The Waller Masonic Lodge #808 AF & AM
P.O. Box 158 - Waller, TX 77484
Worshipful Master David "Dave" Reagan   -   Secretary John "Corky" Daut
The Mailed Version Of The October 2009 Newsletter

It’s Happening At Waller Lodge

By Corky

The September stated meeting was opened in the Entered Apprentice Degree. There were two E.A.s present for the meeting. For those who haven’t sat in Lodge lately, the Grand Lodge has changed the law so that stated meeting can be opened and business can be conducted in the Entered Apprentice or Fellow Craft Degree if a member of that degree is present, with the restriction that they are not allowed to vote.

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Brother “Wes” Mersiovsky reported on the plans regarding the fund raiser and the memorial garden of evergreen shrub sand low plants to be constructed between the front sidewalk and the building to honor past Masons.

The area will be grass free and covered with mulch. A drip irrigation system will be installed to properly maintain the plants. An additional donation was made by Brother John L. Thompson for his father Harvey M. Thompson.

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Brother “Wes” Mersiovsky also reported on the plans regarding to replace the front door and glass block wall of the Lodge with a double door entry.

At the same time the curb and sidewalk in front of the doors will be cut and a handicap ramp installed with a handicap parking slot on each side of the ramp.

This project differs from the others in that an anonymous donor is paying for the project.

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Please say a prayer for,

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Brother Doyle Sitton had a knee replacement.

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Brother Andrew Foster passed away August 30, 2009 at 90 years of age. Brother Foster had been a Master Mason 52 years. After living in Ardmore, Oklahoma for many years, Brother Foster was in Katy when he passed away. He was buried at Waller Cemetery

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Madeline Florence Schiel, wife of Brother Walter Schiel Sr. passed away September 13, 2009. Madeline was 87 years old.. She was buried at Roberts Cemetery.


By James A. Marples

Many Masons like to wear Masonic pins or rings. When done modestly, these emblems can sincerely display a man's dedication to those associations he values orholds most dear. In a few cases, it is sad that our card-carrying members display the emblems for selfish motives, often hoping to generate some type of business gainfrom publicly trumpeting who they mingle with. In most cases, wearing Masonic emblems is a positive thing, IF done modestly and with respect to our gentle Craft.

Tradition holds that a man's left lapel is suitable for a membership pin or button. I applaud former astronaut and Senator, Bro. John Glenn for regularlywearing the Masonic Square and Compasses on his lapel. I think it is imperative that this basic emblem of Craft Masonry be the pin chosen. I will confess, I have worn 4 lapel pins to Shrine meetings - in the hope of promoting Masonic Education and unity. I always wear the Square & Compasses on the top in the middle two pins - one a Scottish Rite Double-Headed Eagle and the other one a Knight Templar Cross and Crown of the York Rite. The final pin on the bottom would be the Shrine's famous scimitar and crescent. I try to treat both Rites equally and even in conversation, when I mention one Rite, I like to mention the other. Although not a prerequisite for today's Shrine membership, the original Shriners in the year 1872 felt that BOTH RITES were vital to one's overall understanding of the whole Masonic Fraternity. I totally agree.

I have seen other Masons adopt an even better way of showing Masonic unity: A tie-clasp or tie-bar with all 4 emblems side-by-side. That gets the point across without going overboard. I have adopted this idea as well and have a 4 emblem tie bar myself which shows the Blue Lodge/York Rite/Scottish Rite/Shrine emblems. For those who utilize the 4 emblem tie-bar, I still recommend that they stick with the Blue Lodge lapel pin on their suit jacket.

Some Shrine Potentates promote their own "Potentate's Pin" to celebrate their year in office. I would prefer that they develop a commemorative coin to mark their year instead. It seems to me that Masonry and Shrinedom is getting too splintered with sub-groups, committees, clubs, and units. There simply is no substitute for the Square & Compasses that bind us together as a fraternal band of Brothers. We need to display Masonic Unity at the most basic level. Furthermore, the public needs to see one constant image that they can link to our Craft.

I don't care whether you wear one lapel pin or 15 lapel pins (that choice is up to you). However, I hope the primary one which stands out among your selection will be the Square & Compasses. I belong to many groups (perhaps too many). I enjoy my membership in my High-12 Club and my Grotto. . . I just try to promote the overall Masonic Fraternity with a pin and praise fine groups such as these by my favorable words and actions. Our various organizations should not be treated like "notches on a gun-belt." Their Masonic heritage is the anchor which enables them to prosper. Our Lodges are the foundation of the whole superstructure. . . if we promote the “entrance gate", we will nurture the seeds of future growth. And, whenever the Symbolic Lodges prosper, the Rites will prosper, and so on.

When I joined Masonry at age 18 (permitted in Kansas), my Dad gave me a ring with a red stone featuring the Square & Compasses. He gave a little speech in open Lodge and he hoped that I would always wear that ring with all the honor and dedication that the emblem denotes. I wear it on the ring-finger of my right hand. I wear my 14th degree AASR ring on the ring finger of my left hand (At times, I have people ---including girls -- ask me if that gold band is a wedding ring.

Presently I am still single; but if I get any proposals I might entertain a wedding ring on that finger!!) I have read where the ancient Knights Templar wore their KT ring on the index finger of the right hand. I wear my KT ring on that finger to honor their legacy. Since I equate the level of the Knight Templar order/degree, roughly comparable in level to the Scottish Rite's 32nd degree. . . I wear my 32nd degree Double-Eagle ring on the index finger of my left hand. Interestingly. . . on the side of it is the numeral “32” within a triangle. It looks as if it was "meant to be" in that position on my hand although I am probably the only one to utilize historical accuracy in the placement of my rings.

If I recall correctly: The 33rd degree ring of the Scottish Rite Southern Jurisdiction is traditionally placed on the little finger of the right hand. In the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction, it is placed on the little finger of the LEFT hand.

I hope that all Masons reading this article will wear a Masonic pin or ring or utilize some other suitable way to promote our Fraternity. Again, I hope the Square & Compasses will be the primary pin chosen. However, don't abandon the other can display them on your office desk, or pin them to a window curtain or your ball cap where visitors will see them. Whatever emblems you display to the public. . . please be prepared to tell people how that particular emblem fits in to the overall Masonic organizational chart. As I say, “If you have the fundamental Square & Compasses displayed, you will have an easy point-of beginning.”

Let your light shine. - by James A. Marples

The Average Age Of Lodge Members
by W:.Tim Bryce, PM, MPS

“They say that time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.”
- Andy Warhol

What is the average age of your Lodge members? Interestingly, very few Lodges take the time to calculate this figure which I consider to be a rather important indicator of the Lodge.

Fortunately, the average age of my Lodge has dropped to 64.1 years old. This is down from the high 60’s just a few years ago (we never did hit 70) and this is because we have been blessed with several fine young men who have joined our Lodge and replaced some of the “Greatest Generation” who we recently lost.

The “average age” number itself doesn’t tell us much. It is when we compare it to prior years and plot increases or decreases which tells us something about the Lodge. Whereas an increase means we are not getting much in the way of younger members, a decrease means just the opposite. This is also indicative of Lodge programming and public relations. Perhaps the reason why the average age is increasing is that the Lodge has become somewhat lethargic and set in its ways and is no longer regarded as a viable institution in the community.

Our current average age also tells me that “Baby Boomers” represent the lion’s share of members in our Lodge. This leads me to believe that the average age will inevitably rise again as this substantial generation (which includes yours truly) gets older and grayer. The only thing that can prevent this is a major influx of young members, but I do not see this happening anytime soon. I am certainly not suggesting we open the floodgates and allow anybody in with a pulse, but we should renew our efforts to reexamine our image and position the fraternity into something for younger people to seriously consider.

Thanks to modern medicine, we’re living a lot longer than our predecessors. It also means the Boomers will inevitably raise the average age of our Lodges over the next 10-20 years. As such, now is the time to take action to make our Lodges fun, interesting and meaningful. Surely we do not want to abandon our heritage, principles, or degrees, but we need to exercise our imagination and make Freemasonry more contemporary with the times. If we don’t, it won’t be long before we’re sitting in a Lodge where the average age is 90 (and nobody will be able to make it up the stairs to the Lodge room).

Keep the Faith.

Masonic Anniversaries
Brother Years
Wayne C. Schultz58
Everett A. Bozarth 51
Richard James 49
Robert Brush29
Mark L. Seeman15
David Reagan10
Thomas R. Rape 6
Happy Birthday To
Thomas Roy Shields93
Calvin C. Trapp79
Jimmy Hooper Sr.66
Steve York58
Mark Herrington53
David Reynolds51
Kenneth L. Cones49

Oklahoma Masons Prepare To Handle Curiosity Sparked By Dan Brown's Novel

By Carla Hinton

GUTHRIE — The statewide organization representing about 250 Freemasonry groups in Oklahoma is preparing to deal with curiosity that may be sparked by Dan Brown's latest novel, "The Lost Symbol.”

Jim Tresner, a longtime Mason who serves as the Oklahoma Grand Lodge's publication's editor, said pamphlets and brochures have been prepared to give out to people who wish to know more about Masons, and the lodge's Web site also will include additional information for the inquisitive. He said the lodge also has an informal speaker's bureau that will handle any requests for speakers to share information about the fraternal organization.

Tresner said he expects Brown's book to draw interest to local groups because that's what happened after the release of Brown's two previous books, "The Da Vinci Code” and "Angels and Demons,” and the 2006 movie based on "The Da Vinci Code.”

Also, the two "National Treasure” movies (2004 and 2007) starring Nicolas Cage created widespread interest in Masons, Tres-ner said.

He said the lodge found the attention to be a good thing, spurring an increase in membership and opportunities to educate the public about masons.

"There's been a 70 percent increase in petitions (to join) since 'National Treasure,'” Tresner said. Tresner said he read Brown's two previous books and enjoyed them. He said he is as curious as many others about how "The Lost Symbol” will characterize masons or whether the fraternal organization will even be mentioned. It could be great, "or it can be a catastrophe if he says 'those no good so-and-sos,'” Tresner said, laughing. "You just never know. I wish I knew.”

Tresner, 67, said he's not surprised that people connect Masons with religion because there is a connection.

He said this is reflected in one of the Masons' standard symbols of a square and compass with the letter "G.” Tresner said the "G” stands for geometry and God. The square stands for virtue and morality and dealing with people in a forthright manner; think President Theodore Roosevelt's Square Deal domestic program that promised to be fair to all. Roosevelt was a Mason. The compass symbolizes the importance of controlling oneself and keeping oneself "in due bounds.” You cannot be a Mason and an atheist since a belief in God or a "deity of some kind” is one of the membership requirements, Tresner said. Thus people of different faiths can be Masons. Tresner said his lodge group includes two Muslims and a Buddhist.

"Freemasons deal with this life, and we tell people to go to their church to deal with the afterlife,” Tresner said.

"We do believe a person's spiritual growth is important, and a lot of symbolism in Masonry deals with a person's spiritual quest for enlightenment.”

Meanwhile, he said men are beginning to join masonic groups at a younger age, a phenomenon that has puzzled leaders, although they are happy with the additions. Tresner said he is from a family of Masons — his father, grandfather, great-grandfather and great-great-grandfather were all Masons. He became a Mason when he was 21. However, he said, most Masons join at a later age; 10 years ago, men joined the group at age 45 on average. Today's average is 28.

"We asked many petitioners why they want to become Masons, and they say they want some fraternalism. They want some time with men, and they like the fact that this is a group of men who will support them no matter what,” Tresner said. "This is a fraternity, after all.”

Freemasons To Hold Meet Today

From The Times Of India

MW Devinder Gupta

AHMEDABAD: The DaVinci Code, Angels and Demons, The Lost Symbol.These books with a rollercoaster ride into history have a common element apart from being authored by Dan Brown. And it is reconstructing public imagination about Freemasons.

For the first time in Ahmedabad, more than 300 freemasons will congregate at Hotel Metropole on Saturday for their Regional Grand Lodge of western India. The conference will see masons from across the country sharing their ideas about the future of the system. It will be chaired by Justice Devinder Gupta, Grand Master of India.

Senior members of the group, which had come for inauguration of a charity project in the city on Friday, unraveled the mystery shrouding the `secret' organization known by the symbol of square and compass and distinct handshake and symbols.

Gupta, who is also a retired Chief Justice of Andhra Pradesh High Court, said that there are many misconceptions about the role of Freemasons and the activities they carry out. "We are not a political or religious organization. We work on the principle of Fatherhood of God and Brotherhood of Man. We have tried to preserve the sacred knowledge and share it with fellow brothers. For the members, it is a process of being a better human from a good human," he said.

Gupta added that India was among the first countries that got a Masonic Lodge, a starting point for any freemason to establish a base, way back in 1729 at Kolkata soon after the first registered lodge was established in London in 1717. Ahmedabad Lodge Fellowship was established in 1960 that has 68 registered members today. In India, there are 20,000 freemasons.

The Small Town Texas Masons E-Magazine

Don’t miss reading the monthly Small Town Texas Masons E-Magazine at,

This Month features Henry Thomas #278 A.F.& A. M. in Burnet County and Texas Masonic Hero, Lorenzo de Zavala

This Month's Humor

An old Italian man lived alone in a New Jersey suburb of NYC. He wanted to plant a tomato garden, but it was very difficult work, as the ground was hard. His only son, Vincent, who used to help him, was in prison. The old man wrote a letter to his son and described his predicament:

Dear Vincent, I am feeling pretty sad, because it looks like I won't be able to plant my tomato garden this year. I'm just getting too old to be digging up a garden plot. I know if you were here my troubles would be over. I know you would be happy to dig the plot for me, like in the old days.

Love, Papa

A few days later he received a letter from his son.

Dear Pop,

Don't dig up that garden plot. That's where the bodies are buried.

Love, Vinnie

At 4:00am the next morning, FBI agents and local police arrived and dug up the entire area to a depth of three feet. They scanned the area and dug up and removed some rocks and an old shopping cart. They didn’t find any bodies. They apologized to the old man, leveled the ground out, and left. That same day the old man received another letter from his son.

Dear Pop,

Go ahead and plant the tomatoes now. That's the best I could do under the circumstances. Love you,, Vinnie

The   Waller   Lodge
Electronic   Newsletter   Subscriber's  
Extra   Features
The Masonic Fables Series
Reprinted With Permission Of The Author Bro. Terence
Satchell - From The Phoenixmasonry, Inc. Web Site

Ol' Leroy McKrank and the Council of the Knights of the Royal Arch

A couple of decades back, Ol' Leroy McKrank decided to join the York Rite. Now this was the only other body of Masonry that Ol' Leroy had ever joined, mainly because he refused to fork over the cash required to join any additional bodies. But at the time, each York Rite body's dues were only five bucks a piece, so Ol' Leroy thought it was a pretty good deal. Fifteen smackers for three organizations? Who could pass that up?

Leroy sat through all nine degrees, held over the course of a few months, with an expression of awe on his face. The Brethren of the York Rite took his expression to mean that he was thoroughly impressed with the degrees. However, Ol' Leroy was actually in a state of shock. Everywhere he looked he saw extravagant sets for the degrees, various aprons with different designs upon them, and the most dumbfounding thing that Leroy noticed was the impressive uniforms of the Knights Templar. Shiny swords? Custom made chapeaus? This was surely the most wasteful display that he had ever seen in Freemasonry. Besides, Ol' Leroy figured that you didn't need three bodies to tell the whole story of the York Rite.

So after Ol' Leroy McKrank had received the Order of the Temple, he went home and started to do some thinking. He was determined to create a less wasteful order for those that were interested in the York Rite, but he would also need a chance to implement it. He got the chance when the York Rite came to the Blue Lodge a few years later in dire straights. They needed help with the rent and Ol' Leroy jumped at the opportunity.

“Well I'll tell ya what your problem is,” Leroy told the High Priest of the Royal Arch Chapter, “too much gol' dang waste! I got a plan that will save you all kinds of money and you won't have to ask the lodge for nothin'!”

That is when Ol' Leroy told them about the Council of the Knights of the Royal Arch. It was a single degree that enveloped all the teachings of the York Rite. It was like a book made into a movie. Sure, you get the general story line, but where is the content? Ol' Leroy McKrank explained the degree in detail to the members.

“You see, you get your candidate to start off over here and then he goes and gets his work inspected and then can't get paid, so he talks to the boss man and gets paid and to apologize for his not gettin' paid the boss man makes him the Master of the Lodge. Then its time to dedicate the temple and then we tear it down and throw the candidate into the rubble to find some stuff and he does find some purdy important things.” Leroy proceeded to fly around the lodge room, giving a demonstration of the floor work for the degree. It looked as though he was running sprints from the west to the east and back to the west again. “Then we remind him of his last conversation with good ol' Hiram who shows him where he'll leave some important tools and when he goes to find what Hiram was tellin' him about…well…the guards stop him and just about put him to death. But luckily, some other fella' was nappin' on the job so we'll kill him instead and take it easy on the candidate this time.” Leroy cackled about his little joke before continuing. “So then he has to go to Persia and talk to that fella' Darius and ask to build the temple.

He gets into an argument about whether a beer, a purdy lady, or some ol' duffer is more powerful and says that truth is better than all of them. Then he goes to Malta for some reason to become a Knight and then he winds up here and we read him the book of Matthew and take a few shots. You don't need no swords or nothin', just a couple of aprons and a couple of guys that can tell a story.”

Ol' Leroy had a smile of pure satisfaction with his creation on his face. The members of the York Rite stood with their mouths open in disbelief. It is unknown whether they were so confused and awestruck by what they had heard or whether they were in such a destitute situation that they had no other options, but they accepted Ol' Leroy's proposal.

Leroy slapped his knee and cackled, “Now this is a Masonic degree!”

To this day, Ol' Leroy McKrank's York Rite body operates the only Council of the Knights of the Royal Arch.

The Computers For Masons Series
By Shane Stevens
From The Freemason Information Web Site

Self-publishing the professional way

Have you ever wished your lodge or favorite local historian had a published book you could add to your library? Maybe a Lodge history, a picture book of the Lodge over the centuries, or a calendar celebrating an event or fundraiser? Now you can without all the professional publishing overhead. Lulu is a free to create website that will do it all.

After registering on Lulu you can upload pictures, documents, and even mp3’s of that outstanding Lodge education program all for free. Once the information is uploaded, you merely choose what you want published and some basic options and voila you now have a professional publication that will be printed as people submit orders. No minimum orders needed before print, no setup fees wasted because only one book sold. Just professional quality items printed only when someone purchases.

As author, you receive 80% of all revenues produced by the product.You may be thinking, “they get 10%?!?” but dont. If you put it in perspective, for 10% you get high quality printing, online designing, a popular service marketing your works on their 900,000+ a month visted ecommerce store, and a choice of almost all the options you would ever dream. Ten percent gets you hardbacks, softbacks, comics, calendars, manuals, and eBooks. Yes that 10% even gets you free marketing tools and a network of other publishers on which to ask advice. Most importantly, that 10% gets the Lodge a manual or collection of its minutes for only 10% of the price of the book! Imagine, the Lodge secretary puts together the minutes for the year as a digest, uploads it to Lulu and then buys the book. A perfectly bound, color, 100 page book sells for $38.00, and after the Lodge gets it’s 80% profit back, the acutal cost to the lodge was only $3.80. Considerably less than the price of a private printing service.

Lulu even lets you acquire an ISBN number that would list your book with the major book industry databases around the world. List with thousands of retailers, companies like Amazon, Borders, and Barnes & Noble, to get your Freemason message out to the public.

Lulu can be used by lodges for any of their publishing needs. Journals, histories, photo albums, and more. If you desire a quality self made book for your Lodge library, or you just want to archive and preserve, this is the service for you.

The overall rating for Lulu — 4.5 out of 5 stars

* 5 out of 5 stars for Masonic usefulness

* 4 out of 5 stars for ease of use for those brothers with less technology experience but willing to try

Where Were You First Made A Mason? – An Answer To Fundamentalists
by Frederic L. Milliken
The Beehive
Phoenixmasonry Executive Director

Me: Bill, I had a great time this weekend with my Lodge. We went out to Union Park with our families and had a big BBQ.  The swimming was good and the food was great.  But the best time was just sitting under the shade tree and reminiscing with old and new friends.

Bill: You are always talking about your Lodge but I don't get this Masonry thing.  I never could see why a man would join.  I know you get a lot of pleasure from it but I don't see what is so special about it.  I go out to Union Park with friends now and then myself but none of them are Masons.

Me: Well Bill, Masonry is more than social good times.  It's also about reverence, respect, knowledge, a helping hand and close bonding relationships. As a matter of fact it is a philosophy, a virtual way of life………ah, a method of looking at the world and yourself through a different prism.

Bill: So how does this new way of life, this different prism do for you at Union Park with all your Mason friends?

Me: Well I know where the heart is of all my Brothers, even the ones I don't know.   And that's important to me.  Someone once said that – “you are who your friends are.”  My contention is that nobody is perfect and that it is possible to be led into or to follow the wrong path in life.  One can get lost in superficial and unrewarding patterns of life by constantly associating with corrupting influences.  I choose to surround myself with those who try to be noble and righteous and I believe that encourages me to “make something of myself” and to improve myself as a person and that is what God wants for me.

Bill: I didn't realize how deep Masonry is.  I have to say now that it sounds almost like a religion. Would you say that your Brothers look upon their Lodge as church?

Me: I am sure some mistakenly substitute Lodge for church but their reasoning is faulty and their actions bespeak of one who is lazy. Masonry has many religious people in the fraternity but the approach in Lodge is more spiritual than religious.  By that I mean that it has nothing to do with sectarian dogma but everything to do with an appreciation of the Creator and the wonders of His creation.

Bill: My Pastor does not speak complimentary about Masonry.  He says that I don't need another Guidance System, the one I have right here in church has everything I need.

Me: Well Bill, church is about worshiping the Almighty Creator.  Its focus is salvation, its work the improvement of the soul. Lodge is not focused on the Hereafter.  Its theme is the interrelationships right here on earth.  It delineates an earthly philosophy the practice of which points you to seeking that relationship with your Creator.  It sends you to church to complete the edification of the other half of yourself.

Bill: But it sounds to me from all that I have heard and of what you have had to say that you are offering a system of morality, a way of life as you call it, that teaches a certain path that should be taken to live your life.  That sure sounds to me like a competing Guidance System as my Pastor believes.

Me: Look Bill, we talk about the virtues of Masonry………er, of being a virtuous person using the already established patterns of life that are universally accepted by all cultures.  Masonry is the application of your creed not a competing way of worshiping. Being a believer in Democracy rather than totalitarianism is a philosophy, a way of life.  But no one is calling that path a competing religion or guidance system.

Bill: I'm a little bit confused and I am not sure how to separate the two, Masonry and church.

Me: Many facets of life, Bill, don't compete with each other they are intertwined. There is a lot of crossover here in the applications used to take this journey we call life. You can chop them up into neat little boxes but that is a separation that is artificial and does not deal with the complexity of actually living life. Try looking at what you call –competing guidance systems – as interrelated, intertwined aspects of the same discipline all leading to the same end.

Bill: So what you are saying is that while we all think that we are doing something different we are really all doing the same thing?

Me: Now you are getting the idea, Bill.  Which is why a Jew, a Muslim and a Christian can all sit in Lodge together.  We are all worshiping God but we are not holding a worship service. And all that we talk about in Lodge is universal to them all.

Bill: I can see why some people misunderstand all this.  It takes a little bit of thinking about it to grasp Masonry's niche in the scheme of things. But I can see now that Masonry is a universal application of all that is good and righteous in life.  I would now have to say that makes it complimentary not competing.  I wonder why my Pastor and others think of it as a competing religion?

Me: Because in most instances we do it so well.  We end up being more influential in a man's life than his Pastor and some Pastors just can't take that.

Bill: So how come you have never asked me to become a Mason?

Me: Oh but I have.  Not in so many words, but as you have said I talk about my Lodge quite often.  That information is then there for you to act upon.  We do not invite you in, you ask to join.

Bill: So when I go through the ceremonies of initiation I will come out this new person?

Me: No.

Bill: Just when I thought I had a good handle on what is going on here I find myself lost again.  Again I am confused.

Me: The ceremonies are required so that your mind has a logical understanding of where your heart already is.

Bill: So are you saying that I am already there?

Me: Where is a man first made a Mason?

Bill: I don't know.

Me: In his heart.

Bill: I finally, finally got it!  All I have to do now is ask.

A Little Military Humor From Iraq

Objective sighted!

Time Capsule Contents Revealed At Masonic Ceremony

By Robert Allen
Summit Daily News,
Breckinridge CO

“Grand Masons of Colorado march up Lincoln Avenue, just
as the Masons did 100 years ago during a reenactment of the laying of the cornerstone of the Summit County Court- house Saturday morning. The rededication ceremony was part of the Breckenridge 150th birthday celebration this weekend.”
Hundreds of spectators gathered Saturday morning at the cornerstone of Summit County Courthouse for a historic Masonic ceremony and presentation of a 100-year-old time capsule's contents.

The little copper box — which had been cracked open in advance — has preserved coins, samples of bonds, maps, a book of poems and copies of local newspapers from 1909 in mint condition.

Locals and visitors of all ages watched from the courthouse lawn as a series of bag-pipers and Masons adorned with jewels and white aprons walked up Lincoln Avenue to the courthouse cornerstone.

Charles Johnson, Deputy Grand Master of the Grand Masonic Lodge of Colorado, led the same ceremony presented at the site in 1909 — as well as at cornerstone ceremonies for the Colorado State Capitol and the Capitol in Washington DC.“Grand Masons of Colorado march up Lincoln Avenue, just as the Masons did 100 years ago during a reenactment of the laying of the cornerstone of the Summit County Courthouse Saturday morning. The rededication ceremony was part of the Breckenridge 150th birthday celebration this weekend.”

Breckenridge Mayor John Warner spoke of the town in 2109, when the new time capsule will presumably be opened. “I think our forests are going to be beautiful in 100 years,” he said, alluding to the post-mountain pine-beetle generation of vegetation. He said he foresees a more “sustainable and diverse community” with more workforce housing and childcare. Transit will be further developed, and communities will be more “walkable.”

Warner showed the crowd some of the items planned for insertion in the next time capsule. The first items were pictures by a fourth-grader from Breckenridge Elementary drawn to depict the town today compared with how it will look in 100 years. The picture of the future includes 200-foot-tall buildings and space ships. Summit High School 2009 graduate and student body president Hayden Hedman contributed a DVD with interviews of fellow students who talk about growing up in Summit, as well as their thoughts on skiing, Iraq, global warming and the election of the country's first African-American president.

“They had optimism for their future,” Warner said. A vial of the notorious mountain pine beetles — as carried by State Sen. Dan Gibbs — is to be included in the capsule as well. Other contributions include a phone book, a collection of 50 commemorative state quarters, a ski area maps and tickets, a Summit Daily and a US Forest Service DVD. Warner waved a multi-colored ski hat before the crowd, indicating it would be placed in the box, too. “I wouldn't be caught dead in this thing, but it's kind of new wave,” he said..

Saturday's ceremony included laying of wet cement at the cornerstone and the pouring of wine and oil as part of Masonic tradition. The next time capsule's placement is to be decided by the county commissioners, and may occur next March — at the 100th anniversary of the building's dedication..

When county Commissioner Bob French showed the crowd the first time capsule's contents, he spoke of how things have changed in 100 years but that residents continue many of the same values.According to an excerpt from the 31 July 1909 (when the capsule was sealed) Summit County Journal:.

“Good order, splendid society and moral influences surround every dweller in the county. Modern homes and hotels, creditable business houses, smooth roads and all the other conveniences and luxuries enjoyed by older states are in evidence here, thus making life in the interior of the Rocky Mountains as inviting as anywhere else on Earth.”

Here are some of the "funnies" our grandparents enjoyed.

The Old Tiler Talks

What Is Masonry
From the Old Tiler's Talk - by Carl H. Claudy, The Temple Publishers

"I've been a Mason six months now and I ought to know something about Masonry. But there are more secrets in the fraternity I don't know than those I have been told!"

The New Brother was puzzled. The Old Tiler laid down his sword, picked up a half-smoked cigar and lit it, and settled back in his chair.

"Get it out of your system," he invited.

"Is Masonry a religion," continued the New Brother, "or a system of philosophy, or a childish getting together of men who like to play politics and wear titles? I have heard it called all three. Sometimes I think it's one and sometimes the other. What do you think?"

"It isn't a childish getting together for the love of titles and honors," answered the Old Tiler. "Men would soon invent a much better organization for the satisfaction of such purposes. In fact, he has invented better ones. Men who want to play politics and be called the Grand High Cockalorum of the Exalted Central Chamber of the Secret Sanctorum can join these. If Masonry were nothing but play, it wouldn't live, and living, grow.

"Masonry isn't a religion. A religion, as I see it, is a belief in deity and a means of expressing worship. Masonry recognizes Deity, and proceeds only after asking divine guidance. But it does not specify any particular deity. You can worship any God you please and be a Mason. That is not true of any religion. If you are a Buddhist, you worship Buddha. If a Christian, Christ is your Deity. If you are a Mohammedan you are a worshipper of Allah. In Masonry you will find Christian, Jew, Mohammedan and Buddhist side by side.

"Masonry has been called a system of philosophy, but that is a confining definition. I don't think Masonry has ever been truly defined."

"Or God," put in the New Brother.

"Exactly. A witty Frenchman, asked if he believed in God, replied, 'Before I answer, you must tell me your definition of God. And when you tell me, I will answer you, no, because a God defined is a God limited, and a limited God is no God.' Masonry is something like that; it is brotherhood, unlimited, and when you limit it by defining it you make it something it isn't."

"Deep stuff!" commented the New Brother.

"Masonry is 'deep stuff,'" answered the Old Tiler. "It's so deep no man has ever found the bottom. Perhaps that is its greatest charm; you can go as far as you like and still not see the limit. The fascination of astronomy is the limitlessness of the field. No telescope has seen the edge of the universe. The fascination of Masonry is that it has no limits. The human heart has no limit in depth and that which appeals most to the human heart cannot have a limit."

"But that makes it so hard to understand!" sighed the New Brother.

"Isn't it the better for being difficult of comprehension?" asked the Old Tiler. "A few days ago I heard an eminent divine and Mason make an inspiring talk. I hear a lot of talks; nine-tenths are empty words with a pale tallow-tip gleam of a faint idea somewhere in them. So when a real talker lets the full radiance of a whole idea shine on an audience, he is something to be remembered. This speaker quoted a wonderful poem, by William Herbert Carruth. I asked him to send it to me, and he did; please note, this busy man, president of a university, and with a thousand things to do, didn't forget the request of a brother he never saw before!"

The Old Tiler put his hand in his pocket and took out a much-thumbed piece of paper. "Listen you," he said, "'till I read you just one verse of it:

"'A picket frozen on duty;
A mother, starved for her brood;
Socrates drinking the hemlock,
and Jesus on the road;
And millions who, humble and nameless,
The straight hard pathway plod;
Some call it consecration
And others call it God.'"

The New Brother said nothing, held silent by the beauty of the lines.

"I am no poet," continued the Old Tiler, "and I know this isn't very fitting, but I wrote something to go with those verses, just to read to brothers like you." Shyly the Old Tiler continued:

"Many men, banded together Standing where Hiram stood;
Hand to back of the falling, Helping in brotherhood.
Wise man, doctor, lawyer, Poor man, man of the hod,
Many call it Masonry And others call it God."

"I don't think it makes much difference what we call it, do you?" asked the New Brother.

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