Those Chinese… AND Hickory Rotarians

September24/ 2012

  Last week I traveled to Hickory to speak to the Hickory Rotary Club.  What I learned was exactly what I told Holden Thorp four years ago…. and have reminded you guys on numerous occasions.  Those good ol’ 8,000,000, 000 Chinese ain’t alone……  and a recap of Week Four on America’s HickRotargridirons……

It was a boffo joke that Art and I had used in Week One of our Good Sports radio show……

Which of the following would you most want to meet in person?
1.    Jennifer Aniston
2.    Jennifer Garner
3.    Jennifer Lopez
4.    Jennifer Wiley

Remember that our show is based in Chapel Hill so the bulk of its audience are “those people” !!  So Barry The WCHL GM received the indignant “how dare you!” admonishment that our insensitive remark was sexist – chauvinistic – demeaning to wimmen and 4-5 other shrill harrumphs from the terminal harrumphers that prowl that unique environment….. confirming, of course, that it was a GREAT line.   Take THAT harrumphers.

There were no such harrumphers in Hickory last Thursday.  At least not among the 100 or so “city fathers” (and a few “city mothers”) at Lake Hickory Country Club to hear “some guy that Bruce found”.   Bruce being Bruce Bumbarger my host Rotarian who had booked me six weeks earlier.

In the hierarchy of civic clubs Rotary tends to attract the afore-mentioned “city father / mother” demographic…. doctors, lawyers, Indian chiefs.  The butchers, bakers and candlestick makers usually opt to be Kiwanians or Optimists or Jaycees.  I’ve appeared before’em all over the years but always choose “a shirt with a collar” for my Rotary gigs.

NOTE:  per Bruce; the school partisan ratio of Hickory Rotary is pretty much what one might find in Wilmington, Rocky Mount, Salisbury or Fayetteville except likely more Lenoir-Rhyne fans since the LR campus was about two miles from where we were sitting.

For those who can’t keep their weekly UNC headlines straight, last week was “Holden Resigns & Stays Resigned”.  Not to be confused with the week before’s “Matt & Tami Did WHAT?”  No telling what this week will be…. stay tuned.  But “a headline” is a static non-evasive thing.  If you don’t see it, then you don’t see it.   Aka that “tree falling in the deep woods and no one hears it………” query.

So back to “the four Jennifers”….. I did the set-up listing the four Jennifers and….. and….. and.  Crickets.   Of the 100+ in attendance MAYBE 15-20 recognized the name Jennifer Wiley.  To be fair, likely far fewer knew Ben Affleck’s wife – Jennifer Garner (or even Ben Affleck) but that is irrelevant to my incredible point.

Recall my admonition to Holden’s concern of “why does EVERYONE care so much about what happens at UNC….?”   Which was “EVERYONE does NOT care all that much”.   At least by the time one is 50-100-150 miles away from Ground Zero.

Who knew but out yonder in the hinterlands those folks are not enthralled by the latest Dan Kane revelation or regurgitation.  They knew about Holden’s resignation and the general tsunamic scandal but were not into the minutiae that generates the taunts and titters amonst the CliffClavins at water coolers within that Ground Zero biosphere.  It can be assumed therefore that the fine folks of Catawba County HAVE A LIFE!   God bless’em.

I asked Bruce My Host if Hickory-ites read either of the state’s McClatchy-owned fishwraps – The N&O or the Charlotte Observer.  “Not if we can help it” was Bruce’s quick reply.  Confirming that Hickory is right in-line with the popular trend from Murphy To Manteo.

The Four Jennifers notwithstanding, my overall remarks were very well-received and a very fine time was had by all……  SA-LUTE to Hickory Rotary!


Week Four…… In the battle of the coaches ending in “o” – Jimbo whupped Dabo pretty convincingly but not as convincingly as West Virginia did in the Orange Bowl.  Ouch.   A “Bring Back Danny Ford” sign quickly appeared outside The Esso Club.

The ACC appears to have returned to Florida State and the eleven “we stress basketball and academics” dwarfs.

Four out of five of NC’s “major colleges” won with #5 (ECU) falling to one of the other four – UNC.  Wuffs and Deacs beat up on military schools while Duke beat Memphis which apparently everyone does; but Duke takes a W any time it can get one.  Bryn Renner once again “had a better week than Matt Kupec”.

Missouri notched its second convincing defeat as an SEC member prompting the query “when do we get to play Kentucky or Ol’ Miss?”

The Bob Stoops Radio Show in Norman will probably NOT take callers this week.

Mike London’s campaign in Hoo-ville to cause Mr Jefferson to forget Al Groh is not gaining much traction.   Likewise Edsall-mania in College Park has flatlined.

Future ACC step-member Notre Dame became the first ACC step-member to beat schools from Michigan in back-to-back weeks.  For the third year in a row, The Denard Robinson For Heisman campaign office shut down before October 1.


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