I haven't talked to you in a long time. Let's
see, it was on the 18th day of April 1982,the day before you died. I'm not
sure if this way will work, but it's the only way I know that may work.
I can only hope that you can read this letter over my shoulder as I type
and know what I would love to tell you in person. Not an awful lot has
changed in the 11 years since you passed on, except we are all older.
There has been one major event in my life however that I wanted to share
I have finally learned the fundamental secret of
Freemasonary. If the teachings of Christ had never reached these shores,
living up to the Masonic teachings would be the best way to get to
Do you remember how excited you were
when you became a Freemason way back in the 1940's? I still do. Your
enthusiasm for attending lodge meetings always let mom and I know how
much you enjoyed your lodge and the fellowship of your brother Masons .
I remember how excited you were when you were
raised to the Master Mason's degree and how you rushed home that night
with your white lambskin apron. Somehow, the idea of being excited about
something for you to be buried with, escaped me at that time.
I remember how excited you were when you went into the
Scottish Rite and came home to tell us that you were now a 32nd. degree
Mason . You bought a 32nd. degree ring and wore it with pride. You even
bought the 2 volume set of Mackey's Revised Encyclopedia of Freemasonry
to learn more about the craft.
I guess I always
knew that you wanted me to become a Mason , but somehow I always fought
against the idea. People (non Masons ) always told me, "Hey, if you're
one of them Masons , you got it made. You can really go up in the world,
get promotions and everything." Somehow that always turned me off. I
guess I was young and had ideals. I wanted to get ahead on my own,
without someone giving it to me.
In 1960, in the
first job I had with the City of Houston, a new supervisor (a Mason )
reassigned me to work in his office and used my expertise about the
department and my abilities to revise the operation of the department.
After the work was finished and he had the credit for the increased
efficiency, I was reassigned back to the streets and the supervisor
brought the only Mason in the department to work on the inside. It not
only hurt, but it proved to me that "those people" were right.
By 1974, I had long since transferred to a different
department and been promoted first to a foreman, then to the supervisor
over 90% of the department. My supervisor, a Mason , had promoted me
over the other Masons in the department. This changed my views on
Masonry and I filled out a petition for the Mysteries of Freemasonry
that year. As you probably know, for various reasons (including money) I
kept delaying and never turned it in.
oldest grandson, John Neil became a Mason , I could see the same
excitement in his eyes that I used to see with you. His eyes seamed to
ask, why aren't you a Mason dad? The answer was simple. Hey, I'm in
sixty four years old, and it's to late for me to start something like
that. But, I was still interested and read a number of books including
"Born In Blood" by John J. Robinson. That book came after yor time. John
is a history writer,widely respected in his field, specializing in
Medieval Britain and the Crusades.and a non-Mason. He later wrote
another book where after 5 years of research at an advanced age, he
became a Mason, " A Pilgrim's Path". I was very impressed by what I
Sometime afterward your youngest
granddaughter, Becky, got married, In a conversation one day, I ask her
husband Pete why he hadn't ever became a Mason . His answer was simple,
"No one ever ask me to join".
I did know enough to know that he would never be
ask. For some reason I took it upon myself to convince him that he should
think about becoming a Mason. That's when he pulled the big one on me.
"I will if you'll go in with
me," he said.
What better way could I help my
daughter and her husband through life then by saying OK . . .
John was overjoyed when I ask him to get petitions for
Pete and I. I know now that you would have been also, if I had ask you.
Anyway, that's what I wanted you to know, I was
raised to a Master Mason in the Cedar Bayou Lodge #321 in December, 3
months before my 65 birthday. Then the next July, I went through the
Scottish Rite and received the 32nd. degree. Not to long after that, I
was initiated into the Shrine. And, not to long after that, I had a duel
membership and was also in the Humble Lodge #979 close to
I have to admit that when I started
learning the work as an Entered Apprentice, it was just a bunch of words
that I had to learn to get through the degrees. By the time I begin
learning the master's work, it happened to me. Somehow, as we
progressed, the words grew into sober-minded concepts and those concepts
evolved into an inspiration for a new outlook on life.
Now I wish it could have been at the Cade Rothwell lodge, with
you, those many years ago, but somehow I think maybe you know that.
Your Son and Belated Brother in masonry
The above letter is my story and it is one that came from the heart.
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