June 11, 2015

Minutes of the June 11, 2015 Meeting
Rotary Club of Mobile

Call to Order: The meeting was called to order by club president Ken Robinson. Rob Diehl offered the invocation and afterwards Tom Martenstein led the group in song accompanied by Bill Oppenheimer on the piano. Tom then welcomed visiting Rotarians and guests of members.

Announcements:
• Ken Robinson reminded the group that sponsors are needed for this year’s Tarpon Tournament which will begin with a reception on July 30th at Ruth’s Chris.
• Ken Niemeyer discussed the Literacy Project and had one of the lending library boxes on display. He said the goal is to have one in every public elementary school in the county focusing on 3-4th grade students and books appropriate for that age group are solicited. This took the place of donating dictionaries. He also explained that the Big Brother/Big Sister Program is assisting us with the project.
• Garrett Williamson directed everyone’s attention to a hand-out explaining the new Touch Point Program which seeks to increase members’ participation by recognizing members’ involvement in projects relating to club service.

Program: Dean Mosher, Artist and Author of “The Spirit of Fairhope”

Bill Hafner introduced Fairhope author and noted artist, Dean Mosher who presented a power point presentation discussing his recently published book entitled “The Spirit of Fairhope.” Historical images join current photographs and essays to trace the history of this eastern shore community.

Prominent authors such as Fannie Flagg, Winston Groom and Rick Bragg have written sections of the book which explains the history of the town. Mosher explained its settlement by a group of transplanted Iowans in the 1890’s extolling the idea of a Land Value Taxation System during what historians term the Progressive Era.

Photographs and text discuss the development of the community, the building of a wharf, schools, churches and the establishment of extensive waterfront parks for the enjoyment of residents. An image of the very first Monopoly game board includes familiar names in Fairhope. A Maryland proponent of Land Value Taxation created that game and included Fairhope in the mix, he explained. Fairhope also had the first public library in the state, he said.

Ken Robinson thanked Mr. Mosher for speaking to the club and adjourned the meeting at 1:00 P.M.

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