[Square & Compasses]

Why did you become a Freemason?

From: "Daniel Longley" <daniellongley@hotmail.com>
To: <masonry-ask@mit.edu>
Subject: Why I Joined Freemasonry
Date: Tue, 4 Sep 2007 10:06:47 -0500

I was home on leave from SEA at the time. I had acuumalated over 170 days leave. For those of you that have never been in the military, you are only allowed 72 days on the books stateside.

So I decided spent the time with my favorite uncle. he had just finished becoming a Scottish Rite member, and was going through the process to become a Shriner.

It was a Tuesday night, and that was his lodge night. He asked if I would like to go along, and I thought why not. He stopped and picked up the Master of the lodge, George Barkdoll. Bennett Lodge was about 23 miles from the house. We were all talking, and started to ask question about Freemasonry.

I asked about the secret things I had heard about, and about some things I heard a minister say one time. Both Uncle Bob, and George answered my questions. They told me that yes there were some things that were secret. But, on the most part they were just a fraternal society, much like the Knights of Colombus are, The BOE, several other groups.

I kept thinking, why didn't they ask me to join. Here I spent the better part of hour with them and asked all the right questions, and they still had not asked me to join.

When we finially got to the lodge, there were about twenty cars parked in front of this old two story clapboard building with a big Compass and Square on the the front. No windows that I saw.

When we went in, we went downstairs first, where I was introduced to everyone. I was the youngest guy there. However, that did not seem to matter to these men. They treated me like an equal, and that fact never left me. They talked about SEA, and how long I was over there. They asked what it looked like, if it was pretty country, and how were the people different. No politics were discussed, no antiwar sentiments, no religious sentiment. Just were the people nice to me and was the country side pretty.

I explained that the country was beautifull, and that I never had any problems with locals no matter whether I was incountry, Korea, Hong Kong, Okinawa, and any of a dozen other places our plane brought cargo too.

When it was time for the meeting, I was told to help myself to the coffee and that there was sandwiches in the frig. The walls were lined with books. I had been looking at them since I got to the basement. That did not go unnoticed by my uncle, he leaned over and said something to George as they went upstairs.

I heard thumps overhead, and Henry Thaden, then Tyler, bumble something. But, I fould a book by an author called AG Mackey. I poured myself some more coffee and was a quarter of the way through the book when they came down. I set the book aside and went about helping to serve the coffee and food.

Just before we finished eating, I asked my uncle how I could join them. He and the rest laughed and said I just had, someone brought a petition, I signed it, gave $15.00 to George, along with the petition.

That was the first Tuesday of September 1973, by November, 1973 I was a Master Mason. Just in time to be reassigned to Germany.

Our fraternal society showed me then and has continued to show me through the years, it is not who the man is; But, what he is, and what he stands for that makes him a mason. It has also shown me that Masons come in all colors, shapes, beliefs & ideals. That a once a brother, always a brother.

Daniel Longley

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