Spoke Newsletter – June 27, 2024


Demotion skit. The Editor does not know if demotion skits are a Rotary thing or a Redlands Rotary Club thing. Whatever, we do it well here. For those of you new to this, lifting up our beloved leader in the skit is not the goal. Lampooning them is. Sometimes done tastefully, sometimes not so much. It is the tradition here the immediate past president provides the script for the outgoing president. We’ll see what JEN and her team have put together. The fun won’t stop here, if you RSVP’d for the Demotion Party at JEN’S home tonight, there might actually be some glasses raised to toast President CHRIS’S fine year, and fine job, and kinder words spoken. Thank you, CHRIS, you did yourself, and our club, proud. Now bring on the skit.


We heard from MICHAEL STEVENS, managing partner of SGH Architects, about the design and development of the Redlands’ Packing House District and Transit District projects. MIKE is a local boy (Yuciapa) who about a decade ago befriended a most unique client, JACK DANGERMOND, and as they say, the rest is history. As you exit the freeway on Eureka and look to the south and east, if there is a nice-looking building with a brick exterior surrounded by thoughtful and plentiful landscaping, that is the partnership of MIKE and JACK. So much thought went into the various buildings, including the 384 space parking lot that can be converted, somewhat easily, into housing or retail or something else if cars are not how we get around in the future. Maybe our grandkids future.


Plates are spinning. With a modicum of respect, we christen our newest leader, THOMAS JACKSON. As any past president can tell you, in advance of this undertaking, THOMAS has been subjected to several days of “Rotary Training” for this role, including the Rotary International Convention. In other words, THOMAS has been consuming the Rotary kool-aid a lot at these trainings, with the hope and expectation his exuberance for Rotary will spill into us. Seriously, they do provide a lot of Rotary information and tools to the incoming presidents to empower and succeed in this important year for THOMAS at our helm. Incoming President THOMAS, we’ll get behind you, but you might not see it 100% on the first day.


Our treasurer, CAL BOOTHBY, reported the small dues increase, and said if you have not paid your fines for the year, now is the time. After all, our club takes those pledges and plugs them into our budget, so we need the money, and if you didn’t get hit up as much as you pledged, go out and stir something up so you get fined more.

Last week we gave away two new, blue, club badges. JOHN MALONE is transferring from another club to ours. Welcome JOHN. The other was to PHIL DOOLITTLE, who has worn many financial hats in town including most recently Redlands City Treasurer. PHIL was a member of this club a while ago during his long stint in senior management at the U of R. More interestingly he was the student rep in this club while he attended the U of R. Welcome back PHIL.


When this editor joined our Rotary club 25 years ago, another new member at that time shared a thought that has proven to be quite accurate over the years. The idea is about connecting with fellow Rotarians. It’s harder to connect at a Rotary meeting than at a volunteer or social event. When we’re out in the community volunteering, often in the hot sun or early in the morning, it can be easier to make conversation one on one and get to know that Rotarian’s history than trying to compete in a conversation around a table of eight at club. Even better, take your spouse to the socials we have which often include nice food, libations and some fine ambiance that sets up nicely the ability for you and your spouse to make personal connections. Yes, it’s an effort, and usually costs some money to attend the Rotary socials, but if you want to connect, it’s time and money well spent.


Good afternoon ROTARIANS! And despite the fact that the peak season happened months ago, happy National Orange Blossom Day! This is my last column to you in my capacity as dictator president, so it seems only fitting to say thank you for all the volunteerism, fundraising, and camaraderie. Did I know what I was getting into when asked to be president? I thought so, but apparently didn’t know all of it! Past-presidents can empathize, I’m quite sure. But it was an honor to serve you and this historic club for the year (and mercifully it is only one year!). I’d like to say I’m taking a break and will sit back and watch the new board run the show, but I’ll certainly help when and where I can for PRESIDENT THOMAS – to whom I say, “Enjoy, and good luck!”

Editor – Neal Waner – Edition No. 51 – June 27, 2024