No super-hero creator would name their alter-ego Arch Klumph. Bruce Wayne rolls off the tongue with ease, nothing flashy until he puts on the Batsuit. Clark Kent is a very pedestrian name. Even Ian Fleming went for bland when he named his literary spy James Bond. The name didn't define the character as much as the three numerals that follow the name. But, can you imagine a hero or suave spy with the name Klumph? The name's Klumph, Arch Klumph. I'll have a Vesper martini, shaken not stirred.
Literary, fictional heroes have created names and real life superstars have whatever life, fate and their parents gave them. Arch C. Klumph may sound more like a podiatrist than a spy but he is the stuff of legend in Rotary. Born in 1869 in Pennsylvania, he quit school at twelve to work to help his family. At fifteen he found a job in a lumber mill; by eighteen he was an office assistant for the management; he went on to become president of the lumber company; and, he later bought the company outright and became sole owner. Oh, and at sixteen he took up the flute and became so proficient he later co-founded the Cleveland Symphony Orchestra.
Like most brilliant business people who dropped out of school after sixth-grade and are self-taught on the flute he joined Rotary in 1911. In 1912 he was club president and in 1916 he was elected president of Rotary International, where he proposed a foundation that would promote "endowments for the purpose of doing good in the world." He spoke those words at the International Rotary Convention in Atlanta in 1917. The Rotary Club of Kansas City, Missouri made the first gift to the new foundation in 1918. That gift of $26.50 was the genesis of what we enjoy today as the Rotary Foundation.
Next June is the 100 year anniversary of Arch Klumph's idea of a foundation and the International meeting will return to Atlanta to celebrate. From now until June 6 you can pre-register for the convention for the historically-themed price of $265.00 (K.C.'s $26.50 adjusted for inflation). Thanks to Arch and Rotarians since, the world is a better place. Polio is all but gone thanks to Mr. Klumph. The name ain't sexy but he rocks! Next June at the convention in our own city we can toast him: I'll have an Arch Klumph, shaken and stirred. "Both, you ask?" Yep, he stirred up a bunch of Rotarians and they've been shaking up the world since. The Dude's a beast. A true super-hero!