Episode 10: Dr. Don Klotz

 

My following guest is someone so many encouraged me to talk to and boy we’re they right!  This past February, while setting up an interview with Bryce & Judy Harbaugh, they mentioned that Don Klotz just had dinner with them and that he would be a perfect person to visit with before I left Toledo.  Considering I have heard so much about Don, a man who I was told embodied the ‘I’m Third” spirit since his time in the 1940’s, I would do everything on my end to make an interview happen.  The Harbaughs made the arrangements and we met the morning I departed for the east coast.

I pulled in to Don’s residence, got my gear ready, and walked into the lobby.  There was Don, wearing a bright red YMCA Storer Camps pullover, keeping him warm on this February day.  He met me with a cart for my stuff and he showed me around the complex where he helps with the mail and organizing the gift shop.  It seemed Don was right at home, keeping busy, as he settles in retirement.

 

Doc Miller was described as a man small in stature but large in spirit and I found Don the same way. Dr. Klotz is charming. He has an impish smile, and a dry wit (both I appreciate).  We quickly got down to business in a room Don had reserved for our meeting.  He even had arranged a special table with two chairs set up for our chat.  The scene was set and we started to record.

Then before I knew it, we were wrapping up.  I couldn’t believe it.  Don was so engaging, I lost track of the time.  I double-checked that he left no stories on the table or thoughts to share.  He was satisfied with our time and the stories he shared and he seemed more than happy to share his love for YMCA Storer Camps.  As an interviewer, this is an ideal guest, generous, open, and fun.

 

 

I wished I had more time with my new friend, but we both had things to do.  My last stop that day was at the Toledo club for a quick bite to eat before leaving town for Detroit Metro.  When I got to lunch, both my Dad and Stepmother noticed I was in great spirits and I told them about my perfectlty wonderful morning. I will say Toledo is dreary in February, but that day, I didn’t really notice.

 

Throughout this Stoney Lake Reflections journey, I find myself using word’s like ‘legend,’ ‘giant’, and ‘hero’.  They seem redundant after awhile considering there are so many great people associated with Camp Storer, past & present. If these words are overused to a point where they lose impact, that’s on me.  But when thinking about people like Don Klotz, come up and share your own adjectives for this Storer luminary, if you want to add to my list.

 

 

Enjoy the following discussion of one of the humblest, yet generous men you will ever meet.  This first half of Don’s story doesn’t even touch the surface as we will find in the second episode, Don make & keeps a 40 year promise…

Show Notes:

  • Camp in 1943 – 1947
  • People he looked up to
  • Favorite activities : Riflery and Swimming
  • Meals at camp…guess the Meatloaf recipe
  • Doc Miller’s Jig
  • Doc Miller’s Chapels
  • Becoming Explorer Village Director
  • Associate Camp Director and an interesting field promotion
  • Meeting and working with Clark Ewing
  • Receiving the Doc Miller award
  • Off-site camp hikes and overnights
  • Friday nights in town & calling home
  • Polio scares around the nation and at camp

2 Comments

  1. Linda Keil
    Jun 12, 2018

    Don Klotz is one of the greatest men to ever walk the shores of Stoney Lake. He’s a true example of “I’m Third.”
    (By the way, love the tractor picture…it’s one of my all time favorites that I took during my time there.)😁

    • King Stoney
      Jun 12, 2018

      That is a fantastic picture you took! There’s Don, Mr. Unassuming, on a tractor. Thanks to him (and team) the equipment at camp is top notch, not just a fleet of worn out hand me downs. Don’s story is awe inspiring and then you meet the man. Let’s just say, the proof is in the pudding. Thanks for your comments!

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