During the last half of July, the Tehachapi Rotary Club, now used to telephonic meetings, had some interesting speakers to close out the month.

On July 16, the always interesting Jon Hammond highlighted some very interesting and relatively unknown facts about the Tehachapi area. Did you know that Mojave is only 50 feet higher than Keene? Or that the highest temperature recorded in Tehachapi is 104 degrees? According to Hammond, the Blue Oak makes up the majority of trees in Tehachapi while the Gray Pine is mostly found in the area of Keene and the Pinon Juniper in Sand Canyon.

“Most fawns are born in the month of June,” said Hammond. He warned about moving any lone fawns found under bushes as their mother leaves them where she can find them, knowing they will be safe, since fawns have no smell that can attract a predator.

When asked about his grain project, Hammond said he mostly grows the rye grass that has grown here since the 1870s because it is cold-tolerant and uses the least water. He added that he and his partners Alex Weiser and Sherry Mandell also produce some wheat and oats.

TUSD art teacher Debbie Haeberle virtually visited with Rotarians on July 23 outlining her plans for teaching art during the coronavirus pandemic. She said she normally has $700 to $1,500 in funds for shared art supplies from the district. This year each student must have his own supplies and to that end, Haeberle is putting together art supply kits in 2-gallon zip-lock bags to be distributed to students.

Haeberle said that Rotarian Catherine Smirnoff has really been her benefactor. Smirnoff arranged for Gallery ‘N’ Gifts to donate 100 markers and found other donations of brushes, glue sticks and drawing paper. Each kit costs $7 to make. She is still looking for toothbrushes to be used with paint. She expects to have 150 students this semester and so far she has 82 kits completed.

The Rotary board donated $200 to the project and invited other members to add to that amount.

Tehachapi High School senior Aiden Wood, who spent last year in Denmark as a Rotary Young Leaders sponsored exchange student, outlined his year spent with three host families. Wood said it was the best experience he had ever had. He wore a jacket covered with pins received from fellow students from the school he attended in Aalborg, Denmark.

Wood said Denmark is the world’s oldest monarchy, having begun in the 10th century. Today the country focuses on healthy family relationships with a free education and welfare system. He also had the opportunity to travel with his host families to Gothenburg, Sweden; Hamburg, Germany; and to Copenhagen, Denmark, the country’s capital.

The Rotarians noted that the shy boy who went to Denmark a year ago came back a confident man. Now that he has had the experience of world travel, Wood said he is ready to explore more of the world beyond Tehachapi.

Pat Doody is the publicity chair for the Rotary Club of Tehachapi.

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