Glenna paid fines for sharing multiple pictures of her new grandchild and won the drawing, though the pile of coins dumped before her may have been a little short of the customary prize.  Geoff was glad to be back after recovering from a bad cold; the club was glad he waited till then to return. He hosted his daughter and her friends and sent them off to Wisconsin for a football game. He was commended for his Christmas light display.  John Risdall’s new look got rave reviews.  Todd got down and dirty and installed an emergency carpet, showing off skinned knuckles to prove it, and Cor was honored on her birthday.  Cor is pictured below.
John Risdall introduced Yazdan Bakhsh who was born into the persecuted and exploited Hazara culture  of central Afghanistan. He left there at age 15, escaping through Iran with only $3 hidden inside his sock after customs officials took anything of value, including his jacket. He was taken in by an American family who called him “son Joe.” When they needed to escape through a civil war, he led them to the airport and was taken to the U.S. He attended Grace High School (now Totino-Grace) in Fridley.
Mr. Bakhsh talked about the political situation in Afghanistan, including discrimination and persecution that continue today. He shared a photograph of a Hazara village that was leveled by Kuchi/Pashti raiders within the past two years. In his book, You’ll Be My Son Joe, he wrote of life as a young child in Hazarajat, difficulties he overcame, and people who helped him to fulfill his dream of freedom.  Yazdan is pictured below.