Friday, February 28, 2014

A night out of character for me....

Let's start off by getting one thing straight, I don't often skip a Masonic event for anything. One year for Christmas I was given a sign which read MASONIC LODGE to put on the front door of the house so maybe I would be home a little more. Over the past 20 years, I've AVERAGED over 400 fraternal events a year. Needless to say I'm dedicated to the jobs I sign up to do. Last night we had a discussion meeting on the potential sale of our building at the Shrine in Dayton as someone has put in a bid to buy the building. I planned to go but last night was also the 3rd round of the High School Basketball play-offs of which Miamisburg was in it. As this is my hometown, the High School Basketball team my daughter cheers for, the High School I graduated from and believe it or not I try to actively support outside of the Masonic fraternity, I decided I would go to the game. And what a game it was. They played their hearts out and as the #54 ranked team playing the #9 ranked team in the state(who had only lost to the #2 ranked team) they were heavy underdogs. While in the school history I think this may be only the second time they even made the playoffs(and then did not win a playoff game), they played tonight as if none of that mattered. In fact for most of the first half they led the game. And while I rarely blame officials for losing a game, the officials went blind when it came to calling fouls under the basket and Trotwood was allowed to get away with foul after foul which even in the schoolyard without officials you would have called. And while Miamisburg in the second half didn't shoot as well as they could have, the two pure scorers on Trotwood got hot and helped them on to victory, so Miamisburg is done for the year. By the time the game was over and I would be able to get out of the arena, it was going to be too late to attend the building sale meeting. So the next time I'm told at a Masonic meeting don't you ever stay home, I'll say yeh I remember that one night I actually skipped a Masonic meeting for a life event.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Oak Harbor Chapter #162 Inspection

Tonight was Oak Harbor Chapter near Toledo in the 8th District's Inspection in the Past Master degree. The room was packed for the degree and this Chapter has many distinguished members who were present including Past Grand Master Charlie Murphy, Past Grand Illustrious Master Doug Habagger, Past Grand High Priest Wayne Dill and current Grand Principal Sojourner Keith Green just to name a few. In addition they had many Grand officers present including A Grand Aid, Grand Marshal Tom Johnson, Grand Scribe Robert Blankenhorn, and Grand High Priest Robert Thomas. They did a very nice job on the evening as indicated by the District Deputy Grand High Priest Dave Kevorkian. Unfortunately on the way home I heard the projected weather report for the weekend and it sounds like more ice and snow is in store...while I like winter, this year I'm looking forward to spring.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Greenville Chapter #77 Inspection

Tonight was Greenville Chapter's Inspection in my district in the Past Master Degree. REC Dan Smith Grand Master 2nd Veil and our Regional Rep along with Past Grand High Priest George Shell were also present. Both of the Earl Gifford award winners from Greenville Chapter were also in attendance. Kent Bridges who was 3rd Capitular District President in the 80's presided for the evening. They had an actual candidate which for Greenville was a positive for the evening. Afterwards they had their traditional pulled pork to feed everyone before they headed out.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Van Wert #73 Council Inspection

Tonight was the Council Inspection for Van Wert Council #73 (In addition to it being the regular stated meetings for Chapter and Commandery). Right Illustrious Companion Lynn Alexander Deputy Grand Master was also present this evening. Their new Arch Inspector Mike Terry did a nice job on the Inspection comments/report. I saw several other friends there this evening including Kevin Laing (father of DeMolay International Master Councilor Robert Laing), Past Prior Dennis Wilhelm, Past District Deputy Grand High Priest Bill Garrett who stood in for the candidate on the evening work in the Select Master degree, and current 2nd District Deputy Grand High Priest Jack Hollman. Eight Council Arch's down one to go.... when I finish this time it will mark the third time I have made all nine Council Arch's in a year.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Cabiri Meeting and Leadership Training Session

Tonight was our monthly Cabiri meeting at Antioch Shrine of which I am the President and they just started holding Leadership Training Sessions immediately after our meeting for all Clubs and Units of which the President or Director is required to attend. The topic of the evening was protocol and while the conversation at times was a little spirited, I think it made everyone more aware of the rules, regulations and what they should be doing. It was also nice that for such a dry subject they were able to add some humor into the mix.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Grand High Priest Reception 16th District

Yesterday morning I started out the day by heading to West Milton for the viewing of Bill Broomhall's wife who passed away this week. Bill has been very dedicated to the Grotto but even more so to his wife who unfortunately for about the past 20 years has been confined to a wheelchair. Over the past few years he made sure she had the needed care at the doctors multiple times every week. They truly had a great life together. Next I headed north to Cleveland for the GHP Reception/Ball. Almost every grand officer was present with the exception of one with a Masonic conflict and one who thought he would rather be in the 83 degree Arizona weather. Okay REC Jeff Addis you've been singled out and caught. He used a lame excuse like he was working announcing the Cleveland Indian's spring training baseball. I ask... Does Cleveland even have a professional sports team? And yes the Red's did move to the same stadium for their spring training ... Again so they could have at least one Major league team playing in it. And as any real Royal Arch Mason would say GO Red's after all don't we even wear red coats......

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Sad Post MEC Art Ross

Past Grand High Priest MEC Art Ross who was Grand High Priest in 1995-96 has passed away. His services will be in Georgia where he what been living. I remember MEC Ross well as he was the Grand High Priest while I was 1st vice President of our Capitular District. He was from the northern par of the state.... If I remember correctly I believe from Sandusky.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Minerva Lodge #98 Inspection

Tonight was my Lodge's Inspection in the Master Mason Degree. The Master this year was my inspection candidate when I was Worshipful Master 20+ years ago and it was also in the Master Mason Degree. We also made Right Worshipful Brother Doug Kaylor and honorary member of Minerva Lodge tonight. The members and officers performing the work made me proud that I am a member of Minerva Lodge (The picture didn't turn out great as we have poor lighting in the Lodge and some of the setting on my camera had changed with an update I had to do this afternoon). We had several dignitaries present but it was also nice that we had over 80 in attendance and the majority present were from Minerva Lodge including 17 Past Masters. The best part was the bad weather including high winds and Tornado Warnings held off until the Inspection was over and everyone should have been back home.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Mahoning Chapter #10 Inspection

Tonight was a great drive up and back to Warren Ohio for Mahoning Chapter Inspection in the 19th District in the Past Master Degree. (I just should have trusted my instincts instead of the GPS as I knew better than how it sent me to get to the temple.) The Grand High Priest MEC Robert Thomas was present in addition to two of his Grand Aides and Grand Marshal Tom Johnson. It was a great Inspection though I'm not sure about Hiram King of Tyre portrayed by our GHP (...just kidding of course). The woodworking in this building is worth the trip to see it. Afterwards we had some nice refreshments. Compared to most recent drives, it was nice to not have to worry about the weather.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

A Break From The Normal Reports

Well, today my report is slightly different as I'm going to brag a little on my daughter Laura. Tonight was the final boys home Basketball Game before the playoffs which they made for the first time in almost 20 years. She is the Captain of the Cheer Squad and she not only Cheers Basketball and Football but is on the competition squad which beat the team which came in second at Nationals multiple times at local meets (though they weren't allowed to go to Nationals as the School board wouldn't allow them...but that is another story). It was a great game and one of their players shattered the backboard (you can see it in the background of the one picture)though they won fairly handily. Laura was also named Athlete of the Month and it was also Senior Night where she was recognized at the game.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Painesville Council #104 Inspection

The night started out as a nice leisurely trip to Painesville, however, I had a short call for work. Since I use the hands free and headset, I thought no problem. Well almost 2 hours later and a couple of message I needed to send for work, I was almost to Mansfield. So much for the leisurely drive. The rest of the drive up went without incident or weather. I got to the Inspection and the Grand Illustrious Master Robert Rinehart was in attendance along with the DDC from the 7th District who I met Saturday as he was inspecting Hamilton Commandery. The inspection went well and the work was very good. 7 Arch's down and two to go. However, the drive home was a little less than desirable. It had started to snow and snow and (you get the picture). The normal 4 hour drive took over 5 hours and I had to stop once to get gas and a drink and rest my nerves for a couple of minutes before going back to the drive. For the first 3 hours we never went over 45 MPH on the highway and most of the time was spent under 40 MPH. But I made it home safely and actually other than a rouge semi which almost took myself and another semi out as he crossed 3 lanes, my biggest problem was on my street which was a sheet of ice.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Chapter School, Scottish Rite and Hamilton Commandery

After going out last night to attend a funeral service for a good friend in another organization and getting stuck in the snow and having to be pushed out 3 times, today was another busy day. I started out the morning in West Carrolton at our Chapter School. The weather and the Scottish Rite Mid-Winter program kept the attendance down but for the few in attendance we had a nice program. Afterwards I headed to Dayton for the Scottish Rite mid-winter. Unfortunately my travels from WC to Dayton were not without incident as the windshield wipers had to be fixed and my daughter forgot to tell me the car was out of windshield wiper fluid (and gas)but luckily I noticed and took care of the items before being stranded. Several valleys were participating in the work in Dayton today and I saw some folks who I haven't seen for a while. Later I took off for Hamilton to attend their Commandery Inspection as I had not been to Hamilton Commandery in the past. While this is not my Commandery Division, I have visited several Commanderies in this Division as it is right next to our Division and we have Chapters at several of the locations including Hamilton which are in our Capitular District. PGC Richard Holcombe was present and helped out with the Inspection as was REC Keith O'Dell Grand King, Division Commander Tim Ralston and Tom Gault Very Eminent Deputy Grand Commander.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Ritual Practice

While tonight was Palmyra's Chapter Inspection and my lodge's pre-inspection, I had to be at ritual practice at the Shrine for a part I need to do next month since I will miss the next rehearsal and need to leave early on the Star to make a Chapter Inspection at the Dayton Temple. I guess until they perfect cloning you can't be everywhere!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

West Gate Chapter #216 Inspection

Tonight was the Chapter Inspection in the Past Master degree for West Gate Chapter located in the 11th district in Columbus. Present for the evening were REC Keith O'Dell Grand King and RIC Grover Manning Grand Sentinel Grand Council. Our Grand High Priest Robert Thomas was also present along with MEC Jean Justice and MEC Don Losasso. MEC Losasso also helped out with the degree work for the evening which was done in a fine manner on 2 candidates.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Minerva Chapter #123 Inspection

Yes tonight I travelled 4 hours to Minerva Chapter in Carrolton Ohio in the 18th District. Since I belong to Minerva Lodge, in Miamisburg this was a little different going across the state to a Chapter of the same name (which also is not located in Minerva Ohio). They were inspected in the Most Excellent Master degree and MEC John Gartrell was present and PGIM Fred Boggs is a member here and helped out with the degree work. Interestingly, the candidate was from Union Chapter in the 15th District which I attended back in January when he received his Mark Master Degree and he was the candidate again tonight.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Weekly Travels February

While often my travels are dictated by my work schedule, I am going to try keep at a running monthly schedule of potential Chapter (and I've thrown in a couple Council visits of some distance) related visits/events. If anyone from my area is interested in traveling with me, contact me and we will see what we can do. And lately I've had so many changes to the schedule due to weather, I haven't even posted where I was going:

Week of 2/10
• Monday 10 18th District Inspection Minerva Chapter
• Wednesday 12 11th District Inspection West Gate Chapter

Week of 2/17
• Monday 17 7th Arch Inspection Painesville COUNCIL
• Tuesday 18 4th District Inspection Norwood Chapter
• Wednesday 19 19th District Inspection Mahoning Chapter

Week of 2/24
• Tuesday 25 2nd Arch Inspection Van Wert COUNCIL
• Thursday 28 8th District Inspection Oak Harbor

Circus & Day 3 Parking

Another cold and busy day parking cars at the circus but not complaining as we are done again for another year with fund raising. In addition, we are going to be able to do some extra items this year as we increased the funds since we did 5 shows this year versus 4 last year. We had lots of help and I really appreciate everyone braving the cold. Here are a few pictures for the circus and the parking efforts


Saturday, February 8, 2014

Circus Parking Day 2 and Grand Family Meeting/Willoughby Chapter #231 Inspection

Today was a split effort. I left REC Greg Clatterbuck in Dayton to head up the efforts with the Circus Parking Fund Raiser and I headed to Cleveland with Pam for the Grand Family Meeting and Willoughby Chapter Inspection. All the Grand Chapter Officers were present and most DDGHPs along with many PGHPs including MEC Gerogre Shell from the 3rd District and REC Joe Fair DDGHP from the 3rd District. We covered a number of topics and even talked some on next year and REC Keith O'Dell's ideas. Afterwards, Willoughby Chapter performed the Past Master degree for their Inspection with MEC Bob Thomas doing a couple of major parts. After a nice dinner we headed back to Dayton to prepare for the final day of working at the circus tomorrow.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Day One Circus Parking

Tonight was the first day of our fund raiser and with all things considered it went relatively smooth. Everyone who was to show up did and I don't think anyone froze to the ground. In fact many are ready to come back for more either tomorrow or Sunday. I'll have some pictures on Sunday to show some of the fun we had this weekend. But look at the bright side, after Sunday we are done with fund raisers for another year....

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Preparing For Fund Raising Effort

While last night again the weather slowed down any travel, tonight I had some last minute prep for our GHP Fund Raising efforts of collecting parking funds at the Shrine Circus. Tonight I headed to my lodge to attend the Craft Club meeting and begging for a couple folks to fill in for some last minute cancellations from workers called into work this Saturday. I also had to get the safety gear and money pouches this evening but I think we are now ready. In addition, this year I'm making some hot chocolate to try to keep the help warm.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Trinity Chapter 50 Year Pin Presentation

Tonight we presented Past High Priest Bill Bowman his 50 year pin. Despite the terrible weather conditions we did a very quick opening (as tonight was our stated meeting), dispensed with all unnecessary business and then did the presentation. Afterwards we quickly closed and went downstairs for some refreshments. We dud our best to get everyone back on the road as quick as possible so they could safely head back to their homes. While we were in the temple less than around an hour, we got around 1/2 inch of sleet/ice and a couple inches of snow....

Monday, February 3, 2014

Busy Night ..... 3 events

Well after trying to spend most of the day yesterday in cold recovery mode, tonight I ventured out for three events. The first was unfortunately the sad event for the evening as I went to the viewing for Brian Arnold's wife. She was 43 and had been battling cancer for a while and they just thought she was starting to get better, it was not meant to be. Brian is Past Master and Past Monarch at Beavercreek and has not been in the best of health over the past couple of years himself. Next I travelled down to the Past District Deputy Grand Masters Meeting. We had 16 in attendance including one of the current Deputies and Junior Grand Warden Doug Kaylor. We discussed several topics including the Grand Masters One Day Class including the Mark Master Degree. While the meeting lasted a little longer than normal, we covered many valuable pieces of information. Next I headed down to the Miamisburg Temple where Valley Commandery (mine) was meeting. Since I got there so late they were basically done but it did allow me to confirm with several of the workers at the Shrine Circus this weekend about shifts and assignments.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Muskingham Lodge #368 Inspection

I decided that I would make one last stop for the day on my way home from Mansfield and stop at the Lodge Inspection of Musingham Lodge #368 in the 18th Masonic District in Fultonham Ohio just below Zanesville. This is an extremely small town with a 2010 census report population of 176. The lodge itself, however, has 110 members. They had a large contingency of PDDGM's present and several visitors from outside their district as they are located right next to the district line. In total they had around 70 present for the Entered Apprentice Degree. This is my first visit into the 18th District but I was treated as if I was from the District and I had the opportunity to meet one PDDGM who served in 1969 and was 88 years old who seemed more like he was in his 60's. The biggest issue was trying to find a place to park sine they still had lots of snow around and given the size of the town had very limited parking. Luckily the one guy parking in front of the temple left just enough room for one more car. It was a little interesting to leave after the Inspection since people had to park 2 and 3 deep at the curb and even into the street to accommodate all the cars.

Ohio Grotto Association Meeting

I next took the trip north to Mansfield and Baku Grotto who hosted the state meeting of the Ohio Grotto Association. They had almost 60 in attendance and the majority of the Grotto's in the Association were represented. To accommodate the changes in society and reduce commitment requirements, they presented a motion to reduce the time in the State Line for an officer from 6 years to 4 years. The Grotto is a fun bunch of Masons and you often get the opportunity to meet and talk with Masons who you might otherwise not have an opportunity. One of my favorite things about the Grotto is they are definitely the least "political" of all the Masonic groups in which I belong so you can really feel comfortable just being yourself.

Springfield #48 and Shawnee #237 Chapter Inspections

After taking a couple days off to hopefully start feeling a little better, I went to Springfield in the Sixth Captitular District for a couple Inspections. They held their Inspections back to back in the Past Master and Most Excellent Master degrees. MEC Bill Berry was present along with Grand Master of the 2nd Veil Dan Smith and Grand King Keith O'Dell. REC Al Johnson Grand Recorder of Grand Commandery was also present. They did a nice job on the work of the morning and with a temporary thaw out the weather seemed to cooperate. While I unfortunately had to leave before they were finished as the work ran a little long, the drive to the next location was nice as the weather still seemed to cooperate.