In 1894 the Indiana Grand Chapter Order of the Eastern Star granted Sharpsville Indiana a Charter and thus established Sharpsville #148 Order of the Eastern Star. They held their meetings at Reserve Lodge # 363 FA &M in Sharpsville, IN.
Reserve Lodge #363 consolidated with Naphtali #389 in the mid 1970”s. Sharpsville #148 continued to meet in the same room (see picture) until 2013. After 119 years Sharpsville consolidated with Cicero #541 OES.
When Sharpsville closed the Lodge for the final time, it was necessary to find new homes for all of the furnishings of the lodge. The officers all shared that responsibility. My cousin Rebecca Dunlap was the Worthy Matron and I was the Worthy Patron. Among the items that were my responsibility, was our ballot box.
My Aunt, Beryl Harlow became a member at Sharpsville #148 in the 1950’s.My cousins Rebecca Dunlap and Angie Lorenz became members in the late 1960’s and I became a member in 2003. We were all voted on using that ballot box. My cousins were Rainbow girls and they were voted on at that time with that same ballot box. Let it suffice to say, that old ballot box is very special to me, my family and all of the remaining members of Sharpsville #148.
It is important to all of the remaining members that we find ways to keep alive the memory of Sharpsville #148. It was in that light that we decided to give our old ballot box a new life. We wanted it to continue to serve the Masonic Fraternity and help the memory of Sharpsville #148. We could think of no better place for it than Millersville #126 FA&M.
Masculinity, manhood, virtue, integrity. These are ideas that seem to confuse young men of today. What does it take to be a man? What does manhood mean in the 21st Century? Well, Brother Brett McKay has been trying to help find that out through his website The Art of Manliness (http://www.artofmanliness.com). The site went up in 2008, and since then has been a wonderful resource for young men to get in touch with the “vintage” ideals of manhood. As a young man myself, I found the site to be a cool glimpse into how my grandfather acted throughout his life and different lessons his father may have taught him.
Brother Brent Williamson, as a part of Man-Month, was able to reach out to Brett and arranged an interview with the Lodge over dinner and webcam. They discuss the origins of the Art of Manliness, how Brett got involved in Masonry, and how the site and what it offers has affected men all over the world!
I want to extend a major Thank You to both Brent for his dedication and work to get this wonderful presentation going; and also one to Brett for spending time with us and shedding some light on what all he has been able to do the past several years.
Honor is defined by the Merriam Webster Dictionary as: “respect that is given to someone who is admired: good reputation: good quality or character as judged by other people: high moral standards of behavior.”
On September fifth of this year, well over one hundred World War 2 veterans were taken to Washington D.C. for the day to visit the memorial. They were able to tour the beautiful structure that displays the names of those lost in that war and pay their respects to their fallen comrades. Upon their return to Indianapolis, instead of returning straight home, the veterans were redirected to Plainfield High School’s gymnasium. That gymnasium held a multitude of friends, family, neighbors, and strangers excitedly waiting to welcome back these venerated heroes. Each one who entered was introduced by name and military station. After each introduction, cheers, whistles, and whoops exploded from the crowd! Every introduction, every time.
Among the crowd was Brother Brent Williamson, and myself. Brent and I had come to help welcome back Worshipful Brother Jim Hendricks. We arrived around 8:20 to an already steadily crowded gymnasium. By 9 o’clock the entirety of the low rows and mid rows were filled. The upper sections were fairly crowded as well, and that is where we ended up. We stood in awe and jubilation as we joined the exuberant crowds’ welcome. The cheering went on almost non-stop for the near three hour ceremony. Brent and I did not see Worshipful Brother Jim until the final bus arrived, and even then, he was among the last off. Yet, we did not care that we had waited so long to see our Brother, we were along for the ride in welcoming the entire group! Finally we saw WB Jim come in, and we made sure everyone around us knew that we were there for him! The time eventually came to open the floor to the guests to come by and greet the veterans. Brent and I sought this opportunity to quickly find Jim to thank him for all that he does. When Brent and I approached Jim, his face lit up and he exclaimed “My Brothers are here!” This hit me in a very profound way. The purpose of Brent and myself going to the reception was to honor Jim, but in the end he honored us by his enthusiasm at our arrival.
Honor is a fascinating concept, and every man has his own definition for it. Worshipful Brother Jim is an exemplary example of the definition given by Merriam Webster. His response to Brent and myself being there floored me. It helped further cement why I am a Mason. My role as a Mason is to display certain attributes, among them: Brotherly Love. What I gave I received ten-fold; and not just this time, but every time. Any time I have ever extended friendship, counsel, a hand-shake, a smile, I have received more. One day I hope to be as good a man as my brothers, and my hope is that I can learn and apply the honor I see from my fellow Brothers. Thank you Brother Brent for accompanying me to this reception, and thank you Worshipful Brother Jim, for all you have done and all you continue to do.
-Bro. DJ Wood