Jan. 18, 2018

Minutes of the January 11, 2018 Meeting
The Rotary Club of Mobile

Call to Order: The meeting was called to order by John Dukes at 12:15 PM. Dan McDaniel offered the invocation and Larry Sindel led the club in song as well as the pledge. Tom Martenstein welcomed our visitors.

Youth Merit Award: Jeff Luther introduced Addison Smith from St.Paul’s School who discussed his memorable experience during a mission trip to Nicaragua.

Announcements: John Dukes made the following announcements:
• Board meeting is set for January 18 following the luncheon meeting.
• Invited members to attend the first Dine Around scheduled for Tuesday, January 16 at Noble South. John introduced the restaurant’s chef/owner, Chris Ranosek and the general manager Miles Meade who briefly discussed the event and welcomed members to attend.
• Bo Mattei distributed the last of some $100,000 in distributions from the Rotary Children’s Foundation. The first check was presented to the Epilepsy Foundation to assist with summer camp expenses and the second was presented to Boy Scouts Troop 15. Henry Callaway discussed his 15 year association with this special group and the help he receives from Boy Scouts from St. Paul’s School. The money will go to pay the Scouts’ dues and some expenses related to their annual camp out at the Exploreum. Bo reminded members to keep the foundation in mind for future donations. Since 1984 he said that over $3 million has been distributed to local organizations.
• Mardi Gras Parade Party will take place on the evening of February 8 at the Mobile Carnival Museum. There will be no Noon meeting on that date.

Program: Bon Temps – Alabama’s Mardi Gras

Cart Blackwell introduced the author, Eleanor Inge Baker, and photographers, Jeff and Meggan Haller, of the recently published book Bon Temps – Alabama’s Mardi Gras.

Jeff Haller discussed the ten years’ worth of photography that he and his wife put into the project. The 100,000 photos were originally developed for an exhibit before joining forces with local writer Eleanor Baker.

Meggan Haller then spoke about the photographs which attempt to tell all aspects of Mobile’s Mardi Gras including behind the scenes looks. The hope is that they will reveal a new aspect of the celebration to every one looking at the book, she said. She concluded that while this is certainly Mobile’s oldest tradition, it is ever changing.

Eleanor Baker then discussed the essays she provided for the book and read from the book’s introduction discussing her early childhood memories of watching a parade which are now being repeated by her own two children. She said that in order to raise the money needed to publish the hard cover book she had presold a number of them to friends and family. Of 1,000 printed only 320 remain she added.

Mrs. Baker said she took special effort to have each of her essays read by those she discussed to ensure accuracy. She also thanked David Cooper, Sr. for his assistance as a mentor.

The meeting adjourned at 1:00 PM.

Tom McGehee