As we begin the second half of 2022 with a July that is essentially dark, we still have a few Masonic events for members and our families in which to participate. First is our Stated Meeting on July 7.
On July 23 at 10 a.m., we will have our annual picnic at the Ben Ali Shrine Center. Brother Smokey Stover is making his homemade ice cream from his car-sized ice cream maker and Brother Wally Clark will have his old fire engine. Food and games (with some prizes) will all be provided for you and your family.
On July 28 at 6:30 p.m., we will have a Proficiency Night. Are you ready to do your proficiency? This is your chance to complete it. Proficiency in any degree is accepted. We will be opening on the Third Degree and go to labor in the degrees where Brothers want to do their proficiencies. This is for proficiency completion only. No-host dinner afterward.
In order to qualify to do your proficiency, your Coach must contact the Senior Warden, Brother Nick Johnston, to work on qualifying you to do the exam at Proficiency Night. The deadline to receive the ‘ok’ from Brother Nick is July 15.
Stay tuned for another philanthropy event. The committee is hard at work and another community service opportunity will be available to the Brothers and families.
Finally, don’t forget to pay for your steak dinner for the August Stated Meeting. It’s $20 a dinner.
Dinners must be paid for by July 15 through:
July doesn’t seem too dark really, but I look forward to seeing you and your family at some of the events!
Happy Birthday, America!
As we celebrate the independence of our country, we must also remember the Freemasons who founded it. At least nine of the signers of the Declaration of Independence were Freemasons. The Worshipful Master of Alexandria Lodge No. 22 in 1788 and our first president was none other than, George Washington, then an active member of Freemasonry (who also ordered double rations of rum for his soldiers to celebrate the anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence).
These Founders could not have imagined what our country would become and thankfully left avenues for future generations to make changes for the better (check out my 2021 Senior Warden Trestle Board article).
One change for our country may seem small, but its meaning was much larger.
I’m reminded of a line from the movie National Treasure, which I later found out could be attributed to the late historian Shelby Foote in the popular documentary The Civil War (first broadcast on PBS in 1990):
“Before the war, it was said ‘the United States are.’ Grammatically, it was spoken that way and thought of as a collection of independent states. And after the war, it was always ‘the United States is,’ as we say today without being self-conscious at all. And that sums up what the war accomplished. It made us an ‘is.’”
The solidarity of our nation is the very strength of our country. It’s enshrined in our country’s seal, E Pluribus Unum (Out of many, one). Much like the states, our Masonic lodges have different cultures and can operate in different ways. Despite these differences, we are stronger when we work together.
Whether it’s the brothers of our Lodge assisting another Lodge in their rituals or another Lodge joining us at one of our community service events, we serve as an example to others: Out of many lodges, one in Freemasonry.
This month of July typically features the start of what is called the Dog Days of Summer. Ever wonder what is meant by the term?
By heliacal rising, we refer to the annual phenomenon where a celestial body (star or planet) first becomes visible in the early hours of the morning, before the sun blots out its perception with its radiant light. From this date forward, that body will continue to remain perceptible in the night sky, shifting its visibility earlier and earlier into the evening.
The name Sirius comes from the Greek Σείριος , meaning lit, growing, or scorching. This is a reference to
its sheer luminosity, as it is the brightest star in the night sky.
the start of their civil year and also indicates the return of the annual flooding of the Nile. The Sothic cycle was important to Egyptology as it allowed early researchers to reconcile the calendars of the Ancient Egyptians to our own calendars.
I look forward to seeing you there!
First let me start by wishing you a very good summer. July traditionally is considered the “throes of summer” and we get to enjoy corn on the cob, hot dogs, hamburgers, beer, a cool drink, and, of course, ice cream. We are also in the middle of our “National Pastime” (Baseball). At this time of year, pennant races start to heat up (no pun intended), so enjoy good food, good times and great baseball.
Speaking of baseball: How do baseball players stay cool in the hot days of summer?
This month, of course, is our annual Patriotic celebratory month.
This Monday, July 4, our country celebrates the 246th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence from England. Naturally, anyone born in the month of July can lay claim to celebrating a “Yankee Doodle” birthday.
This year, eleven of our “Yankee Doodle” brethren can be counted among these. Two of our Past Masters are in this number. Worshipful Jon Isaacson, PM, celebrates on July 7, and our very own Chaplain, Worshipful Richard Wilson, PM, celebrates on July 21. A very Happy Birthday to them and to all brethren who celebrate “Yankee Doodle” birthdays.
We also have brethren who celebrate their Masonic birthdays in July. Our very own Tiler extraordinaire, Floyd Tritt, celebrates the 40th anniversary of his being raised to the sublimed degree of Master Mason. Way to go, Brother Floyd!!
Additionally, a shout out to Worshipful David Hall, PM, (37 years) and Worshipful Dan Dailey, PM, (27 years). Congratulations to one and all.
Following in the pattern in May (5/5) and June (6/6), let’s take a look at what excitement (7/7) brings us.
And I know this is the one you have been waiting for, right? Here it is, wait for it…
July 7 is World Chocolate Day!
Established in 2009, World Chocolate Day marks the supposed anniversary of the day that this iconic dessert made its first entrance into Europe in 1550. All around the world on this date, candy stores, and local suppliers place their best-loved merchandise on sale so that everyone, both young and old, can enjoy a nibble of the stuff.
Chocolate comes from the seed of the Theobroma Cacao tree. Cacao grows in Mexico, Central America, and Northern South America, where it has been cultivated for at least three millennia. However, Africa holds 70% of the growing cacao trees in the world today, Ivory Coast being the leading exporter worldwide. I wonder if Worshipful Joseph Dongo, PM, is the Ivorian driving power behind that success!
The earliest known observation of using cacao seeds is from around 1100 BC. The tree seeds have a very serious, bitter taste and must be fermented to develop the flavor.
In order to craft a bar of chocolate, seeds from a cacao tree are covered with banana leaves and left to ferment, at which point they are called cocoa beans. Once the cocoa beans have arrived at their processing plant, they are roasted slowly at a low temperature. Then it’s time to separate the shells from the nibs so that the nibs can be ground into a fine powder called cocoa liquor, which is just pure chocolate in rough form. The cocoa mass is often liquified and molded with or without other ingredients. This is the state where you get chocolate liquor. The chocolate liquor then gets processed into two components – cocoa butter and cocoa solids.
The two products most vital to chocolate production come from this cocoa liquor paste. Cocoa powder is produced and packed for purchase at grocery stores so that we can bake the beloved roasted taste profile into our cakes and cookies. In contrast, cocoa butter is produced so that manufacturers can use it as an ingredient in their chocolate bars.
A lot of research into this edible treasure has found that it is a powerful source of antioxidants, plus it helps to improve blood flow, lower blood pressure, and reduce the risk of heart disease. It also increases serotonin and dopamine levels, which helps to boost mood. Many people are advised to eat more dark chocolate as it contains healthier benefits. Tons of treats are made from chocolate – hot chocolate milk, chocolate milk, chocolate cake and brownies, chocolate candy bars, and a lot more we enjoy today.
Dark chocolate, which tastes most like its mother seed, is simply a mixture of cocoa liquor, cocoa butter, and sugar. Milk chocolate includes those three ingredients plus a smattering of milk powder. At this point, chocolatiers can add things like nuts, salts, and syrups to elevate the flavor profile. Once cooled, the mixtures harden into the shapes of their respective molds, are wrapped in paper, and shipped to our favorite stores and candy shops.
Now on to a little information about Independence Day and its relation to Freemasonry.
The month of July is especially significant to all Americans because we celebrate the birth of our nation on the fourth of July. On that date in the year 1776, representatives of the thirteen American colonies, assembled at what is now known as Independence Hall in Philadelphia, adopted a manifesto asserting their political independence from the British crown. We know that document as the American Declaration of Independence.
Probably the best accounting of Masonic membership among the signers of the Declaration of Independence is provided in the book Masonic Membership of the Founding Fathers, by Ronald E. Heaton, published by the Masonic Service Association at Silver Spring, Maryland. According to this well-researched and documented work, proof of Masonic membership can be found for only eight of the fifty-six signers of the Declaration of Independence.
Additionally, another five or six signers have from time to time been identified as members of the fraternity based on inconclusive or unsubstantiated evidence.
The Declaration of Independence was written by Thomas Jefferson who was himself not a Freemason, and it is undeniable that within this document lies some inalienable similarities, which unites Freemasons and our nation under one flag.
While the principles indoctrinated in the core or mission statement of our early nation are not unique to the Freemasons, in fact, they have been the basis of many books and philosophies throughout the ages, of which it is well known Thomas Jefferson to be an apt student it is undeniably true that Freemasons among all others hold these ideals to be essentially necessary to have been brought from the darkness of ignorance and self-absorbent thinking into the light of truth and brotherly affection.
Among these principles which have given the Declaration of Independence shape are Honor & Truth, Humanitarianism, Brotherly Love and Equality, and Duty to Men and God.
Answer to Baseball question:
By, of course, sitting next to their fans!!
Going Dark: An Ode to Summer
It was said I could swim before I could walk. I don’t know how true that is but the idea of it always appealed to me. Ever since I could remember I loved the summer. The scorching valley days which could only be tempered by a dip in the pool or if you were lucky the soft bay breeze that traveled for miles over city blocks, rolling hills, and succulent orchards.
This gift brings a little comfort to the burning day. The heat was my guide, it was my salvation. It led me to the best place in the world. It led me to the place that would build me into the person I am today. But most importantly it led me to a time of truly simple enjoyment. I spent my days in and around a pool. An activity I would carry into my teens, my 20s, and now my 30s.
As an adult, my love for the pool still stands strong but I will say that some of the shine has faded. There’s no more meeting up all day to swim. No more lunch around the pool on a Wednesday with a group of friends; a slice of pizza in one hand and a drink in the other. To be an adult is to lose some of that shine.
"Going Dark" during the summer always felt a bit like losing that summer pool shine. For me at least this meant I was going to see less of my brothers. I always found this to be an odd happening. Summer always meant spending more time with my friends and family but in this instance, it almost always meant the opposite. It’s understandable, as men we have obligations that seem to pull the days away from us but I can’t help but think this time of the year should be the perfect opportunity to spend some time together outside of the lodge.
The days are longer, the weather warm, and the sun shining. So, I use this opportunity to extend a challenge to my brother. Send a text, make a call, draft an email and spend some time together! Build those relationships and create those memories to last a lifetime.
06 Christopher Hamilton (Master Mason)
07 Jon Isaacson (Past Master)
11 Robert Cole (Master Mason)
13 David Kelley (Master Mason)
17 Andrew Wilson (Master Mason)
18 Richard Golden (Master Mason)
18 Maury Hicks (Master Mason)
18 Wesley Jackson (Master Mason)
21 Richard Wilson (Past Master)
23 Albert Lazare (Master Mason)
29 Thomas Ansell (Master Mason)
MASTER MASON ANNIVERSARY DATES
08 Floyd Tritt 40 Years
08 Dan Dailey PM 27 Years
10 Nico Montero 8 Years
16 Mac Contreras 8 Years
22 Josh Pane 27 Years
22 Jerry Livingston-Joy 24 Years
23 Josh Djubek 13 Years
24 Jason Sibbring 8 Years
25 David Hall PM 37 Years
29 Alex Chompff 12 Years
Washington Lodge No. 20
To practice and promote a way of life that binds like-minded men in a worldwide
brotherhood that transcends all religious, ethnic, cultural, social and educational differences.
Through Masonic principles and tradition, and by the outward expression of these
through its fellowship and compassion, Washington Lodge No.20 Free & Accepted Masons provides ways in which to serve God, family, country, neighbors, and self in an environment that contributes to the enrichment and betterment of its members, mankind, and its communities.
Washington: A Life
by Ron Chernow
Celebrated biographer Ron Chernow provides a richly nuanced portrait of the father of our nation. With a breadth and depth matched by no other one-volume life of Washington, this crisply paced narrative carries the reader through his troubled boyhood, his precocious feats in the French and Indian War, his creation of Mount Vernon, his heroic exploits with the Continental Army, his presiding over the Constitutional Convention, and his magnificent performance as America's first president.
In this groundbreaking work, based on massive research, Chernow dashes forever the stereotype of a stolid, unemotional man. A strapping six feet, Washington was a celebrated horseman, elegant dancer, and tireless hunter, with a fiercely guarded emotional life.
Chernow brings to vivid life a dashing, passionate man of fiery opinions and many moods. Probing his private life, he explores his fraught relationship with his crusty mother, his youthful infatuation with the married Sally Fairfax, and his often conflicted feelings toward his adopted children and grandchildren. He also provides a lavishly detailed portrait of his marriage to Martha and his complex behavior as a slave master.
At the same time, Washington is an astute and surprising portrait of a canny political genius who knew how to inspire people. Not only did Washington gather around himself the foremost figures of the age, including James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson, but he also brilliantly orchestrated their actions to shape the new federal government, define the separation of powers, and establish the office of the presidency.
In this unique biography, Ron Chernow takes us on a page-turning journey through all the formative events of America's founding. With a dramatic sweep worthy of its giant subject, Washington is a magisterial work from one of our most elegant storytellers.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Ron Chernow is the prize-winning author of five previous books. His first, The House of Morgan, won the National Book Award. His two most recent books, Alexander Hamilton and Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller, were both nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award in biography. Chernow lives in Brooklyn, New York.
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CALENDAR OF EVENTS
• 05 Executive Committee Meeting Tuesday • 06:00 PM (Video Call)
• 07 Fourth of July Dinner Thursday • 06:15 PM (Banquet Room)
• 07 Stated Meeting Thursday • 07:30 PM (LR1)
• 14 DARK Thursday
• 21 DARK Thursday
• 23 Annual Family BBQ Picnic Saturday • 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM (Ben Ali Shrine Center)
• 28 Proficiency Night (EA .·. FC .·. MM) Thursday • 06:30 PM (LR1)
• 01 Executive Committee Meeting Monday • 06:00 PM (Video Call)
• 04 Social Hour Thursday • 05:30 PM (Club Room)
• 04 Welcome-Back Tomahawk Steak Dinner Thursday • 06:15 PM (Banquet Room) (RSVP)
• 04 Stated Meeting Thursday • 07:30 PM (LR1)
• 04 Family Hour Thursday • 07:30 PM (Club Room)
• 11 Officers' Practice Thursday • 07:00 PM (LR1)
• 17 Officers School of Instruction Wednesday • 07:00 PM (LR3)
Topic: Advanced Stations / 1st Degree
• 18 DARK Thursday
• 20 Charity Drive Saturday • 10:00 AM (Location TBD)
• 25 Degree Dinner Thursday • 06:00 PM (Banquet Room)
• 25 3rd Degree - Brother Ramey Packer Thursday • 07:00 PM (LR1)
• 30 Executive Committee Meeting Tuesday • 06:00 PM (Video Call)
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Eric Hixson (PM)
Francisco Marques (PM)
Richard Wilson (PM)
Creston Whiting-Casey III
Francisco Marques (PM)
Junior Past Master
D. Edward Entrican (PM)
Jared Yoshiki (PM)
Head Candidates' Coach
Michael Woo (PM)
Inspector 414th District