SIR Branch 37

Sons in Retirement
Auburn, California


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News from May 2019 Bulletin

Posted by sirbranch37 on April 18, 2019 at 1:30 PM

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At our April luncheon, we had 105 members present! That is an attendance percentage of 71%, the highest in years, and above our 2019 goal of 70% average for the year. Thank all for their continued involvement in SIRs.

In addition, we had four guests and one visitor, our best showing of the year. The guests and (sponsors) were: Jim Holley (Bill Connor), Elliot Anders (Bart Petrini), Paul Ruud (Frank Michny) and Jack Keltner (Denny Paddock). Both Paul and Jack have submitted applications for membership and with BEC approval, will be welcomed as new members at the May luncheon. It will be great to see the new member smiley faces and sponsor stars. A big thanks to all of the sponsors for their support, and let’s continue that trend in the coming months.

At the luncheon, there was one action that should not be representa-tive of the conduct of our branch. Following the speakers presentation, there was a mass exit of members, before the luncheon was adjourned by the Big Sir and the speaker was presented the certificate of appreciation by the Little Sir. In the future, please remain seated until the luncheon is officially ad-journed.

After the last few wet months, the forecast is for dry and warm weather. Spring is finally here. Everyone is invited and encouraged to get involved in the many activities of our chapter, including bocce, golf, poker, fishing, dining out, etc. As a preview of coming attractions, our Social Committee Chair, Glen Kramer, has researched and obtained BEC approval for professional musicians to provided music and entertainment at the December 5th Christmas luncheon. Please save that date, as the luncheon will be a significant upgrade in the area of entertainment (note: that does not negatively refer to Doug Perry, who will still provide a few jokes). Thank you Glen for your efforts.

Your BIG SIR Dave Wheatley


This month we have, for your consideration, a gentle-man who has been part of our organization since 2005. Joe Cuffe, badge number 34. Joe has managed to cram several lifetimes into the one he is currently occupying. For starters, he has served in two branches of the military.

Joe was born Joseph G. on June 12th, 1940. He was the third of eight siblings: two sisters of whom are older, and a sister and four brothers who are younger. They all shared a two-bedroom house with their parents in Detroit Michigan. Joe graduated form Cooley high school in 1958.

But wait. He got started before that. In the 8th grade, at age 11, he went to work pumping gas at his dad’s gas station, 6 days week. By 12, he was building cars. At 13, he found out how to wreck one.

After high school, Uncle Sam was breathing down his neck, so Joe joined the army. He was made a finance special-ist. The army let him see some of the world: Okinawa and points east. Not bad duty, all in all. When he got out, he promptly married his lady love, Rose. They had 53 years together and raised two fine sons. Joe now presides over family gatherings that include five grandchildren and two great grandchildren.

He attended West Valley College in San Jose to polish the financial skills the army taught him, and went into banking in the same city. There he met Phyllis, a lady who would figure later in his life. Then he started an uphostery business. That was good for ten years..

In 1974, Joe changed course again, and joined the Air Force. Even though they gave him two weeks summer camp in Hawaii every year, they seemed to have no need for his fi-nancial chops. While he was cooling his heels as a cargo handler at Travis AFB, he discov-ered he could make a better living as a mechanic—skills that had long been gathering dust in his busy life. Joe and the Air force parted company.

After a spell of fixing all manner of vehicles, he hit the road for ten years, selling up-holstery supplies to former fellow upholsterers. He ranged from Eureka to Fresno to Winne-mucca, and that’s the conservative estimate. Driving must have hit a sweet spot, for Joe sub-sequently enjoyed many years as a bus driver. But not just any bus driver— a school bus driv-er. How many of us have wrangled a mob of kids in a tightly enclosed space, doing forty miles an hour, twice a day? And went back to do it a second time?

True, he started with a city bus, but soon graduated to a high school bus. Then a middle school bus—-which I gathered was its own special kind of hell. And finally to Head Start—three and four-year-olds. These little tykes were his favorites—some of the most interesting people he ever met. One little guy quoted the bible to him.

Joe has enough of these stories to fill an afternoon. I asked him If what was true in my school days still held true when he was driving bus, especially for middle school and high school. The rowdy guys always sat at the back. He said nothing had changed. I wish there were time to relate a couple of his stories from those days. Ask him. They are priceless sto-ries.

As if Joe weren’t already busy enough, he and Rose were active in square dancing for 25 years. At 50, he learned tap dancing and formed a group, “Joey and his Pals”— which consisted of 12 ladies and him. For the record, he lists among his current interests; women.

When he wasn’t square-dancing, or tap-dancing or bus driving— or upholstering, he cruised the country on his Harley, then his Honda 750.

Joe retired in 2003, at 63. He has not slowed down. He shoots pool three times a week, and is thinking about shaking the dust off his golf clubs. Then there is Karaoke on a regular basis. Request “Chantilly Lace” by the big Bopper when the opportunity arises. And the Moose lodge—50 years and counting. And, of course, Sirs.

Joe’s honors include a plaque from his Head Start kids, proclaiming him the “World’s Best Bus Driver.”

He says he lives by the best piece of advice that has ever been given: Do unto oth-ers as you would have them do unto you. Gentlemen— Joe Cuffe— an extraordinary life.

Frank Nissen, Profiler


The May speaker will be CEO Keith Diederich from The Gathering Inn which is the only emergency shelter that serves the homeless in our South Placer community. Their motto is ‘providing a hand up, not a handout’.

Jim Maneggie, Program Chairman


May 2 Luncheon Meeting

May 10 Bulletin Material Due

May 30 Executive Board Meeting: 8:30 am @ Original Mel’s Dinner, 1730 Grass Valley Hwy, Auburn - All Sirs Welcome