March 24, 2017 Huntsville Rotary Club Minutes

     There were 17 Huntsville Rotarians and 1 visiting Rotarian enjoying the noon buffet at Don’s Family Style Restaurant in Huntsville today.  In absence of our President Tim, who was undergoing surgery for appendicitis, Prez-Elect Ken rang the bell at 12:30 to commence the meeting.  Visiting Moberly Rotarian, Dr. David Fincher, was asked to return our thanks to our Lord in prayer, then we gave our Pledge of Allegiance to our Flag.

     Our Temporary Leader requested any Old or New Business, and no presentations were given, also noting our Treasurer was out today.  Richard received a dues check and a $10 bill from our dinner guest, which will be forwarded to the Treasurer. Weatherman Dan gave us a wet and mild temperature forecast for the coming week, good conditions for all the garden potatoes planted!

     Today’s program was presented by Cuban refugee, Shan Depherdo, who provided several slides of his recent escape from Havana, Cuba.  Shan made his third and mostly successful attempt to immigrate to the Grand Cayman Islands by using his taxi, a 1955 Chevy, to trade for SCUBA gear, and, a one-way ticket on a typical dive boat occupied by the World renowned SCUBA dive team from Rotary International.  Shan noted the high pay among doctors in Havana, some receiving over $60 ( U.S.A. equivalent) per month, and, they also moonlighted as Tourist Guides a couple of times per year.  Generous Capitalists would often tip their guide as much as their annual pay.  Who said Socialism was dying?  Farmers travelling to market used oxen and carts with pictures showing most of the cattle on a diet for health reasons.  Many of the motor vehicles were pre-1959 if made in America due to the successful revolution almost six decades ago.  Shan’s boat was diverted by a storm in the Caribbean and ended his harrowing escape by landing  on a pecan farm south of Clifton Hill.  Today he is planning on returning to the Garden Island of his homeland and bringing with him several Mustangs so he can start his own Taxi service in Havana.

    P.E. Ken will attend PETS in Jefferson City next Friday.  Clay was invited to offer the Last Word, then we were adjourned.

Members present today:  Phil Brown, John Cochran, Mike Cochran, Jerry Crutchfield, Charles Fleming, Harry Hall, Dub Hayes, Russ John, Clay Joiner, Gerald Link, Roy Morales, Mark Nichols, Ken Rathmann, Merl Riley, Dan Shepherd, John Sommer, & Richard Tregnago.