Wednesday, October 17, 2007

This and That

Degrees in my district this month were postponed/rescheduled due to official visits, so I'm still waiting for a date for my Entered Apprentice degree.

I visited my lodge during their open house this past weekend, and had the pleasure of meeting a few brothers, including the District Deputy Grand Master. They didn't have many visitors that day because their ad didn't make it into the local paper in time, and the Grand Lodge didn't buy any advertising on local radio (I've still never heard any of the Massachusetts Grand Lodge radio ads), but from what I heard that afternoon it sounds like there's a lot of young blood entering the fraternity, and starting to make some changes for the better.

I spent much of Sunday and Monday driving around central Maine, and I was struck by how many lodges have signs near town borders with the square and compass, lodge name, and meeting times. I don't know how old the signs are, but I got the impression that there are a lot more Masonic lodges per capita in Maine, with one in just about every town I drove through, compared to western Massachusetts where there might be one lodge per half dozen towns or more. Other fraternal and service organizations seem to be active, too. In one town I saw signs and/or buildings for a Masonic lodge, an Oddfellows lodge, an American Legion post, the Lions club, a Grange, and even a Rebekah lodge.

While in Maine I had dinner with my second cousin, and learned that her father was a Mason, both her parents were in OES, and that she had been a Rainbow girl.

The things we learn about people after they pass away! I dearly wish I had gotten know my grand-uncle before he passed away about 7 years ago. I only met him a few times when I was a shy, quiet kid, and so of course I hadn't developed many of the interests I would come to pursue as an adult. A few years ago I learned that he played banjo (one relatively recent pursuit of mine which I would have explored a lot earlier in life if I had had any idea where to look for information) and now I find that he was a Mason.

I'm a little surprised that he wouldn't have answered the questions that his brother (my grandfather, who was interested in joining but never did) had. I know that men tended to be more secretive about the goings-on of the lodge during the first half of the last century, but as brothers go I always had the impression that he and grampa were fairly close.

My visit to the lodge on Saturday has me more eager than ever to get started, but at the same time I have subdued my passions to the point where I am not speculating nearly as much about what my experience will be like.

All things in good time.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Massachusetts Square & Compass Day, October 13 2007

Next Saturday, October 13, is "Square and Compass" day in Massachusetts, and according to the Grand Lodge there will be open houses from 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM at lodges all across the state.

I'll probably go hang around my lodge, meet some more of the brothers, and see if I can't find out when the next EA degree might happen.