Saturday, May 28, 2016

Our Dog Buzz

Sad news yesterday... Buzz was all excited about getting to go camping in the new trailer this weekend. He got so excited we had to make him sit down and rest to cool down and get himself under control which he did a short while after arriving at the campground. Suddenly around 1130 pm he collapsed on the floor and appeared to have either a seizure or stroke so we rushed him to the animal hospital but he unfortunately did not make it and passed away. It was 4 years ago this weekend that we first brought him home. He loved to camp and was always overly excited when he got to go. He was by far the best behaved beagle we ever had and will definitely be missed.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Happy Memorial Day

This weekend is Memorial Day and some will use it to relax, some to catch up on work at home, some to get away for the weekend but hopefully all will take the time to remember the sacrifices our Military makes every day to keep us free.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

KYCH Meeting

Tonight was the annual meeting for the Miami Valley KYCH Club at TJ Chumpps in Fairborn. While we did elect new officers, that was about all we could do as the restaurant had double booked the room and it was impossible to hold a meeting where they moved us to in the dining room.We did, however, get an opportunity to fellowship some though being at two different tables also didn't help. Oh well the good part is I was not elected to anything!

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Shrine Greeters Meeting

Tonight was our monthly Greeters meeting for the Shrine. It pointed out the necessity of making sure we do things to replace ourselves before it is too late. Our long time secretary, who probably is in his 80's, finally can't make the meetings and had to give up his job.  We are all used to him calling the roll and it seemed strange with him not there to do it. He has done a great job but now we have a big hole to fill and no one prepared  to do it. In this case it should be fairly easy for someone to pick up the job, but what if you Chapter secretary were gone today? Would you know where the minutes were located? If he has things online, would some else be able to access the information and is it all on his personal computer? Is he really doing the Treasurer's job too and would someone know the account number for your funds? Would you even know at what bank they were located?  I've belonged to more than one organization where the answer was nobody else knew the answers to these questions except the secretary. In one we had to wait until one account went on to the states unclaimed funds until we found the money. Hopefully your Chapter has more than one person who knows the answer to these questions as our secretaries are super important but still are not going to be able to do the job forever.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Acacia Forest #184 Tall Cedars Lebanon

Tonight we brought in 2 new members and have one more who could not make make it.  This is significant since we have not brought a new candidate in for a long time. Our Grand Tall this year is MEC George Shell. He put a lot of work into setting up the evening last night and the main significance is that with new candidates we will stay open. (We voted at the beginning of the year this was the last year of no candidates or we would be closing.) In addition, we have picked up at least one more officer to ensure another year ... especially after bringing in new members. MEC Steve Duncan was also there to help us out and we heard MEC Jerry Crawford had left the nursing facility to go camping so he must be doing better. Things are looking up. (I was the presiding officer here at Acacia 25 years ago.) After the work of the evening, we all went downstairs and had refreshments with the ladies.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

9th District GHP Reception

Tonight we headed up to Norwalk for the 9th District GHP reception. The day started out a little rainy and although I had planned on attending the Shrine parade in my hometown this morning, I didn't make it as something came up late last night with mom's auction which I needed to address this morning.  They had a good meal and nice program with a guy playing the bagpipe and his wife and around 5 year old son accompanying him. Grand Marshal Virgil Kline and Grand Chaplain William Stratton were also  in attendance. Our GHP Robert Blankenhorn Jr. then gave a short speech, they passed out awards and sent us on our way at a reasonable time frame.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Special Olympics -Zoombie Dogz

So tonight we went to a unique event to raise funds for the Special Olympics. Alpha Lodge had a food truck come to their building and they sold hot dogs...but not just any hot dogs, specialty hot dogs. And even then it was unique combinations. I had the Dead Dixie which was gourmet hot dog (they make) diced green apples, bacon, blue cheese crumbles and BBQ. Unique but good. Despite the rain, they had a steady crowd for more than 4 hrs and at least half were part of their regular crowd. Our 1 VP of the Chapter District, Alf Butler, was the coordinator for this event.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Ormus Grotto Stated Meeting

Tonight was the stated meeting for our Grotto and while we had a small turnout due to another Masonic event where several at the minute were asked to help out with some degree work, we were able to cover off all of the required business. We continued discussions and set dates for some fun activities we are planning and discussed what we could do to bring in more members and start traveling more. We also talked about making plans for attending the Supreme session next year as the Grand Monarch will be from Ohio and his session is being held in Toledo. 

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Trinity Chapter Stated

Tonight was the stated meeting for Trinity Chapter. We had no degree work but did discuss the recent 50 year presentation to Excellent Companion Don Stupp. Many had stories to tell of all that he had done for the Chapter and temple but most were somewhat humorous as Don always did things a little different than most or had little saying he made up that everyone remembers. The best part was every story, while bringing a little chuckle to everyone, point out his long time dedication to Masonry. The CEO actually used it to point out how sad it can be if the person refuses to accept they might be slipping a little and need to step down. He also pointed out we need remember when we have to make these tough decisions as many times these persons have devoted their life to the organization. As he put it, sure would be nice if we were all psychiatrists so we could do it in as caring a way as possible.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Chapter planning

One item which is often overlooked is how much time planning and follow up takes and tonight was one of those nights. Luckily I was able to cover several different items. We also met with the Auctioneer for mom's sale and figured out there is much more than we thought involved. I admit I vastly under-estimated the various wrap up thing you go through when someone dies. I really think it is going to take the better part of the year to get everything done. I also have a new appreciation for those trying to do it alone as I have two sisters her also helping and it is overwhelming at times.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Ohio Grotto Association Meeting

To some this might sound funny that the Ohio Grotto Association was holding their quarterly meeting in Covington Kentucky but since the President's Grotto is actually in Covington and we also have member Grottos from West Virginia and Pennsylvania who are also part of the Association, it doesn't sound so big of a deal. It was held at the Holiday Inn and actually we had another member of our Grotto in attendance, Kent Lyons. While for the past few years we have had some issues getting qualified folks to go through the State Line over the past couple of years, we have started to remedy this situation and have all offices now filled along with a potential new officer for the line. In addition, I heard we came within 30 new members of breaking even on membership nationally last year and with Mark McCombs from Ohio going in as the Grand presiding officer in New Orleans in July, it would be nice to see it happen this year.

Council Degree Day

For the past couple of years the 3rd & 4th Capitular Districts have been working with the 3rd Arch for a York Rite event. In general, the 4th District holds an all degree day and the following weekend the 3rd District has held their all degree day. Afterwards a,round 2 weeks later, the 3rd Arch puts on an all degree day for any of the candidates who came in at either class to join the Council. They had around 9 candidates today who received their Royal and Select Master Degrees and both Capitular District were present in support of the event. In the 3rd District their all degree day was set up to help the chapters that might have still outstanding candidates to finish up their degrees prior to the end of the Capitular year. Both years we have had several Chapters with candidates in this category. 

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Unity Chapter Stated Meeting

Unity Chapter #16 is one of the oldest chapters in our district but like many has been struggling. I decided that in order to help them stay open I would become a dual member. We also got a member who received his 50 year award just a couple months back to come back to take an office. He originally got to the Principal Sojourner position in the early 80's and had to drop out of line for the good of his business. It was determined that we need to look at the future of Unity Chapter in a completely different way as there are 2 other Royal Arch Chapters meeting in the Dayton Masonic Center as well. Tonight we voted to change the by-laws to only meet the required 4 times per year but now meeting during the day with a lunch before the meeting. There seemed to be an enthusiasm about the potential future of the Chapter and had around 10-12 in attendance where often during the past year 4 might be all the came for the meetings. While only time will tell, it appears we have at least 3 years of persons who have stepped forth to become High Priest and might have a full line of officers for elections next month. We are also hoping that several York Rite Masons in the temple who were very active but stopped coming because they couldn't drive at night might start coming back. 

Trinity Chapter 50 Year Award

Today I went with around a dozen of our Chapter members to present Don Stupp with a 50 year award. Most of us who went had some mixed emotions but we really all care about Don and wanted to be there for the event. To understand that comment I need to move back around 10 or so years back. Don was single and devoted his life to Masonry in Miamisburg attending every time the Temple was open since the day he first joined Lodge and helping out as he could as well as being a KYCH. To say Don was a little different would be an understatement as he was hard to get along with and always a little grumpy but again without his dedication, many of the groups would have had a much more difficult time. He was the news editor at the Lodge for 25+ years and Secretary of Council for around 15 years and Chapter for around 25+ years. He was also the Dad Advisor of the DeMolay for around 15 years. He also was State President for Hi-12. He was also one of only 4 people in my lifetime I could say were my best friend for any extended period of time. Unfortunately around 15 or so years back, he started to get Alzheimer's and although he was unable to do the jobs any longer refused to give them up. Finally it came time we had to remove him and/or vote him out of office along with changing the locks on the building as he refused to acknowledge being voted out of office. It was around that time where myself and several others became his enemies in his mind. I really hated to lose him as a friend but we had to do what we did for the good of the organizations. Luckily, today he didn't remember many of us but was still not happy at times that we were there to give him the pin. I'm hoping that just maybe I might be able to start visiting him (and he won't remember who I am) as I really would like to gain him back as a friend. I know all of us present and those who couldn't be there all wish him the best and realize his lifelong dedication to our Masonic bodies in Miamisburg. We also got a picture of him with 2 other PHP 50+ year members who attended the presentation.

Monday, May 9, 2016

PDDGM meeting

Tonight was our meeting of the PDDGM's and we covered a ton of items after our dinner. Deputy Grand Master Doug Kaylor was in attendance and we talked through his plans and at length talked about how the Grand Master's Class would work next year as it will be slightly different than past classes. We also discussed challenges lodges in our District were having and some things which are being tried to assist the lodges to improve. One of the items being used is something which has been tried in other states with some success but the jury is still out if it works here in Ohio and accomplishes the desired outcome. We also talked about whether the number of lodges in Ohio is too many or just right. At our peek membership in the Grand Lodge in the 1960's each lodge averaged around 450 members where we are now down to around 175 on average per lodge. The key to each Lodges success was pointed out to be as it always has been which is at least one or more persons who serve as the spark-plug or motivator to move the Lodge forward. This key individual can be found in very small and very large Lodges but without them the size of the membership is fairly irrelevant. It was also discussed that good ritual work can serve as a motivator for officers but poor ritual work can drive officer and new members away from participation. We do, however, need to have more than good ritual work and stated meetings to give our members a reason to stay active members. Also it was stressed that for all those active in the bodies outside of the Lodge, they need to be going back to their Lodges. Just attending and supporting the Lodge is a good way to get the Lodge membership aware of other opportunities they may have to continue their search for Masonic knowledge.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Happy Mother's Day

This weekend, I took Pam to Put-In-Bay since both of us lost our mothers over the past year and a half and I thought it would be nice not to be sitting at home this weekend as it was definitely going to be a difficult time for both of us. While I've been most places in Ohio, this is one in which I have not yet visited. After I talked with my sisters (and even my own daughter) it seems as if everyone has been to Put-In-Bay except for my wife and myself. It was a very nice weekend despite the fact it was the first day of the season for most businesses on the island and a few were not yet open for the year. we did get back Sunday in time for Laura to take her mom out to dinner.

Friday, May 6, 2016

3rd District Annual Meeting

Tonight was our annual meeting for the District and we not only covered the finances from the past year but also elected our new officers for the next year in our District. EC Richard Poore was elected the new President. Richard and I served in the lodge together on several occasions and when I went out as President he replaced me in that position and when I went out as DDGM he replaced me in that position. He did, however, make it clear to me that District President in our Chapter District is his last office. I'm sure we are going to have a great year. This past year the High Priest of Trinity Chapter, EC Dave Thomas, has really continued bringing the members out from Trinity Chapter at Inspections and will serve a one year term as District Chaplain. Rounding out the officers are Alf Bulter 1st VP, Brent McDorman 2nd VP and the following remain in their stations; Secretary REC Greg Clatterbuck, Treasurer MEC Jerry Crawford, RA School Chairman REC Don Wilcox and Membership Chairman EC Jim Potts.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Brenda Polston Viewing

Tonight I went to the viewing of our 3rd District DEO's (Mac Polston) wife and there were many people in attendance as both have been very active for many years in the various York Rite bodies. Mac is also our Commander for Valley Commandery this year. I know this was very hard on Mac as Brenda has had several issues over the past couple of years she has been fighting and it appeared she was finally over them prior to the stroke and her passing. Unfortunately on my way over to the viewing, I also got notice that Joyce Ailes, wife of Bruce Ailes, had passed away. Bruce and Joyce have also been very active in Eastern Star and served as Grand Officers. In addition, Bruce is a PDDGM and 33rd from the Valley of Dayton.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Scottish Rite 33rd Dinner

Twice a year the 33rd's in Dayton get together for a dinner to socialize and to get updates of the dates for Scottish Rite events. Tonight we also got an update on building improvements and our air conditioning project is done ... the best part is that it is all paid off. In addition, the new entrance for deliveries is almost complete.While this may sound small it is huge since now the deliveries will not have to be done through the main entrance which will help in the preservation of the floors in the building and also the parking lot in which the heavy trucks no longer need to drive over. It will also remove any congestion with deliveries being done while activities are going on in the building which has always been a problem. 

Monday, May 2, 2016

Valley Commandery Stated

Tonight was our stated Commandery Meeting and a Past Commander filled in for our Commander Mac Polston whose wife passed away last week. We had a good turnout around 18 for the meeting. We covered all the necessary items for the evening and were able to finish up early so several states around for a while fellowshipping. It was also nice to see every officer (less the Commander) present for the meeting along with those who are going to join the line next year.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Chapter Grand Family Meeting

Today we met in Delaware Ohio to discuss potential future persons for consideration in the Grand Chapter line. Luckily, since we had made a couple recommendations for the upcoming year and next year at the February meeting, this meeting was short. While everyone else headed over to eat at Buns afterwards (they have really good food if you need a place to eat at in Delaware Ohio), I headed back home to try to finish up some mowing at our house and Laura's. It ended up being a good thing I did as within a few minutes of me finishing what I wanted to get done it started pouring down rain and storming fairly bad.