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Earlier this summer, I went to a picnic put on by a friend’s Freemans lodge, men only but open to non-Masons.  We had a great time, and being at Chestnut Ridge, I led a bunch of them on an unintentionally roundabout journey to the Eternal Flame.  Once there, a guy who could tell from my fashion that I was involved in martial arts challenged me to a duel with sticks on the riverbed.  I was just having fun and not keeping score, but let’s just say he got wet and I didn’t … repeatedly.

The one thing I didn’t realize until later was that this was the first time in MANY years I was just out with other “guys”.  As much as I never shy from the company of women, it felt good to just be one of the guys.  And they were a diverse and non-judgmental bunch.  I am starting to appreciate that aspect of the Masons, and hope my recent petition to join the West Seneca Lodge is taken well.

I had thought about the Freemasons casually over the years, and did a tiny bit of research here and there, but itwasn’t until I met my friend Mark Robson at the Bob Kell picnic I hold every year that I found someone I could really ask questions.  And I did, believe me.  I had various concerns and did a lot more research since then, and their values are completely in line with mine — self-improvement, tolerance, piety, individual soveriegnty and responsibility.  And the history and even conspiracy-related discussions have been fascinating, as peripheral as it apparently is to the whole thing.  Like Mark said, “I don’t think the Masons could take over the world when they have trouble organizing a bake sale.”  LOL

And besides, Mer has been puishing me to join for years so she can be in the Order of the Eastern Star.