Last night I got my passport and traveling papers in order so I could make the one hour journey upstate to visit the Exalted Keeper of the Secrets of Freemasonarianism; Grand Sovereign Pontiff and Secret Exposuer; Ambassador to Zeta-Reticula; Crop Circle Planning & Zoning Commissioner; Aluminum Foil Beanie Fitting and Training Consultant; Team Osiris Obelisk Siting and Surveying; Manager, Dulces/Denver Airport Massage & Day Spa; Cydonia Vacation Resort Concierge; Past Master, Friendship #33.3 AM & FM, Area 51, Atlantis or as I like to call him Tom Accuosti.
This wasn't just a regular visit to Tom, it was a visit to return the favor of my friends and Brothers Eric, Kyle, and Kevin who came all the way down to my lodge to support me when I stepped up into the East for the first time. Eric who is the SW at Friendship Lodge No. 33 was assuming the East for a Fellowcraft degree and although I have known about it for a while, I didn't know until the last minute that I would be able to repay the Brotherhood dividend I received last spring.
Without my trusty GPS I was forced to set out on my journey with just the ancient travel aid of a printed copy of some directions from Google Maps (how 90's) and my keen sense of direction. I was able to find the lodge despite Tom not answering his phone and I think my friends were actually surprised to see me. As I walked up to the throng of cigarette smoking men standing outside the lodge (yes, they actually still do that kind of thing upstate ;-) hardy hellos were exchanged and then I noticed some mischievous glances and words being sent back and forth between my buddies. I had arrived just in time and Tom escorted me up to their lodge room for the degree.
Although there were devilish grins being sent my way, Bro. Eric opened the lodge under the the Fellowcraft degree without a hitch and without much fanfare. Just as I was feeling at ease the WM announced for Tom to remove the visitor (ME!) to be received in proper form. You see, my good friends from 33, who Tom, abandoned,...I mean, introduced me to on a fateful night last winter will never let me forget a certain ancient Grand Lodge ritual that I brought upon myself. So as we entered the anteroom I saw the mode of reception my pals had planned for me. I was then received back into Friendship 33 in the way many of the brethren of that lodge saw me last........on a hand truck!
Let me tell you, being ceremoniously received into a lodge on a hand truck being pushed by a Grand Lodge Officer is quite an unforgettable experience and I am sure that entry into the minutes of the lodge is a first anywhere!
A good laugh was had by all and they got back to the business of passing their brothers to the degree of Fellowcraft. I love seeing the little differences in the way other lodges do ritual but let me say I have never seen a F.C. degree quite like the one they did last night.
All in all, it was a night traveled well and I thank Tom, Eric, Kyle, Kevin and their lodge for the great hospitality they showed me and I left exited to come back again (I'm such a glutton for punishment!).