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Subduing the Passionettes

November 16, 2008 Leave a comment

A 75 year old man who shows up at lodge and says “I’m here to take my MM degree.”

The brothers are confused by this, as nobody seems to know him. He insists that he was initiated and passed fifty years earlier, so the secretary checks into the old records. Sure enough, there’s his name.

The WM is curious. “You took two degrees over 50 years ago,” he asked, “so why are you coming back for the MM now?”

The old man replied “It took me this long to learn to subdue my passions.”
So, a while back I was having a  contentious heated spirited discussion with a member of a local religious group, in which she remarked with some exasperation “Oh, you Masons all stick together, anyway.”

“There’s a reason for that,” I quipped, thinking about our tenets of admitting men who are upright, moral, and of good repute. “Our membership requirements are more stringent than yours.”

Five seconds after I said this, I wondered “Is this the face of Masonry that I want displayed?” Yes, it was a great line – but did I really want it to be the impression of Freemasonry that she was going to take away from our discussion?

Unfortunately, I was six seconds too late. 

“OK, so ten out of ten for style, but minus several million for good thinking, yeah?”
— Zaphod Beeblebrox

We tend to think of “the passions” as big, almost uncontrollable emotional outbursts; Arousal, excitement, fear, and other intense reactions are all part of the human package that we try to control, so as to keep our excitement from overruling our common sense and doing something that is harmful to ourselves or to others. When we are charged to subdue our passions, we aren’t told to ignore them entirely – that would turn us into emotionless robots. Rather, we are cautioned to be aware of our actions and how those actions will affect those around us.

Most people, of course, do not have expansive, passionate outbursts on a regular basis; consequently, those around us are generally not harmed by such things.  We often forget – or don’t realize – that the little moments are much more likely to affect somebody, simply because they are more opportunities for them.

I was thinking about this because of something that happened the other day. I was at a seminar given by the Grand Lodge, and near the end, I was in the open area selling books and pins and other neat little trinkets that Masons like to pick up at these occasions. We aren’t set up to be a small sales shop, and we had boxes of books and pamphlets all over. Neither did we have a cash register, although most of the items were charged in even dollar amounts. I said “most” because there were a few items that required coins, something that we didn’t have. Most of the guys who bought a $3.50 or $7.50 item simply told us to keep the change, but one brother, who bought something earlier,  did not. He told the person working the area that he would come back later when there was a chance that we’d have coinage.

He came back at the very end, just a few minutes before we closed up. I was working, and when he explained the situation, I looked around for something that would be worth the fifty cents to him. Exasperated (because I was the only one selling and was trying to take care of several people), I simply gave him back an entire dollar and told him not to worry.

Later, as we were getting ready to pack up, I was complaining to the other guys about the setup,  wondering aloud why we had such odd pricing on items, and mentioned the incident to them – noting that I just gave the guy back a buck. I mean, who worries about fifty cents, right?

A few minutes later, a gentleman walks over to the table and says “I’d like to donate something to the cause.”

“Cool,” I replied, “Thanks so much. We always appreciate any donations.”

He handed me a dollar and walked away.

I put it in the cash box and continued to pack up the books and papers, chatting away, when it dawned on me.

“I think that the guy who just donated a dollar was the guy I was talking about earlier,” I told my counterparts.

Whoops.

Now, here’s the thing. I’d already given back the dollar and put it out of my mind – mostly – in order to go on to other customers. So, why did I bother to complain about it later? The brother was certainly within his rights to expect change, be it fifty cents or a penny. I have no idea what his personal situation is like – that fifty cents might have allowed him a coffee for the ride home.

But I allowed myself to get annoyed; or more accurately, I allowed myself to display that annoyance to anyone passing by. As a result, I made that brother feel guilty enough to give back the dollar that I had earlier given to him.

Why should he have felt guilty just because I was annoyed?

Certainly I hadn’t meant for him to hear me. In  fact, I was more annoyed over the inconvenient pricing than anything else; but as a result of a lack of temperance and moderation on my part, he probably walked away from that seminar with a sour attitude. He certainly didn’t deserve that.

“Tact is knowing how to say
the nastiest things in the nicest way.”

— Dorothy Parker

What do we call those little lapses of judgement, those small slips of tact and discretion, anyway?

I used to have a reputation for dry wit that bordered on. . .  actually, went well over the line into the sarcastic. But over the last few years, since I’ve been a Mason, I’ve learned to smooth and polish that particular section of my ashlar, and during that time, I’ve also learned how to be a little more tactful, and a little more considerate of others. 

Well, most of the time.

Little incidents, like the one from last week, serve to remind me how important it is to think before I speak – if only out of simple consideration for those around me. No, it’s not the same as learning how to subdue those big, emotional reactions – in fact, it’s a lot more difficult, because in my future actions with mankind, I have a many more opportunities to say something cutting, hurtful, or just plain thoughtless. But because I have more opportunities for such interactions, I also have that many more opportunities to circumscribe and keep myself within due bounds, and, perhaps, to set an example for those people, who may set an example for others. 

Just one little section at a time.

 


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When Bloggers Collide

April 9, 2008 Leave a comment

It was really only five years ago that I was the new guy, the young Mason attending Grand Lodge – or more correctly, the reunion and hospitality suites the night before Grand Lodge session. I’d taken the afternoon off from work and we’d spent the time prepping tons of food and drink for the wandering brothers. Several of the older, more experienced brothers took me around to visit some of the other rooms and introduce me to the brothers from other districts; I met a lot of nice people during the first year, and remembered most of them over the next several years. Grand Lodge is sometimes like the get-togethers you have at weddings and funerals: it’s the one time a year you might have to catch up on news and gossip. And I don’t know when it happened, but I’m no longer a new Mason. Last night Sunday night, it was my turn to be the older guy and take one of the new brothers around, and to explain how and why things work.

Yesterday Sunday evening, while most of the lodge parties were just getting underway, I met up with several other of the Connecticut Freemason bloggers. This was the end result of six months of emails and phone calls which began “Hey, we should all get together for dinner some night and talk about blogging.” After half a dozen missed opportunities, we managed to agree to meet the night before GL at the restaurant in the hotel. Fueled by the vapors of distilled grain, I had several hours of conversation with 3M of Northeastern Corner, the esteemed Traveling Man of Movable Jewel, and the Very Worshipful Charles Tirrell of Masonic Renaissance. We were missing MF (Metaphysical Freemason), whose father-in-law had to be taken to the hospital that morning. The pressures of work, family, geography, and of course our Masonly duties made scheduling one night a much more difficult task than you would have thought.

I’ve spent a little bit of time in and after meetings with both VW Brother Charles and with MJ, but this was the first time we’d been able to hang out without any particular agenda. And none of us have been able to spend much time with 3M, mainly because his district is down in New York (well, it seems that way anyhow). A pleasant and thoughtful young man, 3M was only raised a couple of years ago, making him the newbie. Nobody else from his lodge was able to make the trip up.

VW Charles brought up some officers from his own lodge, also younger Masons, and we spent a pleasant couple of hours having drinks and sandwiches, and just getting to know a little about each other. All of us being Connecticut Masons, we had the opportunity to discuss not just blogging and internet Masonry, but also topics concerning local, district and state events. Table conversation ranged from praising (and poking) other well-known bloggers and some of the recent topics, internet Masonry and how it can be better utilized to the benefit of the Craft (we’re in favor of more of it), District Blue Lodge Council meetings (some people find them to be a waste of time), the state of ritual (to some degree), and some of the items up for discussion at Grand Lodge (oh yeah, there’s a session).

After a dinner of sandwiches and frits (the French word for “fries,” I was informed), we retired upstairs to VW Charles’ room, where 3M treated us to some finely crafted hand-rolled cigars, which we enjoyed out on the balcony – smoking being prohibited in the hotel rooms. While enjoying the aroma, not to mention the invigorating New England air, we continued our discussions. The non-blogging junior officers lost interest, and retired to the warmth of the room, where they kept themselves occupied with a Wii, iPods, laptops, and various other electronic gear.

As Charles mentioned in his own post on this subject, we found it surprising that with Connecticut being such a small state, the four of us had managed to develop notably differing ideas and opinions about Freemasonry. This wasn’t so obvious when discussing our ideas for how to improve the quality of meetings and Masonic education, but was more noticeable when we discussed our positions on those states which have yet to fully recognize the Prince Hall jurisdictions, and how our UGLE-related fraternity intersects with orders that have long since split off: La Droit Humain, Grand Orientes, and Co-Masonry. Fortunately, real Masons manage to subdue their passions when discussing such potentially divisive subjects, and we soon veered off those topics to discuss the proposed legislation and some of the rumors that had been making the rounds. We also traded stories about some of the lodges that we’ve seen that are doing it wrong (and some that are doing it right), and kicked around some of our own ideas for what could make for better lodges.

Charles is a very progressive-minded brother who has a number of great ideas for lodges on his own site, including utilizing Pay Pal or similar services to collect dues money. We also thought that the dreaded dues increases would hurt less if we allowed the members to pay in monthly or quarterly installments; we noted that most dues are, um, due right around the holidays – just when people are already ticked about paying bills. Perhaps a subscription service might be a better way to go for some of the brethren. We also discussed having some of the brothers “pay” in service, rather than in coinage; some brothers could agree to a certain number of hours doing maintenance, cleaning, repairs, etc., in exchange for some abatement on dues. We also – and I hope he doesn’t mind my mentioning it here – tossed around the idea of recording video interviews with notable brothers; not necessarily the oldest or famous, but brothers with an interesting perspective on the fraternity. Any Connecticut brothers with video editing experience who are interested in lending some help might want to contact VW Bro Charles.

Eventually we had to go home – at least, some of us did. TM wandered off to his car, and I took 3M for a tour around the hotel to meet the members of Friendship Lodge. A couple of brothers were at the room, and others appeared as we were having a drink. I left 3M in the fraternal care of our SW Eric, who promised to look after him, and I left for home around midnight. Since 3M was staying overnight, I was reasonably certain that he wouldn’t get into much trouble. I later found that natural supposition to be erroneous, but that’s a topic for another article.

The four of us got together out of curiosity – indeed, we’ve been trying to find some way to get together for months, but just haven’t been able to get our schedules together. When we decided to meet, it was because we thought that we had two things in common: Freemasonry, and a desire to share our experiences and perspectives via this medium. There are five of us who blog about the Craft, not counting the few people who mention Freemasonry on their MySpace and LiveJournal pages. While it doesn’t sound like very many, it does, in fact, make up a significant portion of the Craft-bloggers extant on the internet; more impressive when you consider the size of our state. In an age in which internet communication is becoming more utilized by new and potential members, I’m glad that such a great group of brothers has been able to spread some light through this new medium, and I’m sure that all of us look forward to doing this in the future.

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Unexpected Jewels

January 14, 2008 1 comment

A few years ago, a friend of mine got into the habit of stopping by my house once a week to talk about his new interest in Eastern esoterica and mysticism. A devoted practitioner of several meditative disciplines, he liked to tell me about his new discoveries, insights, and practices. Since I used to practice yoga, meditation and have had the opportunity to study some of the lesser known aspects, he felt that he could talk to me about what might be termed the spiritual aspects, knowing that I wouldn’t think it was too (forgive the technical term) “woo-woo.”

One day we were chatting about something and he asked me about a particular point, to which I answered that I didn’t remember much about it. He was surprised. “I figured with all the reading you’ve done, you’d have some opinion on this. ” He then confessed that he thought it was odd that I didn’t quote back to him some of the authors that I’d read, or refer to some of the older, classical writings.

I explained that some years earlier I had given away just about all of my books on Taoism and Zen, and hadn’t been inclined to pick up any more. He really didn’t understand this, so I had to explain to him what led to this decision. A long time ago I began picking up books and literature and read almost incessantly on the writings of Lao-Tze, Chang-tzu, and other authors with “z”s and dashes in their names. I picked up old books – translations written in the 1800s and early 1900s – and I picked up new books. I tracked down out-of-print books, the more esoteric, the better. I meditated, I unblocked some of my chakras, and managed to contort parts of my body into odd shapes, the better to allow the kundalini energy to flow.

At some point, I realized that as much as I studied and meditated, I was merely reading about Taoism, and not actually practicing Taoism. In fact, the reading, the meditating – the constant searching for meaning – was getting in my way. I gave away almost everything that I had bought, keeping only my favorite Stephen Mitchell translation of the Tao Teh Ching, and a couple of other older volumes. Instead of picking up yet another book, I decided that my time would be better spent trying to live up to all of the ideals that I had been reading about.

If this were a Zen parable, this is the point where I’d write “And at that instant, my friend was enlightened.” Unfortunately, that’s not quite what happened; he continued to argue with me, convinced that I was crazy. I’m sure there’s some ironic lesson in all this somewhere…

Anyhow, I’m writing this because the essential point – that at some time you need to put down the books and work with what you know – is not limited to Eastern philosophy. One of the great things about Masonic blogging is the unexpected jewel that you happen across while looking for something else. Earlier last week, I saw that MMM over on North Eastern Corner also came to a similar understanding. After mentioning the time he had spent collecting all sorts of books about the fraternity, he writes:

“It has been my bad habit of buying every book someone mentions on their blog or website for well over a year now and I have come to a decision that it must stop.

“Not because I haven’t gotten anything from any of these publications, but because recently I had an epiphany about books on Freemasonry and a hammer. [. . .] If you do an Amazon book search for “hammer” you come up with 183,470 books associated with hammer as a subject or somewhere in its title.

“I could read all 183, 470 books associated with the hammer and not even come close to what you learn in just ten minutes using a hammer. “(italics mine)

He gets it.

I wonder if this isn’t part of the reason that some Masons roll their eyes when somebody brings up the term “Masonic Education.” Our craft has inspired hundreds, nay, thousands of excellent books and essays on the nature of the craft, morality, on what it means to be a Mason, on the comparisons between Freemasonry and various other philosophies, on the evolution of thought, on the importance of religion or spirituality, and on just about any other subject that you can imagine being tangentially linked to the craft. The excellent website Pietre-Stones itself has more fantastic writing than the average Mason could read, the Philalathes Society has even more, and anyone with access to Google can read about any aspect of Freemasonry until their mouse finally drops from their nerveless grasp.

Here’s a good question: Is there – or should there be – a minimum requirement for some kind of Masonic Education? How much of this should we, as Masons, be reading? Should all Masons be expected to read Pike’s “Morals & Dogma“? Should we all be handed, along with our aprons, “A Complete Idiot’s Guide to Freemasonry for Dummies“? Should our brethren have a mandatory subscription to “The Tao of Masonry“?

In the last few years, I’ve read and heard some people complain about the sad state of Masonic Education, and about the dearth of great Masonic thinkers, and about the lack of modern books on Masonry. My brothers are, naturally, entitled to their opinions. My own opinion on that topic is that the internet has made available more excellent Masonic information than any of our ancestors would have dreamed possible. My own education on Masonry – the education that I have found to be the most valuable – came less from books, and more from conversations with knowledgeable brothers in person and in various online forums. Back when I joined, several of the brothers told me that “the real Masonry happens after lodge.” I didn’t understand what they meant for the first few months, but soon it became obvious – we had relatively short business meetings and then went downstairs for fellowship. Over coffee or whiskey (whichever a brother preferred, and nobody was pushed into anything) we would talk about how the Grand Lodge works, why a certain brother gets certain accommodations, talk about various aspects of our ritual and ceremonies, learn why this or that lodge runs the way it does, and dozens of other trivial-seeming topics that didn’t start coming together for me for almost a year.

Yes, I read a lot of books. I learned many aspects about the history of our craft, the evolution our our ritual, and saw how our symbols dovetail with symbols and teachings from long ago. But I also learned why it was important to have Caffeine-Free Diet Pepsi for WB Roger, and to always make a few low-cholesterol dinners for WB Julian, and to have coffee ready for WB Bob before and after the meeting, and . . .

Reading and acting. From which do you suppose I learned more about Masonry?

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To be is to do

October 22, 2007 Leave a comment

To do is to be. – Plato
To be is to do. – Aristotle
Scooby dooby do. – Sinatra

(Graffiti rumored to have been discovered
on a bathroom wall in the ruins of Pompeii.)

A few years ago I was talking to a friend who, at the time, was very interested in yoga, Zen, meditation, and various other “Eastern” style teachings. Once a week or so we’d get together and have discussions about teaching styles, philosophies, authenticity, and how far he thought he happened to be along his own spiritual path. One day ha asked me about a particular Taoist author, to which I responded that I couldn’t remember anything about him, nor did I have the books which he mentioned. He seemed stunned. “But that’s one of the most well-known books on Taoism,” he exclaimed, “how could you not have them, let alone not remember them?”

“It’s simple,” I explained to him, “I spent years picking up every book I could find on Taoism. I amassed a decent library, I read all the volumes, I cross-referenced authors, and even made an attempt to study Chinese, with the hope of being able to read them without the quasi-poetic translations into English as is so often seen.

“And one day, amid all of the books and charts that I’d picked up over the years, I was struck with a realization: that for all the books I had, and for all the years I’d researched, all I had been doing was reading about Taoism; I hadn’t been practicing it at all! So, I gave away the books and charts and made a point to stop reading about it and to start being, that is, living what I’d read about.

See, reading about something isn’t quite the same as doing it. Anyone who doubts this should pick up a book on learning to ride a bicycle. You can get any number of the principles inside your head, but some of them need to be internalized in your gut in order for you to receive the full impact.

Some years later, I discovered that I was doing the same thing with my new-found interest of Masonry. I had picked up any number of books, ranging from Mackey to Pike to Robinson, and quite a few others. Even before I became a member, the guys on the interviewing committee said I was the most well-informed candidate they’d ever seen. Every night found me combing the web for more and more information, from Usenet groups to Anti-Masonic websites in search of more Light in Masonry. I applied myself to learning the rituals, to understanding the symbols, to the metaphors and allegories of the Craft. I made it a personal mission to be knowledgeable about Freemasonry.

And then, somewhere in the midst of – appropriately enough – my year in the East, I suddenly realized that I was not practicing Masonry, that is, I wasn’t making a point of internalizing the concepts that I’d spent so much time reading about. So, at some point during this past year, I stopped reading Pike (just as well, it was my third try at getting through Morals & Dogma), I put away all those books on Masonry (except for Freemasonry for Dummies, which is still on loan to someone, and A Complete Idiot’s Guide to Freemasonry, which spent some time in the Tyled Room) and made a point to cut back on my internet time. I spent more time with my lovely wife and precious daughter. I took some time to work on my own temple – my body – because it’s the only one I’ve got to work with, and I’d let the building maintenance crew slack off for too long.

When I had that conversation with my friend, I pointed out that Taoist meditation is unlike what we normally think of as meditation; it’s simple and practical, and often performed while in the midst of doing some useful, physical labor, such as plowing or cutting wood. One learns to become “centered” as it were, by utilizing normal, everyday activities. In much the same way, however, can we, as Masons, smooth our personal ashlars by the proper application of friendship, charity, and brotherly love. We can debate the symbolism of Masonry for so long, that it causes us to lose sight of the fact that Masonic morality is not meant to be merely some esoteric concept, but a real, practical lifestyle.

Remember; the root of “practical” is “practice,”which has two connotations. One is the habit of doing something, and the other is the repetition of that habit. Can we really be true Masons without doing, that is, practicing our Masonry in our everyday lives?

The Curse of the Black Cube

July 23, 2007 3 comments

In a recent conversation with a brother – a new officer of his lodge – the topic of “black balling” a candidate came up. Even non-Masons should understand that the term means a vote against allowing that person to join an organization. In Connecticut, most lodges actually use black cubes; presumably so that they can be more readily distinguished and prevent accidental or unintentional voting.

Please note I’m not saying that this practice has anything to do with the eyesight our aging brothers; the fact that the Friendship Lodge ballot box has a small LED light inside, and the fact that yours truly just recently started wearing spectacles is in no way related.

Anyway, the new officer mentioned that he’d never heard of anyone being black-balled (black-cubed?) in his lodge, and neither had anyone else, even the “old-timers.” He was surprised when I told him that it was my opinion that this was pretty much how it should be; that in fact, I could think of very few reasons why a black cube should be cast for a candidate.

Sure, we can all think of some hypothetical (and in some cases, actual) situations as to why one might cast a “Nay” vote for a candidate. But it’s my contention that, generally speaking, if the Master of a lodge finds a black ball cube in the ballot box, then the lodge is doing something wrong; namely, it is not communicating properly. While there are some circumstances in which this would be unavoidable, for the most part the Master of a lodge should not be surprised at the last minute to see a black cube in the box. Regular members should already know in advance that a particular candidate is being proposed, sponsored, and voted on; there is usually a decent interval during which all this happens, and if a lodge member has some reason to object to a particular candidate, he should raise the issue with either the investigating committee or with the Master well before the voting is to take place.

I have several reasons for this contention. One is that by raising the issue in advance, it gives the member with a concern an opportunity to address the issue to determine if it is indeed a legitimate concern. While one should never discuss openly how one should or would vote for a candidate, if you believe that a candidate (or his sponsor) is not being truthful with the information on a petition, then a discussion with the investigation committee gives them an opportunity to address that concern. Concerns of a more personal nature should probably be addressed in private with the Master, with the understanding that such concerns should be confidential.

Then, too, is the matter of the reputation and sensitivities of the candidate and his sponsors. Should a blackball occur, there is no further discussion; the candidate is simply sent a letter explaining that he was not accepted. But none of this happens within a vacuum; not only could a candidate become angry or hurt, it’s quite possible that he might actively engage in some public retaliation. It’s pretty easy to set up a blog or website and begin posting anti-Masonic rhetoric.

One other thing that is rarely mentioned is the impact a blackball might have upon the brother who proposed or sponsored the candidate. The candidate’s sponsor or proposer could well feel insulted or embarrassed, especially if they have sponsored a family member, old friend, or business associate. Few sponsors, I would imagine, would be pleased at having some discussion beforehand that his candidate presents some concerns; but I can’t imagine any sponsor not feeling upset to be surprised by a “Nay” ballot. Not only would he have to face the candidate later, he must do so without being able to provide any explanation. Worse, wounded pride might cause him to act resentfully toward his brothers.

A lodge, in some respects, is like a small business. Successful businesses work toward good communication between employees, and have clear direction from the managers. But they also have good communication between the management and the employees. Good managers managers who foster open, clear lines of communication are rarely surprised by issues the employees have. Why would the “management” of a lodge operate any differently?

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Almost Famous

July 5, 2007 Leave a comment

The Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Ancient Free and Accepted Masons in the State of Connecticut – more specifically, the Most Worshipful Web Site of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge, etc., – has taken one step closer to the danger zone.

They linked to The Tao of Masonry.

Apparently, the poor guy nominally in charge of the web site was so taken with the great job that the Friendship Lodge web team was doing that he got caught up in the spirit of the moment and posted a link to this very un-official Masonic blog. Un-official in the sense that I wrote on a sticky note around here someplace something to the effect of

And of course, the inevitable disclaimer:
My opinions are my own. This is my own web log, and I’m writing only as myself and not to advance any positions or opinions of any official Masonic body. And as for official Taoist positions? Well, you know…

Can’t get any more un-officialer than that, right? Just so, you know, we’re all clear on the concept.

Actually, I have myself to blame for this; apparently I made some offhand remark (probably on the new Friendship Lodge web forum) about how the GL web site needs more content. Not that they don’t have content – but I’m talking about the cool type of content.

You know, teh l33t int3rw3bz kind.

Naturally, you can see how much they think of me by the placement of my link. Go ahead, go check out the Grand Lodge AF&AM of Conn website. I’m right there, under the tab for Masonic Links… and then you have to click the link for Masonic Information.

No, I don’t have any idea what kind of “information” this is supposed to be, either.

That said, this dovetails nicely with the work that we (“we” meaning “everybody else on the committee except me”) have been putting into the new Friendship Lodge web site. Apparently, the Grand Lodge web folks really liked what “we” have done -“we” being the Friendship Lodge web committee of Eric Charette (Chairman), Bill Reyor, Eric Tetrault, Kyle Charette, and, uh, that other guy who they don’t allow to touch anything. Excellent work, brothers.

Masonic Scavenger Hunt!

June 20, 2007 1 comment

How about something Masonic that’s not about ritual, rules, regulations, Konspiracy theorists, or a complaint about the Shriners?

The Masonic Scavenger Hunt in Connecticut!

When I was a young’un, we would have neighborhood scavenger hunts on those warm summer nights when school was out. We would form into teams, and somebody – it always seemed to be one of the bossy older girls on the block – would hand out lists of the various items that we would have to scrounge up. Dog bones, bottle caps, soap cakes, safety pins, balloons, and other odd items figured heavily on those lists, and we would all scatter in different directions to search in open garages, knock on doors, and generally annoy the neighbors without children in our search for these useless treasures.

But even though the first day of summer is upon us, this is not a post for waxing nostalgic about those bygone days; we’ve got our own Scavenger Hunt right here in Connecticut. VW Charles Tirrell – my District Grand Lecturer counterpart in the 4th District – is behind the idea for a scavenger hunt with a Masonic theme. No scrounging in your neighbor’s garage for an old bottle opener; you’ll be traveling with a digital camera and your GPS in order to spot Square & Compasses on buildings and old gravestones, paintings and statues of Masonic presidents, and various items with Masonic symbolism.

What: A photo scavenger hunt, where teams of 3-5 Freemasons will take photos around Connecticut of a Masonic nature. The brothers will then recongregate and compare their photos in a fun and brotherly manner.

When: June 30th, 2007

  • 1:00pm-2:00pm – Registration
  • 2:00pm-8:00pm – Scavenger Hunt
  • 8:00pm-11:00pm – Judging and Refreshments

Where: 30 Church St., North Haven, CT

Who: Freemasons (EAs, FCs or MMs)

Cost: $30 per team (includes pizza and beverage costs for after the hunt), $6 per person if you’re just attending the judging

Contact: For more information or to sign up a team or individual members (We will assign individual members to teams that are not full, so that everyone can play), email Charles Tirrell at chtirrell@yahoo.com

More details are available at their website:

http://masonicscavengerhuntinct.pbwiki.com/

This all-day event will end with pizza and fellowship; and unlike back in the old days, your parents won’t be calling for you to come home by dark.

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