Posted by Dene Hadden
SPOKES VOL. LXV NO. 13                                                                               September 25, 2018
Richard Swanson and Tom Rummel, assisted by Tom Renner, were our greeters this morning.
President Mark Odland opened today’s meeting with the Pledge of Allegiance and Art provided an invocation including our prayers for Julie Weber, Missy Thompson and Don Hixson.  Don remains in intensive care but his vital signs are good.  It looks like he will need some specialized recovery therapy.
We hosted Ray VanDerZee this morning along with visiting Rotarian Bob Miller from St. Louis.
  • We received thank you notes from SHAES and Comfort Care Hospitality House in Kalamazoo for our donations.
  • We are invited to the 2018 Harvest Festival Dinner celebrating a successful Blueberry Festival at DeGrandchamps on Saturday, October 6 from 6-8 PM.
  • There is an interesting article in this month’s Rotarian Magazine about the Holland club and their work with youth.
  • South Haven Speakers Series will hold the next presentation on Thursday, September 27th featuring Jack Segal, former White House Security Counsel member.  Reception  at 6:45, program at 7:30 at Lake Michigan College.
We did get our songs in this morning, including the melancholy “I Wonder Whose Kissing Her Now” from 1909.George Hamilton IV did turn this song into a country and western hit in 1977, which somehow seems appropriate.We followed that with the 1902 hit “In the Good Old Summertime”.We finished with “Sing a Song to Rotary”.
President Odland had the correct ticket to get to draw a card but was unable to find the two or four, pulling the seven instead.  Art Ayers prayers were answered as he held the $2 ticket.
  • Tom Renner’s youngest daughter turns 34 this week.
  • Two of Jerry Gruber’s grandsons and daughter-in-law Melinda are celebrating birthdays.
  • In spite of a less than overwhelming bribe attempt, we sang our famous Ludington style birthday song.
  • Steve Larsen celebrated the SHHS boys’ tennis team.
  • Mark Odland enjoyed a terrific version of “I Wonder Whose Kissing Her Now” by a jazz ensemble at the What Not Inn last night.
  • Bob Copping was not fined enough for his house jumping story.
  • Tom Fleming was pleased to announce that Big 10 Tuesday has commenced and you can save $.10 a gallon on gas from now through basketball season.
  • Glenn Pietenpol was sullen after Sunday’s Packer’s game.
  • Ted Weber suddenly remembered that the Lions won Sunday night!
  • Bob McAlear related the Rolls Royce parade that was in town last week.
  • Tony Martorano asked Glenn who was in first place in the NFC Central, but Glenn echoed the opinion of many when he said it’s only for a week.
We closed this portion our meeting with the Four Way Test.
Ted Weber introduced Ray VanDerZee who gave us a brief introduction to his business and told us he would meet us there.
We traveled to the VanDerZee MotorPlex where Ray gave us a history of his family in South Haven and his beginnings in the car and motorsports business.  His dealership is the largest Kawasaki dealer in the country.  He believes that it is important that everyone who steps in his door feels welcome and cared for.
Ray, with an assist from our own Jerry Gruber, talked about the soda fountain in the dealership which was originally in McDonald’s Drugstore in downtown South Haven.  Jerry said the at one time he had eighteen people hired just for the soda bar.
He talked about the process of beginning a brew pub and all of the work it took, beginning with hiring a chef – Sean Marr.  The next step was finding a brew master and they were able to find a great one in the area.  He also talked about the many steps, regulations and hurdles they had to get over.  One of the biggest was getting an entrance from Phoenix Road and Ray credits the City of South Haven with helping accomplish this task, one he has been working on since his building opened.
He then took us into the brew pub and talked about the design process and developing the kitchen and brewery, including a close up look at the brewing tanks.  He said that they have tripled the amount of business they expected in the first three months.
Next week’s program: Club Assembly
Next week’s Greeters:  Steve Larsen and Scott Mark
Editarian:  Dene Hadden