Monday, April 26, 2010

Biggest Loser Finalist Is a Minnesota Freemason

O'Neal Hampton the Junior Warden of Cataract Lodge #2 of Minneapolis, Minnesota, is currently somewhere at a secret location on the famous television show The Biggest Loser. Joining him in this grueling life changing experience is his daughter Sunshine.

The photo on the below left was taken on September 8th, 2010 just before our Junior Warden O'Neal started the Biggest Loser. With O'Neal is the Master of Cataract Lodge Dave Kampf and Senior Warden Lane Guyot.

The photo on the below right is from February 23rd when O'Neal stopped in. He took us all by surprise when he took a break from his work out and exercise program and joined us for a Fellow Craft degree. You can tell he is much smaller in this photo.

Its always a great pleasure to see my Brother O'Neal . Because it means a big hug, a warm smile, and a meaningful conversation. O'Neal is a very busy man. He is a Station Manager for the Post Office. During Football season after work he rushes to one of our local high schools to help coach and mentor the kids. But he will always have time to stop and talk if you need to see him. O'Neal has been a great leader and supporter of our youth and Athletic and Scholarship programs in our community.

For those of you who are busy going to Masonic events all week and don't get a chance to watch the show, here is a quick review of what it is about. The Biggest Loser is a two hour reality television show that is on NBC. The show recruits extremely overweight people to participate in a competition. The contestants are brought to a secret location to live for several months. The object is whoever loses the largest percentage of their body weight is awarded a $250,000 cash prize.

To make it even more exciting each week, one contestant is voted off the show. The contestant is sent home, but still has a chance to win $100,000 by following a weight loss program at home.

I have watched more television in the past 14 weeks than I have in the past 15 years. Every week I make sure to see O'Neal and Sunshine. I can't believe that every week, I'm yelling words of encouragement to television as those two are involved in some weekly physical activity. Or how I had tears of joy when I saw O'Neal completing a series of push ups the week his brother died. Or I gasped when Sunshine fell below the yellow line and was almost eliminated.

Every week I watch my Brother who is subduing his passions and making himself a better man.

We at Cataract are very proud of O'Neal, but then again we always were. The biggest loser is our biggest winner.

This is week 14 and Oneal has lost 119 pounds so far, and Sunshine has lost 84 pounds.
ME?......................................I'm down 12 pounds in 8 weeks. For as huge of an effort that this weight loss has been for me, it pales in comparison to their accomplishments.

Monday, April 19, 2010

The British are Coming! The British are Coming!

April 18th/19th I am celebrating the famous midnight ride of Paul Revere: Master Mason and later the Second Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts.

Paul Revere and William Dawes were instructed by Joseph Warren (another great Freemason) in 1775 to ride from Boston to Lexington to warn Samuel Adams and John Hancock that the British Army was coming to arrest them, and to seize the Patriot's weapon stores in Concord.

Paul Revere was sent across the Charles River to begin his journey from Charleston to Lexington. William Dawes was sent a on different path the long way via the Boston neck to Lexington.

Both men sounded the alarm and helped the colonists prepare for the advancement of the British Army. Hours after the alarm was sounded the "shot that rang out around the world" was heard. America was born in blood.

This American story is one of my favorites and is rich in details and lore. One man became famous, while the other died in obscurity. I have had many books read to me as a child, and I now have read the stories to my children. It's a tale that's based in history, and one which I never grow tired of.

Here are a few facts you may not know about Paul Revere. He was a Mason in St. Andrews Lodge in 1760 in Boston. Paul Revere was active in his lodge and worked his way through the chairs. He served nine terms as Worshipful Master. At 60 years old he was elected as Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts December 8, 1794 to 1797.

These are just a few facts and I hope it encourages you to find out more about Grand Master Revere and his life .

I can't help it but I would like to post the poem by Longfellow. It may be filled with inaccuracies but it is one of my favorites. Here is the link:

Maybe next year we should take a trip together and see the route of the famous ride! Would you like to come? Think about it ... won't you?

Thursday, April 8, 2010

National Treasure #3

Attention National Treasure fans! I have good news. It was announced earlier this week that the Disney Corporation is planning for the third installment of National Treasure and the film is in the making and speeding ahead.

The film will have a very established production staff. The Director is Jon Turtelbaub and the screen writers are Carlo Bernard and Doug Miro. They have just finsihed up the Disney movie with Nicolas Cage in "The Sorcers Apprentice"

It is my understanding that Nicolas Cage will return to play the adventurous archaelogist and historian Benjamin Gates. Actors Justin Bartha, Dian Krugerand, Jon Voight are also expected to return.

The movie is expected to be released sometime in 2011.

I am going to go out on a limb very early even before the movie is even written and predict the plot of National Treasure Three. My prediction is based on a clue that was given to us in "National Treasure Book of Secrets."

If you recall from the plot line of the movie, there was a book kept by the President of the United States for the eyes only of the Presidents following him. This book was passed from President to President. This book contained all the answers to the biggest secrets in American History.

In the movie, Benjamin Gates (Nicolas Cage) convinced the President to tell him where the book was kept, and the President told him that the book was in the Library of Congress. The President then directed Ben Gates to read Page 47.
At the end of the movie the President asks Ben about what he read on Page 47 of the Book of Secrets, Ben replied, "It's life altering, sir." Of course we dont know what that information is, but that might be the starting point to the new movie.

I am anxious to learn more about National Treasure #3. I hope that film director Jerry Bruckheimer and actor Nicolas Cage will bring incredible surprises from Page 47 of the Book of Secrets. Whatever it is I'm sure it's going to be another cliffhanger.
PS at this stage there has been no mentions of Freemasons in the Movie. But its very early to tell.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

My Thought for the Day

Our Petitions are Color blind and our fraternity should be too.

Enough said.....................