Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Glen McDole

A true American patriot passed from our midst last week. Bro. Glen McDole from Ankeny was called to the Grand Lodge Above on September 3rd. Glen was a Marine in World War II who was captured by the Japanease and held as a POW. Glen was one of the very few who survived the Palawan Island massacre. The Japanease soldiers massacred over 140 of our soldiers on Palawan. After the war, Glen came home and started a career with the Iowa State Patrol and after his retirement from that served as an officer of the Polk County Sheriffs' department for many years. In all with his military and law enforcement career, he served our country almost 50 years.

Glen was a member of Auburn-Union Park Lodge, the Consistory, and Shrine. I invited him to Newton a couple years ago to speak at our evening when we honored our 50 year Masons. Glen was so humbled. He did not seem bitter about what he had went through in WWII. I think he only wanted others to know his story so that it would not ever be repeated again in history and also so that the sacrifices of his fellow comrades would not be forgotten.

This evening I went to Glen's visitation at Highland Park Christian Church. What a testimony to a wonderful man and his life. You could tell that everyone that was there was there to honor a good friend and a true American hero. Rest well my brother.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Senator Kennedy

Our country lost a giant today in the passing of Senator Kennedy. Whatever your political views, you can not discard his long service to our country. Senator Kennedy served in the Senate for 47 years, the second longest serving Senator in our countrys' history.

Senator Kennedy came from a different world of politics than what we have today. Those who served in the political arena during his time, fought their political battles but yet respected one another as individuals. One of Senator Kennedy's greatest friends in the United States Senate was Senator Orrin Hatch, a Republican. He was willing to reach across the aisle and do what was best for our country, not what was best for them politically.

Mahy each of us take time today to remember him and thank God for his long public service to our country. Remember Senator Kennedy by trying to do a good work towards your fellow man. A truly remarkable man has passed from our presence.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

A Good Friend Leaves

Well it has been a long time since I have posted something on my blog. Guess it is time, I get on the "stick". I had a good friend recently move back to Canada. I was sorry to see him leave and I think he was sorry to have to move.

He was one of our new Masons in my lodge. He was raised a couple years ago. A very engaging and knowledgeable young man. He was a casualty of the Maytag mess and then it hit him again when he lost his job at Principal along with a couple hundred other people.

Mike and I could set and have some really intellectual talks. Unfortunately I don't have a lot of brothers in my lodge that I consider "intellectuals", so it was a pleasure to sit and visit with him over coffee or a beer.

He tried to find a job here, but unfortunately nothing materialized so he was forced to accept a position back in Canada. I know it was a great opportunity for him and he will do great...his job background was an "enterprise architect"...does that tell you anything about his abilities?

I hope we will get to see each other again sometime down the road, but at least we can keep in touch electronically.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Don't Stand By My Grave

I attended a Masonic funeral service this week and the following poem was given. I have read it several times since and I have come to enjoy...thought I would share.

Don't stand by my grave
Don't stand by my grave and weep,
For I am not there.
I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond's glint in the snow,
I am the sunlight on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn's rain.
In the soft blush of the morning light
I am the swift bird in flight.
Don't stand by my grave and cry,
I am not there,
I did not die.
Mary Frye

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Humphrey Scottish Rite Masonic Center

The other "Masonic" place I visited last week in Milwaukee was the Humphrey Scottish Rite Masonic Center in downtown Milwaukee. A real gem! The artwork and stained glass windows were just awesome. Apparently classes over the years, would donate a piece of original artwork as their gift to the Scottish Rite Temple. The building has a 350 seat auditorium and a pipe organ (not as big as ours though in Des Moines).

The woodwork in the building is awesome. It reminds you of old England...dark and heavy. The building had a 200 seat chapel with pews and an alter (it looks just like a church). There were two libary rooms (a 12,000 volume library) though it did appear to have need for some catalouging help (Jay and Kurt do you hire out?).

All of the closets where the costumes were hung were solid oak with brass hinges and locks on them. There was one case that housed all of the helmets used in the degrees (you could see them through the glass in the doors). They had two make up rooms with 4 sinks each...I have never seen the Des Moines guys use make up. We must have "natural beauty"!

Anyhow, it was a fun hour visiting with a great brother and a great Temple.

Tripoli Shrine

As I mentioned earlier, I had the pleasure this week of making a quick visit to Tripoli Shrine in Milwaukee. What an awesome place. The architecture and craftsmanship are awesome. Besides the Arabic motif, a good portion of the murals taht you see in these pictures are made of small ceramic tiles (each about the size of my thumbnail).

The nobles at Tripoli had their Shrine Circus this weekend. Hope it all went well for them.

Good Bye to an Icon

America lost another icon yesterday...our good friend Paul Harvey left us. I always enjoyed hearing him on the radio. He just seemed like a good friend and neighbor that was sitting across from us at the kitchen table having a good visit with each of us.

Paul Harvey was a true bit of Americana. President G.W. Bush presented him with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005. That was a well deserved honor for this American patriot.

I wondered if Mr. Harvey had any Masonic connections. The only thing that I could find about him regarding that was that he had been initiated into Delta Chapter of DeMolay in Tulsa Oklahoma in 1936 and was inducted into the DeMolay Hall of Fame in 1993. Irregardless of rather or not he was a Masonic brother, he did live his life according to our tenents. Rest well my friend. We will miss you.

Here are a few Paul Harvey quotes:

“Every pessimist who ever lived has been buried in an unmarked grave. Tomorrow has always been better than today, and it always will be.”

“Retiring is just practicing up to be dead. That doesn't take any practice.”

“Golf is a game in which you yell "Fore!", shoot six, and write down five”

“In times like these, it helps to recall that there have always been times like these.”

Friday, February 27, 2009

Milwaukee Visit

I am attending an insuance seminar this week in Milwaukee. This is a great city. I did have the opportunity to visit the Humphrey Masonic Center in downtown Milwaukee. What a gem. The Humphrey Center is home to the Milwaukee Scottish Rite Bodies. There art collection is simply outstanding. Room after room of paintings. And there library...awesome. Though it does need some help in cataloging...Jay and Kurt are you available. There library is actually divided into two rooms. The bookcases were floor to ceiling and how beautiful the bookcases were...solid walnut.

Behind the stage in the main auditorium is another treasure. They have 50 huge paintings on canvas that are used in the degrees. They have an intricate connection system of ropes and pulleys that lower and raise the paintings as they are needed. The building also have some beautiful stained glass windows.

The Humphrey Center is home to the Scottish Rite, a commandery, four blue lodges, a language learning center, and also two churches. It was a real treat to visit.

I also visited the Tripoli Shrine Temple...that was another treat. It has an arabian motif. Every I looked was hand laid colored tiles. Tripoli Shrine is having their annual Shrine Circus this weekend, so everybody was "busy".

Well, off to another day of classes, then a test tomorrow. I'll be ready to come home. Have a good day friends.