Submitted by Don Doman
Perhaps, in the future we’ll move through time and space via electronic pulses, but currently we still transport over the ground or through the air.
I’m a member of the Transportation Club of Tacoma. I have nothing to do with transportation, although I do have one marketing client that provides maintenance and service for automobiles, but that lone tendril is not enough reason to pay dues, go to meetings, raise money, and be the newsletter editor. So, when people ask me why I am a member I fumble for a response. I could use our meetings to network. I do always need more video production and marketing clients, but I’m usually taking photographs and talking with people, although I quite often forget to give them a business card. We currently have 550 members.
I suppose the reason I am a member goes back to my childhood during the early days of television. My favorite TV program was “To be announced.” That phrase was used in TV Guide when the editors had no information about a particular program. It wasn’t always on at the same time, which confused me a little bit. My young age and lack of sophistication, however found me learning about crayfish being “in berry” (carrying eggs), and washing my hands to ward off diseases. I never liked having sticky hands, so this was a natural for me. I’ve always been a reader and constantly asking “why” and “why not” as I read, watch, and listen.
What does this have to do with transportation? Well . . . everything. I like knowledge, and learning about the world and our universe. Television stations like KBTC here in Tacoma and Pierce County provide much of what I hunger for, but in-person makes everything seem more real and accessible. I get that from program speakers at Rotary and the Transportation Club of Tacoma. At Rotary the dues are fives times as much, meetings are each week and you have to attend 50% of the meetings. At the transportation club, we only meet once a month and don’t meet at all in July and August. There is no mandatory requirement for meetings. You attend when you can. At TCT I’ve only missed an occasional meeting. The programs are generally interesting. I’ve met President Obama’s Small Business Administration’s Young Entrepreneur of the Year, Dan Price who owns Gravity Payments in Seattle and who vows to pay his employees a minimum of $70,000 a year. I’ve spent twenty minutes laughing and learning about Tacoma Rail, the municipal railroad in our backyard. I also was able to join the doubting throngs of mass transit by listening to the statements and questions of local businessman Kemper Freeman. There are plenty more examples, but my favorite program featured Todd Fryhover from the Washington Apple Commission.
Todd came with boxes of Red Delicious apples to hand out. We played a guessing game with the countries we shipped to and their favorite variety of apples. It was fun and informative, but still I was reluctant to take a red delicious apple home with me. I find them mealy and not very crisp. At the end of the meeting I took an apple because it was free. After the meeting I sat in my car, turned the key, and just happened to look over at the driver of the car next to me. He looked like he was really enjoying his apple. I thought, “Oh, what the heck,” and took a bite of mine. I looked around like I was being tricked by someone. The apple was fantastic. Several days later my wife and I had dinner with a friend who is also in our transportation club and I asked him how he liked his red delicious apple. He replied, “I don’t really like them. They aren’t very crisp and taste kinda mealy.” He brought the apple to the dining room with a plate and a knife. I cut the apple into strips and every one had a piece. They all loved the taste and the texture. I can’t explain the previous attitude. An old wives tale? Bad local press? Poor memories?
We don’t get free apples at each meeting, but we do learn something different. For example our next meeting is a little bit about learning and education. It features a presentation of seventeen scholarships to local students from our annual golf tournament (including one for my granddaughter) earnings, and our speaker will be William Ryberg, the interim co-President of Tacoma Community College. We’ll meet at noon on June 12th at La Quinta on Portland Avenue near Tacoma. For more information visit www.transportationcluboftacoma.org.