So I've been a Master Mason for a whole 72 hours... What's a new Mason to do first???
I know! Go to Grand Lodge!
I took a cab to the Grand Lodge building & there was already a large group of people hanging out out front of the building. I went in & it was sensory overload... So many people, exhibits everywhere: From the Masonic Homes, the Shrine, Eastern Star, Amaranth, Scottish Rite, Knights Templar, National Sojourners, Job's Daughters, Rainbow Girls, DeMolay, and various other people selling Masonic items, including LA Fraternal and The Master's Jewel.
Thank God that I got a tap on the shoulder & it was R., our Lodge Secretary. I registered, and hung out with him, walking around to all the exhibits. We eventually ran into Worshipful Master B., and subsequently ran into the majority of the officers of Mission #169.
After a while, it was time to go into the main hall for the opening of Grand Lodge. Check out the link here to get an idea of what what it looked like inside.
When we got started, this was a fully Tyled Lodge of Master Masons, so all the ceremony was done by the book. One of the coolest things I witnessed was a room filled with approximately 700 men giving the due guard and sign, in unison. Too flippin' cool.
I won't talk any more about what happened in the Lodge, but suffice it to say it was very cool.
It's funny; to think that this was the first lodge meeting of Master Masons that I've ever been to; outside of my raising 3 days ago.
We finished up around 4:45pm, and I walked down to a pizza joint near Grand Lodge. While I was sitting there waiting for my food, two very cool guys from Southern California sat nearby. I ended up talking to T. and R., and the three of us ended up at a bar around the corner from the pizza place & threw back a couple of drinks.
I ended up leaving at 7:45pm, going back to Grand Lodge for Chris Hodapp's talk. I walked in, started schmoozing & introduced myself to Chris, his wife Alice, and a number of other brethren there. We were all corralled into the lecture room where Chris gave his talk on the Masonic influences on the designing of Washington D.C.
One thing about Chris; if you've read Freemasons for Dummies, then you know his writing style. Very smart and informative, but not stuffy nor boring. In person, he's the same way. He has such a great knowledge of Masonry, but isn't big-headed about it at all. He jokes, and doesn't take himself tooo seriously.
Afterwards, T., (a visiting Mason from Denmark – check out his blog), and I walked back over to Chris & got our books autographed. I also got a picture with Chris:
I also met the guy who runs The Master's Jewel, and found out that he is also the same guy who runs Masonic Ink (the best resource I have ever seen regarding Masonic tattoos...) I also met the guys who run Golden State Masons.
I ended up taking a cab home, plopped down in front of my computer & started writing.
I'm tired, I'm going to bed.
But I'll keep you posted on what happens tomorrow.