From the East
Spring has finally arrived, and a new season is upon us. The flowers are blooming, the trees are getting green, the grass is growing, and allergies will soon follow. Now we have a chance to open our windows and let the fresh air in and enjoy the nightly breezes before we have to deal with that all too familiar humidity that North Carolina is famous for.
As springtime rolls around, lodge activities will also start to take shape, and I urge each and every one of you to come out and enjoy some fellowship. Those activities will be posted in the Trestleboard as they get scheduled, so keep an eye out and plan accordingly. As the saying goes, the more the merrier!
I’d like to share with you something that I had the pleasure and honor to finally be able to do. Many of you know that I work in the IT field, but what you don’t know is that I’m also a photographer, and am still very active with that. The only reason you never see me volunteering to take pictures at events is simple, I don’t photograph people, only scenery. People tend to move around and talk back… Anyway, recently I went back to Cullowhee for one purpose, to photograph the old Shelton House. This house has always had a special meaning for me, so getting the family’s permission was a blessing! This is a large house, maybe 4000-5000 square feet, and it’s also about 100+ years old. The family that owns this house used to own a saw mill, and they cut each and every board that went into this fine home. The wood, large planks of wormy chestnut make up the bulk of the house. There is also a large front porch, and even some portions of the house were taken from the Historic Asheville Hotel before it was torn down, and are all incorporated into this home. The home sits on a small rise overlooking the valley below, and you can just imagine how one would sit on the front porch and take in the beauty of the mountains. This house is also unique in another way, it was never completed. Its true potential was never fully realized, and now it sits abandoned, not having been occupied for decades. Now, it’s only a shell of its former self, and has fallen into such disrepair that the family will have to tear it down. My job was to save this house, in photographs, as not even a Master Mason has the capability to do more for this worthy piece of construction. So that’s what I did. I spent hours inside this home, alone, documenting every room and everything I could find, 725 photos in total. Going through each photo is an emotional job, as I see the potential that never was.
Many of us are like this house. We start out with the grandest of ideas, the largest of hopes and dreams, and the potential to start from scratch and build ourselves into something truly magnificent!
But like this house, many of us have fallen into disrepair. One of the symbols of Freemasonry is the unfinished pyramid. All of us are still in the building process, and should never stop, never give up hope, never fall to the wayside. We trip, we falter, and we get up and brush ourselves off…but never give up.
Kai Ferell – Master
From the West
My life over the past month has given me a whole new appreciation for time management, “freedom”, and most especially sleep. The birth of my first child on February 23rd, 2013 has made for the most amazing month I have ever experienced. I have reflected more often than I ever have before about my current station in life, and how I hope to proceed. Being a mason is something that has brought me great joy over the past seven years, and while my cable tow is currently stretched tight I will continue offering my service to the fraternity for all I have received. As a mason we are taught to live a just and upright life, and teachings like that resonate with me now more than ever. While many in our fraternity continue to act as Masons in their lives and actions, it is my opinion that attendance in the lodge is an integral part of being a Mason. I know as much as anyone that life can get busy…we all have work, family, friends, and many other responsibilities outside of the lodge. That being said I would like to issue a challenge to all of you who read this article.
I challenge each and every one of you to attend a minimum of 6 meetings per year (1/2 of our annual stated communications). We are a very active lodge, and attending a regular stated is a terrific opportunity to reconnect with brothers you haven’t seen lately (or even in years), and experience that wonderful feeling of brotherhood and connection as you look around at your brothers during the closing charge. There are always brothers to assist with transportation to and from meeting, so please reach out to any officer and we will gladly find you a way to and from meetings. This wonderful fraternity we are a part of has the potential to reverse our membership challenges, but it all starts with re-energizing our current membership. I look forward to seeing many new faces in the coming months at our stated communications and degrees.
Fraternally, Jim Lofton
The Charlotte Masonic Temple was built in 1914 at a cost of just over $90,000.00, and was located at the corner of S. Tryon Street and 2nd Street. In planning their Temple, the Masons were striving for a structure which would be reminiscent of King Solomon’s Temple, as described in the Bible in 1 Kings, Chapter 6 and 2 Chronicles, Chapter 3. In doing so the temple would symbolically reflect the Masonic goal of constructing better men of its members, creating “human temples.” The simple but elegant massiveness of the Egyptian style seemed appropriate for fulfilling these requirements.
The South Tryon Street facade was sheathed in smooth ashlar blocks. Verticality is emphasized in the battered walls (creating perspective distortion), broad and narrow pilasters, narrow-paned windows, and heavy lotus bud columns which flanked either side of the entrance and rise to half the height of the building.
These typically Egyptian columns, with their lotus flower and basket weave bud capitals, were topped by spheres—a terrestrial sphere above the left column and a celestial sphere above the right. Between the columns were the main entrance, which seemed a miniature version of the primary facade itself with its battered jambs and roll-and-gorge cornice, this time accented by a lotus blossom design.
The narrow pilasters which extended upward from the entrance way lead the eye to the great vulture-and-sun-disk symbol — Egyptian sign of protection — found just beneath the roll-and-gorge cornice. (The building was demolished in 1987)
Jim Lofton, SW
From the Secretary
April will see the first of our fundraisers for the Masonic Charities. Vouchers for an Autobell Full Service Wash valued at $14.95 will be available for purchase., with half of the sales revenue going to our charitable causes. Beyond using these for your own personal vehicle, consider using these as gifts for family and friends as well. The Spring pollen season is fast approaching, so please consider purchasing some of these vouchers at the April 9th Stated.
Also, pending an Investigating Committee’s recommendation and vote in the Lodge, we are preparing for an Entered Apprentice Degree in late April.
Lastly, I am working to complete an updated Lodge Membership Roster this year. If who have email but have not shared that address with us , please do so in order for this roster to be as complete as possible. You may drop me a note.
Mike Hamrick, PM