Saturday, December 22, 2007

Interesting experience today

So I just got in last night from a week long trip to Chicago. My wife and I had a great time today and enjoyed a beautiful day doing some last minute shopping. Unfortunately I missed the El Paso Scottish Rite's Open House event. I really did feel bad about it, because I wanted to take the whole family. But sometimes you realize that although I had it planned out, it's the holidays and Masonry teaches us that our family obligations come first.
So for my interesting experience...I actually had a couple. I spent all of this past week in Addison, Illinois doing some training for work. This is the fourth time I've been to Chicago but the first time I've been there as a Mason. Interestingly my short drive from the hotel to our office has always passed by a large Hilton hotel which right below has the symbol of the Shriners, which I never noticed before!! Now this is no small organization, they are like the trademark of this particular Hilton! They are the Medinah Shriners.

Next interesting experience, it's the holidays so I drove to my local liquor store and noticed that the guy who's always at the register had a Shriner medallion handing around his neck. But this was no ordinary medallion, it was amazing. I asked him if he was a Shriner and he said that he wasn't, but his grandfather was a 33rd and that he inherited the medallion. The medallion was gold and the half moon was made of real tiger claws set in gold and on the back it had the square & compasses engraved in the gold. He mentioned that he had been confronted various times by Masons asking him where he had got it, because that was a 33rd degree medallion and that there was no way that he could be a 33rd because it takes "40 years to become one". Anyways I was pleased to be able to notice the signs of my new Fraternity.

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