While doing a load of wash I stepped next door to have a beer and read my book while I waited. Two fellows were looking at a gold ring they had just found in the parking lot. One guy said, "It's a military ring." The other observed, "Naw, it's a trade school ring. It has a square & compass on it. (My ears perked up.)
I said, "Mind if I take a look, guys?"
It was nothing elaborate; a small, gold ring . . . well-worn, S&C on one side, the initials RB on the other.
I remarked, "Weighs about 3 grams; marked '10 ct,' . . . worth about 15 to 20 bucks at the most. You'd probably get more from the Brother who lost it. Nice ring, though. I don't have one myself. I have more important things to spend the family's money on."
So I told them I would post it in the local Masonic newspaper, "the Word," and I would meet them here next month with the reward. They agreed.
Nobody answered the ad.
My beloved mentor the R:.W:. Rocco Buffano said in his best 78-year 'old-school Italian voice,' "Kid, ya know, my name's Rocco Buffano."
Not being the sharpest cookie, I said, "Yeah, nice name, Rocco."
He said, "Wake up Kid!
I'll take the ring, since none have claimed it."
Well, I'll try to make this short. Oops, too late . . .
I met the guys back at the bar (did another load of wash) and gave them $25.00 for the ring. An old fellow asked, "Are you going to keep it?"
I replied, "No, it's going to a Brother who happens to have the same initials. Cool, huh?" The "old guy" shuffled off, and I drank my beer.
As I was about to leave he walked back in carrying a Big old Book. He said, "Here, take this. I don't read it anymore."
It was a 1911 Masonic Library . . . gold leaf . . . beautiful!! I "hemmed" . . . he "hawed." I bought him a beer and started reading. SO COOL! I had a grin from ear to ear. As I got up to leave and thank him one more time, he reached into his pocket and pulled out a classic S&C blue-stone, heavy-gold ring and pressed it in to my hand. Shocked, I started to "spit & sputter." He said, "Don't worry about it; now you have one."
Needless to say, "Old John" never buys a beer when I'm there.
I may not know any Masonic "secrets, " but there is Magic in the Craft.
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