His name is John.  He has wild hair, wears a T-shirt with holes in it, jeans and no shoes. This was literally his wardrobe for his entire four years of college. He was the top of his class.  Kind of esoteric and very, very bright.  He became a Mason recently while attending college. After moving to his new town, he finds down the street from his new apartment is a well dressed, very conservative Lodge.

One day John decides to go there after work.  He walks in with shoes, jeans, his work shirt, and long hair.  The Lodge has already started and so John starts looking for a seat.  The Lodge is completely packed and he can't find a seat.

By now the Brethren are really looking a bit uncomfortable, but no one says anything.  John gets closer and closer to the East and, when he realizes there are no seats, he squats down right on the carpet.  (Although perfectly acceptable behavior at a college fellowship, trust me, this had never happened in this Lodge before!)

By now the Brethren are really uptight, and the tension in the air is thick. About this time, the Secretary realizes that from way at the back of the Lodge, a Past Master is slowly making his way toward John.

Now the Past Master is in his eighties, has silver-grey hair, and a three-piece suit. A good man, very elegant, very dignified, very courtly.  He walks with a cane and, as he starts walking toward this boy, everyone is saying to themselves that you can't blame him for what he's going to do. How can you expect a man of his age and of his background to understand some college kid in the Lodge?

It takes a long time for the man to reach the boy.  The Lodge is utterly silent except for the clicking of the man's cane. All eyes are focused on him. You can't even hear anyone breathing.  The Secretary can't even continue with the " Minutes" until the Past Master does what he has to do.

And now the Lodge watches as this elderly man drops his cane on the floor.   With great difficulty, he lowers himself and sits down next to John and welcomes him so he won't be alone.

When the Secretary gains control, he says,

"What I'm about to say, you will never remember.  What you have just seen, you will never forget. 
Be careful how you live.. You may be the only Mason some people will ever Meet."


1999 - from the International Shrine Clown Association, ISCA, e-mail list