Saturday, November 30, 2013

Scottish Rite Thanksmas Dinner

Every year on Thanksgiving weekend the officers, past officers, and major 14th degree contributors get together for an annual party. Since it is between Thanksgiving and Christmas it is called the Thanksmas dinner and has been going on for around 30 years. Tonight was one of the largest turnouts in years and was held at the Yankee Trace Golf Course in Centerville. The Thrice Potent Master this year is Dave Buchheit who I appointed when I was Thrice Potent Master. I also caught a picture of our resident joker PTPM John Rhodes Jr. as he was telling one of his many jokes.

Rufus Putnam Chapter #108 Inspection

This morning was the chapter inspection for Rufus Putnam Chapter located in Beverley Ohio in the 13th District. (Beverley is located around an hour below Zanesville) Our Grand High Priest Robert Thomas was there along with the Grand Principal Sojourner REC Jeff Addis. Since the District Deputy Grand High Priest, REC Ken Finkle is from Rufus Putnam Chapter, REC Rodney Carr who is Grand Master of the 1st Veil and from the 13th District did the inspection. They have a very nice facility, provided a nice breakfast and did a fine job on the ritual work despite being a smaller more remote chapter. Luckily the Inspection moved right along so I could listen to the Ohio State Buckeye beat the team up north on my way home.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Galion Chapter #142 Inspection

Tonight was an inspection for Galion Chapter in the 10th District in the Mark Masters degree. MEC Robert Crabbs was present and help to post the colors. Our Grand Scribe REC Robert Blankenhorn was also present and helped out with the degree work for the evening as one of the overseers. He also did a nice job on the introductions even though some of the cards were missing for introductions. After the inspection we found out that the guy who did the main part for the degree has been doing it since around 1967 . REC Blankenhorn and I also talked about our common interest after the meeting...beagles. The best part was we got done to leave fairly early for the evening and hopefully will get home early as tomorrow morning will be an early one for the inspection in Beverly for Rufus Putnam Chapter in the 13th District.

Thursday, November 28, 2013


I want to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving and hope for many their day starts after 9AM and they are not headed to the massive sales. I on the other hand get to drop our daughter off at 7AM for a 5 mile run (Miamisburg Turkey Trot) and head over to fight the crowds for an item we want.....guess I would rather fight the crowds than be running outside 5 miles on Thanksgiving day....

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Shrine Greeters Meeting

This evening was the Greeters meeting for the Shrine of which I am a member. Since the Trowel Chapter Inspection was postponed I decided to attend their meeting. We confirmed our by-laws changes, went over upcoming events and heard that the Imperial Officers are probably coming to our Greeters Christmas Party since they will be in town for a Membership Seminar. This is great news for us as the Imperial Potentate will probably be at our Christmas Party.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Spencerville #169 Chapter Inspection

Tonight I headed to Spencerville (which is outside of Lima) for their Chapter Inspection in the Most Excellent Master degree. This is the home Chapter of PGHP Bill Purdy and our current Grand Commander Dennis Hughes. With it being the week of Thanksgiving, a few of their "regulars" were out of town visiting relatives for the Holidays but the cast did a nice good with a little help from a couple of last minute fill-ins for a couple cast members who came up sick at the last minute. They had two candidates who have been traveling from Inspection to Inspection to get their degree work and will finish up at the Van Wert/Sidney Inspection in the Royal Arch on December 14th. I'm starting to see several Districts try this out and the good thing is the candidates seeem to be building a bond between them and are still returning to additional Inspections after they receive their Royal Arch Degree.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Thanksgiving Baskets & Our Anniversary & Schedule Change

I took Friday and Sunday off to prepare Thanksgiving Baskets for the needy, something which our family has been doing now for around 20 years through the Elks. One of our members is a minister at an intercity church in Dayton and definitely has plenty of folks who can use a little extra help. Sunday was also our Anniversary and we went to Carver's for a very nice dinner. The food is great there but to get the best you definitely pay a little more (but it is worth it for a special I guess bologna this week for the rest of my meals). ALSO please note the Chapter Inspection Tuesday in Jackson Ohio at Trowel Chapter in the 5th District has been postponed.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Busy Day Again

This Saturday was definitely another busy day. It started out with me heading up to Bryan Ohio in the 1st Capitular District for Northwest #45 Chapter Inspection in the Past Master Degree. At first we were afraid of severe disaster as one of the persons who did a lead part had called the day before and said his health would not allow him to be there. Well they remembered to replace him in all but the Right Worshipful Master's part. Luckily the High Priest of Wauseon was present and had just presided a couple weeks back and did the part to save the day. After lunch, Bryan Council #101 performed the Royal Master Degree. Since many had other events they needed to go to soon after the Inspection was to be over, it started a little early but moved right along so I had time to actually head back home after the Council Inspection to pick up my wife and head to Dayton for the Grand Commander Denny Hughes Statewide Reception. The weather was nice on the way up though I did almost have a major issue when a lady in a SUV almost rear-ended me on the highway. she was really moving and I saw her almost do the same to two more cars after she swerved to miss me. A few miles up the road she apparently did hit someone and totalled her vehicle and the other vehicle. I heard later on the news that a cop clocked her doing 92 MPH around the time she passed me. Guess I was REALLY lucky. On the way back the wind kicked up and in really good cold.... Oh and I did see 9 wild turkeys trying to cross the road. Guess they were not aware next week is Thanksgiving or maybe they did and were leaving town because they knew it.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

West Gate Council #129 Inspection

Tonight I headed to Columbus for a Council Inspection in the 5th Arch. West Gate had their Inspection in the Select Master Degree. MEC Don Lossaso is a member of this council and helped them out with some of the work for the evening as did the 5th Arch Inspector Grover Manning. The Arch Adjutant Mark Bruns did the Inspection. Also in attendance was the Grand Illustrious Master Robert Rinehart and the Deputy Grand Master Lynn Alexander. Past Grand Illustrious Master Rusty Eagle was also in attendance. It was also nice to see an old friend, Jerry Belt, who I served with as DDGM several years back. It also interesting that the Worshipful Master for Mt. Carmel Lodge and High Priest for Marysville Chapter were both present and I talk to for a while since I plan to attend both Inspections later this year.I also found out another guy I seem to run into every place I travel is Worshipful Master this year of Mechanicsburg Lodge so I'm going to try to add it to my list of Inspections to make as well.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Clark County 32 Club

Tonight I spoke at the Ohio Masonic Home on the symbolism behind the 14th degree in Scottish Rite. They had 4 persons present who were part of our last class just a couple weeks back. It must not have been too bad as one of the new candidates asked for a copy of the information (so I gave him the copy I used for the presentation). Overall they had a nice attendance and very good meal.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Cabiri Meeting and Franklin Chapter #24 Inspection

Tonight was our monthly Cabiri Meeting and we held elections and guess in January I'll have my turn presiding. The meeting ran a little long but since Franklin Chapter is in my district in Troy the trip from Dayton was short. They were being Inspected in the Royal Arch which I was happy to see as just a few years ago this Chapter was having issues with anything but Mark Master so I it was nice to see the turnaround. It happened because a few members decided to take ownership and make it happen. PGHP MEC Jerry Crawford was also present. The crowd was a little small with right around 40 in attendance but there were also some conflict for those who normally attend mainly a few stated meetings.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Grand Illustrious Master Reception

Yesterday was the Grand Illustrious Master Robert Rinehart statewide reception in Independence near Cleveland. The event was well attend and the night moved right along as we finished early and everyone headed to the Hospitality rooms. I really liked the fact that the give aways for the evening all contained bees on them. 

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Child Advocacy Center Fund Raiser

Usually I don't write about non Masonic events here but today I'm making an exception since a large group of Masons were present to help support a very worthy cause. Last night we attended a fund raiser for the child advocacy center of Warren County.  It was really a fun time and we had the opportunity to help the Center in Warren County raise several thousand dollars to help out with the protection of several young persons unable to speak up. For themselves.They had a dance off as the entertainment and it was fun to see many of the local leaders making fun of themselves all for the cause of helping out children. 

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Lima Chapter #49 Inspection

Tonight was a busy night around the state for the York Rite in general. we have several major events including some inspections and of course the viewing for Past Grand Commander Bruce Basil. I had already planned to attend the Inspection at Lima in the 2nd District so that is where I went tonight. (I was going to try to make it up to Findlay for the viewing before the Inspection but couldn't leave work in time.) They dud the Mark Master degree this evening and since the person supposed to do the Lecture was the Grand Commander Dennis Hughes and he was at the viewing and Masonic Services (as he needed to be) the District Deputy Grand High Priest REC Jack Hollman filled in and did a nice job on the Lecture. I also learned that they have set up their inspections in the 2nd District so the candidate this evening will be a Royal Arch Mason by the end of the month since he is going to the next 3 Inspections (where he will be joined by several other Mark Masters who will also be following to complete their journey) which are in the Past Mast, Most Excellent Master and Royal Arch Degree. This process seems to be working well in some of the smaller Districts which all are working together to do each of the degrees and an interesting positive camaraderie is developing among these candidates in the Districts trying this approach.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Pomeroy Inspection

Tonight was Pomeroy's Chapter Inspection in the Royal Arch Degree. Middleport (where they meet) is in the 13th Capitular District and right on the border of West Virginia. This was the first opportunity I have had to visit this Chapter though I have planned a visit here for several years. Past Grand Illustrious Master Roger Gaul along with Dan Arnold current Prior of the KYCH and David Fox Past Prior were all present last night and area members of this Chapter. In addition, REC Rodney Carr Grand Master of the 1st Veil was present and REC Randy Williams District Deputy Prior of KYCH was present and did a very nice journey presentation for them in the degree. It was also nice to hear that the majority of officers were NOT Past High Priests. In all, the drive was nice both there and back though the 30 cent jump in gas prices from yesterday was not so nice.

Monday, November 11, 2013

PDDGM Meeting

Tonight was our quarterly meeting for the PDDGM's and we discussed several items including Grand Lodge, DeMolay, Grand Master;s Class 2014, and several other Lodge related items. We have started something similar in Chapter to help keep the PDDGHP's informed of what is happening. I'm not sure why in most of our organizations it seems as though almost all mail and information about the organizations ceases the day you go out of office. We really need to come up with a better was of using that knowledge of our past officers rather than just discarding it.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Scottish Rite Reunion

Yesterday we finished up the Scottish Rite Reunion where they brought in around 50 candidates. It was a busy day as they started the 14th degree around 8AM and didn't finish until late in the day. They also caught up on several outstanding membership award presentations. In all it was a good day for Dayton Scottish Rite. After lunch I had to prepare to head to Columbus for a non Masonic event; the football playoff game for Miamisburg for only the second time in the history of the school. As my daughter, Laura, is one of the head cheerleaders, she was very excited like the rest of the team. While the excitement only lasted into about half of the 1st quarter and the final score of 48-7 may not have been that great, it still ended up as one of the best years in the school's history for football.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Scottish Rite and Adoniram Council

Tonight was the Valley of Dayton Scottish Rite Reunion and am the Director for the 5th Degree so I was very happy when the degree was over and I think the cast did a nice job on the presentation. Afterwards, our Illustrious Master of council asked if I could come by to help them open as he figured several would be at Scottish Rite and they might not have enough to open. So after I dinner I went down to help them open but was pleasantly surprise when around 15 showed up for the meeting.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Continuing Service Award

Some nights you just have to forget any plans you might have for something which comes up unexpectedly. Tonight was one of those nights. While I had made arrangements some time ago to take half a day vacation at work and go to a Chapter inspection just a couple miles from PA and almost to the tip of Ohio, I cancelled them to attend the continuing service award presentation for Clarke Wylie this evening from the White Shrine of Jerusalem. Clarke is a KYCH and a supporter of ALL masonic organizations (along with many non-masonic as well). Clarke also will do anything he can to support you as the presiding officer and has presided himself over numerous groups. I'm proud to think Clarke sees me as a good friend because he definitely is a good friend to anyone who will let him be their friend.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Wauseon Chapter #111 Inspection

Tonight was Wauseon Chapter's Inspection in the Past Master Degree. The chapter did a nice job on the Inspection and I was actually able to get back on the road headed home early. It was also nice to see both DDGM's from the 5th Masonic District present for the Inspection. I was also glad this year no mishaps in the parking lot like last year when someone accidentally hit my car. Before I left town tonight I decided to fill up as gas was $2.89 per gallon!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Piqua Chapter

Last night DDGHP Joe Fair and myself headed up to Piqua to discuss their future. Since they were not represented at Grand Chapter we guessed they were also not holding meeting which was true (and has been for some time). Apparently the Lodge is going to contact another local temple to see about renting space and if that comes about they would sell the current building and the Chapter (and Council) would probably merge in with an existing one. While it might not be the plan I want to hear, sometimes you have to face the facts and do what is best for the Chapter.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Exciting Day For DeMolay in Eaton Ohio

Today I trained 6 DeMolay Advisors for a Chapter we are trying to start in Eaton Ohio which Bolivar Lodge agreed to sponsor. One of the Advisors trained was Mark Howard who is a Past State Master Councilor and has helped start other Chapters and has 3 boys to transfer to this Chapter. In addition, Troy Davis who is a District education Officer for the 2nd Masonic District will be the Chairman of the Advisory Council. Ray Jones also agreed to come back as an Advisor and was on the Council when the Chapter in Eaton closed 30 years ago. Hopefully this is the start for big things to happen with a new DeMolay Chapter in Eaton Ohio.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

KYCH and Grotto Special Ceremonial

Today was a long day which started early with a drive to Van Wert for the KYCH Meeting and induction of new members to the KYCH. Dan Arnold is the new Prior for Ohio Priory #18 KYCH. One of the candidates for the day was REC Jeff Addis who is also serving in the Grand Chapter line along with two Grand Council officers who were also candidates. Our immediate PGHP MEC Don Owens and current GHP MEC Robert Thomas are officers for the KYCH and both advanced in the line. Since I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to attend I had not made lunch reservations and ate across the street at Balyeat's which I have wanted to eat at for years but never had an opportunity. The food was all homemade (I had beef and noodles and pie) and judging by the taste they use real ingredients including lard in the pie crusts which were fantastic. After the induction of new members into the KCYH, I headed over to Toledo for something a little different. Tonight the Grotto in Toledo got special permission to portray the ceremonial degree work as it would have been done around 100 years ago. It was quite different than the work being done today in the current ritual. Being that it was unique, members from all over the state and even some from out of the state came in for the unique presentation. They had five candidates and over 50 members in attendance. it goes to show that a little thinking outside the box, planning and communications can greatly increase membership and interest.

Friday, November 1, 2013

DDGHP & DEO Installation 3rd Capitular District

Friday evening in Farmersville was the Installation for REC Fred Gallo and EC Mac Polston as District Deputy Grand High Priest and District Education Officer respectively. Since both were from Twin Valley Chapter it was a little bit of a unique Installation. Unfortunately, Fred had fallen a week earlier and was hurt fairly bad and was confined to a wheelchair for the Installation. MEC George Shell (also from Twin Valley Chapter) did the Installation for both on the evening. MEC Jerry Crawford and MEC Steve Duncan along with the sitting DDGHP's, DEO's and myself also participated in the ceremony. Afterwards everyone went downstairs to enjoy refreshments.