Tuesday, February 13, 2007
Masonic Week 2007
Hey! I just lost 12 pounds on the "Get the Flu At Masonic Week!" Diet!
I'll swear I caught it from the French contingent. It's all that cheek-kissing they do.
Seriously, Masonic Week was great this year, and it's always great to see faces from literally around the world. According to my friend Roger Van Gorden, there were at least 14 Indiana brethren present. Our own PGM Mike Brumbeck is the president of the George Washington Masonic National Memorial this year. Larry Gray was advanced to Grand II Pillar of the Grand College, Holy Royal Arch Knight Templar Priest. Indiana's Deputy Grand Master Duane Vaught was elected Treasurer General of the High Council, Masonic Societas Rosicruciana in Civitatibus Foederatis, and Roger was elected 1st Vice-President of The Philalethes Society.
I had an opportunity to have lunch with Janet Wintermute and a group of Masons from the MasonicLight Yahoo list. Janet is actually a Broad Ripple HS grad, and word has it that she appeared in a Discovery Channel documentary about the Masons this past week, discussing female Masonry. It was great to connect a name with a face in the case of Eric Diamond, whose work I have enjoyed for several years now.
The Allied Masonic Degrees remains the fastest growing appendant body in Masonry, with more than 8.000 members this year. Congratulations to the Indiana contingent and the honors and accolades they received. With Roger as the new First VP of the Philalethes Society, look for an upcoming event here in Indiana that I think you'll find to be of great interest.
Thanks to the many brethren who stopped by and picked up a copy of Solomon's Builders. It was great to be with Brent Morris, Art DeHoyos, Mark Tabbert, Dick Curtis, Richard Fletcher, and so many others. A special thanks go to Billy Koon and Frank Boner, for all they do for Freemasonry and this weekend, and also for their graciousness in allowing me to engage in a little pushcart economics with no advance notice.
But what is always gratifying to me are the brethren who come up and say that they read Freemasons For Dummies and joined a lodge because of it, or that they gave it to a friend and it convinced them to petition a lodge. That is the biggest thanks of all.
New friends get made every year during this event. Reed, Jenna, Justin and Steve at their first Masonic Week.
BTW, I had a chance to pick up a new copy of Volume III of Jan Beaderstadt's On the Wings of the Double Eagle, which covers the last of the degrees of the AASR-NMJ's degrees. I have heard pro and con about these books, but whatever anyone's opinion of them may be, the good Reverend has done what the Scottish Rite NMJ has refused to do, which is to offer some kind of follow up to the degrees. And, in spite of the 2004 tinkering with the rituals, he has managed to revise the books and keep up with it. As year after year goes by, I do not understand why the NMJ provides no follow up to its members. We present these degrees in a whirlwind fashion, and give the new member no other way to ponder their lessons other than to press them to join the cast and get a script. And that's just wrong.
The hot spot this year was Shelly's Back Room, right across from the Hotel Washington, and very cigar friendly.
I was too sick by Sunday to even set foot on an elevator ("Throwing UP, sir?!) We stayed though until Monday, and drove home through the snow storm. There was a good 8 inches on the ground by the time we pulled into the driveway at dawn this morning - I'm not sure how we made it. God love Alice - now she has it too, so we're both convalescing.