Posted by Dene Hadden
SPOKES VOL. LXIV NO. 8                                                                                August 28, 2017
President Renner opened our meeting with the Pledge of Allegiance as Dottie was not responding to Jerry Gruber’s gentle caresses.   We did get a practice run at “God Bless America” after Art Ayer’s invocation that offered prayers for the people of Texas and the Gulf Coast.
We welcomed prospective member Jeff Melvin, along with Tom Renner’s lovely wife Carole, Steve Larsen’s beautiful young daughter Marija, and the family of Eagle Scout candidate Elian Garcia, including his mother Elana and brother Yammel.
Our Spotlight today was Elion Garcia who explained his Eagle Scout project.  He hope to raise enough money to put Automatic Electronic Defibulators in both the Bangor and South Haven Library building.  He has already arranged for training staffs from both libraries in the use of the AED’s and both SHAES and the Bangor Fire Department have agreed to provide maintenance of the devices once they are installed.  Art Ayers presented Elian with a check as our part of his goal to raise the $2700 necessary to reach his goal.
Larry Wittkop was our special guest conductor this morning! He began by leading us in a song that is, at various times, the MSU fight song, a good old Irish tune, or a Polish drinking song.  We did “Stodola Pumpa”, giving credence to the last option.  We followed that with the 1907 hit “Schools Days” – very appropriate given next week’s beginning of school in most Michigan districts.  We finished with “Sing Rotarians”, a song especially familiar to graduates of Otsego High School with its “On Wisconsin” tune.
  • Don’t forget the Club Runner App for your phones, it’s a great resource! It now features member birthday and anniversaries.  Hopefully consistent use of Club Runner will keep members aware of their anniversaries and save much grief.
  • Dorothy Lockwood and Rhonda Wendzel are working with the visitor’s bureau on Haven Harvest, scheduled for October 21st.
  • Don Hodgman reminded everyone to get fired up for our last pancake breakfast on Sunday.  He had special thanks for Tony Martorano and Glenn Pietenpol who pick up all of the supplies for each breakfast and to all of the others who stepped up to cover things this weekend.
  • Mark Odland reminded us of the Speakers Series event this Thursday.
  • We received a nice thank you note from an LMC student who was the recipient of a scholarship through our fund.
Marija Larsen drew the winning ticket today and Jerry Portman had it.  Unfortunately for him – but fortunately for the next winner – Jerry drew the queen and went home empty handed.  Carole Renner was our $2 winner.  In an additional drawing for car cleaning products, Larry Lewis, who was trying to get rid of the stuff, won some of it back and Ted Weber got back on the winning track and will have a shiny car.
  • Bob and Gail Brickman are celebrating 58 years of marriage this week.
  • Art and Cindy Bolt are celebrating 55 years of marriage this week.
  • Mark and LaRae Odland are celebrating their 46th anniversary.
  • Larry Lewis’ grandson Max is turing 12 and is able to attend school.  He has made much progress since his bone marrow transplant.
  • Steve Larsen noted the difference between family vacations from a few years ago.
  • Larry Wittkop noted the passing of former MSU Basketball coach Jud Heathcote last night.
  • Thanks were offered to Don Hodgman for the work he does as chairman of our pancake breakfasts.
President Renner/Tony Martorano introduced speaker, our own Paul Hix!
Paul updated us on the state of the U S economy.Paul, as usual is very bullish on our country, believing it is the best place in the world to live.
He recently returned form a seminar on the economy in New York where a top economist called the American economy a “healthy tortoise”, meaning the growth, while slow, is steady and healthy – under control”.
A major factor is the retirement of 10,000 baby boomers a year and their plans for retirement living.
Wage pressure is not currently a factor.
We are currently producing 2% more energy than we consume and that experts predict that the peak for oil products will be reached in the mid 2020s.
Interest rates remain low although the Fed is selling some bonds.
Concerns include:The level of Federal debt; US Policy changes; slower growth in China; Brexit and other geopolitical issues.
Paul concluded by reminding us of his belief that education is the key to upward mobility in this country.
President Renner presented thanked Paul for his interesting and informative presentation.
Next week’s program: Art Bolt will introduce Scott Smith who will talk about Wellness Center Programing.
Next week’s Greeters:  Dene Hadden and Bob Brickman
Editarian:  Dene Hadden