Visit #34, Leonard Lions Club, Monday evening January 23, 2012

We gassed up the Subaru Forrester and got on the road about 4 p.m. headed south. The road reports were uncertain so we factored in some extra travel time in case we needed it. Turns out conditions were on the good side and we were even able to accommodate a brief stop at MacDonald’s in Fargo for refreshments and updating our emails.

We were fortunate to arrive in Leonard in time for their board meeting, which preceded the regular club meeting. I immediately noticed the large ceramic lion in front of the speaker’s podium and asked about it. Apparently a club member had purchased the imposing figure at a garage sale so long ago that no one could remember its history. They picked it up and read the handwritten inscription underneath; if I recall correctly it was made in 1950. I’m sure everyone but me has previously recognized that the first three letters of Leonard are “Leo”. We should consider it a real Lions town.

The current group of leaders in Leonard is a bunch of young fellows. Their response to my voiced observation: “We’re young?” During the meeting they shyly explained what they have to do sometimes to get service projects accomplished and jokingly instructing us that, “What happens in Leonard stays in Leonard.” I assured them that when it comes to good deeds I wasn’t an ask-questions kind of guy.

The meal was a wonderful roast beef dinner with all the trimmings and a scrumptious chocolate chip cookie to follow it up. There was lots of good-natured banter and the President’s gavel temporarily disappeared during meal. It was later discovered under the big ceramic lion.

I was informed when we scheduled Leonard that they would be honoring their local Peace Poster Contest winners and parents that evening. This is a long-standing tradition in Leonard. One parent mentioned that this was their fourth child who had entered and received an award in the contest. It was a privilege to meet and hand out monetary prizes to three deserving young women. One was left to conclude that all of the outstanding youth artists in Leonard are female.

The club has an upcoming White Elephant sale and there was much conversation about planning, selling tickets, and visiting other Lions clubs. They are serious about making the most of this fundraising opportunity.

It was pitch dark when we left Leonard (hint: It’s winter Steve and it’s been like this for months now; what did you expect?). I made a wrong turn onto Highway 18 and if Brenda hadn’t been alert we may well have visited South Dakota. Actually, the GPS wench never hesitates long to express her opinion so we had backup. The roads were clear and we were home by around nine p.m.

Mileage for the visit: 221
Mileage for the week: 221
Mileage for the month: 876
Mileage for the year: 7,544

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