See, my brother drew a S&C with some ketchup and I called him a moron while laughing.
The guy next to us gets up to leave, says something that would only perk the ears of the initiated members would understand.
He’s here on vacation with his wife, a member of a lodge back home in England. “We’re heading to the Grand Lodge to get a tour right now!” he says.
“Very cool, you’ll love it. Say, we’re doing a 3rd degree tonight. Any chance you can make it?”
His eyes became huge “Umm! Umm! I don’t have anything to wear! I don’t have my dues card or my regalia!” His wife laughing at the sign of her husband becoming an excited kid again.
“heh.. Don’t worry about that. Let me make a call”
We exchange numbers, says his phone only has WiFi here. Not a problem, we’ll go old school.
I emailed my mother lodge’s private fb group and turned on the bat signal. He got a green light: “if the Grand secretary gives a thumbs up, he’s good to come in whatever he has.”
I call the Grand Lodge and tell the security guy to find him and let him know. Says he hadn’t arrived yet, but will be sure to when he does.
We race to meet him at the Grand Lodge in 25*F weather, snow smacking us the entire way. After arriving and checking our coats, we meet our new friend, and visit the Grand Secretary who was briefed on the situation before we arrived.
“See, it all started with some ketchup..” our new friend began. The Grand Secretary looks very amused, smiles, and gives the thumbs up.
He’s nervous about not having proper attire for tonight- “Not a problem, we’ll be back soon. You just enjoy the tour”.
With 9 stories, 11 lodges, Scottish, York, DeMolay, 2 sub basements and a ton of other stuff to see, we had plenty of time.
My brother and I race to the local department store and buy a few things. We run back to Grand Lodge and the guy is beyond floored and his wife begins to tear up. Says they’ll never forget this trip, that we made it absolutely amazing already. We said it’s just begun.
When it was time for lodge, he walked in and was greeted by 20+ guys who had all heard the story by now one way or another. He was overwhelmed with brotherly love, he would later recall. That night he witnessed and be part of a Master Mason degree.
After lodge was dinner and drinks which lasted over 2 hours. After that everyone hangs around one of the offices for fellowship well past Midnight.
He looks down at his watch and realizes that his wife has been left at the hotel alone long enough and should get back there. “Nobody is going to believe what happened today!” he proclaims as he gets his coat.
It is 25*F outside, we’ve been at lodge for 8 hours and I can sense he doesn’t fully remember where his hotel is. The lodge had previously called an Uber, which pulls up 30 seconds later. The bill and tip are covered by his new friends.
Before we left, he took off his pin and handed it to me. Said I might be the first person on this side of the pond to have it. I proudly took off my mother lodge pin and gave it to him.
And that is how I got a UGLE pin.