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Founding Fathers at P.M. Rotary

Dr. Bill Nichols was the guest speaker at the Nov. 18 P.M. Rotary meeting at the Sherwood Inn, Skaneateles. He came before the gathering as a passionate student of American History, to speak on the founding fathers. Nichols was the guest of Rotarian Skip Plank.

Five years ago Skip and Marna Plank retired to Skaneateles from 26 years at Princeton. And, oddly enough, they didn't meet local veterinarian Bill Nichols because of a pet; instead, they met at the First Presbyterian Church.

"If it happened to be a patriotic holiday, Bill would always stand up and acknowledge it," Plank said, "in his choir robe."

Plank is originally from Oswego, which is close to many of the events of the French and Indian War.

Plank sought Nichols out, as his Princeton environment was steeped in patriotic thinking because of its proximity to many of the activities involved with the founding of our nation.

During Plank's tenure as the Director of University Printing at Princeton his office was in the historic Nassau Hall, where there is a life size portrait of George Washington. Plank said for 26 years that portrait still caused him to pause and reflect each time he saw it.

He said when he told people he was from upstate New York often they would know of Skaneateles because of the former Krebs Restaurant.

Plank as Patrick Henry

In July, Plank, gave a talk to the P.M. Rotary as if he were the statesman Patrick Henry addressing the group on today's economic crisis. He was Patrick Henry at age 264.

"I offer no quick solution but remain vigilant on how you will proceed. I do counsel that you think carefully before you act. We learned in our country's founding that haste always needed to be tempered. Counsel and work together, forge documents that are rational, build consensus, work hard and pray, think and believe and act as a realistic citizen legislator and patriot. Listen and speak only to your constituents not those who seek riches through government fraud, deceit and corruption promising you a return to your seat in government at each and every election cycle."

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