Friday, September 6, 2013

Busy Night Among Friends And Brothers

Thursday night was a long one but a good one. After running behind during the day, I was in a mad rush by 4:00 PM to get going and even then I wasn’t able to start getting ready until 30 minutes later. It was one of those situations when you get one task accomplished only to find that two other items popped up while you were getting the other one done.

The first stop of the night was at a Commonwealth Club reception in West Conshohocken to meet and hear Congressman Jim Gerlach speak. Unfortunately, Google Maps and I had a disagreement on the way over and so I spent an extra 20 minutes turning around and getting back in to the hotel parking lot. Anywhere else around here (with the exception of Philadelphia of course) would have taken five minutes. I made good time otherwise and so I was only a few minutes late upon arrival, still plenty of time to schmooze and have a drink before the Congressman stepped to the podium.

Not surprisingly, the talk was quite informal and to the point. While I have seen so many politicians waver on the hot topic(s) of the day, there was none of that happening that night. Everything was on the table including Syria, federal spending, IRS investigations, immigration, and other topics that were raised during questions. Immediately after the honest dialogue, I made my way up front, properly introduced myself to Congressman Gerlach who in turn introduced me to his wife, had a quick chat and politely excused myself as I had to get back on the road for my second engagement of the night.

Having lived on the Main Line for most of my life, I know many of the back roads to take to avoid traffic. I may not know the names of the roads making me useless when it comes to directions but I know where and when to turn when I am behind the wheel. This is why even though I left the reception 15 minutes late I was still able to get to the lodge with 30 minutes to spare. Finally, some time to relax.

Our stated meeting got started right on schedule as all the brothers made their way to their usual seats in the lodge. Although, there was one person that was not in their usual seat… me. The lodge Secretary asked that I sit next to the desk and take the minutes. I guess my training has officially begun.

I agreed a few weeks ago that I would take over the position as lodge secretary at the end of the year. I have a pretty good idea of what I am getting myself into but I am probably completely wrong. The question is how am I going to be able to juggle all the different commitments already on my calendar with the additional duties that I will have on my desk in due time. I am not sure how to answer that at the moment but I am confident that I will find a solution.

After our meeting and an excellent presentation by a couple of the brothers from Scottish Rite (I will be joining their ranks this fall), it was time for pizza and additional fellowship… but not before one more good deed. A man that had petitioned our lodge before the summer break was now experiencing some physical and financial difficulties and is now unable to pay for the necessary degree work to become a Mason. We all agreed that this is the last thing that should prevent a good man from becoming a mason so we began passing the hat and by the end of the evening we had nearly reached the half way point of the funds needed.

We have immediate plans to take care of the rest. This goes to show that this is indeed a brotherhood. We do what we can to take care of one another sometimes even before you officially become a mason.  Once a mason, always a mason. Once a brother, always family. This is what it’s like to be a part of something much greater than yourself. I couldn’t think of a better way to end my night.