The North Carolina Mason

July/August 2011

North Carolina Mason

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Page 2 From the editor’s desk It’s time for us to end Prohibition America (and several other nations) learned the lessons of Prohibition in the early part of the last century. The misguided attempt to save society from inebriation ended up causing more problems than it prevented. Freemasonry’s very roots are in Britain’s and Colo- nial America’s pubs. It was in these places that the first Freemason lodges organized and met. Lodges were places for social fellowship, interaction and not sanctified substitutes for churches. Accounts of early lodges include frequent references to the “firing of cannons.” No, they were not rolling artillery around for the pur- pose of saluting visiting brethren. The firing can- non or glass was a small, heavy bottomed con- tainer rather like today’s shot glass. They were then, and are today in many places, part of the table lodge. Filled with small amounts of alco- holic beverage, they were downed as part of a toast to the visitor or a celebrated event. They were an integral part of lodge life. The decanter and firing glass seen here are from George Washington’s own Alexandria Lodge 39 in Virginia. It was on display with other Masonic artifacts of Washington’s mem- bership in the fraternity as part of the recent Washington exhibit at the North Carolina Mu- seum of History. Washington and his brother You’re invited Golf tournament August 31 ADVANCE — Clemmons 755’s annual Charity Golf Tournament is set for Oak Val- ley Golf Club here August 31. Entry fee is $300 per team covers drinks and snacks on the course and the awards ceremony that fol- lows immediately. For details, contact Bob Charlier at or call (336) 766-5133. Motorcycle Ride September 10 OXFORD — The 14th Annual Charity Ride to the Masonic Children’s Home is set. As usual, motorcycle riders will depart from China Grove early. Other groups will take their own routes to factory in Clayton and began to operate the mill while Ray was on the road developing markets for their meal, selling, and delivering to grocery stores around the countryside. In 1971, the Wheelers bought the mill from the Atkinson descendants who still held the dam and mill. It is likely that the McLean sisters con- sidered it staying in the family from the years and hard work already invested by Ray and Betty. Today, the Wheelers have six children and a passel of grandchildren. Much of the family works in the business. But, there are also dozens of other employees. That’s because Ray is a dreamer. “I work every day like I’m going to be here a hundred years, but I won’t. I can’t quit, because I’ve got kids and grandbabies, and they’ll need somewhere to work. They’re in charge anyway now. They let me do enough to keep from getting bored,” says Ray. Miss Betty still works in the office. Atkinson’s Mill has come a long way from the days when the miller ground corn for a percent- age of the product. Over the years, Ray bought several other mills. He maintains all the brands those mills sold. “Many of these mills are 200 years old. Generations of people used only one brand of meal. I don’t want them to have to switch.” He believes that a child should be able to make corn bread with the same meal their grand- mother used when they taught them the recipe. Ray has expanded the business over the years. He has a large production plant which makes and packages frozen hushpuppies and corn sticks for home and restaurant use. When Ray needed a piece of equipment, he’d adapt some- one else’s used machine or build his own version (usually improved from what it copied). Ray explains his growth policy, “Make what you can and get one piece at a time. Understand where you are headed.” For instance, when he needed a freezer for his pre-made hushpuppies, he bought freezer truck trailers and backed them up to a loading dock. It’s a viable system that let him grow at the rate he chose. Whenever Ray adds a section to a warehouse, he includes a door suitable to enter the next addition. Today Atkinson’s Mill has 86 active prod- ucts that they make and market — seafood Raleigh’s Tower Shopping Center for the 10:00 a.m. registration, prizes, and staging the last leg of the trip to the Home. There is lunch and en- tertainment at the Ride culmination. For more information, call Doug Earnhart (704) 957-0346 or email . NC Mason Deadlines Issue .............................Deadline January/February .................... January 1 March/April .......................... March 1 May/June................................May 1 July/August.............................. July 1 September/October ..............September 1 November/December ............November 1 WHEELER, from page 8 Masons had the decanter filled with spirits. Freemasonry teaches early and reminds often that men should “subdue their passions.” The vast majority of those who consume alcohol do so without excess and with- out the problems associated with alcoholism. There is no reason to be- lieve that today’s men are more vulnerable to drink. There is no reason to believe that moderated use of such beverages in areas rented by the lodge should become a distraction or danger to a lodge. No proposal will require or even suggest the choice any lodge should make. It would merely allow those which wish to allow limited and controlled use of alcohol on their premises that possibility. Drinks would be barred from the lodge room. Many grand lodges allow such uses. The Grand Lodge of Kansas, a rather conservative state, last year dropped their alcohol prohibition. None of these jurisdictions have reported any- thing more than minor, isolated problems that are not foreign to us today. We will again consider limited use of alco- hol in our facilities at our September meeting. It is time for us to give our lodges fresh tools. It is time to give our lodges more say in their fates. It is time for us to show confidence in our own teachings. Homecoming is in October The Masonic Home for Children and its family of alumni are proud to bring back memories of St. John’s Day, October 7–8, 2011. Thanks to the hard work and dedication of Past Grand Master and Oxford Or- phanage alumnus Dan Rice and Grand Master Lewis Ledford, we will celebrate the first annual Masonic Homecoming Festival. And there will be something for everyone from the past and to the present! Oasis, Amran, and Sudan Shrines will again par- ticipate in North Carolina’s best parade. Festivities begin on Friday, October 7 with an alumni charity golf tournament. That evening cooks from around the state can participate by setting up their grills for the First Masonic Homecoming Barbecue Pork and Chicken cook-off. There will be music on Friday eve- ning while the cookers are getting ready. On Saturday, October 8 the familiar Shrine pa- rade begins in the morning. The barbecue judging and lunch follow. They are open to all for small fee. During lunch, enjoy music from nationally renowned bluegrass 6:30 a.m. to Mid-Afternoon 12:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. 7:00 p.m. 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. 9:00 p.m. 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. 8:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. 9:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. 9:30 a.m. 9:45 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. 12:30 p.m. 12:45 p.m. 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. artists, the Lonesome River Band. Dessert booths will be hosted by the children of the Home. The afternoon will include tours of the campus, cottages, print shop, and Cobb Center museum and archives. Homecoming activities such as the alumni volleyball game, memorial service, and crowning of the MHCO Homecoming Queen will be held later in the afternoon or the fol- lowing day. Take this chance to visit your Home and see the care you are supporting. A number of Masons are turning it into a golf week by adding the Rite Voice tournament at the Washington Duke Club in Durham October 3. Call Ray Hall for details (336) 601-5015. For information on Chipshots for Children visit the Alumni Association’s website . Details on entering the barbecue cook off may be obtained from John Sulli- van (336) 462-7297 or Todd Ham (304) 363-9257. A detailed flyer on all events should soon be available at . Partial schedule of events Friday, October 7 Chipshots For Children Golf Tourney BBQ Registration/Teams Arrive/Set-up Music - Kelly and The Cowboys BBQ Contest - Cooks Meeting Museum Open House Museum Reception/Auction/Silent Auction Free Cook Period/Cooking Begins Music - The Swang Brothers Campus Closed/The Pit Closed/Parking Closed Saturday, October 8 Orphans Lodge - Emergent Parade Line-up Museum Open Open House Tours Opening and Welcome Shrine Parade Ragland Production Inflatables BBQ Turn-in/Judging Announcement Homecoming Court/Queen Announcement of BBQ Contest Winners Lunch Under The Oaks Music - The Lonesome River Band Museum Open Masonic Center - MHCO Spring Street/Belle Street Cobb Center TBA Main Stage at St. John’s Downtown Oxford TBA TBA Main Stage at St. John’s Main Stage at St. John’s MHCO Campus Main Stage at St. John’s Cobb Center Kerr Lake CC - Henderson The Pit at MHCO The Pit Stage The Pit at MHCO Cobb Center - Galleries Cobb Center The Pit at MHCO The Pit Stage The North Carolina Mason July/August 2011 Ray is seen here by the millpond and inside the mill with one of his grandsons. A millstone is seen lifted from its position for repair of shaft on which the upper stone rotates. and chicken breaders; hush puppy, biscuit, corn bread, and pancake mixes; various corn meals; grits; and his lines of frozen products are among them. All together, Ray maintains a total of 193 formulas and recipes in the business. Are you sick of hushpuppies yet? “Oh, no! No,” Ray laughs. You can see Wheeler and his fascinating hushpuppy making machine at the Carolina Pig Jig every year turning out the bread for the bar- becue showdown. It’s one of two charity events he does every year at no charge. He likes helping the kids at the Masonic Home for Children. Within a year, Ray plans to have a modern mill run by electricity on the grounds. He plans to continue grinding corn meal in the old water driven mill, keeping it open as a museum to the disappearing craft. Maybe he’ll cook hushpuppies there or even open a little restaurant for visitors. Don’t think it won’t happen. Ray’s a heck of a lot more than just a dreamer. You can order Atkinson’s products by calling (800) 948-5707 of visiting . Check Wheeler’s wonderful while you’re at it. biography THE MISSION OF FREEMASONRY IN NORTH CAROLINA IS TO RAISE THE MORAL, SOCIAL, INTELLECTUAL, AND SPIRITUAL CONSCIENCE OF SOCIETY BY TEACHING THE ANCIENT AND ENDURING PHILOSOPHICAL 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. NORTH CAROLINA The Mason (USPS 598-260) is published bimonthly by The Grand Lodge of AF & AM of North Carolina, 2921 Glenwood Avenue, Raleigh, NC 27608. Third class postage paid at Oxford, NC 27565. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to The North Carolina Mason, School Of Graphic Arts, Masonic Home for Children, Oxford, NC 27565. Grand Master Lewis R. Ledford Board Of Publication Gary R. Ballance Don E. Bolden Thomas A. Pope Jr. John A. Sullivan Hugh K. Terrell Jr. Editor Ric Carter Good quality pictures, whether color or black and white, are essential for suitable reproduction. The right to reject any submission not suitable for use is reserved. Pictures will be returned to the sender only if accompanied by a self-addressed, stamped envelope. Submissions and other correspondence should be sent to the editor at PO Box 6506, Raleigh, NC 27628 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, his 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 five dollars per year. Subscription inquiries and address changes only should be sent to: The School of Graphic Arts, Masonic Home for Children, 600 College Street, Oxford, North Carolina 27565. Reproduction of articles by Masonic organiza- tions is permitted with proper credits. Opinions expressed are not necessar- ily those of The North Carolina Mason, the Grand Lodge, or Board of Publication. Ric Carter photos

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