Oct. 27, 2016

Minutes of the October 27, 2016 Meeting
The Rotary Club of Mobile
Call to Order: The meeting was called to order by club president Les Greet at 12:05 PM. Claire McCarron offered the invocation and Tom Martenstein welcomed members’ guests and visiting Rotarians. Tommy Blankenship led the club in song and the Pledge.
Student Guest: Lauryn Rawlins, a senior at Baker High School, was given the Youth Merit Award.
New Members:
• Claire McCarron introduced Ginger Bedsole, an attorney with Phelps Dunbar.
• Skip Brown then introduced Briley Shirah, a CPA and his partner in the firm of Russell, Thompson, Butler & Houston.
Program: Russell Ladd: ”The Mobile Tensaw River Delta.”
Cart Blackwell introduced fellow Rotarian Russell Ladd who presented a power point program discussing his many decades of experiences in and around the Mobile Tensaw River Delta.
Russell discussed the area’s growth and recalled the days when it was very secluded adding “if you saw another boat you knew who the owner was and where they were going.” There were only 25 or 30 boats plying those waters in years past – boats like the Lysistrata owned by Waterman Steamship and the Yes Sir owned by the Mobile Paint Company.
Boats were run on gasoline engines (not diesel) he said, and there were no generators. Lights were run on batteries and when the batteries ran out, so did the lights. Russell juxtaposed those boats with the one he purchased in 1977, The Delta Dream equipped with every convenience including air conditioning. He added that the air conditioning had put an end to hearing the noisy sounds of nature at night.
Today the Delta is far more crowded he said, as he showed an image of a two mile stretch of houseboats. Despite the newcomers and the occasional high powered bass boat roaring through, the area remains tranquil and one which three generations of Ladds are still thoroughly enjoying, he said.
Les thanked Russell for speaking to the club and presented him with a certificate noting that in his honor a donation has been made to the Rotary International Foundation.
Tom McGehee