Mike Pecosh


Lucky Bill Allison
Phil Rush, great recitation of 4-Way Test


Visiting Rotarian Ulli Lange from Colorado and President Bill thanked him for coming and bringing Lars.
Guests of Mary Jo Podgurski , John Campbell and Dr. James M Longo who is presenting the program today.


Dave Hart recognized Rotarian Shirley Moore upon reaching another level of giving. Dave believes that giving large or small amounts doesn’t matter; steady giving is the key to success. When asked if she had anything to say Shirley responded, “Thank you Dave…he surprised me.” Congratulations Shirley (and Dave).


  1. Remember Trivia Night on March 8 and as usual Brandi, Nan and Susanare looking for items to complete gift baskets, boxes to attract more $upport from our guests. Still time to join a team, be a runner, donate an item or just be there to support the tremendous effort. WEAR your ROTARIAN AT WORK shirt and if you don’t have one…we’ll get one for you. When we work together we always succeed. Remember when it was said “$800,000 for work on that Pavilion…it will never happen.” 
  2. Student scholarship applications going to the schools on Friday. IF you know a senior in any of the schools we serve encourage them to apply. Remember we changed some of that last year and the recipient does NOT have to be the student who is first in the class.
  3. Rich Podgurski gave a pavilion update and the final phases of electrical systems, staircase, and flooring will complete our project by mid-May. We will not seek another LSA funding in 2020.

HAPPY $$$$$

  • Mary Jo Podgurski: $20 thanking all for the well wishes – she stated all is well even though she had to endure a significant blood loss. Also happy her friends John and Jim are here for the day.
  • Susan Priest: happy MJ is back and happy that her recent scan went very well…3 years!
  • Tripp Kline: HAPPY MJ is back as she has been missed
  • Lars Lange: offered up the lost wallet from the Wounded Warrior Patrol one last time before donating the cash inside ($2.00).
  • Bill Allison: Happy to report that he visited Bill Speakman (long time Rotary guru) after recent knee replacement surgery and “Bill is doing well.” Bill is at Manor Care but hoping to go home next week with a new attitude about life…very positive.
  • Brandi Miller: tells us the Literacy Council is seeking to hire an Office Manager so if you know someone call Brandi!
  • Phil Rush: says Gene Steratore thanked us for giving him another opportunity to speak at Rotary; thanked Bill Allison for the Cuban cigar; most importantly his 15 year old granddaughter is Cancer free based on her most recent scan (3 yrs si far).
  • John Rodgers: also updated on Bill Speakman – and Bill will be discharged from facility this Saturday.
  • Karen Reese: is excited to be going to Phantom of the Opera for the first time tonight.
  • Mike Pecosh: is thankful the City of Washington still has not removed the Christmas decorations so it is soon to be Lent!
  • Joe Manning: offers $1.00 as an apology to Mike Pecosh.
  • Ken Baker: happy to have the W&J Jazz Ensemble will be playing at the brunch at President’s Pub this Sunday.

PROGRAM: Hitler and the Habsburgs

Mary Jo is honored to introduce a “great guy”, Professor James Longo of W&J, who has authored an excellent book, “Hitler and the Habsburgs: The Fuehrer’s Vendetta Against the Austrian Royals”, which is available on Amazon.
Dr. Longo thanked Mary Jo for the introduction and the opportunity to speak before Rotary, a good organization with good people.
Dr. Longo began by telling us that he had no particular interest in history when he began his career as a young teacher in the mid-west.  But an assignment at the time caused something to stick in his mind and it might have been that the mortally wounded Archduke Ferdinand pleaded to his wife, Sophie, after both had been shot, “Sophie, don’t die, live for the children”.  Sadly, they both died and that set in stage the course of events that lead to World War I, the Twenties, the Thirties and WW II.
The assassination left its indelible role on world history, but also caused Dr. Longo to wonder, “What happened to the kids?”
Ferdinand and Sophie had a 12 year old daughter, a 10 year old son and another 9 year old son at the time of their deaths.  But there was almost no information available on their lives and this became the impetus for the book.  He informs us that the Imperial War Museum in Vienna has a photo of the children in a room with information regarding the assassination. Then, in 2007, Dr. Longo read an article in the New York Times regarding the efforts of a family princess to regain ownership of the family’s palatial home near Prague, that had been lost with the formation of Czechoslovakia after WWI.
The article presented Dr. Longo with the contact he needed to take up communications with princess and eventually led to the writing of the book.  
Dr. Longo really seems to have taken a liking to the family and stresses the hardships that they endured after the assassination and after Hitler came to power.  He stresses that three women, the Archduke’s daughter and the wives of the sons, did not shrink from the Nazis and worked tirelessly to have them released from custody in such places as the Dachau concentration camp. 
Hitler’s hatred of the Habsburgs is based on various reasons, such as their political opposition to the Nazis, the Archduke had lead a peace party in Austria, the Archduke had married a Czech (which the racist Hitler hated) and other reasons that can be learned by reading the book.
He also stated that one of Hitler’s first actions was to close the Rotary clubs in Austria and Germany, probably due to their charitable basis.  
In the end, the three children did survive WWII, but the brothers were sickly after their horrible treatment.  The sister lived till the age of 89 and was alive when the Berlin Wall fell.
The presentation concluded with questions:
  • Park B – what happened to the sister?  The sister lived till the age of 89 and was alive when the Berlin Wall fell.
  • Susan Priest – it is interesting that the kids were not able to part of the Habsburg dynasty because their father had married a Czech woman.
  • Ulli Lange, who experienced WWII as a German child, is still trying to understand how Hitler was able to achieve such power in Germany.  He feels that human nature allowed this to happen.  The professor agreed and further noted that similar ideologies now rule in such places as Brazil, Poland and Hungary.  It is a cautionary tale.
  • Betsy W wondered if the book is available in the W&J book store, but we learned that the only way to buy is through Amazon. (linked above)
  • John Rodgers commented that he was able to read the book in less than one weekend and that it is very readable.  It is notable that the Emperor was relieved at the death of the Archduke, due to his politics and that Josef Stalin had also lived in Vienna.  The book “1913” chronicles the importance of Vienna during that time.
NOTE: The Club membership enjoyed Dr. Longo’s explanation as to the interest and research work behind the writing of this book. Also we thank Ulli for the work he is doing on his family research and for sharing some of his feelings towards growing up in Germany.
Thank you to those of you who enhanced the presentation with your questions.
See you all Tuesday, March 5. Time is really “marching along” and don’t forget TRIVIA NIGHT which helps to finance some of the good we do as a group in the Greater Washington Area.
Washington Rotary
We meet Tuesdays at 12:00 PM
W & J College, The Commons
60 S. Lincoln St.
Washington, PA  15301
United States of America
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RI Theme 2018-19

Upcoming Programs

Mar 05, 2019
Literacy work in Haiti
Apr 02, 2019
Food Bank
Apr 09, 2019
Writing the Nonnie Books
Apr 16, 2019
View entire list

Upcoming Events

Trivia Night 2019
Mar 08, 2019
Betsy and Bill West
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services The Preferred Realty
724-747-9703  Cell

Lars Lange

Executives & Directors

Vice President
President Elect
The Rotary Foundation
Club Service
Assistant Treasurer
International Service
Assistant Secretary
Vocational Service
Community Service
Public Relations

Birthdays & Anniversaries

Member Birthdays
Erin Jones
February 23
Angeline East
Bob East
February 3
Join Date
Bill Allison
February 1, 1979
40 years
James Uram
February 1, 1987
32 years
Kenneth Baker
February 1, 1976
43 years
Mike Minder
February 2, 2018
1 year
Ellen Hough
February 9, 2016
3 years
Tripp Kline
February 10, 2004
15 years
John Hopper
February 16, 2017
2 years
Lisa Moore
February 17, 2009
10 years
Russell Hampton
National Awards Services Inc.