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Jerry Patterson — Texas Land Commissioner (Retired)

Posted by on Tuesday, January 15th, 2019 in Blog

Reported by Reggie Nisbett

I was on the top floor of the parking garage when I heard the roar. I looked up and four F-16 fighter jets were screaming fast and low right over the top of St David’s. WOW, they must have been in honor of our speaker this week. The former Senator, Marine and Texas Land Commissioner. I figured we were in for a special meeting!

The ring of the big Rotary bell was struck by President Julie at precisely noon. Bringing well over 100 members and guests to their feet. The room was full! We started with pledges led by Jaime Phillips. Rick Ravel gave us a heartfelt invocation that w as short and sweet, and w e recited the Four Way Test with Jim Bryce. The greeter at the top of the stairs was Heather Toolin and Carl Noble introduced our guests and visitors, of which there were 12 by my count.

Today our Membership Minute was presented by long time member Michael Portman (a really long-time member from the early 70’s). While we all knew a lot about Michael, I didn’t know he is a Past President of the Laredo Rotary Club. I like these Membership Minutes!

Announcements followed from Mary Reynolds about the Pecan Springs Elementary School’s Career Day coming up and the Science Fair the students are having as well. Judges are needed! Jaime Phillips is hosting the wine tasting that’s coming up on Friday. It’s all about South American wines. Ann Marie Ellis needs 100 volunteers for the Rise Against Hunger event com ing up on Saturday, February 23rd; and Tillery Castillo reminded us about the upcoming Membership Soiree on February 7. Grab a prospect and come to the Headliner’s Club!

President Julie alerted us to check out the Rotarian (Rotary International’s magazine) this month. There is great picture and story about our Club because we’re the featured Club in February! Makes us look good! Julie also explained that she and other Club leaders are still working to improve the parking struggle and hope it’s resolved soon. Hang in there with us!

“I just bought a raffle ticket. The second prize is a car. The first prize is a parking space!”, borrowed from Milton Berle.

We had a good 15 minutes of Fellowship, before the introduction of today’s speaker. Past President Don Ray George gave a fine introduction of his long-time friend Jerry Patterson.

Jerry is quite a speaker and very funny as well. He is currently involved in producing documentary movies about little known aspects of Texas History, some of it salacious he said. We got to preview a film of a story he’s been working on about a 1918 incident in Porvenir, TX. We also learned a lot about his accomplished family. He told us a story about his son, Travis, that I particularly liked about how he’s a Marine helicopter pilot.

Travis recently flew General Mattis somewhere and got to have a visit with him. He learned that the General has a bear skin rug in his home. Strange thing though, he said the bear is not dead, he is just “really afraid”. We heard many other funny stories, including some about Ma & Pa Ferguson, both former Texas Governors. Pa used to sell pardons. In 1924 they ran on the slogan: Two Governors for the Price of One. It was a great presentation! You really should have been there.

By the way, I learned the fighter jets were really for our current Governor, who was over at the capitol at his inauguration. See you next week!

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