The President's Message
Dear BBRC Friends,
After weeks of staying at home and feeling more than a little isolated, what a treat it was to feel like we took a quick trip to Namibia, thanks to our fabulous program this week!  Brian Pitts delivered a delightful program, complete with stunning photos, and excellent commentary, too!
If you missed the program, never fear!  A link to watch Brian’s presentation in its entirety is at he bottom of my note.
On a sad note, it has been agreed that Thousand Flags will not happen in its full glory this year.  A move is underway to create some type of presence in the community so we can continue to honor military and first-responders (and our sponsors, too!).  If you’re interested in helping, please stick around after Wednesday morning’s meeting on Zoom so we can talk details.
Until next week…go out and Share Rotary With a Friend!
What You Missed
As we ZOOM, ZOOM, ZOOM, towards the beginning of May the Rotary Club of Bakersfield Breakfast is alive and well. Wednesday morning’s meeting began with our customary Invocation and Nation’s Flag Salute, this week by Kathy Berry and Past President Jackie Maxwell, respectively. Speaking of respect, one must respect that Past President Denise Haynes performed an errorless rendition of Andy Williams hit, “Born Free”. She said that in honor of our morning’s special presenter, Brian Pitts, she thought the song most appropriate. As she was singing this song, all I could think about was a TV show in the 60’s by the name of Daktari. Then when Brian Pitts' photo was shown to all who were present on ZOOM, I am certain Brian was in fact on that TV show. More on that later…
Darling Mindy Wilmot is all over the announcements and she was honored to introduce, with Past President Kay Pitts, Kay’s neighbor, Keith and Noel Shotts, who dropped in to say hello. Keith and Noel are retired petroleum engineers from Chevron. Welcome Keith and Noel!
The Breakfast Rotary President’s First-Husband (and only husband) Darren Scott dropped in, too. I suppose he was excited to hear and see Brian Pitts' presentation this morning as well.
Mindy also shared with us that Cheryl Rydia has submitted her application for membership. We look forward to more news on the progress of Cheryl’s application.
We would like to recognize two All-Star Breakfast Rotary members who have certainly exemplified years of community service. Let’s hear it for Dale Bender who is celebrating 26 years and Marianna Buoni for 29 years as Breakfast Rotarians.
**Featured Speaker**
Who, other than Brian’s wife (Past President Kay Pitts), would be better to introduce her Brian as the morning’s featured speaker. I will most likely not include all of the remarkable accolades of Brian Pitts, a retired Division Chief of Kern County Environmental Health, adjunct professor at CSUB, and professional photographer, but I bet Kay will.
Brian strikes me as the kind of guy you would want with you when encountered by an angry African tribal band of revolutionaries, or when ordering food at a restaurant where the only language is Swahili. Whether he is that guy or not, I do not know, but he sure had a great program, so let’s hear about it!
The worldly Brian and Kay have ventured to many a far away destinations, but Namibia in Southern Africa is a trip like none other. A country approximately twice the size of California, Namibia is home to 2.5 million people and probably 10 times more animals of various species. During the Pitts' vacay in Namibia, they learned real quick that it is the animals that have the run of the country’s landscape. With beautiful desert terrain and majestic star-filled skies, a vacay in Namibia certainly appears calming, that is, until (as Brian described) you are awakened in the morning by the gawking neck of a curious ostrich protruding through your open bedroom window.
For those of us with a curiosity about Namibia’s profile, the country’s main industries are mining, agriculture and of course hospitality. English is the main language, likely due to early European territorial occupation. Of those practicing religion, 80% declare themselves to be Christian in faith.
Most of Brian’s program came in spectacular photos he took. From vantage points reserved for the serious photog, like Brian, he was able to capture photos that even on a ZOOM PowerPoint, made you feel like you were right there with him when he took the picture. The elephants' pictures depicted that they were fun-loving, yet, imposing. The giraffes gregarious and those leopard's teeth looked really sharp even in the pictures!
Brian spoke of unrest and civil war within the region even in recent times. Namibia experienced a German rule until World War I, and then South Africa took over political jurisdiction of Namibia. Civil war embroiled the country in fierce fighting, until peace returned to the region in the early 1990’s.
On a lighter note, Brian said he would definitely consider returning to Namibia, as honorary mayor, or just tourist. And I know why! There is a place there called Kucki’s Pub. Kucki’s touts having the hottest beer and lousy food. Voila! Brian has found his oasis, if you will, and just add that the “Club Med” looking grass-roofed hut accommodations, and I think Brian feels right at home.
But seriously Breakfast Rotarians, Brian is no slouch when it comes to his photography skills. What was most stunning was the photo Brian shared of a Namibian night. The sky was remarkable, with billions upon billions of stars overhead. It made Las Vegas lights look like a mere night-light! With multi-color galaxies about, Brian’s photo showed the true, rarely seen ambience of Namibia.
In conclusion, I would like to know what animal Brian photographed was his favorite, was it the flamingos, the eagles, the zebras, or the non-assuming warthogs. I am not sure which, but if you ever go to breakfast with Brian, or better yet go to Namibia with him, my guess is that he will not order bacon or sausage.
We want to thank Brian for sharing, through his photos, something that most of us will never personally witness. But through your and Kay’s adventure, you have taken us with you. When is the next trip!
**Friends of Rotary**
President Cheryl and Mary Jo Pasek reported to us that they have been informed Honorary Breakfast Rotarian (and Past President) Carl Leech’s wife, Becky, had a spill at home, during which she sustained a broken wrist and hip. She is out of the hospital and rehabbing at Encompass (HealthSouth). Reach out to Carl and keep them in your thoughts and prayers.
**Announcements Announcements**
An All-Bakersfield Rotary COVID mask project is underway. If interested in participating with mind, matter or ingenuity, see Prez for details in how you can help.
As many of you know, Breakfast Rotary has made a big step toward combating hunger by donating $10,000 to the Golden Empire Gleaners last week. The Prez, along with MJ Pasek, Prez-elect Dave Spalinger, Tom Burke and his wife Tina (who is a Gleaner board member) and yours truly presented Gleaner Director Glen Ephrom with the “really” big check. MJ added that an unexpected plug was received by BBRC when a representative of McDonald’s Restaurant saw pictures of the check presentation to Gleaners. The donation must have turned some heads because McDonalds is now on their own campaign to help the Gleaners…ahhh the power of Instagram and social media.
Becky Brooks was shocked to tears last Sunday when she was greeted in the front of her residence by about a dozen or so Breakfast Rotarians and other well wishers as she celebrated the big 5-0! Happy Birthday Becky.
There are a number of clever ideas floating around about our annual Thousand Flags 2020 program, since we now know will not be able to hold our program as planned, due to the COVID lockdown. Suggestions included newspaper ads, picture postings of “Flags” from past years, showing appreciation to our sponsors, and more.  I will hold out hope that the powers that be will come up with something super spectacular for this year’s “modified” program. Stay tuned…
Michele McClure of Pacific Western Bank is $29 happy as her bank has been instrumental in helping those in business with the federally sponsored small business loan program. If you or someone you know is seeking such funding through the COVID crisis, see Michele. Atta girl Michele!
Next week’s program will feature Rotarian John Pryor who will discuss “Planning for Disasters”.
During the week Breakfast Rotarians, be a wild animal and invite a guest to our next Wednesday’s ZOOM meeting.
Be well in Rotary,
Frank Wooldridge 
Rotarians Helping Rotarians
Upcoming Programs
May 06, 2020 6:45 AM
Via Zoom - Disaster Planning
May 13, 2020 6:45 AM
Current Status of TRIP Construction
May 20, 2020 6:45 AM
May 27, 2020
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Upcoming Events
District 5240 Awards Ceremony and DG Savi Stepdown
Carpinteria Boys & Girls Club
Jun 27, 2020
12:00 PM – 3:00 PM
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 Meeting Duty Roster
Bender, Dale
Flag Salute
Blunt, Darin
Visiting Rotarians
Bensusen, Connie
Birthdays & Anniversaries
Member Birthdays
Temo Lopez
May 10
David Spalinger
May 15
Peter Leveroni
May 22
Kenneth Quarnberg
May 29
Patrick Paggi
May 20
Martha Samora
May 22
Pat Thompson
Karen Thompson
May 26
Stephanie Baker
May 28
Bulletin Editor
Kay Pitts
Russell Hampton
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