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October 26, 2006 [ More archived home pages here ]

Scanning The Years

Today's song is Kodachrome by Paul Simon, released in 1973.

Last weekend I spent many hours reviewing the hundreds of 35mm color slides I have from the years 1981 to 1995. I still own the Minolta XGM 35mm camera and the several lens I purchased back in 1981 to take those slides. After reviewing those slides I selected about 50 to scan using the color scanner we have here at home.

The picture above is one of those slides, the Omega Microware booth at the November 1982 Applefest held in San Francisco when I worked at Omega Microware as the Customer Support Manager.

Omega was my first employer in my computer technology career. Just being affiliated with one of the top software distributers on the Apple II platform was a big boost to my career opportunities in the years that followed. Many doors were opened to me because of my time there. I remain grateful that my long-time friend, Ron Metzker, offered me the job there back in August 1982. He taught me a lot, more then he'll ever know.

I scanned those many images to prepare for an upcoming presentation I have been asked to give at a local college in November. I'll be talking about the trips around the country with my wife and daughter when she was young. I'll be tying that in with life experiences, career opportunities, and other topics that can be smoothly woven together.

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Today at the Twin Oaks Toastmasters meeting, I gave my first speech out of the Special Occasion Speeches advanced manual titled, The Most Important Member.

The project was how to deliver A Toast and as usual, was given directly in front of the audience without the use of notes. I provided glasses and spring water to everyone to make the toast official. Below is the prepared text I used to to practice my speech. During the actual delivery, I modified a few parts, but essentially this is the message I conveyed.

The Most Important Member
I wish to propose a toast. (Ask audience to lift their glasses)

Who is the most important member of this club?

Is it the most seasoned Toastmaster?

I wasn't thinking of that as my criteria. Seasoned Toastmasters are great mentors to be sure.

Perhaps the most important member is the newest person that joined our club? They are very enthusiastic, eager to learn, they are important to the club's future success.

Yes, today's membership whether seasoned or new are very important members. Our reward is the comprehensive support we unselfishly give to one another, empowered by our club's vision statement. Without that support we would be less effective in executing our mission statement.

There was a time when most of the people in this room, were unknown to me. You joined after I did. You are all important to me, I learn from each of you on a continual basis.

In thinking of that renewable relationship, the most important member in my mind is the next new member. Someone who is unable to join this club at this time and waits their turn to take that step through the doorway to belong, enriching us further.

That is the strength of this club. We embrace each other's needs. The benefits are shared by each current member and increased by each new member contributing to everyone's continuous improvement.

Without that "next member" contribution, this club would have ceased a year or two ago. You were once that next new member. Thank you for your dedication and time.

I toast that next new member, and the next, and the next. May Twin Oaks Toastmasters never witness the end of the most important member.

Cheers! (Clink glasses)

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I received a wonderful and heart-warming evaluation of that speech by our club's most seasoned Toastmaster. I felt good about the entire experience.

Our club works magic. I can't explain it. I accept that it happens, having witnessed the transformations of beginners to confident public speakers and leaders several times in my nearly four years with the club.

As I scan my memories of the years I lived, I find satisfaction in all that I did. Today was a day when that speech helped me tell what it's all about.

Don


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