Geraud Staton has introduced himself before when he joined the Club as one of the innovation fellows. Last October he mentioned being in the Air Force during Desert Storm and doing a stint as a private investigator. He also described himself as a top notch oil changer. His fellowship project targets what he described as the 15% of entrepreneurs that are “necessity driven.”
Instead of repeating any of this, Geraud started talking about heroes. A hero is defined by Webster’s he said, “is a person who is admired for great or brave acts, or fine qualities.” It is someone who inspires us.
This to set us up for a story about, oh, someone like Kareem Abdul Jabar or Martin Luther King, right?
Wrong. At seven or eight years old his first hero was Sammy Davis Jr. If nothing else this told us that Geraud has developed the comedic timing of a Jimmy Kimmel or a Todd Taylor.
He also told of the story of his father wanting to make him aware that there was a wider world than East LA and taking him to, of all places, Las Vegas, where an encounter on the street began a youthful obsession with the quick draw.
Now I can relate to that since my brother and I killed each other hundreds of times in quick draw contests snatching our toy revolvers from holsters strapped to our thighs.
Mastering the quick draw was not a great or brave act, Geraud admitted, but it did inspire him that he could be bigger than his surroundings.
He then mentioned how Christopher Gergen described Rotary as community leaders doing service to the world…the whole world. Polio eradication, education, clean water and community development. Bringing it back to Webster, he said that sounded like Rotary was an organization that “is admired for it’s great and brave acts, and it’s fine qualities.” It inspires and he became one.
One last thing he related. The quick draw champion of Hollywood is not Sammy Davis Jr. It’s Jerry Lewis.
Where does he get this stuff?