Posted by Arthur Ayers on Mar 06, 2018
SPOKES VOL.LXXIII NO.33 March 6, 2018

Greeting us this morning were Don Hixson and Jim France. President Renner called the meeting to order at 7am.We began singing “My Country ‘Tis of Thee, with accompaniment; however, when our “beloved” CD player started skipping, we slid into a capella mode. Art Ayers followed with our invocation.
Our guest speaker, Claire Dahl, who is Don Kitchin’s sister, Don’s wife, Elaine, and Assistant District Governor Terry Allen.
*Jim Davis was, once again, our “maestro” this morning; however, since our a capella voices had already been “tested”, it was
decided to sing only one song, “That Rotary Wheel”. WHEW ��
*President Renner expressed his, and our, thanks to Matt Shafer
for a delicious breakfast. Thanks also expressed to Jerry
Portman for filling in for Stuart as our Sergeant-at- Arms, and
Mark Odland for filling in for President Renner last week.
*Terry Allen requested a minute and a half to speak on behalf of
the Aging Mastery Program, which “helps create new expectations,
norms, and pathways for people aged 50-100, to make the most of
their gift of longevity”. It is a program sponsored by the Area
Agency on Aging, Inc., which is being offered in Van Buren
County at the following locations and times:
Session 1 begins April 4 th , at Peace Evangelical Lutheran Church
in South Haven.
Session 2 begins June 18 th , at the Paw Paw District Library.
Session 3 begins June 20 th , at LMC in South Haven.
Session 4 begins September 4 th , at LMC in South Haven.
Terry even had 15 seconds to spare��
*Blessings in a Backpack will meet again this Friday, March 9th ,
at Lincoln Elementary. Be there by 1:30pm, please…
*There will be a School Safety Community Forum on Thursday,
March 8th , at Listiak Auditorium. It is set to begin at 6pm.
*Still needed is a member willing to write SPOKES next week, March 13th .
*A short Board Meeting has been scheduled this morning following
the regular meeting.
*Jerry Portman didn’t have far to go to identify an “honest soul”, as he picked our guest speaker Claire Dahl. Claire drew the ticket, and Mark Odland had the winner. Mark then drew the #2 card, guaranteeing half the pot, and it went to Dorothy Lockwood.
Happy Dollars:
*Birthdays and Anniversaries reported today:
- Richard Swanson and his wife, Marilyn, both celebrated birthdays.
- Steve Larsen’s daughter, Nadia, celebrated a birthday.
- Dorothy Lockwood’s daughter celebrated a birthday.
- Don Hixson announced the birth of a new great-grandson and also
celebrated a grandson’s birthday.
A Ludington-style rendition of “Happy Birthday” followed to
mixed reviews
* Don Kitchin introduced our guest speaker, his sister, Claire Dahl, who resides in Ann Arbor and is a retired teacher of 35 years within the Ann Arbor Public Schools.
Claire’s Masters Degree is in Women’s Studies, and combined with
her American history background, she truly developed a passion
regarding women and their contributions to our history. She currently serves as a representative of the Yankee Air Museum in Belleville, Michigan, and actively and passionately provides presentations in the persona of Rosie the Riveter, explaining the tremendous impact of women to our World War II war effort.
The Role of Women in World War II-highlights:
*Pre- WWII years (1918) U.S. Neutrality Laws essentially made any U.S. air power non-existent.
*General Billy Mitchell, following WWI, advocated for a strong air presence. He clashed with many in military circles and, ultimately, was court-martialed for insubordination. The United States was more interested in building battleships rather than aircraft carriers.
*Hitler’s imperialist agenda in Europe, in 1938-39, made tremendous use of air power. This, ultimately, got the attention of those seeing the need for air power in this country, leading to the development of the B-24 Liberator.
*The B-24 had a range of 3000 miles and could carry 4 tons worth
of bombs.
*FDR indicated that we needed 50,000 war planes.
*Car industry to mobilize, with Detroit manufacturing parts for
planes built in San Diego. However, only one plane per day was being produced.
*As a result, using auto assembly line expertise, the entire operation was moved to Detroit (Willow Run). Jimmy Doolittle called it a “Shotgun Marriage” between the auto industry and the military.
*In 1940, FDR made his “Arsenal of Democracy” speech, which basically said to those being threatened by Hitler: “We will build the weapons…You will use them.”
*In March, 1941, the Lend-Lease Act was passed. This supplied
Free-France, Great Britain, the Republic of China, and later the
U.S.S.R. and other Allied nations, with oil, food, and other materials.
*Henry Ford won the contract for constructing the largest factory under one roof. Camp Willow Run became the Willow Run Bomber Plant.
*The plant was located in Washtenaw County. Ford hated Wayne
County, since FDR carried Wayne County in the election, and he hated FDR. No way did he want to pay any taxes to Wayne County!
*The plant worked two shifts, employed 20,000 for each shift, and worked 24/7.
*Executive Order 8802 was signed by FDR, in June, 1941, and prevented racial discrimination in defense plants.
*December 7, 1941, Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, and it was no longer a foreign war.
*By February, 1942, the last of consumer cars and trucks came off the assembly lines.
*NOW, since so many men left for the service, there weren’t enough to work the lines.
*Women answered the call! The government uses flyers, posters,
songs, radio…anything to recruit women. “You Can Do It!”
*Six million women answered the call, and 16,000 went to Willow
*Many riveters and buckers needed. A “bucker” was an individual
inside of the plane, who “bucked” the rivet. Henry Ford employed
many “little people” from Hollywood to fill the roles of many required to be inside of the planes in small spaces.
*The term “Rosie the Riveter” was first used in 1942, in a song of the same name. The song was recorded by various artists, including Big Band leader Kay Kyser and became a national hit. The song portrays “Rosie” as a tireless assembly line worker, doing her part to help the American war effort.
*Rosie the Riveter became most closely associated with a real
woman, Rose Will Monroe, who was from Kentucky and moved to
Michigan during WWII. She worked as a riveter at Willow Run and
was asked to star in a promotional film about the war effort at home. “Rosie” went on to become perhaps the most widely recognized icon from that era. The films and posters were used to encourage women to go to work in support of the war effort.
*Although the image of “Rosie the Riveter” reflected the industrial work of welders and riveters during WWII, the majority of working women filled non-factory positions in every sector of the economy.
*Federal funding for child-care facilities and housing was supplied by the Lanham Act, among other sources.
*At its zenith, Willow Run produced one bomber every 57 minutes!
*18,000 B-24s were built during the war-45% of them  at Willow Run. There are only eleven left, and only four of those were built at Willow Run.
*”Tribute Rosie”, a public relations “arm”, of which Claire is an integral part, speak at museums, attend community fairs, march in Thanksgiving Day parades, the 4 th of July Parade in Washington D.C. and are involved in many other activities.
*Michigan holds the Guinness Record for the most people dressed
as Rosie the Riveter in one place-3755!
Many thanks were extended to Claire from President Renner and
the members in attendance. A very passionate and inspirational
presentation! Last but CERTAINLY not least, Claire was presented
a Rotary pen in appreciation.
President Renner thanked all of our guests for being with us today- Claire Dahl, Elaine Kitchin, and Terry Allen.
Next Week:
Our greeters are scheduled to be Steve Larsen and Jean Stein.
Our program on March 13 th will be the South Haven High School
Robotics Team. Tom Rummel is the Program Chair.
We adjourned with the Four-Way Test.
Art Ayers, stand-in Editarian, who will require a stand-in,
himself, next week.