New Orleans Mensa

La Plume de NOM for November/December 2009

The Magazine of New Orleans Mensa Information and Entertainment


Suzaku™ (from Japanese sousaku: search) is a compound puzzle. The first step is to solve it as a traditional sudoku puzzle, using letters instead of numbers. The second step is to search for words in the solved sudoku. Start from any letter, moving up, down, forward, backward or diagonally in any direction, changing direction as needed without reusing the same square for a word. Although there are nine letters in this puzzle, words can be longer if you can find them. For extra credit, score the words using their associated number values to try to find the highest word points. The solution will be published in the January issue.


Solution to the puzzle published in the September issue:


Loc Sec Report

Gerry Ward

I am saying good-bye as your Loc. Sec. The past four years have been very interesting. I enjoyed meeting those of you who attended events, and corresponding with those of you who like to email your comments.

I tried to represent all of you by having events in different areas, and for all ages. I appointed a Gen-X Coordinator, a series of three Northshore Coordinators, and tried to find a Gifted Children’s Coordinator. We have a new editor since January 2009 who has put her stamp on the Plume with a new size and style. I want to thank our previous editor, Anne Osteen Stringer for her many years of excellent service. Thanks to our Ex-Comm for their advice and help-- our editors, Sharon Kirkpatrick, the Asst. Loc. Sec., Anne Hatfield, our Recording and Corresponding Secretary, and Phil Wilkins who has been the Treasurer ever since I can remember for many administrations. Thank you to all of the volunteers such as Patti Armatis who was our Asst. Editor and Circulation Manager for many years, and H. who has been our New Member Chairperson through several administrations.

Also thank you to these volunteers: Loretta Levene – Ombudsman and our new Asst. Editor and Circulation Manager; and Bart Geraci – Webmaster. Thanks to the coordinators of the SIGs that I don’t run—H. and Anne Stringer for Celebration, Claudia D’Aquin for Coffee Night, and Machelle Hall for Gen-X.

I would like to remind our young people of Teen SIG (a national SIG) where they can interact with each other within Mensa. Parents, educators, children of Mensans, Young Mensans, and other gifted young people are invited to join. Check them out at or

I will be running my SIGs –Dinner Club and Eclectic. Send me an email if you see something that is coming that you think we might like to see or do.

I look forward to seeing you at our events,

From The Regional Vice-Chairman

Roger Durham

OK, the responses are trickling in for the “MensaTrain” to the AG next summer, and it looks like we might make it work. A number of people have also inquired about traveling first-class (by sleeping car) and that is also a possibility. The round-trip first-class fare is the coach fare (about $300 per person) plus the sleeper accommodation charge (about $600 for a roomette), or a total of about $600 each for 2 people sharing a roomette, which includes all meals on the train.

If you think you might be interested, and haven’t responded yet, please e-mail me at and let me know where you would be boarding and whether you would prefer coach or sleeper (see my September column for route and schedule information, or go to and look up the Texas Eagle route).

Anyway, while we’re waiting for the AG to roll around, how about a Mensa cruise out of Galveston? The good folks of North Texas Mensa are putting together a Mensa group for a one-week cruise to Cozumel, the Costa Maya, and Roatan, Honduras, leaving Galveston on March 7th aboard the Royal Caribbean Cruise Line’s 150,000-ton luxury liner, Voyager of the Seas, and they have kindly allowed me to invite the rest of Region 6 to join us. The cost, depending on accommodation, will be a mere $580 to $730 per person, double occupancy, including all fees and taxes. A deposit of $500 per cabin is due by November 21. If you’re interested, contact Dennis Nienkerk at: Strong Travel Services, 8214 Westchester Dr #670, Dallas 75225.

Meanwhile, don’t forget the Feast of Pleasures and Delights, North Texas Mensa’s 30th annual RG, taking place over Thanksgiving weekend at the Radisson Dallas East, LBJ Freeway at Jupiter in Dallas. I hope to see many of you there.

Errata: Ron Edelstein, LocSec of Lone Star Mensa, reminded me after last month’s column that I had inadvertently given credit to the wrong person for Hospitality at the Austin RG. While all was done under the expert tutelage of Ray O’Connor, the actual Hospitality Chairs were Ron’s son Andrew and his fiancée.

Also, in September I said the MensaTrain group would leave Dearborn, MI on Monday, July 5, but since then I have learned that the AG is being extended one day due to the Monday holiday, so we will most likely actually leave Dearborn the morning of Tuesday, July 6.
- Roger Durham

Good Wine Cheap!(and good food to go with it!)

by John Grover

The wine this month is a fruity white from the Finger Lakes region of New York State. This is the 2006 dry Riesling by Anthony Road Winery on the West side of Seneca Lake. This wine has a floral nose and citrus and apple character that fills the mouth. This delightfully crisp wine is a good match and will stand up to spicier elements. I paid $13 a bottle for this wine. If you cannot find this particular wine, I would say to look beyond to other New York State Rieslings and dry Rieslings including Fox Run, Glenora, Lakewood and Hunt Country. They will not only compliment this recipe; but, also, will match well with your turkey and gravy this Thanksgiving.

I hope that you will contact me with your comments and favorite wines at I will be happy to share them with the broader Mensa group.

John Grover is a member of Mensa of Northeastern New York. He lives with his wife Sharon in the Hudson Valley of New York.

Editors Note: Mr. Grover submitted a gumbo recipe to accompany the wine mentioned above. Though I’m sure he meant well, I’m also sure that we New Orleanians each have a better recipe from our family archives. His didn’t even start with a roux! I’m sure the wine is an excellent recommendation to accompany your own gumbo.

Congratulations to Our New Officers!

You might know our new officers from their involvement in NOM: Bart is our Webmaster. René is our Proctor Coordinator and a past Loc.Sec. Claudia is the coordinator for the Coffee Night SIG. Phil has been attending the Celebration SIG for several years and is a “regular” there. He is also the first Northshore Mensan to hold office in NOM.

Another new item is that we created the appointed position of Parliamentarian. Phil Wilking , who wrote the bylaws, was appointed.

They will take office in January 2010.

A Salute to Our Veterans

by Gerry Ward

We need to honor our veterans not only on November 11, but every day. Our group has men who served in World War II , Korea , Viet Nam , Desert Storm, Iraq , and who kept the peace in between wars. Some talk about it; others don’t. Some served and moved on to civilian life. Others were career men like Dick Korowicki who served from 1946-1949 in the army and from 1949-1983 in the National Guard, retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel and Executive Officer of the 4010th Army Reserve Hospital. Another is René Petersen who served in the army from 1967-1975 on active duty including combat in Viet Nam . From 1975-1995 he was in the Army reserve, leaving as a Lieutenant Colonel. He received many medals and citation ribbons including the Bronze Star, the Viet Nam Cross of Gallantry with Palm, and the Viet Nam Medal of Honor. Bryan Bice served 16.5 years in the army and retired as a major. He is a decorated veteran of Desert Storm with 2 Bronze Stars. He was also in Saudi Arabia and Iraq . Thomas Mc Connell served in the Air Force from 1982- 2004, 22 years. We are honored to have you with us.



Robert Mac Dougall Navy 1942-1946
Roy Ball Navy 1945-1946
Fred Hatfield Army 1946-1948
Dick Krowicki Army 1946-1949
National Guard 1949-1983
Richard Garrett Army
Joseph Hopkins Navy 1955-1959
Navy Reserve 1959-1963
Robert Myers Marine Corps 1961-1967
Phil Wilking Navy 1962-1967
Phil Becnel Navy 1964-1969
René Petersen Army 1967-1975
Army Reserve 1975-1995
Leopold Babin Army 1968-1970
Drew Jardine Army 1970-1971
Bryan Bice Army 16.5 years
Tom Mc Connell Air Force 1982-2004


Minutes of New Orleans Mensa, September 12, 2009

by Anne Hatfield

Loc Sec Geraldine Ward called the meeting to order on Saturday, September 12, 2009, at 7:30 p.m. at Mama Mea’s Pizzeria, 1717 Lake Avenue, Metairie, Louisiana.

Nominations for new officers were called for from the floor since no nominations had been received in the mail by the Secretary. For the position of Loc Sec, Rene` Petersen was nominated by Claudia D’Aquin and nomination seconded by Phil Wilking. Bart Geraci was nominated by Gerry Ward and seconded by Bob Myers. At that point, Rene` withdrew his nomination. No further nominations came for this position.

Nominations then opened for Assistant Loc Sec. Rene` Petersen was nominated by Claudia D’Aquin and the nomination seconded by Phil Wilking. No others were nominated.

Nominations opened for the position of Secretary. Claudia D’Aquin was nominated by Phil Wilking and seconded by Phil Therrien. There were no further nominations for this position.

Nominations opened for the position of Treasurer and Patti Armatis nominated Phil Therrien, seconded by Phil Wilking.

Since there were no further nominations, the Loc Sec called the nominations closed and announced that since none of the candidates were opposed, the four previously named, Bart Geraci, Rene` Petersen, Claudia D’Aquin and Phil Therrien, were declared the new officers to take office January 1, 2010.

Loc Sec Ward then asked if any were interested in the vacant positions of Gifted Children Coordinator, North Shore Coordinator, and Gen Y Coordinator but there were no volunteers. She then appointed Phi Wilking as Parliamentarian for the balance of her term. Loc Sec Ward then announced that the October 10th NOM night meeting will be hosted by the Hs, the November 14th meeting will be hosted by G. and the December 12th NOM night will be hosted by B.

There being no other business, the meeting was declared adjourned.

Respectfully submitted,
Anne Hatfield, Secretary

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Last edited: 06-Nov-2009 . Webmaster Bart J. Geraci can be reached at