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CARE Member Contributions to The Next Thirty Years

The Vacayshun Group
Submitted by Leo Meyer
Chabot College

Meet the Vacayshun Group:

  • Reed and Elaine Buffington
    Reed was the first Superintendent-President, 1961-1981.

  • Art and Jo-an Larson
    Art was Associate Dean for evening operations and later Dean of Students, 1967-1983.

  • John and Jackie McKinley 
    John was Dean of Instruction, 1961-1981.  John was the first Dean of Administrative Services.

  • Leo Meyer (Ellie until her death in 2000)
    Leo was Associate Dean responsible for the five Divisions with occupational programs, 1963-1970. 
    Ellie was a counselor for the Nursing Program, 1963-1975. Ellie was also a trusted counselor to the general student population.

  • Bill and Peggy Moore
    Bill was the second Superintendent-President, 1981- 1985.

  • Victor and Arlene Willits
    Vic was Administrative Intern, Registrar, Associate Dean for Students, and Business Manager 1965-1973 and 1986-2001.

  • Richard and Gwen Yeo
    Dick was Associate dean responsible for the five Divisions for transfer programs. He was later Dean of Instruction and was Interim President four different times. The last time was for two years. 1965-1990.  Dick was Chabot's first and only Dean of Planning and Development.
    Gwen was Instructor of Sociology in the Social Science Division, 1971-1985.

We all stayed friends after we left our jobs at Chabot. However, Dick Yeo was wise enough to see that we needed some structure that would keep good friends from drifting apart. He organized the first meeting in 1991.

We chose the name of Vacayshun Group to remind us that we did not want to be contaminated with any serious objectives. We meet every six months and elect a new Poohbah and Winnie. (The mixture of the Mikado and Winnie the Pooh seems appropriate). The Poohbah and Winnie have the privilege of making all the arrangements for the next meeting. They select the location and arrange for the lodging, dinner, and luncheon, and pick up the bill for dinner and lunch. They also get to supply all the refreshments for the social hour.

When we were kids of 70 and 80, we had meetings in such places as Hawaii and Montana. Now that many of us are pushing 90, we stick to bed-and-breakfast places or good hotels in Northern California.

We have a strict constitution:

ARTICLE 1: The Poohbah is always right
ARTICLE 2: Refreshments for the social hour must be in a can, bottle, bag, or package. No fancy cooking

Our meetings follow a strict protocol:

  • Social Hour at 4 PM
    Reports on travels, children, and grandchildren—and good conversation.

  • Dinner—and usually an after-dinner, informal session in the Poohbah and Winnie's suite

  • Business Meeting after breakfast
    Our meetings are a fine example of Robert's Rules of Disorder. Usually nothing gets done except appointment of the next Poohbah and Winnie and setting the date of the next meeting. If we happen to think of it, we will have a Treasurer's Report. Our goal is to maintain a Health and Welfare Fund of 82 cents.

  • Professional Development
    After the business meeting, we have a couple hours of professional development. This includes such things as shopping or walking on the beach.

  • Lunch
    We all gather for lunch. After lunch, we all pay the Poohbah an equal share of the lunch and dinner costs. And we go on our way until the next meeting.

We have just completed our 36th meeting. It included a visit to Chabot with a presentation of the Master Plan and an electric car tour of the campus. Frankly, before the meeting all of us had a negative view of the developments: "What are these interlopers doing to OUR COLLEGE?" However, after the presentation, all of us were impressed by the care and thought that has gone into the planning.

The Vacayshun Group may seem pretty nutty. But in a situation where friends typically drift apart, it has served a wonderful and serious purpose of keeping friendships of 40 and 50 years active.

This is a remarkable group:

  • Remarkable in the pioneering work they did for Chabot.

  • Remarkable because they have remained close friends and in contact for all these years.

  • And most remarkable in that most of us are pushing 90 or have pushed past it, yet we are still in relatively good health and in full command of our mental abilities.

For his pioneering efforts in forming the Vacayshun group, Doctor Richard (Dickie Dean) Yeo has been awarded the permanent title of GRAND POOHBAH and was given a rousing and prolonged round of one-handed clapping.

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©2007 C.A.R.E.

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