herriageFollowing lunch, President Greg Owens introduced our guest speaker Anne Herriage. She discovered that most of the attendees were involved in Scouting at one time, and was pleased that we begin our meetings by reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. She noted that people involved in Scouting know the responsibilities of citizenship, and the importance of patriotism. She asked those in the audience who were involved in Scouting to recite the Boy Scout Oath:

On my honor, I will do my best To do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law;  To help other people at all times; To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight.

She also had them recite the Scout Law:

A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent.

ragu hoffmanFollowing lunch, President Tim Ernst introduced our guests from Amador Valley High School’s We The People program – teacher Jeremy Detamore, and students Gali Hoffman and Deepak Ragu (who both represented the entire team from Amador Valley). The Thomas Jefferson Chapter SAR and the Jose Maria Amador Chapter DAR made contributions to help send the students to Washington, DC, for the national finals.

President Ernst introduced Jeremy Detamore, who has been teaching the "We The People" program for eleven years at Amador Valley High School. This is the third time he has had the opportunity to take a class to Washington, DC, for the national finals.

Tony ShoemehlFollowing lunch, President Tim Ernst introduced guest speaker Tony Shoemehl, who spoke about the USS Hornet Sea, Air & Space Museum in Alameda, California. He noted that there have been eight ships named USS Hornet. The first Hornet was a sloop that was christened in 1775, and with her sister ship the USS Wasp were the first two ships of the Continental Navy. The second Hornet was a sloop that fought at Djerna in the Barbary War of 1805. The third Hornet was a sloop-of-war that fought in several battles in the War of 1812, carried out anti-piracy operations in the Caribbean Sea, and was lost at sea in 1829 off of Tampico, Mexico. The fourth Hornet was a 5-gun schooner used for inshore patrol and as a dispatch vessel from 1813-1829. The fifth Hornet was an iron-side wheeled steamship which was captured from the Confederate Navy in 1864, and used by the Union Navy for the remainder of the War Between the States. The sixth Hornet was a yacht purchased for use in the Spanish-American War of 1898, which defeated a superior force at Manzanillo, Cuba.

howardJonesPresident Tim Ernst introduced guest speaker Howard Jones, who is a veteran of the US Marine Corps, and a graduate of the University of Oregon. He retired as an entrepreneur in the battery industry. Howard served as a Commissioner on San Mateo County’s Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCo). He was Commander General (2014-16) of the Military Order of the Stars & Bars (MOS&B); the founder of the California Society, MOS&B; the former President of the Silicon Valley Chapter, Sons of the American Revolution; and President of the Peninsula Civil War Round Table. Howard is proud of both his American heritage and his Southern heritage. He is distantly related to George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Robert E. Lee, J.E.B. Stuart, and Nathan Bedford Forrest.

Howard Jones spoke on “Jean Laffite and the Battle of New Orleans,” which took place in 1814-1815 at the conclusion of the War of 1812. Technically, the War of 1812 was already over because a treaty had been signed by Britain and the United States. However, the treaty had yet to be ratified by Britain or by the US senate, and history would have been significantly altered if Britain had won this battle.

daleAmaralFollowing lunch, President Tim Ernst called upon Chief of Police Michael Carroll to introduce Commander Dale Amaral. He said Dale Amaral was an icon in law enforcement, and a personal role model. Chief Carroll met him at Chabot College, when he took a class taught by Amaral. Amaral made law enforcement sound like the best job in the world, and Carroll determined to pursue it as a career. Five years later, when Carroll took the test for the Newark Police Department, Amaral told him that he remembered him from class, and thought he would make a great police officer. Carroll said that Amaral was the most approachable boss he ever had, and he would not have missed being here to honor Amaral for the world. In his 53-year career, Amaral has had a huge impact on law enforcement.

Steven BurchikSteven Burchik graduated from Manhattan College in the 1960’s. After graduating, he joined the US Army at the height of the Vietnam War. After training in the United States, Sergeant Burchik was sent to Vietnam to spend a year in the rice paddies north of Saigon as a forward observer with the 1st Infantry Division from June 1968 to June 1969. After returning from Vietnam, Burchik graduated from Michigan State University with an MBA degree, and was a successful marketing executive and food industry entrepreneur. He is the author of two books – Compass and a Camera: A Year in Vietnam, and Focus on Vietnam. The Town of Danville had a photo exhibition from November 1 through December 16, 2018, entitled Conflict and Compassion Through the Eyes of a Veteran, which had photographs from Steven Burchik.


Following lunch, President Tim Ernst introduced our special guest speaker, Dr. Matthew Stiles Bowdish, an allergist and clinical immunologist from Rocklin, California. Dr. Bowdish graduated from Humboldt State University with a BS in cellular-molecular biology, and minors in chemistry and political science. He graduated from Northeastern Ohio University’s College of Medicine with an MD degree. He completed his training in allergy and clinical immunology from Yale University School of Medicine. He has published on the subjects of allergy, asthma, HIV immunology, immunodeficiency, and cancer gene therapy in a number of scientific journals and textbooks. He is a member of over 65 hereditary societies, including the Society of the Cincinnati, Sons of the Revolution, and Society of Colonial Wars. Dr. Bowdish presented a program on the health of George Washington. Dr. Bowdish stated that as a physician, he was very interested in the medical history of his ancestors, since many diseases run in families. He researched the causes of death as part of his family history and genealogy research.

mm 0518Our guest speaker, Henry Baum, is president of the Pacific Locomotive Association, and spoke about the Niles Canyon Railway. The Pacific Locomotive Association was founded in 1965 by six train aficionados, who saw the end of the steam trains. They formed and operated the Castro Point Railway at Point Molate Naval Fuel Depot in Richmond, California. They operated the Sierra Railroad at Jamestown, California. The association has eight steam locomotives, with three of them in working condition, and 13 diesel locomotives, all in working condition. They also have 29 passenger cars, 10 cabooses, and freight cars. One of the working locomotives is currently at the California State Railroad Museum in Old Sacramento. The association repairs, restores and operates trains and railroad tracks. The association spent 20 years restoring one dining car back to its original condition. When the Oakland Army Depot closed in 1999, one of the members of the Pacific Locomotive Association obtained track parts for use on association projects.


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