Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Traveling Man

All right, I dont know everything!
I just got back from a trip to D.C. and have a question for the grizzled Masons who read my blog. During a stop on the New Jersey Turnpike while I was getting out of the car I noticed the man who just got out of the car next to me was wearing a Square and Compasses on a necklace. He in turn must of noticed the Masonic ladies slipper emblem on my wife's car and immediately came up to me and said;
"I see you're a Traveling Man"
To which I responded quite lamely;
"Yeah, I'm a brother"
After exchanging a smile and a handshake he mentioned he was from the local Prince Hall Lodge and I told him where I was from and we departed on the square.
Is there a proper response to that statement?
Should a token be given?
If so, which one?
There is some stuff we never teach in our degrees and this is definately one instance where I was at a loss for words believe it or not!


Unknown said...

It seems that in my short time as a Prince Hall Mason (I was raised 6/7/07) I've come across several strange questions, when fellow brothers notice my baseball cap with a square & compass. Most of the time I would offer them a token or perhaps if were in a high traffic area just throw an allusion and we'd grin at each other and part. Then a friend of mine suggested I pick up a book entitled Masonic Catch-E-Kism, this little booklet contains 100's of question in relation to the first 3 degrees of masonry. Now, I don't think anybody expects a person to remember all of this but it's an interesting resource to have. I know that amongst my friends from college and earlier that are now brothers we enjoy quizzing each other and we try to find questions to stump each other.

Tom Accuosti said...

Is there a proper response to that statement?

Yes. It's "Hi, I'm MMM from XXX Lodge in Connecticut. Pleased to meet you."

Sheesh, you kids think it's all about passwords and decoder rings, don't you?

Ben said...

Yep, my experience is, someone says are you a mason too? I say 'yes, I'm from Gooch Lodge, meets at Twickenham'.

If there's physical proximity, handshake - normally EA token, not knowing what degree the other brother is, and maybe chat about meetings, when initiated.

It's almost like you have somehting in common!!


widows son said...

Good morning Bro. Jason, im to a traveling man. i just got that little book. its alot of info in it. i do the to all my masonic bro. we get a kick out of it. u take care & keep traveling.

Millennial Freemason said...

Just remember the Architect Sketch from Monty Python. http://www.millennialfreemason.com/2008/08/pop-culture-and-freemasonry-architect.html;)


The Boss said...

I hear a lot of stories, but I am still confused because nobody seems to answer the question directly,..... what IS the proper response to the greeting,..."I see you are a traveling man"?

CD Inkpenn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
CD Inkpenn said...

"I am so accepted amongst brothern and fellows" is the correct response, try me!

Unknown said...

The several times that I have had the question put to me, I've responded, "Yes, I am...heading East."

Doug said...

Greetings Brothers, I too am a Traveling Man. but it seems to me that many of our brethren are not entirely sure what is meant by"Being a Traveling man". In this sense it is a way of recognizing whether a person has a common link with you or not. Go to this link (http://baileysgunsmithing.tripod.com/utyorkrite_articles/page2.html) To really understand what it means to be "A Traveling Man?"

Doug said...

Please feel free to contact me for further discussions on the subject.

Unknown said...

I am

Doug said...

I too am a Traveling Man, and I do not believe there is one specific "Correct" response. many people use the term as a means to identify themselves to you as a fellow "brother", as do I. I too am traveling East toward the "True" meaning. Let it be enough that you are recognized as a brother with common goals, exchange pleasntries and grow a new freindship, but do be careful about signs and tokens - there are a lot of "cowens and Evesdroppers" out there that know a little and want to kinw more. Don't share your secrets until you each have been tried and proven by one another. Also, watch out that you do not get involved to deeply with a "Clandestine" mason. Most of all, enjoy your travels.

Doug - Virginia #288 AF&AM.

Unknown said...

Traveling East as all Men are.
An acknowledgement during darker times, of a round world.

Unknown said...

I'm an apprentice and trying learn and grow all I can. I'm not from any Lodge yet I was taught in the Federal prison system