I look-ed for a brother
And I saw he was not there
The place he used to sit in
Is now an empty chair
I suppose I missed a meeting
Or maybe two or three
My life just got too busy
Oh where can my brother be
Be an active member,
The kind that would be missed.
Don’t be just contented
That your name is on the list.
Do attend the meetings
and mingle with the crowd.
Don’t stay at home
And crab both long and loud.
When I was a King and a Mason — a Master proved and skilled —
I cleared me ground for a Palace such as a King should build.
I decreed and dug down to my levels. Presently, under the silt,
I came on the wreck of a Palace such as a King had built.
There was no worth in the fashion — there was no wit in the plan —
Hither and hither, aimless, the ruined footings ran —
Masonry, brute, mishandled, but carven on every stone;
“After me cometh a Builder. Tell him, I too have known.”
We just got back from watching the remake of “True Grit,” yesterday, the popular western movie that starred Brother John Wayne in the 1969 original. We were curious as to whether there would be any Masonic references in this year’s version of the movie seeing that the book, written in 1968, was chock full of them (see below). We caught two:
When one of the main characters, Mattie Ross (played brilliantly in the remake by actress, Hailee Steinfeld), gives instruction to her man-servant to return the body of her slain father back to their hometown, she instructs him that he should be “buried with his Mason’s apron on.” Later, upon viewing the worldly possessions of her father, a square and compasses pendant is shown among the items.
There’s never a tear would drop
But some kind hand would steal it;
There’s never a sigh would swell
But some kind heart would feel it;
And never a widow sad,
And never an orphan lonely,
But some one would make glad
With smiles of joy, if only
The good men all were Masons.
There’s never a word profane
By heedless mortal spoken,
And never a cruel blow,
And never a law be broken;
There’s never a man would die
Away from loved ones, lonely;
There’s never a shuddering cry
Would mount to Heaven, if only
The good men all were Masons.
It was his dream to become a Mason
Though he wasn’t sure quite why.
So he made an application,
Then waited months for a reply.
No committee came to pay a call
To meet him and his wife,
No invitation to Mason’s Hall;
Nor offer of Advice.
Finally a postcard in the mail,
Said “Come Monday night at six,
And Bring us twenty dollars,
If you want to see our tricks.”
It matters not whate’er your lot
or what your task may be
One duty there remains for you,
One duty stands for me.
Be you a doctor skilled and wise,
Or do your work for wage,
A labourer upon the street,
An artist on the stage;
One glory still awaits for you.
One honour that is fair,
To have men say as you pass by:
“That fellow’s on the square.”
If you haven’t seen the work of Brother Patrick Craddock of The Craftsman’s Apron, Brothers, you are missing some of the most beautiful work I have ever experienced.
Sure, you can buy a premade Past Master’s, Past High Priest’s or even just a Master Mason’s apron from one of the supply houses for a few hundred dollars, but spend a little more and Brother Craddock will create a truly personalized work of art.
I’ve created a gallery of Brother Craddock’s creations on the photo sharing web site, PhotoBucket, where you can view his collection — borrowed from his online collection of his work — in full size.
Brother Craddock is about to create a personalized Past Master’s apron for me, based on an original, vintage Royal Arch Masons apron currently in the collection of the Grand Lodge of Tennessee.
We are also talking with Patrick about providing those of us going on the Masonic Washington, D.C. trip with simple, yet elegant, commemorative aprons to be worn when we open DeKalb Lodge in the George Washington Memorial Masonic Museum.
In operative Masonry, the word “Lewis,” is a term for an iron cramp, a device which is inserted into a hole or cavity in a large stone and then attached to a hook and pulley, allowing it to be hoisted to any height and placed into position within the construction of a building or other structure.
The instrument is made of a pair of dovetail wedges, with a hook or ring attached. Inserted into a space specifically crafted in the stone, pulling on the hook or ring spreads and locks the wedges into place. The greater the pull and the heavier the stone, the more securely the Lewis is locked into the hole.
But what meaning does the Lewis have in speculative Masonry?
My wish, that we may often meet
Upon the level, and there
We’ll work together in love and peace,
And part upon the square.
That we may strengthen the bonds of truth,
Relief and brotherly love;
Join in the grand design of peace,
The design of God above.
Work with a will together with God,
With the tools He has given;
Perfect our work for the Building above,
Completing where others have striven.
Then, when in due time we leave this lodge,
And journey on to another;
We’ll meet again in the Grand Lodge above,
With the grip and the word of a brother.