Over the next two to three months my Masonic activities will be affected by a couple of personal items I need to address. I need to help get a couple houses ready, one to sell and one to clean up to have some additional people move in. While I still plan on attending Masonic events, with the amount of work which we need to get done, it will definitely affect the number of activities I will be able to attend and the distance I am able to travel to attend those events. I will probably have many more closer to home (or the office) which should make the groups I belong to happy but they will probably be ready for me to venture back out of the local area more by the time I am ready to start venturing further out again.
Sunday, February 28, 2016
This week, from tomorrow through Saturday will be the York Rite Week in Dayton. Monday through Thursday, we will portray the Mark Master through Royal Arch. Commandery Orders on Friday and Saturday will be the Council Degrees. Monday through Thursday we will open at 7:30. This year I will be busy on Saturday as it will be Laura's 20th birthday but am happy to have heard they have most of the Council parts filled for the SEM degree including the one I helped them out with portraying for the past years.
Friday, February 26, 2016
Tonight our Valley in Dayton decided to try something new and since we have a member who is known throughout the country portraying the Mark Twain character, we decided to try it right here in Dayton. It was designed to be an 'experiment" for a new idea by some of the younger officers. The thought was if we have 50 in attendance it will be a success. Well, we didn't have 50 in attendance but still it was a success as instead of the 50 planned, we had 250! in attendance. It started out with dinner and then the program which lasted about an hour...with almost no introductions. I think tonight was proof that we need to try new things.
Wednesday, February 24, 2016
Tonight was the Lodge Inspection in the Fellowcraft Degree for our Grand Royal Arch Captain, Dan Smith, who is the Worshipful Master this year of the Lodge. They are in the rebuilding process as they have had several changes in the past couple of years with selling their building and several asst Master's assisting in the lines. They had a Senior DeMolay for their candidate which was nice as their DDGM RWB Ken Cohen and I were state officers in DeMolay together. The evening move along well and with the threat of bad weather rolling in, luckily finished up early. MWB Rollie Lattaner was able to be in attendance as his Grandson brought him over to the meeting. REC Jim Esswein DDGHP 11th District and REC Rod Carr, Grand Master 3rd Veil, were also present to support REC Dan Smith.
Tuesday, February 23, 2016
Tonight was the monthly meeting for the Greeters unit which i belong to at the Shrine. While I haven't had an opportunity to attend much lately, I decided that tonight I need to attend. We had a great turnout as probably 80% of our members from the group were in attendance. They have several fun things planned but unfortunately most I have other conflicts with and won't be able to attend. It is always good to attend these meetings as they are always upbeat and you get lots of information about upcoming activities. The other part that is good is that they are usually over at a relatively early timeframe so it gives me a chance to get home and catch up on other things I need to get done.
Monday, February 22, 2016
Tonight was the monthly meeting of Past Potentates and since it was held early enough (but still after work) it was easy to make the meeting. We had a nice dinner before the meeting and while the meeting ran a little longer, we did cover a lot of topics and the meeting was well run and we didn't linger on any topic so sometimes the work you have to do dictates the length of the meetings. As soon as this meeting was over, I took off to attend our Tall Cedars of Lebanon meeting in Farmersville. MEC George Shell is the presiding officer this year and since we voted to stay open at the end of last year (three other in Ohio have just voted to close), we were working on ideas to bring in new members and in the long term get a cast together for the work. Next month they are going to dinner with the ladies and in May are holding a Ceremonial for new candidates and already have a couple signed up to join. We had a decent turnout last night with just over 10 in attendance and since I heard at the end of last year we were having 1-2 attend regularly, this is definitely an improvement.
Saturday, February 20, 2016
Nothing like a four event day to get you motivated to do more! The morning started out with the 3rd District School of Instruction held in West Carrollton. While the crowd was down a little due to all the events going on today, it was a nice program by DEO Rick Bielicki and finished up our training for the year. Next, I headed down to the Dayton Temple where two events were taking place. First, I went up stairs to the DeMolay State Ritual Competition. They had over 30 participating in the competition and it appeared around 70 total in attendance. It was great to see so many DeMolay's taking an interest in ritual and in conjunction with it they were also having a couple other activities. Afterwards, I headed downstairs to the Scottish Rite Mid-Winter program. Several Valleys from around the state were in attendance and participating in the portrayal of several degrees. While I could only stay for one degree, I got a chance to say hello to several persons I haven't seen in a while. I then picked up Pam to head to Cleveland for the 16th District Grand High Priest Reception. (We, of course, had to make the mandatory stop at Grandpa's Cheese Barn of the way up to the event.) They always put on a nice event and tonight was no different. Most of the Grand Officers were in attendance. After dinner and a few speeches, we headed home since tomorrow we have a family event in Findlay.
Friday, February 19, 2016
Tonight the Shrine had a Fish Fry to help raise money to assist with the fuel costs for the various units and clubs going to Florida for the Imperial Session. What a success! They had over 300 in attendance, standing room only crowds and no parking for blocks around the building. They also put a sign out front to advertise and pulled in several from the general public. I'm sure this was one of the most success fund raisers,outside the circus, for a long time.
Thursday, February 18, 2016
First off I'm trying to figure out why as of this week I can't get pictures to correctly attach/send and hopefully I'll get that figured out by the end of this week. Second I couldn't be prouder of my Lodge than at our Inspection last night. One of our members made an elaborate visual 3D construction for our Fellow Craft Degree which they used last night (he works in construction design if that is any indication of the nature of the set he created). In addition, they had practiced the set up process which took around 20-25 people to set up so it wouldn't put too much of a delay in the ritual work process. It was also very obvious that they had practiced LOTS as the performance of the actual work per the DDGM was very good to excellent. The best part I think is that it seems like every person of the 35+ from our Lodge present each have a unique skill and everyone is aware of those skills and know that person will handle anything coming up in their area of expertise. We have younger guys and older guys, clean shaven and big bearded, bald heads to long hair, tattoo'd/pierced to guys who say no way to any of those things and they are are working side by side and having fun doing it. It was like our Worshipful Master (who has long hair and piercings) said last night; "this isn't work ... it's fun as everyone is working together to make sure everyone feels important".... and doesn't the WM have a big smile at the end of the Inspection!
Tuesday, February 16, 2016
Well I had planned to head to Cincinnati to a Chapter Inspection tonight but late in the afternoon I started feeling a little less than 100% so I decided to head to my own Chapter's stated meeting and see if they had all the parts filled for the degree work they were putting on (they had indicated they had all parts filled last week but thought I would check to see if there were any last minute fill-ins needed). Luckily there were not any missing ritual parts and I was able to provide them with the projector we purchased (thanks to Jeff Addis) and leave prior to the degree work starting. I then went home and went back to bed.... hoping to feel better tomorrow.
Saturday, February 13, 2016
Thursday, February 11, 2016
I was glad the weather cooperated tonight for attending this Inspection in the Past Master Degree in the 17th District (though it was very cold). This is the home Chapter of REC Ross Black II who is in the Grand Chapter line right in front of me. The had a good attendance and REC Black helped them out as the Guard for the evening. They did a nice good on the degree as they had 3 candidates. I really enjoy going to this District as they are very friendly and the DDGHP does an excellent job of keeping everyone in the District informed of what is going on along with the Grand Officers. I also found out that I made a good choice skipping any Inspections in the Cleveland/Akron area last night as the weather was miserable (and I had to skip on Tuesday as the weather in my area was equally bad).
Monday, February 8, 2016
Well every once in a while you have to take a night off to do some planning and tonight was one of those nights. I reviewed several pieces of mail I needed to address and readjusted my schedule based on some changes which occur over time due to weather or other conflicts with the original schedule put forth at the beginning of the year. In addition, I got the information ready to pass off to the Chapter District Membership Chairman for a Murder Mystery Dinner Night we are doing in a couple months to try to get some new lodge and chapter members throughout the District. It turned out to be very productive and since I was really tired from our weekend fund raiser also gave me the opportunity to catch up on some sleep.
Friday, February 5, 2016
This weekend the 3rd Capitular District will be out in force as we park cars for the Antioch Shrine Circus. We had one show tonight, two tomorrow and one on Sunday. I'm hoping all times the weather is like tonight for while it was a little chilly, it was better weather than it has been at times in the past. We are using the money to help fund the year we have the Grand High Priest from our District, help to fund social activities in the District and provide funds from our District to show our support for the Grand Chapter charity. In the past, we also have used some funds to "thank" the shrine for the opportunity to have this fund raiser by donating some of the earnings back to Antioch to help out at the Shrine building. I'm very thankful for the support provided by our District for this project as they continue to step forth to work outside in the challenging elements for several hours at a time, even at times when the weather has been unbearably cold and unbelievably messy from several inches of snow and slush. All toll I expect we will park close to around 5,000 cars this year over the weekend when you take into account those paying for parking along with the circus volunteers.
Wednesday, February 3, 2016
Tonight was one of the closest Inspections to my office in Dublin that I could every hope for as it was less than 5 miles away. They were inspected in the Past Master Degree and REC Rod Carr Grand Master of the 3rd Veil and MWB Steve Cokenougher PGM were also present. They had a good turnout and the High Priest did a very good job as he was involved with the entire degree doing ritual parts throughout the entire degree.