The Rough Ashlar

Thoughts from a Traveling Man

The Rough Ashlar - Thoughts from a Traveling Man

My Mother Lodge is a Pokestop

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I don’t really understand the Pokemon Go craze but I think it is pretty cool all the same. I think having our lodge as a Pokestop is going to raise visibility. Maybe not membership but that is secondary. One step at a time.

In other news, I have collected a number of these little critters and don’t know what to do now.

Lodges in New Mexico

I had the pleasure of traveling to New Mexico about six months ago. It’s amazing to me how time flies sometimes. It seems like I just got back but the bite in the air tells me otherwise. I got to visit a good number of lodges, although I did not get to sit in on a meeting because the days I was there simply did not overlap well.

My first stop was to the Grand Lodge of New Mexico, where the Grand Secretary, M.W. Bro. Callahan, was good enough to show me around their museum and let me bend his ear for an hour or so. I have said before that I enjoy taking photos of the lodges in places I visit, so here are some cool ones from a hot state out west.

The Grand Lodge building. Note that I did not get the whole building in the picture. That is because I could barely see the image in my camera’s LCD, so I took a guess at what I was getting. The sun was almost directly overhead, as you can tell by the shadows, and everything in New Mexico reflects the sun much more than I have seen elsewhere.

Grand Lodge of New Mexico

This lodge was an outbuilding behind the Grand Lodge, like a trailer you might see on a school’s grounds. Sandia Lodge #72.

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The sign looked funny so I took a closer shot. It looks like scorch marks. Maybe my brother Leroy, who grew up in Albuquerque, can explain what the heck happened to that sign. We don’t have that type of thing happening back east.

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Another one: Temple Lodge #6 in Albuquerque. It was in a small strip of offices near the edge of town. You can tell you are near the edge of town very easily in New Mexico because the buildings stop and desert starts.

Temple Lodge No. 6

Temple Lodge No. 6

They also had a neat stone marker by the front door:

Temple Lodge No. 6

In Santa Fe I got to see Montezuma #1 and Cerrillos #10, which are now housed in the same building:

Montezuma Lodge No. 1 & Cerrillos Lodge No. 10

Montezuma #1 is Kit Carson’s mother lodge and in the lodge’s safe is Kit Carson’s rifle. I didn’t get to see it, but I was told it was right behind that safe door. Yep. What surprised me about the lodge was the five seats in the East. In Virginia we typically have two or three but I had never seen five before.

Montezuma Lodge No. 1

Cerrillos #10 used to be in the town of Cerrillos, which is along the Turquoise Trail – a lovely drive between Santa Fe and Albuquerque known for its – you guessed it – turquoise. As the cities grew and work dried up in the rural areas, a number of towns like Cerrillos closed up shop. There really are ghost towns in the state, like you used to see on Saturday cartoons. here is the new Cerrillos #10:

Cerrillos Lodge No. 10

Finally, I got a tour of the Santa Fe Scottish Rite building. It was a fantastic place to behold. It was quite dark inside, though, even in the middle of the day, so I was unable to get a good shot of the interior. if you are ever in the Santa Fe area, though, I recommend stopping by to see the place. I am not in the Scottish Rite so some of the symbolism was lost on me but I did note the 29 stairs leading to the front door and a few other features.

Santa Fe Scottish Rite

Santa Fe Scottish Rite

A Traveling Traveling Man

I have yet to be able to formally visit any lodges while traveling away from home. However, I try to drive by the lodges if I have time and snap a couple photos because I think it’s interesting to see the different types of construction. Some buildings look like little more than small industrial buildings while others are large and grand, breathtaking. I was in Toronto a couple months ago and snapped these photos.

York Masonic Temple:
York Masonic Temple

Cornerstones in a memorial garden at York Masonic Temple. These are probably from different temples whose lodges merged.
Masonic Cornerstones

Rameses Shriners:
Ramses Shriners

And at the other end of the building is the Scottish Rite:
Scottish Rite

And Thornhill Masonic Temple, which had graffiti on the doors but did not appear to be in a bad area. Probably just neighborhood kids.
Thornhill Masonic Temple

This is not Masonic, but should you be traveling through Toronto and want what I consider to be the best authentic Chinese food ever, try out Buddha’s Vegetarian Restaurant on Dundas, between Bathurst and Spadina. Yum!
Buddha's Vegetarian Restaurant

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