"Bob Lindholm, the second president of the Virginia JCI Senate, was a vice president in the organizational year, and the second president of the U.S. JCI Senate. Appointed permanent Historian of the U.S. JCI Senate six years ago, Bob also served as Trustee, then as Chairman of the US Jaycees Foundation. During those two years the US Jaycees Exhibition Hall and Archives were designed, funded, and built."
"Satchel Paige was once quoted as saying, 'Don't look back. Somebody may be gaining on you!' Well, 'looking back' is fun once in a while, and that's exactly what we're going to do in Atlanta in June, when we recognize the 'Pioneers' of the U.S. JCI Senate during our regular Senate Convention. For it was in Atlanta, nearly 12 years ago, June 19, 1972, to be exact, that the first planning meeting was held at the Marriott Hotel with nine JCI Senate states attending. Sixteen states with known Senate organizations had been invited. Illinois Senator Leo Briere, acting chairman of the meeting, and the catalyst for the formation of our national organization prior to the meeting, distributed a copy of the Proposed Constitution & Bylaws, setting June 20 as the date the states would vote 'yes' or 'no' to organize."
"The following day, June 20, 48 Senators from 20 states met a 3 p.m., later voting (19 states 'yes' with one state 'passing') to form the U.S. JCI Senate. Illinois Senator James O'Connell was elected the first president."
"Copies of the minutes of the planning meeting and the organizational meeting, a sign-in-sheet with the signatures of the attendees at the organizational meeting, and a list of the names of the first executive committee and the presidents or contact people in the states thought to have organizations, will be included in this issue (or next if necessary)."
"The sign-in-sheet at least is printed with my column, so find the names of Senators from your state that signed in that historic day, and urge them to attend. In fact, have them write me to tell me if they can or cannot be there. Fifty people signed - 48 US Senators, our special friend, Senator Gudrum Goransson of Sweden, and some cluck who signed as 'Guy Lumbardo.' "Pioneers' will sport unique Pioneer ribbons - everyone that is except Lumbardo. And yes, that is how he spelled it. You don't have to know how to spell to be a Senator."
"I encourage everyone who was there in those early days to bring photos and other memorabilia to show the young 'high number' Senators of today how tough it really was in the old days."
"By the way, if you check the list closely, not counting Lumbardo, you'll find that the 'boot' Senator was LeRoy Nitsch."
"Lois and I look forward to this convention within a convention within a convention, in June. After an absence of two years, it will be great to see our friends again.
"More next issue."
Bob Lindholm, No. 7792
Bob Lindholm was a contributing columnist for MENTORS in years past. The above article was written by Bob and was printed in the March '84 issue of MENTORS, along with the sign-in-sheet that he refers to in his article. A copy of that same sign-in-sheet, with Guy Lumbardo's signature, can be seen in the 20th Anniversary booklet of the U.S. JCI Senate, as well as in the March '84 issue of MENTORS. That sign in sheet has a lot of signatures of men who accomplished great things for the Jaycees and the early years of the U.S. JCI Senate.
The next time you see LeRoy Nitsch of Colorado, ask him how long it has been since he has been the "boot" Senator at any meeting? I'll bet it's been a long, long time ago.
"My 'DREAM' for a US JCI Senateorganization came as a result of my travels to Jaycee functions. One trip took me to the Jaycee National Convention in Louisville, Kentucky, in 1968, where I had the opportunity to talk with JCI Senators from many parts of the United States. During discussions with these Senators the need to form a NATIONAL Senate organization kept coming up. Some of the Senators taking part in the brainstorming in Louisville were: Senators Ollie Swaim, Springfield, IL.; Jim O'Connell, Joliet, IL.; Bernie Storjohann, IL.; and others. However, no decisions were made at that time."
"In the month of April, 1969, I was awarded JCI Senatorship No. 9714 at our local (Rantoul, IL.) President's Installation banquet. In the month of May, 1970, I was elected a director of the Illinois JCI Senate, and later appointed secretary of the organization. As secretary I helped in the revision of the Illinois JCI Senate's Constitution & Bylaws for then Illinois Senate president Tom Wallisch, with many other Illinois JCI Senators, including Chet Neff, Bill Brunkow, Tom Brown, Gary Furlong, and others. This Constitution & Bylaws was to become the foundation for the proposed Constitution & Bylaws of the USJCI Senate, as presented to the assembly of JCI Senators in Atlanta, GA.,in 1972."
"I attended all Illinois Senate meetings that followed the Louisville convention and it was during these meetings (between April, 1969, and May,1971), and at other separate meetings with Jim O'Connell, Dick Hiatt, Larry Olson, Tom Wallisch, Glen Wemple (and others) that discussions continued about the formation of a national JCI organization. I was elected presidentof the Illinois JCI Senate in May, 1971, and it was at this point that I formulated a definite plan of action to make it happen!"
"A major part of my plan was to attend the 1971 JCI World Congress in Honolulu, Hawaii, in order to contact US Jaycee state presidents and JCI Senators from around the United States. My wife and I, and other JCI Senator friends from Illinois, really enjoyed the activities and festivities, including meeting World JCI president, Ron Au and other JCI dignitaries and Senators from around the world. As I presented my thoughts of the formation of a National JCI Senate group to some of these distinguished Jaycee and JCI leaders, they were basically for it - but not fully informed enough about the organization to be 'enthusiastic' about it. However, all whom I talked to did agree to assist me in my efforts to contact active and reliable JCI Senators (other 'Contact Persons') within their respective states. I should tell you that US Senators I talked with about the formation of a national organization were both PRO and CON!"
"My next task was to compile a list of all known 'organized' state Senate groups; the names and address of all Jaycee state presidents; and names and addresses of all JCI Senators that I had talked with on this subject. This task completed, I composed a letter to them briefly explaining my thoughts on organizing a National JCI Senate, requesting the names and addresses of ACTIVE Senators, or Jaycees, with in their respective states, so that I could send them the same information."
"I was elated with the results of this first mailing! I received many names of 'Contact Senators and Jaycees, which was exactly what I needed to send my second letter inviting these 'contacts' to the planned formation meeting in Atlanta."
"Allow me to digress a few moments. One of the letters I mailed, from my acquired 'Contact Persons' list was a BRAND NEW JAYCEE, Leon Straub, from Wisconsin. He did not understand 'what the heck was going on!' as he put it later. I found out about this mailing error when Leon and his lovely wife, Karen, were with a group of Illinois Senators a few years ago during the Davenport, IA., Jazz Festival. We all enjoyed a good laugh! Leon has since been honored with a JCI Senatorship, and has been a truly active JCI Senatorwithin this state - and the US JCI Senate! (How about that, Leon! You are as much a part of the US JCI Senate as many others - just because of a letter!)"
"It was February, 1972, when I asked for the support of the Illinois JCI Senate. The question of cost was raised by our ever conservative Senator, Larry Olson - to which I replied, 'There will be NO COST to the Illinois JCI Senate.' After having said 'no cost' - the request was unanimously approved! Not only did the JCI Senators present at that meeting approve my actions, they became totally involved, and committed, to the fullest."
"The second mailing to my newly compiled list was an invitation to attend the Jaycees National Convention in Atlanta, GA., in June, 1972. The main purpose was to 'discuss' the feasibility of establishing a national organization of JCI Senators to be known as - 'The US JCI Senate!' Again, the results were extremely satisfying. I received several phone calls and letters of support and encouragement. In the meantime, Jim O'Connell and I made many phone calls, and other personal contacts, to get a large attendance in Atlanta. The results of our efforts were truly gratifying, as you know, from our success in Atlanta."
"I am sorry now that I do not have copies of these initial 'contact and announcement' letters, but I did not, at that time, realize the importance of those letters to our history - and the results that were to follow! If anyone should have a copy of these letters, PLEASE send them to me or to Gary Hogue in Iowa."
"June, 1972! The moment of truth was coming closer and closer! Jim O'Connell was very busy - running his insurance and real estate business - and writing the first draft of the Constitution & Bylaws that were to be presented to our committee in Illinois, prior to presentation to the assembly in Atlanta. This tedious, and monumental task was accomplished, and a meeting to approve it was held at the Holiday Inn in Bloomington, IL., Sunday, June 4, 1972 - just a few weeks prior to our historic meeting in Atlanta! (Copy of the minutes of that meeting are attached). Present at that meeting were: JCI Senators Leo Briere, James O'Connell, Bob Drdak, Ted Landgraf, Don Madden, and Jim Madiar. Absent was JCI Senator Dick Hiatt. It was learned that Dick, the incoming Illinois Senate president for the year 1972-73, had been injured in an automobile accident on the prior Friday and was in the hospital in Kewanee, IL. It was at this meeting that the proposed Constitution & Bylaws, as presented in Atlanta, were discussed, argued over, revised, and finally 'hammered out.' THIS is definitely part of 'THE BEGINNING!'"
"Following this meeting, Jim took the newly revised and approved draft of the Constitution & Bylaws back to his office to be typed and sent to me to print. Jim then flew into Champaign, IL., to pick up the printed copies that were to be distributed at the Atlanta convention! (Talk about PRESSURE!)"
"The next challenge, in my mind, was who should be 'at the helm' during our first year. I was aware of the fact that newly formed organizations usually appoint the founder as its first president. However, if this happened, it would place me in a very bad position since I just started a new business in the early part of 1968 that was still struggling to survive. My financial resources, and available time, would prohibit me from accomplishing the arduous tasks that would befall the first US JCI Senate president. I discussed these problems several times with Jim O'Connell, and finally, with some reluctance, Jim agreed to serve as Founding President if nominated and elected. (What I told my 'backers', like Norman Baptista of New York, was that Jim had the time, the money and a PLANE! All I had was the desire to see the organization live!) Little did I realize the enormity of the cost of time and dollars that it cost Jim in that first year! I do not believe that we would have grown a large as we are today had it not been for Jim's personal and financial contributions during that most critical first year!"
"Having settled the problem of the presidency - I decided that I would serve as secretary to Jim and the newly formed US JCI Senate, a position that would put me in close contact with all that would happen during this first critical year. As secretary, I compiled and printed the first 'Directory of Officers' listing all elected and appointed officers. Copies were then mailed to everyone listed and to all of our newly affiliated state Senate groups. Other copies were mailed to non-affiliated states, Jaycee headquarters in Tulsa, OK., and to JCI headquarters in Coral Gables, FL. This allowed everyone to be able to contact an elected or appointed officer, and the results were well worth the effort!"
"In closing, although some of the preceding information is not supported by official minutes of meetings, notes, or copies of actual letters, it is asaccurate as I can recall. Enclosed herewith, is a copy of the Constitution & Bylaws, as approved in Atlanta in 1972; a copy of the Minutes of that momentous meeting of June 20, 1972, and all other data that I could find to support my efforts to supply information about THE BEGINNING. If I failed to mention any person or organization that should have been included in this history of THE BEGINNING, I offer my sincere apology. Further documented information of THEBEGINNING should be sent to our historian, Gary Hogue."
"I always close my letter with my fellow JCI Senators in this manner:YOURS IN JCI But in this case, I will close as follows:"
"YOURS, IN 'THE BEGINNING' OF JCI!!!"
"Leo W. Briere, JCI Senator No. 9714"
"The simple philosophy agreed upon, and the plan for the future, was exciting. The challenge for the new officers was monumental. They were to convince their fellow Senators across America that there was a need for the organization, prove to the Jaycees that our intentions were honorable and supportive, and do all this on their own time and at their own expense. Many Senate officers dug deep and saw the family auto pile up the miles. All too reminiscent of the Jaycee days."
"The future of the Senate will be observed with interest and enthusiasm. Many friendships will be made and matured. Many good times will be shared as fellow Senators re-hash the great memories developed throughout the wonderful Jaycee years."
"I hope you enjoy this publication. We can dedicate it to great past friends, now gone, and a promising future of cultivating new friends."
"Peace be with each of you, good friends."
Daryl R. Watts 20th Anniversary Chairman
|WHERE AND WHEN|
It's easy to remember where the Annual Meeting of the US JCI Senate was located in 1972, the year of our formation. But do you remember where the Annual Meeting was in 1973, 1980 or 1992? It isn't all that easy to remember!
Below you will find a by the year list of the locations of the Annual Meetings of the US JCI Senate from 1972 through 2005, to help your memory.
Let the flood of memories begin.
If you've attended any of these meetings maybe this list will help bring back memories of events or people that you may have forgotten. We hope so.
|Reflecting On Our Past|
"My first National Convention as a Senator was in Phoenix, Arizona, in 1968. Therefore I do not recall from first hand experience what activities, if any, might have been organized for Senators at earlier conventions. However, to my knowledge, there were none. At the 1968 convention in Phoenix, Senators and Old-Timers groups organized a one evening event, a steak fry, at a restaurant out on Camelback Mountain. As I recall we had two bus loads of Senators and wives who took part. The dinner was a 32-ounce T-bone steak and there was plenty of cold beer on the buses to and from this dinner."
"Being a new Senator, I did not know very many other Senators at that time and cannot remember specifically any other Senators who participated in that event. I certainly would be interested in hearing from any of you who do recall that trip."
"The next time we had any organized Senate activity at a national convention was in 1971 at Portland, Oregon, when past national vice president, David Green, organized a one-day activity for Senators and wives. Again, I believe we had two bus loads. It began in the morning with a visit to a sawmill and a guided tour that was very interesting. We then proceeded to Mt. Hood traveling to the ski lodge. The arrangements included a choice of a trip to the peak by ski lift, or in a snow-cat. It was a lot of fun. I recall one of the Senators from Hawaii who had never seen snow - he was quite amazed by it all. We then continued on to an Indian reservation late in the afternoon and that evening had a fabulous smoked salmon dinner cooked over the open fire by tribe members. We returned late that evening to the convention. Of course, there was adequate liquid refreshments on board the buses for that trip also."
"The next year in 1972, the convention was in Atlanta, Georgia, and that was the historic gathering where the US JCI Senate was organized. I believe there were 20 states in attendance. Some of the states already had State Senates, and it was those Senate groups who organized the meeting in Atlanta. The meeting was at the Marriott Hotel. After a great amount of discussion, agreement was reached to proceed and James O'Connell of Illinois was elected the first president. Leo Briere was elected the first secretary, and Ray Battaglini was elected treasurer. Ralph Sowell was the legal counsel, responsible for putting together the paperwork for incorporation, and work on the Constitution and Bylaws."
"It was recognized that public relations would be a vitally important function for the fledgling organization, and we could have not found a more selfless and tireless Senator than Mel Routt, of Florida, to take responsibility for that challenge. There were also vice presidents and committees, with all these early pioneers working tirelessly to 'make it go'. It should be recognized that there was literally no budget in those first years, and expenses for supplies, telephone and travel came out of their own pockets. They believed very strongly in the National Senate and worked very hard to make certain it progressed. These men realized that for the Senate to become a reality, communication between members was going to be a most crucial factor. It was in that first year that Mel Routt conceived the idea of our Senate publication, the MENTORS, and of course, that continues today to be the important link for our members to maintain contact."
"My memory is getting too rusty to remember all of those who were actively involved, but I do remember some who were always there: Dick Hiatt, Larry Olson, Bob Lindholm, Chic Lantz, Charlie Schadle, Daryl Watts, to name a few. There were many who worked tirelessly to get State Senate groups going in every state, and to make them a part of the National Senate."
"In the beginning the purpose of the Senate was to promote and retain friendships, and to provide assistance to the Jaycees in any way possible, including leadership and officer training programs, judging Jaycee competitions, and serving as speakers. From the beginning it was stressed that the Senate would not attempt to impose our will on the Jaycees, but rather to offer our assistance and guidance when asked."
"When the National Senate began, many of the states had only a small number of Senators, not really enough to have active Senate States. A goal of the 'Pioneers' was to assist those states and to try to get all State Senate groups affiliated with the National Senate."
"From the beginning, our annual meetings have been held at the time and site of the National Jaycee Convention. As we have grown in numbers, so have the number of meetings - both business and social. Now the Regions have sufficient numbers of Senators so that numerous business and social functions are held each year in each of the Regions. The bylaws have been amended many times since the original ones were drafted. Dues have increased, and budgets have expanded. Many changes have taken place since that first afternoon at the Atlanta Marriott in June, 1972. Let us not forget the great group of Senators who worked so diligently to start the great organization that we're all so proud of."