The Fred and John Show

Star Power
The Fred and John Show
The Fred and John Show sounds like a funny movie, but it’s really about Fred Merrill and John Derby, respected members of Valley of the Moon Rotary. They are in charge of finding speakers for our meetings and they’ve done an extraordinary job this Rotary year. This has not been an easy job, I’m telling you, especially since part of this year was still in Zoom mode. Speakers make up a large part of each meeting and they’re not exactly banging down our door to come and talk to us at 8 o’clock in the morning. Thus, we have Fred and John working hard to find and persuade interesting people to take time from their busy schedules to pay us a visit.
Fred and John welcome suggestions, so I took that to heart and kept a look out for someone I thought would be interesting to the club members. A few months ago, I spotted a compelling letter in the Press Democrat’s Let the Public Speak. The subject matter was the Holocaust and Anti-Semitism, written by Steve Einstein. These subjects have been so much in the news during these tumultuous times. I brought this letter to Fred Merrill’s attention and he proceeded to ask Mr. Einstein to come and speak to us. Mr. Einstein accepted the invitation.
Steve has been a Hospice Nurse for 30 years and is also involved in a program called “The Story Project of Sonoma County”. The population of Holocaust survivors in Sonoma County is rapidly dwindling. These educational programs provide teachers and students an opportunity to hear living survivors tell their stories and engage in valuable dialogue with them. They mostly speak to High School English and History classes, but make exceptions to speak to interested groups, such as Rotary. We were fortunate to have the opportunity to hear from Steve, whose great grandfather, grandparents and mother were able to avoid being caught up in the tragic circumstances that took the lives of over 6 million Jews.
Our speaker not only relayed his fascinating personal family history to us, but touched on the ongoing situation of racism in our country. We’re all in this World together, we might as well get along.
Valley of the Moon Rotary has an interesting lineup of speakers coming up in our new Rotary year. Maybe you’d like to drop in on one of our meetings, which are held at the East Rec Center on Thursday mornings at 8 a.m. Join us for coffee, a light breakfast and some friendly camaraderie. If you know someone in Valley of the Moon Rotary club, let them know you’d like to attend. If not, call or e-mail Art Fichtenberg at 707-484-1051, e-mail


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