The North Carolina Mason

January/February 2021

North Carolina Mason

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Page 4 The North Carolina Mason January/February 2021 T h e m i s s i o n o f f r e e m a s o n r y i n n o r T h C a r o l i n a i s T o r a i s e T h e m o r a l , s o C i a l , i n T e l l e C T u a l , a n d s p i r i T u a l C o n s C i e n C e o f s o C i e T y b y T e a C h i n g T h e a n C i e n T a n d e n d u r i n g p h i l o s o p h i C a l TeneTs of broTherly love, relief, and TruTh, whiCh are expressed ouTwardly Through serviCe To god, family, CounTry, and self under The faTherhood of god wiThin The broTherhood of man. (USPS 598-260) is published bimonthly by e Grand Lodge of AF & AM of North Carolina, 2921 Glenwood Avenue, Raleigh, NC 27608. ird class postage paid at Oxford, NC 27565. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to e North Carolina Mason, School Of Graphic Arts, Masonic Home for Children, Oxford, NC 27565. Grand Master R. David Wicker Jr. Board Of Publication Kenneth Lambert Adam Cloninger Dwight Decoskey omas VanEtten omas Pope Editor Beth Grace Good quality pictures are essential for suitable reproduction. e right to reject any submission is reserved. Pictures will be returned to the sender only if accompanied by a self-addressed, stamped envelope. Email submissions are preferred: high resolution, unaltered JPGs and Rich Text Format documents only. Submissions and other correspondence should be sent to the editor at 2921 Glenwood Ave., Raleigh, NC 27608 or Each North Carolina Mason is a subscriber to The North Carolina Mason. If you know a member who is not receiving the paper, please send us his full name, complete address, and the name and number of his lodge. Masonic widows receive The Mason free upon request. Subscriptions are available to others at a rate of $5 per year. Subscription inquiries and address changes only should be sent to: e School of Graphic Arts, Masonic Home for Children, 600 College Street, Oxford, North Carolina 27565. Opinions expressed are not necessarily those of The North Carolina Mason, the Grand Lodge, or Board of Publications. From the editor's desk Grand Master R. David Wicker Jr. ............................ Deputy Grand Master Larry B. ompson Jr. Senior Grand Warden Kevan D. Frazier Junior Grand Warden Donald E. Kehler Grand Treasurer Lewis R. Ledford (PGM) ............... Grand Secretary T. Walton Clapp III Senior Grand Deacon Robert W. Rideout ................. Junior Grand Deacon Steve M. Norris ........................ Grand Marshal Gilbert D. Bailey Grand Steward Michael A. Register Grand Steward Phillip R. Johnson ........................... Judge Advocate T. Marcus Browne III Grand Chaplain Paul F. Menard Grand Tyler Calvin A. Rogers Jr. Grand Lecturer Herbert C. (Dicky) Lyon Grand Historian Daniel F. Finch Grand Orator E. Oscar Alleyne NORTH CAROLINA The Mason By Beth Grace Editor My advice: Turn to Twain for strength in New Year A s I write this, it's days and days after Christmas, which means one thing: the tree needs to come down. at's the rule. Well, it's my rule. Near the 12th Day of Christmas, the day we remember the three wise men making it to Bethlehem, a tree falls in the forest of storage boxes in my living room. My rule is not based on any deep theological meaning; it's based on the fact it took so long to put up, I get tired just thinking about putting it all away. But, as the new year gets going, I make time in my busy after-work hours – when normally I'd be watching reruns of Law & Order and Life Below Zero – to start removing the ornaments. Which brings me to Mark Twain. And thoughts of the year ahead. I love Mark Twain, a good and true Free- mason, because he was funny, wrote like a dream, and spoke truth to authority. I also love him because he's like part of my family. He has been with me always. For example, my parents grew up in Elmira, NY. Any good Twain fan knows that Elmira is where he married local girl Olivia Langdon, and where they lived for some 20 summers. It's where he wrote much of Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer. It's where he is buried. It's also the home of his study, which moved in the 1950s from its original home on a hill overlooking the city to the campus of Elmira College – just a block north of my grandmother's house. My sisters and cousins would, year-round, run up the street to play in the study, which was always unlocked. Inside was his desk and chair, an inkwell and quill, and his wire glasses. Well, folks SAID they were his. We didn't care. We played with everything. Years later, the study was locked up and security protections were installed. Who knew leaving an historic artifact open all the time would attract vandals and curious kids? Anyway, I loved that old study and was delighted when my aunt, who still lives near Elmira, sent me a tiny brass replica for my tree. Taking it off the tree sends me down memory lane, which then sends me to my collection of Twain books, which gives me the fuel I need to head into a new year. And I don't know about you, but I need some extra fuel this year. I'm exhausted from the wars and wounds of 2020, and praying for a better 2021 for every last one of us. As the year dawns, COVID still rules. Lodges are closed. Meetings are cancelled. People are fighting everywhere about everything. We can for now do nothing but settle deeper into our worn office and easy chairs at home. It makes me tired … until I break out the Twain. He gives me hope. He gives me a laugh. He gives me fuel for the journey. I share some of my favorite quotes with you. Here's to a great year. > "Do something every day that you don't want to do; this is the golden rule for acquiring the habit of doing your duty without pain." > "It's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog." > "Sanity and happiness are an impossible combination." > "I've had a lot of worries in my life, most of which never happened." Finally, my favorite. It never fails: > "It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt."

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