools, and graphs─so their work product would be convincing when briefed.

Security clearance limitations dictate circumspection about reportable details. See Judy for any questions you may have about these exciting segments of her civilian defense career.  

Connie Weaver
Connie has been the master planner, speaker recruiter, and host for the 9th to 11th International Symposiums on Nutritional Aspects for Musculoskeletal Health (ISNAMH)─convening in international venues including Lausanne Switzerland, Mon- treal, Hong Kong, and now San Diego (2024). ISNAMH is the only international sci-
entific conference that deals exclusively with prevention of the growing prevalence of bone and muscle disorders.

This year’s meeting─which raised $260,000.00 for the event─was attended by 100 specialists in prevention of these
disorders with diet and physical activity. It was also endorsed by the American Society of Nutrition, the American
Society for Bone and Mineral Research, the Bone Health and Osteoporosis Foundation, and the International Osteo- porosis Foundation.

Connie is uniquely qualified to plan and facilitate such conferences. She is Distinguished Research Professor SDSU; Member, National Academy of Medicine; Past President and Fellow, American Society for Nutrition; and a Fellow in multiple heart, bone, and food tech
associations.

Travel grants to allow students to attend the 2024 conference were provided by the National Institute of Health. The Point Loma Rotary Club of San Diego supported participation of local student hosts. They were able to meet experts in their field and learn about the latest discoveries. They were assigned experts to welcome in advance and during the conference. They also helped with registration, surveys, and photo shoots.

As articulated by graduate student Jordan Beall, SDSU Sports Nutrition Cooperative: 
           Photo by Bill S
          “Thank you for allowing me and my peers to serve as student hosts for the event. It was an invaluable 
            experience to be able to attend the many talks and hear about state-of-the-art research. Thanks also              to the PLRC for sponsoring my registration. Not only were there amazing speakers, but I would not                  have been able to partake if not for Rotary’s sponsorship.”
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
Gus Goldau
The following account describes Gus’s first combat experience (April, 1970), during the U.S. military’s Cambo- dian campaign. Gus was an Army second lieutenant leading a 28-man platoon into battle.  

Gus’s leadership enabled the platoon’s survival. As he put it: “I instantly acknowledged that we were following in the footsteps of what millions before us had done. We felt the eerie presence of soldiers who had served Al- exander the Great, Julius Caesar, and George Pat- ton. We embraced the realization that the Viet Nam war was not about just us. We had to shoulder a greater responsibility than ourselves.”                                      
As their helicopters descended, bursting 105 and 155 howitzer rounds created shock waves that all could see and hear. As Gus watched F4 Phantoms delivering their dev- astating ordinance, he acknowledged: “One cannot gaze at a firework display of that magnitude and not surmise that our enemy already had met his fate.”
 
The platoon began this particular mission by jumping into tall buffalo grass, then ad- vancing toward the jungle, while door gunners sprayed the area. Everyone heard the unique crack of the enemy’s AK47 rounds. Gus and his men approached the tree line. Charlie had fled. As Gus intrinsically surmised at that moment: “The jungle al- owed us to regain our composure. The security one feels next to a tree versus an open field is akin to a child clutching his Teddy Bear. We had survived the first 15 minutes of our first mission.” 

We of the PLRC are relieved that former PLRC President Gus Goldau is with us today. He has continued his lifelong quest to serve─in the Point Loma Rotary Club, for its humanitarian mission recipients, and with the nation in its time of great need.