President's Message
Dan Rodriguez
member photo
On this crisp December morning, forty-three members signed on to attend the Zoom meeting called to order by President Dan Rodriguez at 7:00 a.m. Dan started the meeting by showing a brief video of current Optimist International President, Mark Weinsoff, who reminded us that the special membership charge ($30 for first year)  for first responders would expire on December 31.  President Mark also invited all members to attend a virtual meeting entitled:  
Resilience for Optimist Clubs: A Field Guide to Flourish During the Pandemic
Topics to be covered will include:
  • How to meet virtually and safely, including options for Clubs struggling with technology
  • Financial resources for struggling Clubs
  • Staying connected and strengthening relationships with other Club members
  • Safe ways to continue “bringing out the best in youth, our communities, and ourselves”
  • Reaching out to share optimism with people outside the organization who find themselves isolated and in need of positive interactions
We invite you to join us for this event whether your Club is struggling or flourishing. The OptiForum will be live at 10:00 a.m. Central Time on December 14 th, 2020. You will be able to join by registering on Zoom or watching live on YouTube or Facebook. A recorded version will be available after the conclusion of the live event. 
Christmas Baskets
Michael Chavez reported that we will be delivering 90 Christmas baskets to needy families on Saturday, December 19.  Meet at the Safeway parking lot (Yale and Monaco) at 8:00 a.m. Tom Mauro suggested we use the money collected for the Covid-19 fund to purchase gifts for the kids.  Tom Glazier said he had some books he would donate.
Brain Bowl
The Optimist Brain Bowl will be a single, virtual tournament this year. We need 23 Readers and Timekeepers in the morning, 12 for the first round in the afternoon, and 6 for the final two afternoon rounds. The tournament itself and all training sessions will be conducted over Google Meet, so you will need a Google account (a gmail address) in order to participate in any of them. So, if you would like to volunteer and do not have a gmail account, you need to to go to, click on "Sign In," Click "Create Account," click "For myself," and follow the on screen directions to create your account. After the contest is over, feel free to delete the account. The first Reader training will be held on Saturday, January 16 at 9:00 am. The second Reader training will be on Tuesday, January 19 at 6:00 p.m. The Scorekeeper training will be held on Saturday, January 23 at 9:00 a.m. If you are interested in volunteering, e-mail Karl Geil at  and let him know what job you would like to perform, and whether you can work at least part of the afternoon.
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Tree Lot Happenings
Tom Kramis reported that, during the short time the lot was open, we sold 515 trees. Tom thanked all those who worked and, in particular: Kent Gloor for obtaining and maintaining the generator; Dan Rodriguez for making and donating the signage for the lot; Allen Malask for providing all-night security in his RV; John Scarborough for “discovering” a supplier who supplied us with 100 extra trees. (Editors Note: Thanks to Tom for all of his efforts in handling this Pandemic Christmas season.)
Officer Elections/Audit Committee
Joe Marci said that he would be putting together a nomination committee for officers and directors for the 2021-22 Optimist administrative year.  Please contact Joe (303-847-7844) if you are interested in either being an officer or serving on the committee. Joe also reported that there will not be a junior golf tournament at Meadow Hills due to Covid-19.  Tom Mauro said he would be organizing an audit committee to review financial records for last year.
From Andrew Towt, Optmist International Foundation (OIF) Representative: The Dime A Day program continues regardless of Covid.  We would like to encourage you to continue your support of Monaco South’s strong participation in this program to support international contributions to youth. Since your contribution can not be collected at in-person meetings, you can send your check in the amount of $36.50, (a dime a day), to the attention of Andy Towt at 1646 South Nile Court, Aurora, Co 80012. Please make it payable to the Optimist International Foundation.  Andy will complete the paper work, and send your check along with the registration form to the Foundation along with sending a copy back to you.
There is a way of even showing stronger support and that is by joining the Dime A Day President’s Club by contributing at least $250 to this effort.  We have a history of some of our members participating at this  level, and being recognized at the Optimist International Convention.
OLLI at DU Roundup with Paul Simon
Paul Simon returned as speaker and shared the following for those interested in taking his class on the Fall of the Berlin Wall, or just out of an interest to learn more about this event:
The class I spoke about to the club is The Rise and Fall of the Berlin Wall. It is a weekly 2-hour class beginning Monday afternoon, Jan. 11, from 1-3 p.m.
To see all course listings and to register for the program – the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Denver (OLLI at DU) – go to
There are no grades at OLLI, no tests, no homework. It is all about keeping the mind active for seniors and about learning.
Paul Simon
Key Berlin Wall Sources
  • Funder, Anna, Stasiland: Stories From Behind the Berlin Wall, Harper Perennial, 2002, 445 pages as an e-book, so probably half that in print form.
  • Comment: Recommended by Gabriel Finkelstein.An Australian journalist living in Berlin in the late 1990s shares her own experiences while seeking information about the E. German secret police (Stasi) through citizen and Stasi officer accounts. Unorthodox yet compelling approach. Winner of the prestigious Samuel Johnson Award for Nonfiction.4.5 stars
  • MacGregor, Iain, Checkpoint Charlie: The Cold War,. The Berlin  Wall. And the Most Dangerous Place on Earth, Scribner, New York, 2019, 302 pages.
  • Comment: Checkpoint Charlie captures the mistrust, oppression, paranoia, and fear that once gripped Berlin. It is about the nerve-wracking confrontation between the West and USSR, highlighting such important global figures as Eisenhower, Stalin, JFK, Nikita Khrushchev, Mao Zedung, Nixon, Reagan, and other politicians of the period. 5 stars.
  • Sarotte, Mary Elise, The Collapse: The Accidental Opening of the Berlin Wall, Basic Books, New York, 2014. 187 pages (paperback). Comment: The opening wasn’t planned, but as the author describes was a perfect storm of decisions made by daring underground revolutionaries, disgruntled Stasi officers and dictatorial part bosses that culminated in the chaotic fall of the Wall. 4.5 stars.
  • Steege, Paul, Black Market, Cold War: Everyday Life in Berlin, 1946-1949, Cambridge University Press, 2007, 297 pages.  Comment:  Covers the same period as Eisenberg (above), but focuses on Berlin rather than on Germany as a whole. As the title indicates, the focus is on how the “consumer” was affected by the politics, rather than on the politics per se. Quite readable and embellished by good maps, photos, tables, and a helpful list of abbreviations. 4 stars.
  • Strack, David F, Letters Over the Wall: Life in Communist East Germany, 2015 Comment: Book by our co-facilitator who lived in Berlin while the wall was up, and who also taught Paul history when he was in high school.  Author Dave will share some stories from his book.
  • Taylor, Frederick, The Berlin Wall: A World Divided, 1961-1989., HarperCollins,  2007, 449pages.  Comment: A comprehensive history of the Berlin Wall and the factors that led to it being built, from the postwar political tensions that created a divided Berlin to the internal and external pressures that led to the wall’s demise. 4.5 stars
CNN Cold War series:  24-episode documentary initially shown as a miniseries in 1998.  Each episode is about 45 minutes.  Paul and Glenn have reviewed some of them, which were excellent.  Clips from the series will be used in class. Three episodes are especially applicable:  Berlin (Episode 4), The Wall (Episode 9), and The Wall Comes Down (Episode 23).  5 stars
1949: One Year, Two Germanies.  Excellent 42-minute documentary in English produced by the German public broadcasting service DW.
Excellent overview of the Berlin Wall, from its appearance, to escapes, to the Stasi and reinforcement of the wall, to the fall of the wall. Examine economic differences between the two Berlins. 1:30:35.
·“West Berlin: Yesterday and Today” is a short article from The Crowded Planet providing a concise history of 20th Century Berlin from the perspective of a tour guide. It can be found on-line at:  - Lots of good pictures. 

What happened after the fall of the Berlin Wall? end of decades of physical division in Berlin sparked diverse reactions in the two Germanies. Arguably the most seismic changes in European geopolitics – certainly in the second half of the 20th century – stemmed from events that  unfolded in Berlin on Nov. 9, 1989

Railroad Memories of the Berlin Wall
Shared by Greg Hurd
I thought I would pass on some photos of model train cars I have that relate to Paul Simon's last two talks on Berlin.  The cars are made by Marklin &Co. the oldest and largest model train manufacturer in the world beginning in 1859 and still going today.  They are head quartered in Goeppingen, Germany near Stuttgart.  These are special issue cars not exported out of Germany.
Photo 1 is a Marklin HO car made in 1987 that commemorates 750 years of Berlin being a city.  Berlin was an official city beginning in 1237!  This is a special issue car sold only in Berlin and Goeppingen Germany.
Photo 2 is the Marklin Freedom car commemorating the fall of the iron curtain and Berlin wall. This shot shows the side of the car. This car was only sold in Bamberg and Goeppingen Germany.  I have been told only 100 of these cars were made.
Photo 3 is the same Freedom car showing a piece of the iron curtain that is the official load in the car. here
Photo 4 is the certificate I have that the iron curtain piece is authentic and the front of the certificate.
Photo 5 is the back side of the certificate showing details of where the iron curtain piece was extracted. 
Birthdays & Anniversaries
Member Birthdays
Frank Rowe
December 3
Chandler Milliken
December 8
Mark Westlund
December 11
Bob Meyer
December 13
Curt Boell
December 18
Kurt Siebold
December 28
Noel Hasselgren
December 28
Ron Cisco
December 28
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Optimist Club of Monaco South 2020-2021 45th Year — Chartered in 1976
See the Online Calendar @
2020 - 2021 Officers                                              2020 - 2021 Board of Directors
President          Dan Rodriguez    303-521-5120         Perry Allen           303-521-3453 
Vice President  Tom Kramis        303-917-5299         Stephen Avery      720-775-7700
Vice President  Chris Dunphy      720-297-3111         George Buzick      303-803-2268
Secretary          Bill Morgan         303-868-4384         Allen Malask        303-726-3700 
Asst Secretary  Phil Perington      303-832-4578        David Peck            925-890-253
Treasurer          Pat Bush               720-747-5482        Larry Pulaski         303-956-1202 
Asst. Treasurer Greg Young          303-759-3921        Bob Meyer            303-919-4532
                                                                                     Mark Smith           303-691-9766
Past Presidents
Bob Rhue 1976-77
Jerry Whitlow 1977-78
Bill Kosena 1978-79
Duane Wehrer 1979-80
Curt Jefferies 1980-81
Frank Middleton 1981-82
John Young 1982-83
Pat Bush 1983-84
Bob Hugo 1984-85
Tom Mauro 1985-86
Curt Lorenzen 1986-87
Oscar Sorensen 1987-88
Lupe Salinas 1988-89
Bob Avery 1989-90
Bill Litchfield 1990-91
Bill Walters 1991-92
Kent Gloor 1992-93
Gary Strowbridge 1993-94
Mark Metevia 1994-95
Bob Safe 1995-96
Tom Overton 1996-97
Peter Dimond 1997-98
Ralph Symalla 1998-99
Cy Regan 1999-00 
Bryce Slaby 2004-05
Donlie Smith 2005-06
Paul Bernard 2006-07
Greg Young 2007-08
Phil Perington 2008-09
Ron Cisco 2009-10
Ed Collins 2010-11
Randy Marcove 2011-12
Paul Simon 2012-13
Jon Wachter 2013-14
John Oss 2014-15
Michael Chavez 2015-16
Craig Eley 2016-17
Jim Easton 2017-18
Everett Gardner 2018-19
Bob Meyer 2019-20
Newsletter Committee
George Buzick 303-803-2268                         
Robert Wardlaw 303-525-2532
Phil Perington 303-832-4578
Paul Stratton 303-366-6375
Pat Bush 720-254-3741
Craig Eley 303-758-9499
Greg Young 303-759-3921 
T H E O P T I M I S T C R E E D — Promise Yourself . . . To be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind. To talk health, happiness and prosperity to every person you meet. To make all your friends feel that there is something in them. To look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true. To think only of the best, to work only for the best, and to expect only the best. To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own. To forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future. To wear a cheerful countenance at all times and give every living creature you meet a smile. To give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others. To be too large for worry, too noble for
anger, too strong for fear, and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.
Due to high level Covid Alerts in the Denver Metro
Area, in-person meetings will be discontinued for the
present time.  Zoom meeting will continue on Friday