Month: August 2016

Speaker — September 21, 2016
Bill Ryczek
Baseball on the Brink,
The Crisis of 1968

Gehr Brown

Gehr Brown

Bill Ryczek has written seven books on sports history — including a trilogy on 19th century baseball, books on the Yankees and Mets during the 1960s — and two books on professional football during the 1960s. He was also the co-editor of two reference books on 19th century baseball, and has taught The History and Social Impact of Baseball at Quinnipiac University. His books have won numerous awards, and he is a two-time winner of the Nelson Ross Award for his books on professional football.

His latest book, which he will talk about this morning, has the working title, Baseball on the Brink, The Crisis of 1968. This book discusses the sorry state of baseball during the mid-and late 1960s, how it was threatened by professional football, and dogged by inept management and a mind-set that was stuck in the passive 1950s in the midst of a time when American society was violent, divided and becoming increasingly oriented toward the decade’s rebellious youth.

Anyone who writes about 19th century baseball and minor league football needs a day job, and Bill is a former banker who is a principal in a finance company in Middletown, CT.

Strength in What Remains
Tracy Kidder

strength-kidderThe Pulitzer Prize-winning author Tracy Kidder returns with the extraordinary true story of Deo, a young man who arrives in America from Burundi in search of a new life. After surviving a civil war and genocide, he ekes out a precarious existence delivering groceries, living in Central Park, and learning English by reading dictionaries in bookstores until he begins to meet the strangers who will change his life, pointing him eventually in the direction of Columbia University, medical school, and a life devoted to healing.


I listened to this on audio on a long road trip.  A moving story.   Gary Banks

Speaker — September 14, 2016
Mike Baker
Managing Director – Americas: Diligence, LLC

Mike co-founded Diligence after 17 years service with the CIA. Mike oversees the company’s operations and growth in the Americas. He advises clients on strategic and competitive intelligence matters and oversees due-diligence, investigations, continuity and risk management practices.

Diligence, LLC was founded in 2000 by former intelligence officers. Diligence bridges the gap between what you know and what you need to know to make informed decisions. With 10,000 projects completed and five hub offices, we offer worldwide coverage to assist you with unfamiliar situations, people and places. Their expertise is based around Business Intelligence, Due Diligence, Pre-Employment Screening, Investigations, Business Continuity & Resilience, and Forensics.

During his career as a covert field operations officer for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Mike specialized in counter-terrorism, counter-narcotic and counter-insurgency operations. He engaged in, organized and supervised operations around the globe, working in Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Europe, the former Soviet Union and elsewhere.

Mike will talk about the top crises facing the USA: cyber-security, Syria, ISIS, Iran, Russia, and North Korea.

Speaker — September 7, 2016
Mark Albertson
“U.S.A. – Democracy or Republic?”

MarkAlbertsonMark Albertson is the historical research editor at Army Aviation magazine. He has authored several books, including On History: A Treatise; and, is finishing volume 1, Sky Soldiers: The Saga of Army Aviation. An avid speaker, he travels Connecticut presenting a variety of historical topics and current events. He teaches as an adjunct at Norwalk Community College for the Extend Studies Program and for the Lifetime Learners Institute.

At the close of the Constitutional Convention of 1787, Benjamin Franklin was asked, as he left Independence Hall on the final day of deliberation, “Well, Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?” Franklin famously responded, “A republic, if you can keep it.”

Mark will discuss the differences between a republic and a democracy, and how these differences are manifested in the government of the USA.

Jim Rusiackas
Passes Away

Jim RusiackasSo many things would bring a warm smile to Jim’s face — particularly his family and friends; and, that smile would grow even larger when a big slice of apple pie with ice cream or a pizza from Post Corner was part of celebrating life with those whom he loved.

Jim’s passion for life permeated everything he undertook: the many successes he had across a full and productive career at IBM; his service to our Country as a Naval Officer; the impact his role as Elder had on the community he was part of at Noroton Presbyterian Church; the joy he experienced being with friends at the Tokeneke Club playing tennis or enjoying a good meal; his volunteer work at Habitat for Humanity; and, the tranquility that sailing brought to him on the open waters. Jim was an avid opera enthusiast, tennis player, student of photography, an avid reader, especially in the areas of the Civil War and international relations, history, contemporary world issues, scripture and religion; and an enthusiastic fan and follower of tennis, football and NCAA woman’s basketball. As an aftermath of being a varsity lacrosse player at the University of Massachusetts, Jim was a lifelong follower of NCAA lacrosse.
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