President Trish opened the meeting sporting an improved microphone, newly found by our own sleuth, Leonard Seagren. Thanks, Len!
Dan Hoefle led in singing “God Bless America”, beautifully, as he always does. (We know that Past President Dan just loves this particular song.  To learn more about its background, see below.) Lynn McLaren recited the 4-Way Test. Reverend Allen said grace.
Guests (and their Rotarian hosts) included: Tenny Field (Bob Field), Betsy Doolan (Lynn McLaren), Berta Tarsica (also Lynn), Caroline Snell (Diane Foley), Joe Cunningham (Leonard Seagren) and Cynthia Byrne (Linda Browning). Dave Considine (Hampton Rotary) visited us.
A highlight of the meeting was the Paul Harris Fellow award given to Bob Field. Mort Schmidt welcomed Bob and his family to the podium. Here is John Rice's introduction:
We honor today an individual who has lived the motto of “ service above self”  from an early age…This individual has served our country honorably in the armed forces during a time of war…This individual has  been an active and regular member of a local church…This good citizen has served with distinction on town land use boards for decades…This person has been a faithful Rotarian for 27 years, rarely missing meetings, taking the toughest weekend shifts for Christmas Tree sales and being an invaluable and dedicated member of the club’s Scholarship Committee as well as a peerless writer for the Rotary Log.. One past president characterized this person as “someone of great warmth and humor”…This was particularly evident in the delightfully entertaining  90-year history of the club that this individual authored a few years back…This person has been married to the same wonderful and gracious spouse for almost 50 years.  As a couple, they have raised their amazingly talented and gifted children to become three of the finest young adults that you could ever meet.
AND, Finally, this Rotarian would be the very first individual to question our choice for this club’s newest Paul Harris Fellow. Well, this time, Bob Field, you are over-ruled! This one’s for you!  I give you our newest Paul Harris Fellow—Robert Bunting Field, Jr.”
In accepting the award, Bob was humble and grateful, saying “I never thought I would see the day. I am truly honored”. His son, Tenny, also spoke and said a nice thank you to the club on behalf of the family.
Diane Foley introduced the day’s speaker, Amy Selwyn. Through her firm, Storytegic, Amy helps companies, groups and individuals develop their unique brand marketing approach. Or as Amy would phrase it, “help people develop and tell their own brand story.” 
Her talk was entitled “Brand Story Telling.”  Amy defined a “brand” as the gut feeling customers get when they hear the name of a product or service. She explained that we are bombarded daily by different messages and sensations. Breaking through that clutter is the major problem in establishing a brand today. In order to capture the customer’s attention,  a business must employ a marketing message infused with “Radical Differentiation.” That is, a message highlighting what is truly different and meaningful about the business.
 To dramatize this point, Amy employed the Purple Cow example. In a field populated with normal looking cows, our attention is attenuated. However when a Purple Cow appears, it certainly stands out and grabs our attention and interest! Hence, the need for a similar differentiation in the marketing message.
Amy posited that one’s story (that is, WHO you are and WHAT you stand for) constitutes the only point of true differentiation. A successful company will have a story that can support its “Onliness Statement,”  that being: Our company is the only _____ that ____. Filling in those blanks provides a strong story that will attract customers. Living that statement from the inside out will maintain those customer relationships. Nicely done, Amy.
Lynn McLaren won the raffle but missed the match.
Respectfully submitted, Richard Gruelich
Photos by Jim Rini
PS........In thinking about “God Bless America” Rotarian Reggie Whitehouse came up with the following interesting history about how this song came to be in 1940, and how Kate Smith came to be our “God Bless America” ambassador. There is no author provided.  The Youtube link of the song’s first perfomance is really fun, too.
      “Frank Sinatra considered Kate Smith the best singer of her time, and said that when he and a million other guys first heard her sing "God Bless America" on the radio, they all pretended to have dust in their eyes as they wiped away a tear or two.
      Here are the facts... The link at the bottom will take you to a video showing the very first public singing of "GOD BLESS AMERICA". But before you watch it, you should also know the story behind the first public showing of the song.
      The time was 1940. America was still in a terrible economic depression. Hitler was taking over Europe and Americans were afraid we'd have to go to war. It was a time of hardship and worry for most Americans.  This was the era just before TV, when radio shows were HUGE, and American families sat around their radios in the evenings, listening to their favorite entertainers, and no entertainer of that era was bigger than Kate Smith.
      Kate was also large; plus size, as we now say, and the popular phrase still used today is in deference to her, "It ain't over till the fat lady sings". Kate Smith might not have made it big in the age of TV, but with her voice coming over the radio, she was the biggest star of her time.
      Kate was also patriotic. It hurt her to see Americans so depressed and afraid of what the next day would bring. She had hope for America, and faith in her fellow Americans. She wanted to do something to cheer them up, so she went to the famous American song-writer, Irving Berlin (who also wrote "White Christmas") and asked him to write a song that would make Americans feel good again about their country. When she described what she was looking for, he said he had just the song for her.  He went to his files and found a song that he had written, but never published, 22 years before… way back in 1917. He gave it to her and she worked on it with her studio orchestra. 
      She and Irving Berlin were not sure how the song would be received by the public, but both agreed they would not take any profits from God Bless America. Any profits would go to the Boy Scouts of America. Over the years, the Boy Scouts have received millions of dollars in royalties from this song.
      This video starts out with Kate Smith coming into the radio studio with the orchestra and an audience. She introduces the new song for the very first time, and starts singing. After the first couple verses, with her voice in the background still singing, scenes are shown from the 1940 movie, "You're In the Army Now." At the 4:20 mark of the video you see a young actor in the movie, sitting in an office, reading a paper; it's Ronald Reagan.
      To this day, God Bless America stirs our patriotic feelings and pride in our country. Back in 1940, when Kate Smith went looking for a song to raise the spirits of her fellow Americans, I doubt whether she realized just how successful the results would be for her fellow Americans during those years of hardship and worry... and for many generations of Americans to follow. Now that you know the story of the song, I hope you'll enjoy it and treasure it even more.
Many people don't know there's a lead in to the song since it usually starts with "God Bless America."
So here's the entire song as originally sung... ENJOY!”