VOL. LXVII NO. 36               April 6, 2021

** Thank you Art Ayers for editing SPOKES in recent months. Welcome back longtime Editarian Dene Hadden. We are grateful for your commitments to our Club. **

President Thompson began our virtual meeting with the Pledge of Allegiance followed by an invocation by Art Ayers with thanks for our opportunities to serve and prayers for Jane Copping and Mike Livovich


Our guests this morning were our speaker, Jim France and guest Yolanda Brunt.



  • We need five volunteers for the Thursday night dinner on April 15th

  • We still have openings for the Bronson Sneak Peek on April 30

  • Bill Roberts has been compiling a “White Paper” of all of the tribal knowledge of our pancake breakfasts and it is now ready for review.  That review will take place after our meeting on April 20th.

  • We are still looking for a Vice President, Public Affairs director and Membership Committee Chairperson.

  • Nominations are open for our Club Hero, Rotarian of the Year, and Citizen of the Year.

  • Education Donations   Since we are not holding our Educational fundraiser this year, members are encouraged to donate, through the club, to either or both the South Haven Public Schools Foundation or our own scholarship fund.

A Touch of Humor

Dan Thompson was our substitute for Bob Copping this morning and his story, “The Misfortunate Pirate” was represented by a picture of Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow.  The story chronicled the misfortunes of a pirate, right up to his first day with his new hook.

Member Spotlight

Steve Miles was our spotlighted member this morning.  Born in Plainwell, Steve spent his early life on his parent’s farm near Hopkins, where Steve attended school.  He spent many hours in his dad’s shop on the farm and helping his dad repair Volkswagens.  Steve attended KVCC and worked part time in a machine shop where an industrial accident resulted in the loss of his hand.  He continued in school, completing computer training at KVCC and the tech center in Wyoming, Michigan.  He began working for South Haven Public Schools in 1985.  At that time he and a partner opened a VW repair business in Burnips and he became involved with the Michigan Maritime Museum’s project doing underwater archeology.  Steve got his diving certification and worked at the site of a shipwreck of the South Haven coast.  In 1991 he met his future wife, Kathleen, on a blind date.  They were married in 1993.  They have three children, Jessica, born in 1996 and twins Marty and Megan in 1998.  About this time he sold his share of the VW business to devote time to his family.

50/50 and Fines

Griffin Graham drew Art Ayer’s number for the larger of our two prizes this morning and then won the other prize for Jean Stein.


Fines were charged to:


  • Nick Tuit will be celebrating a birthday this Friday

  • Rosalie also celebrated a birthday and. I believe, some shoulder repair this week, although celebrated would not be the word Rosalie would use to describe her surgery.

  • Mark Odland announced his lovely wife LaRae is celebrating her birthday this week.  He gave a complicated formula to help us figure out her age but suffice it to say he is older than her.

  • Jeffrey Dick is responsible for a large fine for have his picture in the paper this week.

  • Larry Wittkop provided a birthday song in celebration of all of the festivities.



Jean Stein introduced South Haven Memorial Library Director Jim France who gave us an update on the library construction project.


Jim, who has completed his work for his Doctorate of Education and has four children and three grandchildren, updated us about a grant that the library received that Jean had mentioned.  The grant, for $500.000, will help with a couple of special projects in the renovation plus provides $100,000 to be used specifically for fiction books for adults.


The library is currently housed in the former John’s Stereo building on M-140 and offers curbside pickup and hours by appointment.


The renovation includes:  A new greeting area in front of the library which will be facing west.  There is also a 900 square foot addition which will include a book drop.  Retaining walls for the ramp and steps to the new entrance are being poured and foundations for the pillars for the new canopy over the entrance have been poured.  Included in the project are three new restrooms and a new HVAC system.  The new system will result in not only better ventilation but result in more storage space in a reconfigured and expanded basement.  The office area will be completely remodeled and two walls will be removed and replaced with glass to provide a much lighter atmosphere, as will a new, higher ceiling throughout the building.


Of special interest to many members was the work that will result in a much more flexible and larger community room/children’s area with hoped for seating of around 140 people.


All in all, Jim expects a much lighter, brighter building.  Completion is expected near the beginning of October.  You can view pictures of the project at the library web site: 


There were a few questions and Jim explained how the MEL (Michigan Electronic Library) worked, how to check out books from other libraries and how the land ownership questions with the Post Office were resolved.


President Thompson thanked Jim for his informative presentation and said he is mailing him a thank you gift certificate from Clementine’s.


We closed the meeting with the Four Way Test

  • NEXT WEEK:   Sue Duval will introduce Liji Hanny, Director Operations at the the Benton Harbor Boy’s and Girl’s Club and South Haven resident who will speak about Diversity

  • Editarian:  Dene Hadden