January 21, 2020

Getting Started

     The meeting began with the invocation by Bill West.
     Brad Montgomery reported that there were 32 members in attendance and two guests. Dr. Stefan Getzik, a new chiropractor in town, and a prospective member, who is already recruiting, as he brought another prospective member: Mike Burt, with Proudfit Insurance. 


  • President Andy announced that today is Ken Baker’s birthday.
  • Rich Podgurski informed us that we FINALLY have the architects plans for electrical work on the pavilion. Advertisement for bids has been made. Work probably will start in the March-April timeframe. We have a donor who will be providing fans for air circulation. It can get hot in the summer.
  • Kathy Sabol handed out registration forms for the Trivia Contest on March 6. She also is accepting sign-ups for help from Rotarians who will not be on a team.
  • Susan Price shared that Lars, their exchange student several years ago, is coming back to the US to school in South Carolina. She expects he will be visiting. Thanks in part to his addiction to Buffalo Wild Wings, he went home 5 inches taller and 35 pounds heavier after his time here in high school.
  • Dave Moore announced that we still have 22 squares open on the Super Bowl board. Next week is the last chance to get it filled in. 
  • Brandi Miller, who is in charge of the raffle for the Trivia Contest asks everyone to help get donations for the raffle. She says there are 12 so far. Contact her or Susan Price.
  • Dave Moore said that Bob Hillberry is now at Southmont, on the third floor. His right leg is out of action and he is fighting a recurring infection. He would welcome visitors.
President Andy then called on Dave Hart, who awarded a Paul Harris plus pin to Brad Montgomery

Happy Dollars

  • Carol Keller was happy to be back among us.
  • Ken Baker was happy to share info on the next Jazz Brunch which will feature Antonio Croes, also that he has made it to 73.
  • John Quayle was happy that both teams in this year’s Super Bowl have someone with connections to the Pittsburgh region: Joe Montana, legendary Niner’s quarterback, and Pat Mahomes, Jr., the quarterback for Kansas City who is the son of Pat Mahomes, an MLB pitcher who ended his baseball days with the Pirates.
  • Bill Allison was happy to announce that Bill Speakman is scheduled to be released to home next week. (fingers crossed everybody)
  • Brandi Miller had no ones, so was five dollars happy to be back from Aruba and VERY happy that Olive Garden went the extra mile to recover her diamond engagement ring which fell into the toilet. The closed the toilet and got a plumber in the next day. The plumber said there was only a 10% chance he could recover it, but he did. Olive Garden refused any payment from Brandi, who settled for taking a big box of donuts from Joe’s Bakery. (winner of OR Best of the Best for donuts)
  • Susan Priest was happy that last week’s appeal for someone to do a program today was successful, and also that she lives in the age of central heating. If she had lived in the time of her ancestors, she would have wimped out.
  • Bill Mesler was happy to share another toilet story: a bandit caused roofing material to fall down the bathroom vent. It cost $3902 to fix, but happily it was covered by insurance.
  • Susan Price shared that a member of the Kansas City Chief’s defensive squad is named O’Daniel, and comes from Canonsburg. Susan serves on a board with his mother, who has been getting tickets to all this year’s games. Susan has told her to start packing.
  • John Tecklenburg was happy that Sidney Crosby is back on the ice, and that he (John) was in the arena on Sunday to see the Penguins win. He was the test subject for Dorothy’s questions for this year’s Trivia Contest and hinted that teams would be well advised to get 30 somethings on their teams.

Program: Lars Lange

Susan Priest introduced Rotarian Lars Lange, who responded to her plea for programs last week with three ideas. She reminded the members that last year Lars asked for help from the club for a big Lange family bicycle trip from DC to Pittsburgh on the C&O canal path to Cumberland and the Great Allegheny Passage from there to Pittsburgh. 
Lars started by saying he is working on getting over nerves about public speaking, and that he got the hang of PowerPoint presentations last night. He also thanked the Tecklenburgs and Joe Manning, who contributed bikes to be used for the trip. He then shared some wonderful pictures as he talked about the trip.
The Lange family has been doing family biking adventures for 20 years. Sometimes there is a destination, some times they bike from a locale, taking different voyages out and back. This time, it was a destination trip. They started from Dupont Circle and biked 2 miles to Georgetown, the start of the canal path. There are lots of bike paths in DC, so they had no traffic issues in getting to the start.
Cyclers bike on the old tow path and there is not always water in the old canal. Railroads killed the canal system in the 19th century, and now the highway system has killed some of the old railroads. They do offer great ways for bikers to travel without dealing with highway traffic.
Lars and his sister planned the trip, booking places which could handle 20 people for each night’s stop. The trip took 9 days and 8 nights, and they averaged 40 miles a day. Lars missed out on most of the biking because only he could drive his vehicle because of insurance. He drove as the “sag wagon”, so called as the transportation for any rider who started to “sag” along the way. 
In places along the way the canal still held water, and there was a lot of wildlife to enjoy as bikers rode along. In places the path was mostly cinders and had potholes. The riders ranged in age from 20 to 85 (Ulii). The average age of the riders was about 50 to 55 years old.
He shared a photo of a group around a bike which was having a tire changed, asking: ”How many Germans does it take to change a tire ?” At one point one woman had 3 flats in 1 hour. She had a bad inner tube, which was replaced.
All the places they stayed were pleasant and clean, although sometimes overflow had to sleep in other buildings nearby. In Williamsport, Maryland, 4 slept in the barn. That was also the place which had free beer, and they were assured that “we have all the beer you can drink.” Turns out that one case is not “all the beer you can drink” when you have 16 Germans drinking. 
During the whole trip they had only 1 hour of rain, but it was quite a storm. They ate a group dinner every night, and there was only 1 fight: between Lars and his sister. 
There is a 640 foot rise from DC to Cumberland, so the construction of the canal included 50 locks. One of the most impressive sections, in terms of engineering, is the Paw Paw tunnel, the construction of which almost bankrupted the canal company. Construction of the tunnel used 600,000 bricks. 
One of the hardest stretches for the bikers was near Rocky Gap. The location of the night’s lodging was 1000 feet above the canal level. Lars had to drive the “sag wagon” so he didn’t have to bike it, but he and his sister were concerned about Ulii, who made it up, not happy at being offered a ride and being checked up on along the climb.
At Cumberland they started on the Great Allegheny Passage, a Rails to Trails bike path. From Cumberland to Frostburg the trail climbed about 1000 feet, but did it over 13 miles. At Dale, Pennsylvania, they reached the Eastern Continental Divide. On one side was the beginning of the Potomac drainage system, heading to the Chesapeake Bay. On the other was the Youghiogheny River drainage system, heading eventually to the Gulf of Mexico.
At Ohiopyle they took a break and some did white-water rafting while others visited Fallingwater. From McKeesport to Homestead they say a lot of old industry remnants. They detoured to Hot Metal Bridge to get a great views of the Point before finishing at the Point and going to Nola, a favorite restaurant for Lars.
Some of the visitors stayed in Washington for a while and took in the Pony League series and the County Fair.
Next year they will be doing a hub and spokes tour anchored in Berlin. The trip will be in September and Lars said it was open to anyone from the club.
In all they covered 354 miles in 9 days. Bill Allison commented to the club that this was quite an accomplishment. 


Winner: John Tecklenburg
Non-Winner: Susan Price
Rich led us in the 4-Way Test
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 2019-20

Upcoming Programs

Jan 28, 2020
Club Assembly
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Upcoming Events

Washington Rotary Club’s 18th Annual Trivia Night
Mar 06, 2020 6:00 PM
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Betsy and Bill West
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services The Preferred Realty
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Lars Lange

Executives & Directors

Vice President
Rotary Foundation
Club Service
Assistant Treasurer
International Service
Assistant Secretary
Community Service

Birthdays & Anniversaries

Member Birthdays
Park Burroughs
January 2
Joseph Gisoni
January 11
Kenneth Baker
January 21
Thomas Uram
January 27
Andrew Uram
January 28
Join Date
Andrew Uram
January 1, 1977
43 years
Karen Reese
January 1, 1995
25 years
Kathy Sabol
January 1, 1997
23 years
Thomas Uram
January 1, 1983
37 years
Erin Jones
January 20, 2015
5 years
Lars Lange
January 23, 2018
2 years
Russell Hampton
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