A Little of This & A Little of That

We are halfway through what might be the winter of our discontent for some, given the weather and the political climate. No matter what, we can weather whatever storms come our way because we have each other for support, interesting diversions and good old-fashioned common sense. Our collective experience tells us that whatever it is we are going through—just hang on, things will change, just like our New England weather. Winter can be a depressing time with limited sunshine, short days and longer nights, particularly if you are alone. But you don’t have to be alone or a little down. You have friends and contacts to lift the mood. Take out our membership roster and call a few folks, make some plans for lunch or dinner, go see a movie or just get together for a cup of coffee. Spring is just around the corner and we will all be able to get back out & about.

Speaking of just around the corner, we have elections coming up in April and we need you to step up to the plate to replace outgoing board members. There are currently five board seats expiring with three of those board members running again. We are also in need of a newsletter editor. John’s last edition will be in April. My position as president expires in April, and although my seat has another year to go as a board member, after much thought, I will be resigning.

I have too many upcoming projects and limited time to give to a board position. These projects have come about through my networking with other organizations as a board member. This has been very rewarding. So there is plenty of opportunity for your hands on involvement to steer the club into new adventures. Just because three board members will throw their hats back into the ring does not mean they cannot be challenged. Step up and shake things up! We need new ideas and fresh energy. Over the past two years, I have heard ideas and complaints from some of you. Now is the time to put some of those ideas in motion and give solutions to some of those complaints. I have heard that being a board member is not a good experience and that board meetings are contentious. That is far from the truth. The board has been running smoothly with nothing but cooperation and good fellowship. This is your club. You only get back out of it as much as you put into it.

Speaking of upcoming changes, we are moving forward with a new web service provider. In the very near future you will be given the new web address and the webpage itself will be revamped. Please stay tuned. For approximately seven years, Charlie Briggs and Steve Lord have been our webpage gurus, and have provided us with those services. Steve also traveled into the office to send out the Prologue e-mail blast on a monthly basis in a very timely manner. We thank both of them very much for all that they have done for us.

We have a few things coming up that can all look forward to. There is the Hasty Pudding Theatricals on March 2nd. The cutoff date is February 10th, so you need to get your tear sheet in to us now. Tony is cooking up another after-meeting meal in honor of St. Patrick’s Day on March 18th. As for this month, The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence will be joining us to talk about your sexual health—I told them that all of you were active—so lie if you aren’t! They are also going to be painting one of your faces. Who wants to volunteer? And we have dining out at Club Café on February 28th.

I am heading off to Florida for these next few months to honor my contractual obligations at the Florida Renaissance Festival, leaving you in the very capable hands of your Vice President, Harry Fullerton. I will let you know what the Fort Lauderdale chapter is up to in my next column and give you an update on our snowbird members down there. Oh, and Happy Valentine’s Day! Hug a Prime Timer if you haven’t already hugged one yet today.

David Stanford’s Election Profile

I recently retired from the Massachusetts Parole Board where I was a Parole Officer for 28 years. Over the years I worked with many administrations of that agency, helping to facilitate those boards in their decision making. In my last five years before retirement, my duties were expanded to include directly communicating and information sharing with District Attorneys and police departments throughout the Commonwealth.

I am a long time member and current Prime Timer Board member whose duties during my tenure on the board included holding the offices of President, Vice President, membership and editor of the Prologue. I also helped to design and produce 4 award-winning BPT floats for our Gay Pride Parades. The Boston Chapter of Prime Timers nominated me to the Worldwide Board where I served as President for a two year term.

Election Thoughts from the President

Once again it is that time of year where we fill the seats of Board members whose terms are expiring. My seat, along with those of Harry Fullerton and Larry Vitale will be up for election. We had been a nine member board, but because of work commitments, one member resigned, leaving us with eight members. The by-laws state that there should be either a seven or nine member panel. If we have enough candidates to fill nine slots, we will continue with a nine member board. Otherwise, we will go with a seven member panel. Larry has decided because of time constraints, etc., he will not be running. Harry and I will run.

This is the time to make your voice heard and your vote count. Over my years on the Board, I have heard complaints as well as compliments for what we have done for you. I have heard some great ideas and some not so good. But the one thing in common with both is that those who have made suggestions have not stepped up to the plate to help implement them with a few exceptions. Now is your chance. Throw your hat into the ring and make those suggestions come to fruition. For the good of the club, it could use your help and ideas for activities, speakers, events and fun in general. In fact, you don’t have to be a Board member to head up a committee and make things happen. Don’t just be a critic and complainer—offer a solution to whatever the problem is you feel needs addressing and help us correct it.

Last month those at the membership meeting participated in a “brainstorming” session and the results can be read elsewhere in this edition of the Prologue. There are some problem areas that need to be addressed, and will be. But once again, we look to you to provide some input and solutions. This is your organization and in order to keep it vibrant and truly alive, we need an active membership. The more you put into being part of this club, the more you will get out of it.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Larry Vitale for his service to Boston Prime Timers, on and off the Board. He has provided valuable input and countless hours of work to the organization. I would also like to thank my fellow Board members for all the hard work they do and the criticism they take for pouring their heart & soul into a volunteer job. I am also grateful that I have been able to serve as your President for the past year. I have met a lot of nice guys and I look forward to meeting many more either as a Board member or as a Boston Prime Timer.

Greetings from Florida!

I may be out of your sight, but you are not out of my mind. I am missing out on many things happening there, but I have been no less busy here. My weekends are busy with long days of work performing at the Florida Renaissance Festival, and then a few days of recovery before I do it all over again. But in some of my spare time I have run into Dave Evans, George Reardon and Ed McCarthy. Elliot Katz called and is down here somewhere and George Wright will be here soon if he’s not here already. Of course, Fred Riley (recently recovering from hip surgery) and Emile Dufour are here, too. Not a bad representation for the Boston Chapter. We are everywhere, apparently.

As soon as I get a chance, one Monday night, I will hob-knob with members of the Fort Lauderdale Chapter at Tropics Bar & Restaurant at their weekly get-together. During the week, I am staying with some wonderful friends in Port St. Lucie, but on the weekends, I am hosted by AJ Ratcliff and Stephen Barnhart in Wilton Manors. AJ is on the Board of the World Wide, so I am getting the scoop on what’s happening. As I have mentioned in the past, being a Prime Timer has its perks. When you travel, contact other chapters in advance, so you can connect with someone and be included in that Chapter’s loop. I have had many offers – not all of them are indecent – for cocktails and dinner. It makes travel so much more enjoyable.

On another note, elections are coming up in April and there will be three board seats to be filled. I want to encourage anyone who has a sincere interest in furthering the wellbeing of the Chapter to throw his hat into the ring. I have heard some great ideas from some of you over this past year that I would love to see come to fruition. Please step up to the plate and run for the Board. Let’s put some of those ideas into action.

I understand that there may have been some misinformation mentioned at the last meeting. I want to assure everyone that we have no plans to move from our current location. Our relationship with U.S.E.S. is solid. To date we have not been notified of any changes in our agreements with U.S.E.S., and if there are any changes forthcoming that would affect the membership, we will make that information known to you. I also want to assure you that we are not running in the red and we have a healthy balance in the bank. All combined between checking, savings, and our CDs, our balance is $12,350.

That is all for now. Stay well, warm and in each other’s good company. I will see you in April.

Happy New Year

Here it is 2016, and I didn’t make any personal resolutions this year because I haven’t been too successful in keeping many in the past. However, I have made some resolutions for our chapter, and along with your support and that of the board, I am going to work hard at keeping these resolutions. This started out as a wish list:

  • Replace our aging and temperamental office computers.
  • Explore opportunities in acquiring grant monies which would fund future projects.
  • Put a float back into the Pride Parade by finding funding & sponsors to accomplish this.
  • Day trips in the spring, summer & fall.
  • Creating more membership activities.
  • Membership drives through events and advertising & social media.
  • Search out other charitable projects while continuing to build our relationship with The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence.
  • Making our Ogunquit & Provincetown getaways even better.

To get these rather ambitious ideas off the drawing board and into application, we are asking for your help, your involvement and your investment. Your board works hard to pull things together and make things happen but without your support and participation it all feels rather empty. I hope that you became a member to make new friends, expand your social circles and have fun doing things that you like to do with people you enjoy being around. I am soliciting your ideas and asking for your input to make these resolutions happen. Please give me or a board member any thoughts you may have about all of this and let’s make 2016 a year filled with new memories yet to happen with old friends and new acquaintances. The more you put into your membership, the more you get out of it. Happy 2016. May it be a fun-filled & healthy year for all of us. And remember, together we can make things happen.