New Orleans Mensa

La Plume de NOM for July 2012

The Magazine of New Orleans Mensa Information and Entertainment

From the Editor

Peter Salomon

Summer is in full swing and you know what that means... Only one more month until the NFL season starts so it’s time to sign Drew Brees already!

Also, two more months until the release of my novel, HENRY FRANKS!

So The Story Goes Like This

Bart Geraci

I was working one summer out in West Nevada, near the Lake Tahoe area, doing odd jobs from home repair, to software sales, to being a massage therapist. What had happened was when I was doing some construction work on this woman's house, she asked if instead of money, she could teach me how to do professional massages. I said sure because it seemed like an interesting way to make money.

Part of what I had to learn were locations of pressure points all over the body, which she called “dots”, that brought forth pain relief in different parts of the body. I learned how to gauge the effectiveness of the massage by paying careful attention to sounds of the client as well as the tension of the muscles.

While I ended up doing massages mostly in the Lake Tahoe resorts, one time...

... I dot a man in Reno just to watch him sigh.


Roger Durham

Recently I asked all of you to suggest ways for Mensa to save money if you wanted to avoid repeated dues increases. At Gulf Coast Mensa’s SynRG last month, Hugh Brown, of Lone Star Mensa, pointed out that there is a third option: increasing membership. We have a number of fairly effective programs for recruiting new members, but Hugh pointed out that we lose about 18% of our membership each year at renewal time, including a large percentage of our new members who fail to renew after their first year. He suggested that a major reason for this might be our failure to welcome new members and make them feel part of the group.

Now this may be understandable in a way. After all, many of us are in Mensa because we didn’t fit in with our peer group earlier in life, and one consequence of that is a lack of social skills. However, while that may explain the situation, it doesn’t excuse it. The one thing we all have in common is that we have demonstrated superior problem solving skills on a test designed to measure just that. So, why can’t we recognize the problem of failure to welcome new members and find a solution? I suspect at least part of the reason is that we all think it’s someone else’s problem.

Many local groups have an officer with a title like “New Member Chair” or something similar, or perhaps your group’s by-laws make the Assistant Local Secretary or some other officer responsible for new members. That leaves all the rest of us free to hang out with our friends and let the designated officer welcome the newbies, right? Well, no. If we want to grow and expand our membership rolls, all of us who attend Mensa events are going to have to make a concerted effort to recognize and welcome new members. I know it may take you out of your comfort zone, but remember that someone must have done it for you at some point, so please “pay it forward” and keep an eye out for opportunities to meet the new folks at every event you attend.

And as for those of you who have no local events to attend, well, that’s another problem altogether. I‘m still working on that one.

That’s all for now, folks - I’m off to Nevada for the Annual Gathering and the Annual Meeting, plus a meeting of the American Mensa Committee. I’ll be back next month with details of the AG and AMC meeting.

Roger Durham


Bart Geraci
I lit out from Reno, I was trailed by twenty hounds.
- Grateful Dead “Friend Of The Devil”-

Well, this month is the Mensa Annual Gathering held in some place in Nevada that I can't remember just now. And no, it's not Las Vegas, nor Carson City....

Way out in Reno, Nevada
Where romance blooms and fades
-Woody Guthrie “Philadelphia Lawyer”-

Locally, we have progress on the RG we are holding on November 30th to December 2nd. I've put up a webpage ( with information. We're trying to get PayPal and electronic processing as quick as we can.

But I've got Reno on my little mind
-Jonathan Richman “Reno”-

This month's NOM Night is held at Patti Armatis' house and it will be a booksale as well. Many of the older members will remember that she used to hold the booksale at her house every April NOM Night. We have more information in a separate section below.

All the way to Reno
You're gonna be a star, you are
-REM “All the Way to Reno” -

In terms of National Mensa news, Boston Mensan Stephanie Link is competing on ABC's "Glass House" reality show. You can find more information about the show itself at ( One way to show support for Stephanie is through her fan website at TeamSteph at ( ).

But I shot a man in Reno just to watch him die
-Johnny Cash “Folsom Prison Blues”-

In New Orleans, Saturday, July 14 (at 8 AM sharp) is the Running of the Bulls, which is exactly like the one in Pamplona, if the bulls in Pamplona were replaced by the Big Easy Roller Derby girls sporting Viking helmets and swinging whiffle bats. See ( for more information.

She brought me another whisky
Said "Here's to the best you ever had"
-Bruce Springsteen “Reno”-

And at the end of July, from the 25th to the 29th is the Tales of the Cocktail, which is celebrating 10 years, and has gotten an international reputation as one of the great festivals. See more information at (

Anyway, its another hot month in New Orleans, so enjoy yourself outdoors, but remember to keep yourself hydrated. And I never did remember where that AG was located...

I dreamt that I was Evel Knievel
-Too Much Joy “Thanksgiving In Reno”-

Input From Young Mensans Needed

Our Gifted Children’s Coordinator, Gerry Ward, wants to hear from young Mensans for some activities that they would be interested in. You can email her at

Help Us With NORGY 2012

For NORGY 2012, we are looking for many of our members to help. We are looking for someone to lead the hospitality committee and someone to be the Registrar. In addition, we welcome people to help us staff the hospitality room during the gathering. We are also looking for items that we can use to fill goodie bags with.


By Bart J Geraci on hiatus this month. Now is your chance to write an article for publication in La Plume de NOM!! Just email your article to the Editor at!

July Booksale

By Patti Armatis

It’s Baaack!!

The booksale, that is.

Have finally gotten things organized enuff to schedule this. Have missed the chaos.

Anyway, The NOM Booksale and July NOM Nite will be held July 14th, 2012 at 1805 Fairfax Ave, Metairie, LA 70003, starting at 7PM. Bring your excess and unloved books, to be transferred [for a small price benefitting the NOM treasury], to another Mensan or guest.

Leftovers will be donated to the symphony bookfair or the Salvation Army.

If you are unable to attend the sale, and wish to contribute books, just drop them off at my door starting the 7th of July.

Prices will be $0.25 for paperbacks and $0.50 for hardbacks and large softbacks. There MAY be other special books or items for higher prices.

Hope to see y’all there---

"Henry Franks" novel cover

By Peter Salomon

Henry Franks cover

Yes, that is the cover to my novel, now available for pre-order online. Just thought I’d share in order to fill up the space.

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These pages and all content Copyright (c) 2012 by New Orleans Mensa, all rights reserved. Mensa ® and the Mensa logo (as depicted for example in U.S. TM Reg. No. 1,405,381) are registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office by American Mensa, Ltd., and are registered in other countries by Mensa International  Limited and/or affiliated national Mensa organizations. Mensa does not hold any opinion or have, or express, any political or religious views.
Last edited: 03-Aug-2012 . Webmaster Bart J. Geraci can be reached at