Meeting of 10/23/14: Discovering America, Again

Picture 3Meeting at Quigley’s Restaurant
593 Columbia Turnpike
East Greenbush
October 16, 2014

Attending (15): Bill Dowd, Murray Forth, Pat Bailey, Jim Leyhane, Terry Brewer, Peter Brown, Debbie Brown, Len Leonidas, Debbie Rodriguez, Jim Butterworth, Carol Orvis, Shannon Romanowski, Len Leonidas, Roberto Martinez, Stewart Wagner.

Guests (2): Julius and Efi Frankel.

Program: “Discovering America, Again”

Roberto Martinez recounts his journey.
Roberto Martinez recounts his journey.

Roberto Martinez treated us to a special look at much of the United States, his recent 10,000-mile motorcycle journey from coast to coast with lots of loops and turns. He said having recently retired, he wanted to make use of his newly-freed schedule to get a new vantage point on some areas he had visited before as well as seeing new regions.

Roberto showed some of the equipment he needed to use for the trip that would take him from sweltering desserts to cold mountainous regions, from special body coverings to his high-tech helmet.

During his solo two-month journey, which he began on April 28, safety was a serious concern because he was traveling alone. He said there were only a few times he feared for his wellbeing. He used an online location service and other communications equipment to plot his course as well as to allow a select number of friends to know where he was at all times.

He spoke about the preparations, supplies and equipment he took, his six-cylinder motorcycle and trailer, and his costs for food, fuel, shelter and repairs. He also told us of the things he enjoyed (friends, scenery, sense of being “in the moment”) and those he didn’t (weather, semi-trucks, road construction).

One of the highlights of his trek was reaching Nashville, TN, en route to visiting Graceland, the mansion Elvis Presley lived in for 20 years before his death there on August 16, 1977. Roberto showed photos of the interior of the home, which has largely been maintained in period,  and the museum containing some of the costumes Elvis wore in his Las Vegas productions, as well as some of his cars and a plane he owned.

He concluded his talk with an array with photos taken during various parts of the trip — art, architecture, scenery contrasts, a ranch barn that is the oldest structure in the state of Colorado, of friends new and old, of other bikers, restaurants and food and a few of the many places he visited.


VISITORS: President Bill Dowd welcomed former member Julius Frankel and his wife, Efi, and incoming Rotarian Shannon Romanowski who will be officially inducted on November 20.

FAMILY EVENTS: This Saturday, October 25, there will be two events for seasonal fun for kids and families — The Capital Region club is sponsoring “A Safe Scare” from noon to 5 p.m. at the Troy YMCA; the District’s 2nd annual “Zombie Stumble,” a fundraiser for Gift of Life, will be held in Scotia’s Collins Park. Registration opens at 10:30 a,m, and the event begins at 11:15. Check our club website for details and links to both events.

ROTARY FOUNDATION DINNER: Reservations still are being accepted for “Broadway Lights Up Rotary,” the Foundation event to be held at Proctors in Schenectady. Cost $75 per person, Rotarians and non-Rotarians alike. Reservations may be made online.

ROTARY HOME COOKING: Event coordinator Terry Brewer said hosted dinners have been scheduled for  December, February 21, March 21 and April. Anyone wishing to attend or host an event should contact him.

Van Vorst
Van Vorst

NEXT MEETING: 6:15 p.m. Thursday, October 30. The after-dinner speaker will be Rick Van Vorst of the Boys & Girls Club of Southern Rensselaer County, courtesy of Murray Forth.


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