Letters: June 2010

Letters: June 2010

Letters to the Editor

Do you have something to say? Write it in 200 words or less, sign it with your name, address and club affiliation and send it to letters@toastmasters.org. 

Celebrity Encounter
I enjoyed Beth Black’s article, “What Do You Say to a Celebrity?” (March), especially having recently witnessed a close encounter of the celebrity kind.

I was with a group of friends in a restaurant in Berkeley, California, when one of them noticed the presence of actor Jake Gyllenhaal, seated in the area where people wait for their tables. Not wanting to make a scene or get all goofy at the sight of this popular actor, my friend Heather simply posed herself with two of our friends, and nonchalantly asked across the table to Mr. Gyllenhaal, “Would you mind taking a picture of us?”

He agreed, and after he took the photo, they thanked him and left the area without giving even the faintest indication that they knew who he was. When Heather posted the photo on Facebook, she noted that it was taken by Jake Gyllenhaal – but was obviously not a photo of him.
Jay Davidson, ATMG • Rainbow Toastmasters • San Francisco, California 

Who-ver in Canada
Apropos encounters with celebrities: After leaving office, U.S. President Herbert Hoover traveled and stopped one night at a hotel in a small city in Canada. As Hoover registered, the clerk noticed his name and asked him if he was related to FBI man J. Edgar Hoover.

“No,” replied the ex-president.

“Then, are you related to the Hoover vacuum cleaner company?”

“No,” replied Hoover.

“Oh well,” said the clerk. “It’s just that we get such a thrill when someone connected with a celebrity passes through town.”
David W. Olson • Duwamish Toasters Choice • Tukwila, Washington 

A Magical Mentor
After reading “The Magic of Mentoring” by Karen Novek (February), I felt moved to write this tribute to an exceptional mentor.

I met Davender Gupta at a networking event. He convinced me to try Toastmasters and made me feel very welcomed. Davender spurred me to reach beyond my wildest dreams, encouraging me to serve as VP Membership after just four months in the club. Regular, weekly e-mails gave me food for thought and inspiration to reach for new heights. His gentle nudging and constructive comments bolstered my confidence. His kindness touched me often, but never more than when he changed his busy schedule to be present for my final CC speech. The standing ovation I received was largely a result of his support.
Sandra Holman, CC • Quest Toastmasters • Quebec City, Canada

The Path To My CC
Last year, I attended my first Toastmasters meeting and found it to be everything I wanted to be a part of. I work at a manufacturing center on the night shift and take three college classes during the day. I didn’t have time to practice my speeches, so I practiced at work. Co-workers found me speaking to myself while running my machine.

The practice did pay off, but I still couldn’t overcome my nervousness. So to improve, I visited other Toastmasters clubs at noon to present speeches. This way, I was able to complete 10 speeches in eight months.

Toastmasters has truly been a life-changing experience. Joining was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
Brehon Mills • SPBC Toastmasters • Richmond, Virginia