Rotary Club of Tiburon-Belvedere
Fellowship and Service
|Address:||1600 Mar West Street
Tiburon/Belvedere, CA 94920
Thursday, January 16, 2020
Ruth Stotter and her husband moved with their three children to Tiburon in 1968. She has written and produced several plays and has 12 titles in print. “I’m going to tell you a secret. … I’ll tell you what we’re really made of—stories,” she said.
She used to have a great fear of public speaking, and so she started with a simple recipe. She did it with her students at Dominican University, and she discovered that it creates instant stage presence. You simply walk up to where you need to be, and before you start talking, you look at the people gathered. It’s a simple way to change the dynamic to “Do I like them?” so it’s no longer about yourself. You might be a bit nervous, but if you weren’t you could seem to be a bit arrogant. “If you care about what you’re saying, you have the formula,” she said. Then you stay as long as there’s applause. If you want second applause, you add something. You might start with a simple fact like “I like pizza.” Then you add to it, perhaps saying, “My grandmother taught me to make pizza when I was five years old.”
She finds telling jokes difficult. She then told a joke, and we had to catch her on anything that didn’t seem right. It was a story about a woman in Madison, Wisconsin, who had twins, and we didn’t find any errors, although Angelo said she made Madison seem bad. She said that the errors aren’t important. The plot is what counts. She used to assign all her student the same story and observed, “There’s no right way to tell a story. You’re the architect; you’re the artist.” That makes each individual’s story different.
She told a Zen story from Japan about a thief and a monk who lived on top of a mountain. The monk went out, and the thief went into his hut but couldn’t find anything to steal, so the monk took off his robe and gave it to thief. The thief grabbed it and ran off, and then the full moon rose. If only the thief had stayed, the monk could have given him the view of the moon.
Ruth also told a story from Denmark from about 1852. She asked us to picture ourselves in the middle 1800s walking down a street in Denmark. We see a shop, and the shopkeeper’s home is above, while a student lives in the attic. A goblin also lives in the house and is good luck. One day, the student goes into a grocery store to buy food, and the grocer wraps a piece of cheese in a page from a book of poetry, which someone had traded for food. The student gives up the cheese and buys the book instead. The goblin is angry, but when he looks through the keyhole later, he sees the student reading and all kinds of images in the room. Every night he watches what happens, when the student reads his poetry. One night, a fire breaks out, and the grocer grabs the cash register and ledger, while his wife takes her jewelry box. The student doesn’t take anything, so the goblin goes and gets the book, then puts it back where he found it after fire is under control. The goblin then decides to divide his life and spent part of the time with the grocer and the other half with the student so he can keep enjoying poetry. It’s a story by Hans Christian Andersen, Ruth explained, saying, “If you read his books, they’re full of psychological observations.”
She also recommended The Kiss of the Snow Queen by Wolfgang Lederer.
Ruth recalled teaching at Prescott University and giving students a break where they had to do something completely different. In one class, for example, they had to draw pictures of each other. One woman was upset, but she liked the picture her partner had drawn.
She handed out pieces of origami paper that were red on one side and green on the other, and she began telling us a story about a friend’s taking her to Christmas Lake, where they saw an ice-cream seller. She made a cone out of the piece of paper, and as she continued telling the story, she made additional folds to make a kite, a tie, a Christmas-colored snake (which made her happy because she likes snakes), and, finally, a red and green Christmas swan. Then she guided us through the process to make our own swans.
She was hired to go to Japan to teach origami. “I’m not that great. I’m an advanced beginner,” she said, and so she was scared. She started telling origami stories, changing the origami to help tell the story.
She told us a story about an archer who decided he would make money on his skill and put on shows with his bows and arrows. He arrived in a town with a barn that had 12 targets and an arrow in the middle of each target. He found out that a boy called Tommy had done them. The archer asked how he’d done it, and Tommy demonstrated, shooting an arrow into the barn and then drawing a circle around it so it would in the bullseye.
Ruth talked about a rabbi who had a perfect story, regardless of the situation. She said that the story about the archer is an example of the way his stories twist and turn to make a point. She said there’s another way to make a bullseye, and it’s by shooting an arrow into the water and making circles that expand. It’s like stories, she explained. As the circle grows bigger, they go out into the world.
She finished with a story about a king who had a jester. The. jester always made the king laugh, but one day, he did something that made the king angry, and he sentenced the jester to death. He called the hangman, who attempted to hang the jester three times, but each time, the jester got out of the rope. King couldn’t remember why he had sentenced the jester to death and told him he could choose his own method of death. The jester chose old age.
Questions and Answers
“How did you get started in this?” asked President Annette Gibbs, and Ruth explained that she was allowed to tell stories to other kids at Sunday School. One year, she went to camp and was sent home because she told scary stories, and the kids wet their beds. When she went to another camp the next year, the director told her she could be the camp storyteller but had to tell the director the stories first. Thus, she had a mentor who allowed her to be a storyteller.
She got her fourth degree at Sonoma State University in folklore and storytelling and has told stories all over the world. “It’s been a wonderful way to have that part of my life fulfilled,” she said. She said her favorite story is usually the last one she’s told. She once performed in New York, and the performance was reviewed, which was unusual. It was a Grimm fairy tale, and a friend danced as she told the story. “That story stays with me,” she said.
Marianne Strotz has known Ruth for a long time but didn’t know that storytelling is a profession. She used to tell stories to her grandchildren and has become the storyteller at Corner Books. “Maybe I should become a professional storyteller,” she said.
Ruth recommended storytelling conferences, including one in Auburn. She also likes The Moth in San Francisco (https://themoth.org), which provides training in storytelling and gives people a theme. “It’s a lot of fun,” she said. “You should tape-record your stories so you grandchildren can keep them,” she added.
President Annette thanked Ruth for an entertaining presentation and gave her a box of Halo Chocolate Truffles from Homeboard Bound’s Fresh Starts Academy to show our appreciation.
MARK YOUR CALENDAR
GREAT GUEST SPEAKERS
To be announced
St. Patrick's Day Party, 5:30 p.m., Tuesday, March 17, Belvedere Community Center
Rotary District 5150 Assembly, Saturday, March 21, Redwood High School, Larkspur, Registration begins at 7:30 a.m.
WHERE TO FIND US
We meet at Sam's Anchor Cafe at 5:30 p.m. for an early evening meeting on the first and third Wednesday of the month and for lunch at 12:15 p.m. on the second and fourth Wednesday of the month. Most weeks, either a guest speaker makes a presentation or we have a program. Attendance is $10. Food and drinks are no-host We welcome guests. If you'd like to hear a speaker, offer to be one or find out more about Rotary, pay us a visit. We'd be happy to make your acquaintance.
Board of Directors Meetings
Meetings of the Board of Directors are open to all members and take place monthly at a time to be announced. For information, please send an email to email@example.com.
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you'd like to be a guest speaker, please contact Marianne Strotz at email@example.com.
Send mail to Rotary Club of Tiburon-Belvedere, P.O. Box 220, Tiburon, CA 94920.
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ROTARY AT WORK
The Rotary Club of Tiburon-Belvedere supports a wide range of programs, with a focus on youth, literacy and community. We believe that reaching out to others makes a better world and encourage others to join us. Here's what we supported in 2018-2019
Youth—Investing in the Future
• Ambassadors of Hope and Opportunity: Support to provide a safety net of stable housing, guidance and community connections for young people 16 to 25, who are homeless or in danger of becoming homeless in Marin County.
• Bel Aire School’s Liberia Project: Advice and support for the fifth-grade students’ ongoing projects to help their sister school in Liberia, thus encouraging altruism at home and helping children in a disadvantaged country across the world.
• Dave Hutton Rotary Award for Service Above Self: An annual award to a graduating eighth-grader with a record of outstanding community service at Del Mar Middle School.
• Global Book Exchange: Support for the Global Book Exchange in San Rafael, which collects lightly-used books and redistributes them to teachers at schools with limited budgets, disadvantaged families and nonprofits that serve children, as well as schools throughout the world.
• Marielos Fund: A scholarship to send a young woman in El Salvador to medical school.
• Marin Youth Sympathy: Support for sending young musicians on a tour to perform in Europe.
• Rotaplast International: Support for volunteer medical teams to provide life-changing surgery for children with cleft-lip and palate in needy communities around the world.
• Rotary Youth Leadership Awards: Scholarships so high school sophomores and juniors can attend a special camp that guides them to develop their leadership skills.
• Educator of the Year Awards: Annual awards to outstanding educators in local schools, whose unique projects give children a worldview that encourages them to become good citizens.
Meaningful Projects—Service Above Self
• Marin Villages: Support for programs that help seniors age in their own homes. Members pay a small fee and can enjoy social get-togethers and access to volunteers for help with tasks such as getting to appointments, changing light bulbs or assisting with pets.
• Service to the Community Awards: Recognition for people who serve the community in meaningful ways, but don’t often get acknowledgement.
• St. Vincent de Paul: Support for helping Marin’s neediest residents obtain nutritious food, affordable housing, meaningful employment and a voice in the community.
• Whistlestop: Underwriting for Whistlestop's Thanksgiving Feast for Seniors.
District Designated Funds
Rotary's District Designated Funds helped establish this sewing shop in Esmeraldas, Ecuador. Photo: Courtesy of Keith and Holly Axtell
Funds from the Rotary International Foundation's annual campaign earn District Designated Funds for our club. This year, we're contributing our international funds to the Rotary Club of Marin Evening's San Jacinto water project in Ecuador. For the past three years, we have contributed our funds to multi-club microcredit projects in Ecuador, Guatemala and Peru to train people in job and entrepreneurial skills and extend microloans to help them start small businesses and become self-sufficient.
District Designated Funds also support local projects, and this year our funds will go to underwrite the cost of school field trips to the Global Book Exchange and Audubon Canyon Ranch. In addition, we're donating portable bluetooth speakers to Canal Alliance so ESL teachers can fully implement the listening exercises that are part of the curriculum for English-language learners.
HELPING KIDS GO TO CAMP
President Annette Gibbs presented Jessica Hochkiss with a check for $1,000 for The Ranch from the club’s foundation, which will help low-income children attend day camp. “We currently have two large summer camps going on,” said Jessica, and she explained that they take kids to Angel Island every day. “The camp has gone on for 40 years,” she said, and some of today’s campers have parents who attended when they were young.
The Ranch is a nonprofit, and “Every little bit helps,” she said, expressing her gratitude.
Past-president Linda Emberson and incoming President Annette Gibbs at the Installation Celebration
Lata Setty, Zohre Grothe and Lata's son, Deven Ramachandran
Warren and Irene Russell
Having fun at the Tiburon Classic Car Show!
Rotary in the community: Cindy Siciliano and Linda Emberson made it look easy, as they spent the day flipping burgers, hot dogs and corn on the cob for scores of happy customers.
Past District Governor Ron Gin, now district membership chair, presents Mike Keran with a pin in honor of his being chosen Rotarian of the Month for District 5150.
District Governor Jayne Hulbert and First Husband Gene Duffy paid the club a visit.
Cindy Siliciano of the Tiburon Sunset Rotary Club (left) and President Linda Emberson of the Tiburon-Belvedere club get ready to toss goodies to kids at the Labor Day weekend hometown parade. (Photo: Marshall Gross)
Welcome New Members
Membership chair Angelo Capozzi welcomed new members Neelam Kanwar (upper photo) and Lynn Spitler (lower photo).
It is with profound sadness that President Linda Emberson announces the passing of beloved member Jim Deitz on Friday, July 13. Jim exemplified Rotary's motto, Service Above Self, and his altruistic spirit was a model for everyone. He was devoted to his family, loved dogs and was one of the best. We'll miss him terribly.
(l. to r.) Lisa Brinkmann of Marin Villages accepts a check from Marianne Strotz, and Michael Heckmann presents a check to Michael Keran for St. Vincent de Paul. Photo: Lynn Fox
Rotarian of the Month
District 5150 named Michael Keran Rotarian of the Month for May. Mike's much-deserved honor is in recognition of his ongoing commitment to St. Vincent de Paul and helping the homeless in Marin County. In addition, he recruits a crew of Rotarians to serve lunch at the St. Vincent de Paul Free Dining Room in San Rafael every month. May marked the beginning of the 12th year of this service project.
Annette Gibbs (left) and Shelby Gross joined the Rotary contingent and got into the spirit
of this year's first Friday Night on Main
Celebrating Earth Day
Having Fun at Friday Night on Main
Angelo Capozzi (left) and Neelam Kanwar planted trees at Homeward Bound as part of Rotary International's initiative to plant one tree for every Rotarian. Photo: Marshall Gross
Lending a Hand at St. Vincent de Paul
Stalwart volunteers (l. to r.) Klaus Meinberg, Michael Keran and Angelo Capozzi in the kitchen of the St. Vincent de Paul Free Dining Room in San Rafael. The Rotary Club of Tiburon-Belvedere serves lunch on the fourth Thursday of every month and will begin its twelfth year of volunteering, under Mike Keran's leadership, in May. Angelo is team leader for the club's participation in the REST program, and he and Klaus also served dinner to a group of homeless men at St. Hilary's Church the same day. Service Above Self at its best!
First meeting at Sam's
Rotary does REST
The Rotary Club of Tiburon-Belvedre hosted dinner for a group of 25 homeless men who were spending the night at St. Hilary's Church on Thursday, February 15, as part of the REST (Rotating Emergency Shelter Team) program.
Members of the Rotary crew (above, l. to r.), John Kaufmann, Angelo Capozzi, Brian Walker, Raja Ramachandran and Deven Ramachandran, took a break before serving dinner to guests in Tarantino Hall. Lata Setty, Annette Gibbs, Bill Goldberg, Zohre Grothe, Karl Hoppe and Lata Setty were also on hand to help. The evening featured good conversation, great appetites and uplifting camaraderie, as well as good food.which included homemade lasagna that Deven, Lata’s son, helped prepare as a family Valentine’s Day project, and Mary Kaufmann'a delicious oatmeal cookies and cupcakes decorated with hearts.
Karen Glader welcomes new member Valerie Marsh to the club and gives her a Rotary pin.
Rotarians have fun in the Day Before-Labor Day parade.
The Town of Tiburon issued a proclamation in honor of the Rotary Club of Tiburon-Belvedere's 40th anniversary, which we will celebrate in June, and the 100th anniversary of the Rotary International Foundation. Pictured, left to right, are George Landau, President Linda Emberson and Tiburon Mayor Jim Fraser. Photo: Marsall Gross.
Visitor from Afar
Rehmah Kasule (above left), with President Linda Emberson) is the Immediate Past President of the Rotary Club of Kampala/Impala in Uganda. She took the opportunity to visit us when she was at a conference in San Francisco in October. In 2010, she received recognition at the White House for her work in empowering women and met President Obama. She then wrote a book, From Gomba to the White House. She shared an African proverb: “When you walk fast, you walk alone. When you walk with others, you go far.”
MAKING KIDS SMILE
Marshall Gross donated two beautiful puppets that he won in a gift basket to Rotaplast's mission in Cebu City, Philippines. Dr. Angelo Capozzi (with the big dog) reports that the puppets are making kids smile every day before undergoing surgery, and the mission is going well.
Charlie Oewel, representing the Rotary Club of Tiburon-Belvedere, accepted a generous check from Ashoo Vaid (middle) of Wells Fargo and tournament director Brendan Curry (right) at the conclusion of the Tiburon Challenger. The funds will go to the club's education projects. (Photo: Getty Images for Revd)
Rotary welcomes Kimberly Brooks
District Governor Jeri Fujimoto (center) inducted new member Kimberley Brooks (right) as Kimi's sponsor, Joe Lavigne, looked on. Photo: Marshall Gross
DAY BEFORE LABOR DAY PARADE
Tari Nix and friend pull wagons with books for kids from the Global Book Exchange, as Marianne Strotz walks alongside, wheeling a Rotary sign. (Photo: Marshall Gross)
To see more photos of the parade, go to www.tiburonrotary.org and click on "Photo Gallery."
President Linda Emberson (left) of Tiburon-Belvedere and President Marilyn Nemzer of Tiburon Sunset hitch a ride with Michael Heckmann in the Day Before Labor Day Parade. (Photo: Marshall Gross)
Dana and Chester (left), making friends.
Winter in August was the theme of the Tiburon Peninsula Chamber of Commerce's mixer at the Boardwalk. President Linda Emberson took the prize for the most creative hat.
Jon Rankin views the on-court action at the annual Bocce Ball Tournament, a fundraiser for Rotaplast International. (Photo: J. Wilson)
Changing of the Guard
Thanks to President Marianne
President Linda Emberson (left) thanks outgoing President Marianne Strotz (right) for her two outstanding years of leadership with a special Rotary jacket, as Karen Glader, the club's new secretary, looks on. (Photo: Marshall Gross)
Honors for Angelo
Dr. Angelo Capozzi (left) and Dr. John Kaufmann with a child who underwent surgery during a Rotaplast mission to Peru in May 2016. (Photo: Courtesy of Rotaplast International)
Service Above Self
Dave Hutton presents the Capt. Dave Hutton Rotary Service Above Self Award to Kendall Hermann, graduating senior at Del Mar Middle School, for her outstanding performance in community service. The presentation took place at a special awards assembly in June. Photo: Marshall Gross
Teachers of the Year
(Left to right) RUSD Superintendent Nancy Lynch, Bel Aire School's Kelly Morphy, Reed School's Ross Modlin, Rotarian George Landau and Erin Turner of St. Hilary School (photo: Marshall Gross)
Mary Kaufmann and Jon Rankin got into the spirit of Carnaval, a fundraiser for the Rotary Club of Tiburon-Belvedere. For more, see the photo gallery at www.tiburonrotary.org. (Photo: Marshall Gross)