Cogwheel Archive

Rotary Cogwheel | 02.14.2013

February 14, 2013

Today: : Lasswell & Frago: When Love Goes Sour, an Update on Family Law Trends.  Also youth exchange student Mizuki Oeda.

Birthdays: Kyle Nordine (2/14) and Jim Braucher (2/16)

Next Week: TBA

Last Week:

Linda Christianson is an emphatic polio survivor. For 64 years, the effects of the disease have been her constant companion, but she has emerged from the experience with strength of spirit and a stubborn tenacity that she dares you to ignore.

“I can’t walk without my brace,” she said, “but if I have it on, try and stop me.”

She was born into a southern Minnesota farm family in 1948, just as the polio epidemic was beginning to pump sustained fear into the culture. That was an era when a State Fair would be canceled, swimming pools would be closed and people would avoid movies in hopes of sidestepping the mysterious disease.

When she was six months old, Linda contracted infantile paralysis. She was taken to St. Mary’s Hospital in Rochester for treatment and years later at Gillette Hospital. She wore braces on both legs until she was 20-months old, and, while she was able to negotiate life without braces between the ages of 16 and 36, there are residual effects from the disease that now require her to wear a brace on one leg and use a cane. Yet, she bikes, gardens and only recently retired from her dental hygienist career of 42 years.

A resident of Blooming Prairie, Minn., Linda has chronicled her polio journey with a book titled: “All the Steps I’ve Taken Then and Now.” She is actively marketing her story with book signings and talks. She has approached the “Ellen” show, inviting them to have her on as a guest.

She praised Rotary for its campaign to eradicate polio. She urged us to keep going. “You are this close,” she said, holding up her thumb and first finger an inch apart. “You have to finish the job.”

Mini Classification

Richard Maus, a victim of childhood polio himself, is living the author’s dream. His book, “The Lucky One,” has almost sold out of its second printing, and he is working on a second book. A recent cataract surgery has given him a new appreciation for how far medicine has come with surgical care. An emotional artifact of his polio experience is the delight he feels every time he rolls over in bed. He wasn’t always able to do that.

Guests: Erica Zweifel (Wilmot), Victoria Langer (Lasswell), Julie Shaplowsky (Wakely), Lonna Lysne and Kara Hilgreth (Maus), Lance Dvellman (L. Dilley) and our Exchange students: Diatou, Cindy, Adnan, Mizuki and Rachel,

Scholarship Enhancement: Earl Crow


— Chris Weber invited members to donate gently-used children’s book to the literacy project by dropping thme off at the book kiosk inside the Northfield Community Resource Center (NCRC).

— In service to our literary project, Chris Weber is looking for volunteers to help with a special literacy night at Sibley Elementary School on Thursday, April 4, 5 to 7:30 p.m. Nothing to prepare. Just show up and be charming.

— Mizuki has been named to Northfield High School’s Snow Court.

A Rotary “Peace Fellowship” is available to 110 recipients worldwide. The fellowships are for a master’s degree in peace and conflict resolution at one of six universities worldwide where Rotary has set up a specific program. The candidates need approximately two years or more of related work experience. Chris Weber tells us that Peace Corps workers would be good candidates for this. The club’s deadline for applications is April 5.

— A $25,000 district Global Grant Scholarship – formerly the Ambassadorial Scholarship — is available to college students for  immediate graduate level study.  The area of study needs to be related somehow to the the Rotary Foundation’s six areas of focus.  Applications are due March 15.