Monday, August 27, 2007

Masonic District Trip to Washington DC

When I became District Deputy Grand Master in May 2006, I decided that I wanted to try a couple of things in my District that I hadn't seen done since I have been a Mason. One was to organize a Masonic Conference that leaned towards the esoteric. My idea there was to plan it around the arrival of the next Dan Brown book and have public & private sections. The public section would be held at either a public library or a bookstore and would create a forum for the public to learn more about us. Perhaps we could get Chris Hodapp to come by, speak & sign a few books and maybe attract some other Masonic Scholars to the weekend event. But, alas, Mr. Brown is dragging his feet with this new novel so that project is on the back burner for now.

The other project that I was interested in getting together was a trip to Washington DC - our nation's Capitol, a town with alot of Masonic connections and perhaps the coolest city on the planet. I asked one of my "Fellowship & Family Involvement" Chairmen, W.'. Richard Torrey to see what he could put together and, boy, did he not disappoint!

On Friday, August 17th, we packed 49 people onto a bus & headed to DC for a fun-filled time. While many of us knew each other, there were a few that we were meeting for the first time but we all quickly became fast friends. We visited many of the usual spots - Washington Monument, National Mall, National Archives, the Capitol Building and the Library of Congress, just to name a few.

About a dozen of us went to a Mets-Nationals baseball game and were surprised to find more Mets fans at the game than those cheeing for the Nats. How can a team with such a weak following justify the money that is being put into a new baseball stadium when a soccer team in the same city pulls many more fans & is having a hard time getting a stadium deal together? Can you tell that I am a soccer fan? Go DC United!

We had hoped to visit the House of the Temple, the headquarters for the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite, Southern Masonic Jurisdiction but with the Joint Supreme Council session starting the week after our visit, it was closed to visitors. Perhaps a good reason for another trip. We did visit the magnificent George Washington Masonic Memorial in Alexandria, VA. This a fantastic place to see even if you are not a Mason. For the Mason, it can almost seem like a pilgrimage of sorts. Lots of photos were taken without, within and from the top. Check it out the next time you are in DC!

All in all, we had a great time despite a bus driver that seemed to get lost turning around. Everyone took it in stride and enjoyed it for waht it was - a great town to visit and great company to do it with. I would like to send out a huge "Thank You" to W.'. Richard Torrey and his wife Ann for all their hard work in getting this weekend together & insuring that all were well taken care of and having a good time. Great Work!!!