Episode 11: 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.  At least when he doesn’t hit the road for his Storer visits!

 

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.

 

Don was instrumental in the Emerson Barn rehab project, working closely with camp and the ‘Barn Doctor’

 

 

 

Artesian well pump house where the milk was kept cold at Storer’s first few acres

 

Chimney of the original mess hall, S. Center

Enjoy the following discussion of one of the humblest, yet generous men you will ever meet.  Here’s the second half of Don’s story where we find out how he delivered on a 40 year promise…

Show Notes:

  • Starting at Ohio State and first year residency
  • Leading a trip through Lake Powell Arizona- Another trip (mis)adventure! Anyone have a radiator?
  • “I peed in my shoe!” Someone on his trip declared!
  • The need for Venture Out to return!
  • Don’s favorite place at camp and his favorite job.  Mind you, he could of really done anything!
  • A former surgeon wants to work on the maintenance crew !?!
  • Don’s rough introduction to the crew…hint: it all works out!
  • What drove Don while working at camp during his return
  • Don’s three main responsibilities, that affected all but would only be noticed if he didn’t do them
  • Emerson Barn overhaul
  • Building a new maintenance barn (Providing much needed cover from the elements)
  • Don’s appreciation of the ‘E’ in Stoney Lake!
  • Repurposing the North Center dining hall to the Doc Miller Learning Center
  • Rehabbing Hyatt house
  • Don visits the maintenance boys at camp (and the ladies in the kitchen)
  • What Don enjoys at camp, starting with the people
  • What advice he would give people working at camp today
  • Don is asked, what makes a good leader?
  • October 2015 he is inducted in the Storer Hall of Fame, and how he’s embarrassed by his inclusion.
  • Don does not have a favorite motto year, but he accepts two suggestions
  • Don’s one word for camp and what it means to him
  • Don’s final word: Come back to the 100th!

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Storer's 100th CelebrationJune 30, 2018
The big day is here.

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