"To preserve the reputation of the Fraternity unsullied must be your constant care."


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

My November Trip Recap

Finally catching up after my November trip. Drove 2,471 road miles; flew 4,800 air miles; visited, spoke at or drove by 6 lodges, one grand lodge, and a dozen bookstores; celebrated my 52nd birthday; and met hundreds of new friends and brethren in 13 days. This was the longest I've been away from Alice in 33 years.

Many, many thanks to all of the lodges and brethren I got to spend time with for their hospitality and kindness. I learn something at every single lodge I visit, and I mean that with all sincerity. Thanks to all of you for the gifts, the lessons, and the fond memories.

The stunning modernist Abraham C. Treichler Lodge No. 682 at the Masonic Village in Elizabethtown, PA. About 275 brethren, ladies and guests came out for their annual dinner. Thanks to Tom Labaugh for acting as tour guide for most of the day, and to everyone who was so kind and generous all day long. Must find a way to retire as a Pennsylvania Mason. The Elizabethtown Masonic Village is unbelievable. Downside: Pennsylvania winters.

The War Memorial, "Veteran's Grove," at the Pennsylvania Masonic Village in Elizabethtown, on Veteran's Day 2010

Gettysburg on Veteran's Day 2010

In front of the Pennsylvania Memorial at Gettysburg, Veteran's Day 2010

Good Samaritan Lodge No. 336 on the town square in Gettysburg, PA. I just lucked into their stated meeting night.

"Friend To Friend" Masonic Memorial at Gettysburg cemetery.

Oldest continuously used Masonic building in Pennsylvania, George Washington Lodge No. 143 in Chambersburg, PA. Built in 1823-24. One of the only buildings spared when Confederate soldiers burned the town in 1864.

Newly remodeled lodge room of George Washington Lodge No. 143 in Chambersburg, PA. I first met members of this lodge when I was visiting Waverley Lodge No. 597 in Edinburgh, Scotland three years ago. Members of this lodge just happened to be there that night to demonstrate Pennsylvania's Master Mason ritual.

Grand Lodge of Maryland AF&AM, outside of Baltimore in Cockeysville.
Congratulations to M:.W:. Stephen J. Ponzillo, III, Grand Master, R:.W:. Jerry Piepiora, DGM, and all of the new grand lodge officers. Thanks especially to Jerry for inviting me just to hang out at Grand Lodge. It was a great time.

Grand Lodge of Maryland's Grand Lodge Room. In the hospitality room I met up with a fun group of Pennsylvania Masons who just happened to be staying at the hotel while working at the Baltimore Irish Festival, providing food service for the whole event. Stopped in there Sunday and got a back of the tent tour.

Jerusalem Lodge No: 49 at 396 Main Street in Ridgefield, Connecticut. I lived in Ridgefield briefly from 1963-65. Didn't have time to visit a meeting.

Newport Tower, in Newport, Rhode Island. A Templar church?! A Viking tower?! Or just an old mill?

Harmony Lodge No. 9, Cranston, Rhode Island

Harmony Lodge No. 9, Cranston, Rhode Island. I got to see a public officer's installation the night before I spoke, and I have to say I have never seen a more active lodge anywhere I have been. Their activities list for one month puts many lodges' annual calendars to shame. They even bought me a birthday cake and a fine gift for my 52nd birthday. Their lodge website is the first I have ever encountered with an embedded QR code...

Tri-Town Masonic Center, East Bridgewater, Massachusetts. Thanks for a wonderful dinner and a packed house of Masons and their ladies for their Lodge of Instruction night.

Masonic monument at a traffic intersection for Lodge El Sol Naciente No. 113 in Oranjestad, Aruba. I was in Aruba for about 36 hours. Two-thirds of the American Airlines flight from Boston to Miami seemed to be deadheading pilots and attendants. So at least I knew we were okay if the captain ate the bad fish entree.

Lodge El Sol Naciente No. 113 in Oranjestad, Aruba, one of three lodges on the island. Soon to be joined by a fourth that is forming this year.

Lodge room of El Sol Naciente in Oranjestad, Aruba. Brethren came from all of the lodges on the island, flew in from Curacao, and even several were there from Pennsylvania (those guys are everywhere!). My special thanks to Brother Stanley for being the perfect guide to the island all day long, and to his lovely wife and daughter for giving him up for the weekend. It was a great time, and I will be back.

The lodge is closed, and the bar is open. Proof that Masonic halls don't burst into flames when alcohol is served in them.

Changing planes in Miami on the flight back to Boston, I offended a Mom. Her kid asked me three times why I had a fatso tummy, so I told the little fartling it was because I cooked and ate fat children. Keep your brat on a leash or teach him some manners. And as Jeff Naylor offered, the little rodent should have seen me six months ago.


  1. And as Jeff Naylor offered, the little rodent should have seen me six months ago.

    And I was thinking as I looked through the pics that you did lose some weight. Good for you.

    Jerusalem Lodge is a nice little building nestled in the downtown area. It took me 20 minutes in a rainstorm to find it, and that was with a GPS. Is there some rule that Masonic temples can't have bigger signs or a light or even address numbers?

  2. Hello brother Hodapp . I was just reading of your travels , I see that you were able to travel far and wide . I myself love to visit lodges while traveling , I will be in Aruba next week and wondered if you had any advice on the area , visiting lodges etc ? I am always in search of more light ! Thanks . Justin Weeks MM Palmetto Lodge 19 Laurens SC .


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