The AMC visits, Cultural Experience, Olympic Rip-off RG

by Art Mattson, OCM Historian

We began 1984 with Joe Perel at the helm and David Linwood handling the Oracle.

In April, they were succeeded by Barry Stone as President and Teri Lacher as Editor.

The Oracle regularly contained 6-7 pages of SIG news thanks to SIG Editor Marie Labonte; we knew what was going on. Regular contributors of articles included Bill Harvey, Billie Thompson and Ken Burke.

Program Chair Judy Semler led our Speakers’ Forum. We had a Star Wars debate, a discussion about multiple personalities, a slide presentation about China, a speaker on Learning and Memory, and an amusing presentation about “Computer Crime for Fun and Profit.”

Ed Brisick led the active Day Sailors SIG, venturing out with boatloads of Mensans on the Sea Rogue. Bridge, Poker, Go, Pinochle, Games, and Play Reading SIGs kept us entertained. Tony Coco led the Dinner Theater SIG.

Mensanity Toastmasters was in its third year and going strong. Colonel Foolry’s Puzzle Page was in its fourth year.

At our fourth Anniversary Dinner, held at the Orange County Mining Company, our guest speaker Charles Wilbourn told us interesting things about the CIA and spying in general.

In July, we put on our RG, “The Best Little Olympic Rip-off in the West,” sort of coinciding with the L.A. Olympic Games that summer. Our games were loads of fun. We awarded paper badges of Gold, Silver, and Bronze, with ribbons so they could be worn around the neck just as real Olympians did. We had physical activities indoors and out, and many mental activities as well. Over 100 badges were awarded which were worn with pride. We waited in vain for the Olympic Committee to come down on us with a cease and desist order.

Dave Sabet and Ken Burke did fine jobs chairing that RG at the Registry Hotel in Irvine. Their star performers were Glenn Branfield as Program Chair, Nancy (Phelps) Bowen for Outdoor Mensalympics, and Teri Lacher for the Indoor version. In addition, we had a Treasure Hunt, a Stock Market Game, Max Geffner’s fabulous Casino, a Trivia contest, Square Dancing, belly dancing (Bill Harvey amassed a harem), and an after dinner magician who sawed Nancy Bowen in half (she’s currently editor of the Mensa newsletter in Santa Barbara). Sunday Brunch entertainment featured six lovely Mensa women modeling fashionable clothes from Casual Corner in the Brea Mall.

Let’s not forget our famous Orange County Hospitality Suite. Claire Letto chaired with the help of four day chairs, Alice Buell, Judy Semler, Faith Van Tubbergan, and Carl Wilke. It was wonderful.
Our Registrar was Dave Schlinkert (he’s now LocSec in Oregon). Other hard workers were Lindy Burke, Laurel Miller, Barry Stone, Marie Labonte, John Hamilton, and Andy Abeles. I was there too, as Publicity Chair and Treasure Hunt Master. Well over 200 attended this marvelous RG.

I chaired a special event, the Cultural Experience, in November, 1984, again at the Registry Hotel. It was our second RG of the year. The Cultural Experience was special because we hosted the American Mensa Committee for their fall meeting.

Judy Semler was both Vice Chair and Program Chair. Keeping with the theme, her programs were heavily into music and the arts. She put together a Mensan Art Show and Photography Exhibit to display the works of many Mensans, mostly from Orange County but from neighboring groups as well. We were amazed at the talent we have in OCM.

Judy enlisted David Lubman for the music part. He organized a four-hour Classical Musicale for Sunday afternoon. We had individuals and groups, voice and instruments. There was something for everyone who liked classical music. This was an extension of sorts of David’s regular Classical Musicales which graced our calendar of activities several times each year.

Our speaker at the Sunday brunch that weekend was Micah Levy, a veteran conductor who had conducted orchestras in Boston, and in Orange, Los Angeles and Ventura counties. He explained how a conductor went about his business, using his baton to raise or lower the volume, bring sections of instruments into play, control the tempo, and a few other things as well. He demonstrated throughout his talk, using a live musician to follow his lead. That was our own Nancy Bowen on a grand piano.

Reprinted from the November, 2014, Oracle


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