Sunday, June 29, 2014

Working Dayton Dragons

Over the years one of the things I have pushed to all Masonic groups is they need to change the thought patterns that dues are the only source of income and method of fund raising. It is not just the increase in the cost of doing business that continues to climb but the new features that a building needs to have to stay relevant and useful. How many more now have elevators, WiFi, or Cable; something most didn't even consider (or it didn't exist) but is almost considered a necessity now in most facilities. In addition, with smaller memberships the amount of the overall bills each member is "responsible" for to help keep the buildings open increases. The same is true with the individual organizations to which the costs have to be passed along. Without a change in thought patterns we will cost ourselves out of business. With that in mind, I've tried to "put my money where my mouth is at" and help out a couple of groups as they work the Dayton Dragons games to make money. Last night was a long game with rain delays which caused us to have around an extra half hour to work, today more of the same extra hours to work. I will admit ... I'm kind of glad my next work day isn't for a few weeks.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Charlemagne Red Cross Constantine

Tonight was our quarterly meeting and we meet at the Aladdin Shrine where we have meet many times over the years. Since they have recently sold the building, we decided to have one more meeting here as they are no longer accepting reservations for after August of next year. Our immediate Past Most Illustrious Grand Sovereign Burch E. Zehner was present along with Intendent General for Ohio Harvey Lowry. Jack Allen, our current Sovereign, also passed out rituals to all the officers and set up a ritual practice for the statewide meeting to be held in October at the Ohio Masonic Home where we will portray the degrees upon new members.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Minerva Lodge Stated

Tonight was our final Lodge meeting before the summer break. Several years back we decided that this would be a meeting where we had a little fun and be a little more comfortable since it is always really warm upstairs for the meeting. It was our annual Farmers Night. They had beans and cornbread before and pie and ice cream afterwards. We always seem to have a go turnout for the meeting and tonight was no exception. During the meeting we discussed the second phase of the improvement project at the Temple and will be working on the Kitchen this year over the summer. The project last year in the dining room not only made the room look brand new, it also seemed to bring some additional pride and closeness to many in the Lodge.The best part about this meeting though each year has to be that it provides lots of time to fellowship (both before and after the meeting).

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Shrine Greeters Meeting

After several conflicts over the past few months, I was finally able to make it back to one of the Greeters meetings which is my unit. Our new President is Jim Brewer and tonight we talked about the Hospital Fund Drive which the Greeters member Don Hoke is the Chairman. We also discussed the upgrades which have been made on our parade trailer and the upcoming events. We also discussed about two potential members who we are going to actively pursue to join our unit. Our unit is not only one of the larger active units we are consistently the top ad sales for the Circus and top fund raisers for the Hospital Fund Drive.One of the reasons I really like the Greeters is whenever one leader in the unit is unable to perform due to health another will step forward and pick up the void being left.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Two Meetings at Antioch

Tonight I attended two meetings at Antioch. The first was a combined Cabiri and Divan meeting. It was a nice exchange of ideas and thoughts while giving many of the Past Potentates a look into the way Antioch is now run. While much larger memberships and Circus profits in the past (around 5-10 years ago) have made it easier to maintain an ever increasing expense base, today we have to be lean and mean to make ends meet. We are going to try to do these quarterly to help share ideas and utilize the talents of the Past Potentates. After our meeting we held a special meeting which was critical to the future of Antioch Temple. An unsolicited offer to buy our building has been received and we discussed he pros and cons of either accepting or rejecting the offer. When finished, the membership overwhelmingly voted to reject the current offer. But as our Potentate said it doesn't stop here because  we need to start a save our temple campaign if we are going to increase our revenue stream while membership has luckily flattened out on the loss/gain side (we've now had two years of positive growth. ... My year followed by John Bull's year.... And maybe this year can be a three-peat). As a side note...we were really glad the roof doesn't leak since it poured buckets while we were in our meeting and we even lost electricity at least once.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Commandery CTA Meeting Ohio Masonic Home

Today was the Annual Meeting for our CTA and a picnic which followed. Our Deputy Grand Commander, Tom Gault was present and talked about his program for the next year if elected in October. We also elected new officers and passed out information about the upcoming year. We also had several other dignitaries present with two notable exceptions: Burch Zehner and Dennis Hughes. Burch was taking some time off to enjoy some well deserved rest after just finishing his year as Grand Sovereign for the Red Cross of Constantine. Unfortunately Dennis and his wife need some prayers as they were with their family as his mother-in-law is not doing well at all. After the meeting finished all retired to the shelter house for a covered dish dinner with Valley Commandery serving ts the sponsoring Commandery.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

3rd Chapter District Joint Installation

Every year the 3rd Chapter District holds a Joint Installation of all the chapters in the District to install as many of the local Chapter Officers as possible by the Grand Officers for their respective stations. There were well in excess of 150 in attendance and the room was completely packed. All of the grand Chapter Officers but one were able to attend and enjoyed dinner prior to the installation. After the Installation of Officers, we held our presentation of awards and I installed the new District officers. Our award winners were Harless Maynard Sojourner Award, Jim Potts High Priest of the Year, Franklin Chapter Most Improved, Twin Valley Best Chapter and Trinity Chapter won the Travelling Alter Cloth. The new District Officers Installed were Rick Bielicki President, Mike O'Dell 1st Vice President, Dave Trainer 2nd Vice President, Secretary Greg Clatterbuck and Treasurer Jerry Crawford. Jim Potts was also installed as the District Membership Chairman. After finishing several travelled up the road to Young's Dairy for Ice Cream.

Friday, June 20, 2014

DeMolay International

Well Wednesday Laura and I took off early for the long drive to Kansas City for the DeMolay International Session of which Ohio's own Robert W. Laing presided as the 47th International Master Councilor. It was a great stress reliever for her to get away after Graduation from High school and I really liked the time we got to spend together. We took our time on the journey out stopping at several locations along the way but doing the whole drive from Dayton to Kansas City on Wednesday. We stopped in St. Louis at an old soda shoppe, Crown Candy Kitchen, for a great strawberry malt made with a machine from the original store established in 1913. Laura drove for part of the way so it wasn't such a drain on me. The first night after checking in we had dinner at Arthur Bryant's Bar-B-Que which has been featured on many TV Food programs. After dinner we were tired and went to bed early (well I guess you could say it was early since they had a one hour time difference from home). I attended the sessions on Thursday and Friday and we voted on a few items of legislation but more importantly the honors, awards and new members of Supreme Council. Dad Jeff Rannabarger was elevated to Active Member and Dad Justin Lowe was added as a Deputy Member of the Supreme Council. Ohio also got their share of new LOH's. We then started the long haul back home late in the day but not before stopping by Winstead's Steakburgers to pick up some burgers and more great malts (something like Steak and Shake only better). Since we started late we only went about half the way back and stayed over night and did the final leg of the journey on Saturday morning so I could get back in time for the Chapter District Joint Installation.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Valley Commandery Stated

Tonight was our covered dish dinner and Installation for Valley Commandery, my Commandery, by Past Grand Commander Burch Zehner and assist by Richard Ganion Eminent Grand Sword Bearer. Our new Commander is Claude Siebel, who also served last year as Commander and is a District Education Officer in Chapter. In our line we also have Joe Fair who is a District Deputy Grand High Priest as Generalissimo, Mac Poston Captain General who is also a District Education Officer in Chapter and Jim Potts Junior Warden who is currently our Chapter District Chaplain. Our Recorder is Past District Deputy Grand High Priest John Watkins, Past Grand High Priest George Shell is Treasurer and Past Grand High Priest Steve Duncan is Senior Warden again. Past Prior Lynn Chadbourne is our Prelate. We have a very active Commandery as MIC Bobby Campbell Grand Recorder of Grand Council and Past Grand Illustrious Master, RIC Mike Smith Arch Inspector, REC Wendell Kemper Past District Deputy Grand High Priest and Past Grand Guard, REC Don Wilcox Past Grand Marshal and Past District Deputy Grand High Priest, MEC Jerry Crawford Past Grand High Priest, REC Robert Oldfather Past District Deputy Grand High Priest and Past Deputy Division Commander,along with REC Greg Clatterbuck and REC Fred Gallo our other two current District Deputy Grand High Priests are all members. Needless to say we have a lot of very hard working members at Valley Commandery.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Dayton Dragons Scottish Rite Outing

Well this morning started out very early as I was at the Holiday Inn in Fairborn at 4:15 AM to transport people to the airport from the Red Cross of Constantine International meeting. I guess the good part was that I was able to get them to the airport and return home to go back to bed for a few hours before 6 AM. When I woke back up the day didn't start out well as I was really feeling bad for about two hours (sinus issues I think). Luckily I was able to feel better after a couple hours of sitting around and got ready and headed down to the Dayton Dragons Baseball game outing being sponsored by the Scottish Rite. I definitely couldn't say it wasn't warm enough or sunny enough because the temperature was around 94 degrees with full sun. We lasted through the whole nine innings but the sun finally got to us and we had to leave with the score tied up 2-2 (they did go on to win 3-2 in 11 innings). It ended up being a nice Father's Day and hopefully every father got to spend it with their family as I was able to do.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

1st/8th District Grand High Priest Reception

Today was the 1st/8th District Grand High Priest Reception at the Browning Center in Waterville. REC Keith O'Dell Grand King and REC Keith Green Grand Principal Sojourner were both present in addition to Past Grand High Priest Wayne Dill. As this was a reception in honor of the Grand High Priest, MEC Bob Thomas and Donna were also present. We had a nice meal followed up by an awards presentation ceremony and some brief comments from the Grand High Priest. MEC Wayne Dill present his Dill Awards but after he was done the tables were turned and he was presented with his own super hero Dill Awards including a shirt, cape and his own mini me. I'm not sure though if we can stand two Wayne Dills....

Friday, June 13, 2014

2nd District Grand High Priest Reception

Well before I start in about the GHP Reception, I'll give a little update on the saga of the week. Mom went in the hospital Sunday released Tuesday and then after another episode Wednesday morning which caused another visit to the ER, they decided to put a heart monitor on her as they felt for sure it is a heart problem of some type and sent her home. They also recommended someone to be with her for around a week to make sure no more episodes occurred. So Thursday my sister took her back to the doctor so he could get the readout on the monitor and I would stay with her on Friday (so much for attending the Red Cross Constantine session on Friday). On Thursday evening a guy was to come to the house to give us an estimate before 8 PM for some work we need done and then I planned to head to Lodge. Well I waited and waited and he never showed up but by the time I figure out he wasn't coming it was too late to go to Lodge. Next came a potential for a major issue with a project I've been leading at work that had earlier int he day just been approved for production this weekend. I thought how could things get worse. I should not have thought that because on Friday the dishwasher and washer at my mother-in-laws house had a water leak problem which soaked every towel in the house trying to clean it up. So we shut off the water to both, took all the towels and put them in the dryer to dry them out to use again and what do you know the dryer would not work (I guess I know what I will be doing in the morning rather than attending the Red Cross Constantine session on Saturday). Maybe there is something to this Friday the 13th stuff. All that being said....we went to the Grand High Priest Reception for the 2nd Capitular District in St. Mary's Ohio tonight. Past Grand High Priests Robert Crabbs and Bill Purdy along with widow Susan Oliver of Honorary Past Grand High Priest Steve Oliver. We also had present Grand King Keith O'Dell. Grand Scribe Bob Blackenhorn and of course our Grand High Priest Bob Thomas. Oh and the problem at work turned out to be nothing big and for right now we are ready to go this weekend...I hope.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Helping Out With Transportation

Tonight I was helping out with transportation for the United Grand Imperial Council, Red Cross of Constantine being held in Dayton Ohio over the next few days. I had six persons to get from the airport over to the hotel in Fairborn. Luckily the group I was taking all were on the same flight, and as I learned from them, all were grouped together even though their reservations were all made independent of each other. One of the couples I picked up was from Puerto Rico. The flight was fairly close to being on time and we had fairly good traffic all the way from the airport to the hotel. Burch Zehner, is the head of the group this year and I'm glad I could help out Burch as he always has been a good supporter of the York Rite in Dayton.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Trinity Chapter Installation

Tonight my Chapter had an open installation and a nice dinner which preceded the installation. Over the past couple of years our Chapter has started getting more involved in the District and through the travel the Chapter is getting much more active. This year we had a new progressing High Priest, King and Scribe. We also have a Principal Sojourner, and Royal Arch Captain who I think will progress through the line. Our new High Priest is a good friend of mine EC Richard Poore. We served in Lodge as President (myself) and Vice President (Richard) of the District and District Deputy Grand Master (myself) and District Education Officer (Richard... he is also a PDDGM). Richard was also my Chaplain when I was Potentate of the Shrine. He started the year off right with great food for dinner, all the officers spots filled, music by our own Stan Brookins who played the organ at the open Installation, held an officers meeting, and passed out an information booklet on the year and then finished up with more food.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Well another sidetrack today

I was planning to attend a Shrine activity tonight but got a little sidetracked due to my mom's hospital visit. As I reported yesterday, we took her to the Hospital and they thought yesterday she had some heart issues and wanted to run some tests today. While they still have found nothing severe they are keeping here another night to run some new tests tomorrow as they still can't get her heart regulated and want to make sure they aren't missing any major issues. Mom is starting to get frustrated as she can't see why they are keeping her as she feels as if she is fine. Unless they find something big I'm fairly sure they will let her go home tomorrow though she might have to wear a monitor for a few days after leaving the hospital.... and mom's comment...why are they making such a big deal of nothing.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Ohio Masonic Home Day

Today was the Ohio Masonic Home Day and parade. I arrive early in the morning for the groundbreaking dedication and we marched from the Linder Center to the site of the new building. While the skies did not look great, they seemed to be holding off after some hard showers for a few minutes. When the ceremony was almost done it again opened up and started to pour. Luckily we were under a tent and still it seemed okay. When the was finally done it cleared up and we went up for pictures. After pictures it again opened up and really stated to pour and it poured and it poured. Finally they decided to call of the parade after most were in attendance for the parade. They probably made a good decision though as considering it was still raining at parade one would have probably been on the parade route anyways. Later I attended my nephews graduation and unfortunately we had to take my mother to the emergency room with some heart issues. I think she is okay but interestingly I saw Alan Blevins (who I served with as Presiding Officer in Scottish Rite) there who now lives in Florida but was back in town for some graduation parties.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

17th District Grand High Priest Reception

Today we headed north to just below Cleveland at Medina for the 17th District Grand High Priest Reception. We had to stop at a few places along the way Shulers in Springfield for some great bakery items, Grandpa's Cheese Barn for several goodies and then to the outlet mall for Pam to pick up a couple of new items for summer. Once we got there after a nice drive up, as per normal PGHP Jim Himmelright helped out in the kitchen with the meal with Julia and the Rainbow Girls of Medina and a few other helpers. There were plenty of distinguished guests present. Richard Amlung from Grand Council and Dave Snyder PGC from Commandery. We also had present from the Grand Chapter Line Ross Black Grand Royal Arch Captain, Grand Scribe Robert Blankenhorn, Grand Secretary Dale Ray and of course our Grand High Priest Robert Thomas and Donna. We were served a meal which should have left no one hungry and then several awards were presented to those who earned them during the year. The evening ended early after some words from our Grand High Priest. On a side note I was able to capture one picture which I will share to prove Bob is an idea man (Donna wanted to make sure no one confused it for a halo)

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Ormus Grottto Stated Meeting

Tonight was the stated meeting for our Grotto. We discuss several dates and made plans to reinstitute some of the old programs/activities we were doing in the past. We also talked about getting new shirts for when we travel and tonight several persons were awarded their Enchanted Lanterns for donating at least $50 to the Humanitarian Fund. In total, $650 was donated this past month by our Grotto members.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Valley Commandery Stated Meeting

While it was only a stated meeting, tonight we had lots of things going on at and after the meeting. Past Grand Commander Burch Zehner was present along with Deputy Grand Commandery Tom Gault and Grand Standard Bearer Marty Trent. We had the presentation of two fifty year awards and both were present. The Mayor of Miamisburg Dick Church (who is also a Past Potentate of Antioch Shrine) and Bill Bowman who is a Past High Priest of Trinity Chapter. Both have been active in Masonry since joining and still continue to be active. Don Wilcox was also presented with a 25 year award as it seems they missed presenting this to him several years back. Afterwards we celebrated John Watkins 75th birthday who himself joined lodge 48 years ago and has been an officer in at least one body at the temple since joining including an officer in Commandery for over 40 years.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

New Graduate

This weekend was insanely busy. From setting up for a Graduation Party, attending Graduation, the actual Graduation Party and the cleaning was one very busy weekend. Laura is now officially a graduate of Miamisburg High School. I said I would not get emotional so I made sure I was not close to anyone else when she actually graduated so no one could tell ... did Dad actually get emotional at the sight of his baby graduating....