Here's to Griff

Harley 'Griff' Griffith, Jr.

My first memory of Rotary is Griff’s voice. My visit to the Lafayette Rotary Club as a guest in late 1987 found me standing at the buffet line at Morris Bryant Cafeteria, shoveling food onto my plate with my back to the podium. Although the meeting wasn’t to start for 10 minutes, someone was at the microphone making a request on behalf of a fellow Rotarian. It was Griff, just trying to help someone who needed it. In my now-26 years as a member, I’ve never met anyone who would exceed Griff’s desire to help others.

Griff generally introduced visiting Rotarians and guests and made some announcements during our meetings. His trademark phrase for ending his announcements was “that’s it.” He did it in a particular way, with an emphasis on “that’s.” It sounded like THAT’S it.

He did everything for the Club. As our Club Secretary, he seemed to attend every committee meeting, keep every record, coordinate every project, record every document, write every correspondence, and take part in every activity. He spoiled us.

Another memory of Griff involved a softball game at one of the parks in Frankfort. It was the Rotarians against the Purdue Men’s Varsity Glee Club. Griff was the pitcher for the Rotarians, and I marveled at the baseball glove he was wearing. It looked something like the gloves we had as kids, with fingers and pocket overstuffed with padding. I don’t know how you could catch anything with that glove, but it seemed to work great for our pitcher. I wouldn’t say it was an old glove, but I recall seeing one like it in a photo of Babe Ruth. In case you’re wondering, we lost the game, but not by much.

We’ll miss Griff a LOT.

THAT’S it.

Jim Klusman