National Press Club

Review of Club Art Presented at Hoot

November 4, 2009 | By Don Larrabee | newstodon@aol.com

Owls Frank Aukofer, Doug Turner and Austin Kiplinger serenade the crowd with help from Club VP Alan Bjerga (rear).

Owls Frank Aukofer, Doug Turner and Austin Kiplinger serenade the crowd with help from Club VP Alan Bjerga (rear).

Photo/Image: Terry Hill

The Fall Hoot of the Silver Owls (long-time Club members) Oct. 29 featured a revealing reminder of the Club's archival treasures, notably Norman Rockwell's "Visit to a Country Editor." in a power point documentary assembled by Owls' Vice-chair, Don Larrabee, and Club Archivist Marlene Justsen.

Larrabee announced that as a result of the sale of the painting Phryne, with most of the proceeds donated to the Eric Friedheim National Journalism Library , the Owls had authorized a donation of $2,400 from the Phryne fund for transcribing 20 oral histories of former Club presidents and jourrnalism luminaries.

Club President Donna Leinwand and Vice President Alan Bjerga joined the Silver Owl quartet for the traditional "Whiffen-Hoot Song" and parodies saluting former Club Presidents Frank Aukofer (1978) and Arthur Wiese (1979). who were inducted by Head Hoot John Cosgrove into the Order of the Owl. The honor is bestowed on "birds of a unique species who have nested at the National Press Club and demonstrated that they give a hoot for Washington journalism."

John Eaton, one of the Club's favorite performers for several decades, provided a program of words and music covering jazz, blues and Broadway. In the appreciative audience was Mark Russell, another Order of the Owl honoree, who has done his share of stints at the Club over the years for presidential inaugurals and festive events.The evening was notable and nostalgic.