The Luncheon Society/First Half 2010 recap/What’s coming up in the Second Half

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I thought I would quickly touch base now that we have completed the first half of 2010. Thus far  there have been 19 gatherings San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Manhattan.  We look for an equal number in the second half and should round out the year at 38-40.

Reminder.  To remind everybody, the SF and the LA Luncheon Society gatherings for Christopher Hitchens have been postponed and will be rescheduled later in 2010.

The Luncheon Society website.  For those who are unable to join us around the table,  you can subscribe to have The Luncheon Society summaries sent via email.  Click on the links below to learn more about the luncheons.

2010. A Great First Half.  Andrew Young, Civil Rights Icon, Member of Congress, United Nations Ambassador, and retired Mayor of Atlanta talked about his new book, “Walk in my Shoes,” a series of conversations with his Godson Kabir Sehgal; NY (notes will be posted shortly). Ken Auletta, best-selling author and “Annals of Media” columnist for the New Yorker,  told the story of Google’s wave, from how it formed and crashed into traditional media businesses-to newspapers to books, to television, to movies, to telephones, to advertising, to Microsoft; NY. Sebastian Junger,  author of “The Perfect Storm” and about his new best-selling book, “WAR,” where he spent 14 months in 2007–2008 intermittently embedded with a platoon of the 173rd Airborne brigade in Afghanistan’s Korengal Valley, one of the bloodiest corners of the conflict; SF. Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, pioneering songwriters who were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame back in 1987, on their careers, the curious tale of Hound Dog, and how their songs continue to move us; LA.  Mireille Guiliano, author of “French Women do not get Fat,” on enjoying life in moderation as the French do so well; SF. Alan Grayson, Congressman (D-FL) on the success of healthcare reform and the work that needs to be done in the future; LA. Mary Buffett, New York Times best selling author, on Warren Buffett’s investment strategies; SF. Richard Schickel, documentary filmmaker, essayist, and critic for Time Magazine and Vanity Fair, on Clint Eastwood’s 35 films with Warner Brothers; LA. Paul Rieckhoff, Executive Director IAVA (Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans Association) on the need for good mental health services for all of the men and women who have bravely served; SF. Dr Ken Eisold, author of What You Don’t Know, You Know, our hidden motives in life, business, and everything else, tells us that the unconscious is everywhere; SF. Mario Cuomo, former three term Governor of New York, appealed for civility and bipartisanship in light of the current political entrenchment; NY. Dick Cavett talked of Groucho, The Late Night Wars, and the need for conversation on television, NY. Roz Savage, international explorer and adventurer, is bidding to become the first woman to row solo across the Pacific Ocean (She just finished her trek).  She has already completed the Atlantic voyage as well as two legs of her Pacific journey. What does it take to get from here to there? SF, LA. Lawrence O’Donnell, MSNBC Senior Political Analyst, West Wing Executive Producer, and former Capitol Hill staffer talked healthcare reform, Scott Brown’s election in Massachusetts, and how the Senate works; LA. Richard Wolffe, MSNBC commentator and author of Renegade, on how Barack Obama has fared in his first year in office joined us in NY.  Dr. Temple Grandin, Best-selling Animal Behaviorist and Autism Advocate discussed how her neurological condition has enhanced the study of animal behavior. She also discussed her upcoming HBO biopic, which will star Claire Danes; LA. Michael Dukakis, 1988 Democratic nominee for the Presidency and 3 term governor of Massachusetts, communicated his concerns that Democrats are not building grassroots networks for the 2010 midterm races; LA, SF.

What’s coming up in the Second Half? More cool stuff in all three cities, plus we are looking to grow to our fourth city.  We filmed a Luncheon Society gathering thanks to the kindness of Lauren Steiner. More on that later.

Annual Dues. Starting this year, The Luncheon Society will have dues of $20 per person annually.  Like Public Broadcasting, The Luncheon Society is solely member-supported.  The cost you pay for a Luncheon Society gathering pays for your luncheon as well as a portion of the speaker’s luncheon, including tax and tip. I want to keep The Luncheon Society experience alive long after the last dish has been put away and the last table has been cleared.

  • If you have not taken care of your annual dues, please take a moment so that we can start podcasting and then filming our gatherings. Contact me at  and I will walk you through the process.  Think of this as a barn-raising, expect with food.  

As always, The Luncheon Society is a laid back place to kick around some big ideas over a great meal.  We will always be a place where spirited conversation takes place around a large table, where you interact with other interesting folks, and leave the room learning something you didn’t know when you walked in.  There are no rules, very little structure, and the lunches happen when they happen.  Come to the ones that work with your schedule and pique your interest.  Simply put, we’re “drop-in adult daycare.” 

Just one question—are you in?

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