Ed Hoffman

Harpoon Notes for April 10, 2019

Joan Knoertzer’s piano prelude drifted gracefully through the ballroom, providing, like Dante’s Virgil, a soothing guide to the ceremonious rattle of the Rotary bell. All stood to sing “God Bless America,” and a fine rendition it was. President Greg, who would deliver the day’s Inspiration, quoted historian Jon Meachum on the Civil War: “as ‘a […]

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Harpoon Notes for March 13, 2019

Past President John Ackenhusen’s piano was as beautiful as always. The Weber’s ballroom was crowded, with everybody enjoying lunch, though it seemed less animated than usual — probably the result of losing fellow member, Howard Cooper. President Greg said it best: “Since the first of the year, it’s been my sad duty to ring the […]

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Harpoon Notes for March 6, 2019

President-Elect Rosemarie Rowney struck the Rotary bell, concluding Allison Pollard’s beautiful piano prelude. “America the Beautiful,” which hadn’t been sung for a while, was given full-throated emphasis by an enthusiastic assembly. Amy Goodman came to the podium and shared a moving, and often funny, Inspiration. “For over three quarters of a century children have been […]

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Harpoon Notes for February 27, 2019

President Greg rang the Rotary bell, and the assembly rose to sing “The Star-Spangled Banner,” which PP John Ackenhusen, on piano, played with particular elan. Indeed, John’s prelude earlier had deftly lulled the lunching Rotarians and guests into a meeting mindset. Barbara Niess-May then came forward for the Inspiration: “In [commemoration] of our speaker, I […]

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Harpoon Notes for February 6, 2019

President Greg rang the Rotary bell. All stood to sing a spirited “Star-Spangled Banner,” taking their tempo cues from our dashing, bowler-hatted Immediate Past President, John Ackenhusen. As the Anthem’s final notes faded into the ballroom firmament, Norma Sarkar came forward to deliver the Inspiration. “My message today has to do with Positive Aging,” she […]

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Harpoon Notes for January 23, 2019

It was 12:30 p.m. when all hell broke loose. President Greg stormed the podium like it was the front door of the Stonehouse Bar, cuffing the Rotary Bell a good one along the way. His eyes beamed, immutable obelisks of justice, as he scanned the room hungrily for a hint of Capone or any of […]

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Harpoon Notes for January 16, 2019

Past President John Ackenhusen’s resplendent piano prelude morphed dramatically into an impassioned “Star-Spangled Banner.” Frankly, the man can play anything. How much brighter, one might ask, would Dickens’ Atlantic crossing on the Britannia have been — let alone his subsequent appraisal of our young republic in his American Notes of 1842 — had he and […]

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Harpoon Notes for December 19, 2018

Joan Knoertzer’s lyrical piano captured perfectly the spirit of the season. For her prelude Joan played “What a Wonderful World,” then, with the Rotary bell rung, she launched into a beautiful “God Bless America,” the country’s number 1 choice should we ever adopt dual anthems. Victor Stoeffler kicked off the proceedings with his Inspiration: “Regardless […]

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Harpoon Notes for December 5, 2018

President Greg rang the Rotary bell following a beautiful piano prelude by Past President John Ackenhusen. A full assembly of Rotarians and guests rose to sing “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Greg then addressed the room: “Good afternoon, I’m doing the Inspiration today. This Friday marks the 77th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. The architect […]

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