(3-6-23) The Twenty First Century Club met on February 27, 2023 at the Rockford United Methodist Church Café for a regular meeting. President Janet Steffy called the meeting to order and welcomed everyone with a report on Laughing Until You Cry; the science of the laugh. Roll-Call by Secretary Kim Carr was completed with everyone naming one’s favorite comic strip. The treasurer’s report was given by Valerie Frizinger. The balance is $318.92.

Minutes from the January meeting were read and approved. Janet Steffy reported that a yellow fugi mum, our club flower, was presented to Honorary Member Barb Painter in memory of her husband, Chuck, who recently passed. A book, The Giving Tree by Shel Sliverstein, was also presented to the Rockford Library. Karla Butler thanked the members for soup donations to Helping Hands and requested small jars of peanut butter for the next club meeting

“Funny Girl – Funny Guy” the theme for the year was continued as Rozann Maurer presented her program on comedien and actor Tim Conway who was a true Ohioan born & raised in Ohio on December 15, 1933 in Willoughby, OH. His father spoke Irish and mother spoke Rumanian. Tim was named Toma, but later changed his name to Thomas and then settled on the name Tim. He was an only child in a quiet household where his parents did not learn the other’s language well. Tim taught his mother English. He wrote the tales of his life in later years called, What’s So Funny? which is a hilarious look at his childhood. He graduated from high school in Chagrin Falls, OH and later Bowling Green State University after serving in the U.S. Army. He got his start in radio in Cleveland, and it was there that Rose Marie from the Dick Van Dyke Show heard him and got him on the Steve Allen Variety Show. He was on television on McHale’s Navy, the Carol Burnett Show and had his own Tim Conway Show. He often portrayed inept characters or old men. He won 4 Emmy awards for work on The Carol Burnett Show. He was good with the ad lib and so was a fellow actor and good friend Harvey Korman.

Cindy Canary continued the evening program with her funny entertainer Phyllis Diller who hails from Lima Ohio. She never changed her name. Born in 1917 and living 95 years, she died in 2012. Cindy commented that Phyllis started her acting career later at age 37, wore outrageous outfits and wild wigs. She did radio copyrighting in San Francisco when she decided to try stand-up comedy. Her humor was self-deprecating and she had a cackling laugh that she attributed to nerves. Bob Hope was her mentor in the early years and she traveled with his USO show in 1966 to Viet Nam. She was on Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-in and has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. She is known for bringing plastic surgery out of the closet. Proudest of all, she delighted in being a record holder in The Guinness Book of World Records for getting 12 laughs at jokes in one minute.

Delicious refreshments were served by Ann Gage and Kim Carr.

The next meeting will be on Tuesday, March 28, 2023. Program leaders are Susan Coburn and Twyla Hayes. Cindy Canary and Melanie Shindeldecker will be hostesses.