Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Tradition Continues!

The tradition continues! Except this year with better results. For those of you who may not remember I'll refresh your memory.

Last year around December 30th, the Most Worshipful Grand Master of Iowa Masons Craig Hummel challenged our beloved Grand Master Tom McCarthy to a very friendly non-monetary wager. Ya see the Minnesota Gophers were about to play the Iowa State Cyclones at the Insite Bowl in Tempe Arizona. The winner of the bet was to supply the loser of the bet with the appropriate shirt and hat to wear at the Loser's Annual Communication.

Well ,my Minnesota Golden Gophers lost to Iowa State in a very close game 14 to 13. The rest is history. Our Grand Master, Deputy Grand Master and myself donned Iowa State Gear for at least 15 minutes during our Grand Lodge. I am sorry I won't show those pictures here.

So this year Our Grand Master John Cook invited The Most Worshipful Grand Master Craig Davis to be his guests at the last game of the year at the Minnesota vs. Iowa University game.
The game was at the TCF Stadium on the U of M campus.

As you can see the Grand Master took the opportunity to show off our new Gopher Stadium and the President's Club had all of the amenities. I thought our Grand Masters strategy was brilliant. Treat them special and they will take it easy on us if the Gophers lose. I didn't think it looked too good for us. The Gophers had fired the Coach in mid season, and we were like 2-9 for the season.

After lunch we had a cold hard slap of reality. Grand Master Davis and Past Grand Master Jack Butler provided us with large gift bags. I was afraid to look into it....When I gazed inside I saw a tee shirt, hat and other Iowa University garb. Yup the standing bet from last year was still in effect. Well I left my bag at the table and went to find my seat. Ya see, I was hoping that someone would steal it.....when I returned at half time it was still there.

So take a few minutes and look at the pictures for they tell the story. But it was a great afternoon of Brotherhood and a lot of laughs. It was one of those afternoons that was filled with special moments that will be never forgotten and enjoyed for many years to come.

Brian Beerman, MWGM Craig Davis, PGM Jack Butler,and our friend Jennie Soderholm from the University of Minnesota. .

Myself, Grand Master of Minnesota Masons John Cook, Dave Olson, Steve Johnson went back for another Hot dog.

Like I said there was a lot of horse play.

I was going to go look for a cup of coffee and maybe a small dessert when I ran across Coach Tubby Smith. Tubby is the Gopher Basketball coach. I approached him and acknowledged that he was probably pretty busy and asked him if he had time to pose with me for a photo. Well we talked for over five minutes! So I asked him I could introduce him to my Grand Master.

So the Grand Master and I had a few more minutes with the Coach. His face lit up when we told him we were Masons! He shared some very special stories with us.

Here you see Tubby covering up the Iowa Hawkeye symbol on Craig's Jacket. That was so funny. Jack had brought jars of his home made rhubarb jam and presented a jar to Tubby.

A little later in the day the University of Minnesota President Robert Bruininks stopped by. He recognized John and me as being from the Grand Lodge of Minnesota. Wow what a great memory.
I'm not sure what's going on in this picture..but I think Jack ran out of rhubarb jam?
What really happened a few minutes later is that Craig and Jack tried to put an Iowa Jacket on President Bruininks. Steve Johnson had the camera and refused to take the picture....another round of laughter.
Just the Gopher Fans.

This was the best part of the entire afternoon. My Gophers played a cliff hanger of a game but they pulled it off.

You can't see it in this photo. But the players just claimed the trophy of the Game "Floyd of Rose ville". Floyd is a very heavy bronze statue of a pig. It was a pretty big deal to us fans because Iowa has held on to Floyd since 2006. The Trophy tradition goes back to 1935. But Minnesota and Iowa share a very long tradition of playing football together since 1891.
I was going to rush the field, but the Grand Master called my name.............

I caught this photo just as I heard Brian say "Come on Jack" and then Jack repeatly saying "No No Not That!"

The payoff!!! The Most Worshipful Grand Masters of Minnesota and Iowa!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Minnesota Demolay Grand Master Class

The Most Worshipful Grand Master of Minnesota John Cook and State Master Councilor Chris Pierce at the Minneota Demolay Grand Masters Class. It was held at the Minneapolis Scottish Rite on Saturday November 20th.
For those of you wondering DeMolay is a young Mens organization that prepares young men to lead successful, happy, and productive lives.
Using timeless principles and practical, hands-on experience, DeMolay opens doors for young men ages 12 to 21 by helping them develop the civic awareness, personal responsibility, and leadership skills so vitally needed in our society today. DeMolay takes a fun approach to this serious mission by building important bonds of friendship among members in more than 1,000 chapters worldwide.
I was a Demolay ! It made a huge positive influence on my life. I cannot say enough about it. I even think that we should have a Minnesota Demolay alumi Association stay tuned for that.
It was a beauitful cermony and the Boys performace was OUTSTANDING! You should consider being there next year I will.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Winter at the Minnesota Masonic Home

We had a heavy Snow here in Minnesota on Saturday Morning. Driving to my meeting of the Grand Lodge was a little slippery. But when I drove into the Masonic Home in Bloomington, Minnesota I found it to be a winter postcard.I thought you would enjoy these images.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Veterans Day

I am a proud American and Veteran of the US Army. I always observe this day for those who have served in our Nations Military. I came across this beauitfuly worded speech that far better describes and honors the Veteran better than I could.
Our Country was born in blood and maintained by the blood of the Men and Women who wear our Countries uniform.
Please take a moment and thank a Veteran for their service.Read on......

We celebrate Veterans Day on the anniversary of the armistice that ended World War I, the armistice that began on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. And I wonder, in fact, if all Americans' prayers aren't the same as those I mentioned a moment ago. The timing of this holiday is quite deliberate in terms of historical fact but somehow it always seems quite fitting to me that this day comes deep in autumn when the colors are muted and the days seem to invite contemplation.

We are gathered at the National Cemetery, which provides a final resting place for the heroes who have defended our country since the Civil War. This amphitheater, this place for speeches, is more central to this cemetery than it first might seem apparent, for all we can ever do for our heroes is remember them and remember what they did -- and memories are transmitted through words.

Sometime back I received in the name of our country the bodies of four marines who had died while on active duty. I said then that there is a special sadness that accompanies the death of a serviceman, for we're never quite good enough to them-not really; we can't be, because what they gave us is beyond our powers to repay. And so, when a serviceman dies, it's a tear in the fabric, a break in the whole, and all we can do is remember.

It is, in a way, an odd thing to honor those who died in defense of our country, in defense of us, in wars far away. The imagination plays a trick. We see these soldiers in our mind as old and wise. We see them as something like the Founding Fathers, grave and gray haired. But most of them were boys when they died, and they gave up two lives -- the one they were living and the one they would have lived. When they died, they gave up their chance to be husbands and fathers and grandfathers. They gave up their chance to be revered old men. They gave up everything for our country, for us. And all we can do is remember.
There's always someone who is remembering for us. No matter what time of year it is or what time of day, there are always people who come to this cemetery, leave a flag or a flower or a little rock on a headstone. And they stop and bow their heads and communicate what they wished to communicate. They say, "Hello, Johnny," or "Hello, Bob. We still think of you. You're still with us. We never got over you, and we pray for you still, and we'll see you again. We'll all meet again." In a way, they represent us, these relatives and friends, and they speak for us as they walk among the headstones and remember. It's not so hard to summon memory, but it's hard to recapture meaning.

And the living have a responsibility to remember the conditions that led to the wars in which our heroes died. Perhaps we can start by remembering this: that all of those who died for us and our country were, in one way or another, victims of a peace process that failed; victims of a decision to forget certain things; to forget, for instance, that the surest way to keep a peace going is to stay strong. Weakness, after all, is a temptation -- it tempts the pugnacious to assert themselves -- but strength is a declaration that cannot be misunderstood. Strength is a condition that declares actions have consequences. Strength is a prudent warning to the belligerent that aggression need not go unanswered.

Peace fails when we forget what we stand for. It fails when we forget that our Republic is based on firm principles, principles that have real meaning, that with them, we are the last, best hope of man on Earth; without them, we're little more than the crust of a continent. Peace also fails when we forget to bring to the bargaining table God’s first intellectual gift to man: common sense. Common sense gives us a realistic knowledge of human beings and how they think, how they live in the world, what motivates them. Common sense tells us that man has magic in him, but also clay. Common sense can tell the difference between right and wrong. Common sense forgives error, but it always recognizes it to be error first.

We endanger the peace and confuse all issues when we obscure the truth; when we refuse to name an act for what it is; when we refuse to see the obvious and seek safety in Almighty. Peace is only maintained and won by those who have clear eyes and brave minds. Peace is imperiled when we forget to try for agreements and settlements and treaties; when we forget to hold out our hands and strive; when we forget that God gave us talents to use in securing the ends He desires. Peace fails when we forget that agreements, once made, cannot be broken without a price.
Each new day carries within it the potential for breakthroughs, for progress. Each new day bursts with possibilities. And so, hope is realistic and despair a pointless little sin. And peace fails when we forget to pray to the source of all peace and life and happiness. I think sometimes of General Matthew Ridgeway, who, the night before D-day, tossed sleepless on his cot and talked to the Lord and listened for the promise that God made to Joshua: “I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.”
We're surrounded today by the dead of our wars. We owe them a debt we can never repay. All we can do is remember them and what they did and why they had to be brave for us. All we can do is try to see that other young men never have to join them. Today, as never before, we must pledge to remember the things that will continue the peace. Today, as never before, we must pray for God's help in broadening and deepening the peace we enjoy. Let us pray for freedom and justice and a more stable world. And let us make a compact today with the dead, a promise in the words for which General Ridgeway listened, “I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.”
In memory of those who gave the last full measure of devotion, may our efforts to achieve lasting peace gain strength. And through whatever coincidence or accident of timing, I tell you that a week from now when I am some thousands of miles away, believe me, the memory and the importance of this day will be in the forefront of my mind and in my heart.

Thank you. God bless you all, and God bless America.
President Ronald Regan