Rufus McGaugh, traveler, author and retired Brownell teacher, spoke to the Men’s Club on May 10th. Rufus has spoken to the club before sharing stories from his lifelong quest to see the world.
DETROIT INSTITUTE OF ARTS
Bus Transportation will be provided from Windmill Pointe Park to the Detroit Institute of Arts. The bus departs Tompkins Center at noon and will leave the DIA at 3PM for return. Masks are required on the bus.
A docent will be available for a one-hour highlight tour for those in the group who want to participate. Wheelchairs and motorized scooters are available at the John R and Farnsworth entrances. Kresge Court and Café DIA are open with a limited menu. Outside food and beverage is not permitted.
Contact Ed Benz to reserve your space at 313-885-3618 or email to email@example.com.
May is the shortest month of the year (3 letters), but the longest in expectations. The first of the month, May Day, is considered the start of the summer season. It’s a time of celebration as we can see the world around us changing from the dreary winter brown and grey to green. Daylight is getting longer and, except for a few frosty nights at the beginning of the month, temperatures are beginning to remain warm. It’s time for planting or transplanting. Perennial flowers such as daffodils and tulips are in full bloom, as are Magnolia trees. May also starts the beginning of outdoor grilling, although for some us that really went on all winter. At least it’s warmer outside. If nothing else, clean up the grill and practice for Memorial Day.
There has also been new growth in membership. We’ve welcomed seven new members into the Club in March and April. I believe that’s a net gain of 6. At the Men’s Club luncheons we look forward to two great speakers. Many of us remember Christopher Pratt from his teaching and presentations with the Grosse Pointe South Choirs. The Tower Belles and The Pointe Singers earned national titles. While teaching he was President of the Grosse Pointe Education Association and now returns as UniServ Di-rector of South Oakland districts. He will be presenting on May 10th. On May 24th author and historian Tim Matyn will talk to us about the history of power boat racing and its ties to Detroit. Tim is a long term enthusiast of hydroplanes and the races held on the Detroit River. He has also written three books on the subject highlighting: The Gold Cup, The Silver Cup and The Harmsworth races. Please make reservations for these presentations, especially if you are bringing guests. If you signed the attendance sheet at the previous meeting you’re covered, but we also need a count of guests. The email for attendance is firstname.lastname@example.org. If email is not available, call or text Marty Mc-Millan at 313-550-9661.
Festivities, Fun, Fellowship
It’s Spring! Yep, it became official on March 20th , at least according to the calendar. I had hoped that all of the erratic winds and funny weather patterns were behind us, but on April 1st it was cold and some areas had a light snow. It’s not an April Fool’s joke by Mother Nature, just regular Michigan weather.
Bulbs that the squirrels didn’t try eat last Fall are beginning to grow into what the rabbits think is an endless salad bar. In the Fall the squirrels follow my wife in order to dig up the bulbs she just planted. Usually one bite tells them that they don’t like the taste, but it’s enough to stop anything from growing.
This is the month to retire the snow blower, tune up the lawn-mower, and put out the patio furniture. Don’t forget to put an umbrella in the car. April showers bring May flowers, but we’ve all been stuck in a sudden downpour, with a cart full of groceries, knowing that there are two umbrellas in the car which is at the far end of the parking lot. The chance of a sudden downpour is inversely proportional to how full the grocery cart is, and the distance to your car. Extra points are awarded if your wife told you to bring the umbrella into the store and you didn’t. In cases like this there is a 100% chance that somebody is going to get wet running to the car and bringing it back. Hint, it’s going to be you!
When I first joined the Men’s Club my sponsor invited me to another get together. Once each week he and some of the other Men’s Club members would get together for breakfast. It was a rotating group of about 10 people with 5 or 6 showing up at a time. Being new to Grosse Pointe, it was one of the ways that I got to meet others, discover their background and interests and just discuss the topic of the day. Bull sessions are common at work, but something I missed when I retired. It was this group of friends that made me truly feel welcome and part of the Men’s Club. I’ve developed friendships with many others since then, but you can never have too many friends.
With all of the great places for breakfast in the area, I’d like to see this practice restarted and/or continued. Our lunch meetings are great, but have some limitations due to their structure. You talk with your friends when you come early, during lunch and hopefully when you stay and play euchre afterwards.
Pick a day, pick a time, ask some friends to meet you and show up. While you might start off with the people you sit with at lunch, don’t forget other members who would be glad to come if they only had a ride. Most of all, don’t forget those new members that you brought in to the club. I find that 10 am is good. Those who stop before work have already gone, you’re ahead of the lunch crowd and you can still get the breakfast special.
Festivities, Fun, Fellowship…It’s all at the Men’s Club!!
Charles Burke, President and CEO of the War Memorial, filling in for an ailing Christopher Pratt, gave us an outstanding talk about the status of the improvements at the War Memorial. His slide presentation was interrupted by applause when he announced that the WM was looking forward to hosting the Men’s Club in the Ballroom in November.
The new 2022 Men’s Club Directory was printed and was available at the February 22nd meeting. Unfortunately, there were some mistakes in the Di-rectory. The most glaring error was applied to John Woodhouse. Not only was his entry omitted from the Directory, but he was quite surprised to be listed as deceased on the Memorials page. John would like everyone to know that he is very much alive and well. Those who see him at the luncheons have not been visited by a poltergeist. The missing entry and memo-rials listing was due to a mistake (operator error) made when updating the database. The Directory is printed based on information from the database.
We have too many different listings and specialized reports in our Men’s Club, something we’ve been trying to fix. Ideally users need just one database source that can be used by any member as needed. This source shouldn’t depend on one person to develop specialized reports for each individual.
Unfortunately the database programs are written in a language (FoxPro) that works in earlier versions of Windows, but nothing later than XP. When we took over the system 9 or 10 years ago, only a few members knew the language and the programming. There are even fewer now! Even though the system has been updated through the years, it’s not networked. We’re trying to move to more modern software that can accommodate multiple users and that any member can securely access.
If you missed either of the February Men’s Club meetings at the Tompkins Center, you missed out on some very interesting topics. The meeting on the 8th with Nolan Finley and Stephen Henderson was our largest turnout since the beginning of pandemic. It looks like we had 92 attendees. I’m sure that spouses and friends enjoyed the presentation.
We have even more great speakers for March and following months. It would be nice to see member attendance at the luncheons top February’s. The speakers committee has done a magnificent job in finding speakers of interest to all of us.
On March 8th our speaker will be Christopher Pratt. You may remember Chris when he was the choir director at Grosse Pointe South. The South choir has had many presentations at Senior Men’s Club events. As you will see from the speaker article in the following pages he’s taken a position with the MEA as UniServ Director of South Oakland Districts. It should be interesting to see what the future holds for Chris.
On March 22nd we will hear from Chairman Jeff Laethem and the Chief Executive Officer Mary Sue Lanigan of the Michigan Parkinson Foundation. The foundation provides assistance and education to those who have Parkinson disease and their families.
We’re looking forward to both presentations.
Celebrated journalists Nolan Finley and Stephen Henderson have been longtime friends, despite their different perspectives on pretty much everything. On February 8th, they spoke to the Club about The Civility Project. The Civility Project seeks to bring people of opposing viewpoints together for healthy disagreement, personal interactions and constructive conversations. In their hour-long enlightening presentation, they spoke of how the increased divisions in our society have impacted their work and how they decided to do something about it. They described how we can learn to have civil conversations with friends, family, and strangers whose views differ from ours. It all starts with listening to the other person and learning why they hold the views we disagree with. For more information on The Civility Project, click here.
While February is the shortest month in the year, fortunately there’s enough time for two speakers at the Men’s Club luncheon meetings. We’re almost back to normal…well as normal as we can be given the circumstances. It looks like Covid has settled on a contagious version with milder symptoms. I’m sure that there will be future versions, just as there has been with the Flu. This means that we can get back to something approaching normal while still remaining vigilant and cautious. Remember, the virus doesn’t want to kill us, it just wants to take over the world.
We don’t need more testing for the virus; we need a test for antitoxins. It’s been a tough couple of years; first with the Covid virus and how it should be handled. On February 8th we have the pleasure of hearing from Nolan Finley and Stephen Henderson.on one of the most important challenges confronting our nation – Building Civility. And please plan to bring your spouse or a friend; all are welcome.
Civility – a cornerstone of our society – is under siege at all levels, MIA. People with opposing viewpoints talk down to one another or past one another, or insult one another, totally dismissing their neighbors, impugning their character, shouting them down, or calling them names. And yes, it even happens here in Grosse Pointe. But people with differing points of view can and should be civil toward one another and can even be friends. Award-winning journalists Nolan Finley and Stephen Henderson are a perfect example of good friends who disagree on almost everything except fine Kentucky bourbon. They will show us why Building Civility is so critical to our future and how to do it.
Henry Fischer, President