Freemason Wisdom: William J. Hussey, Jr.

It never ceases to amaze me how quickly the twice-a-year reunions at the Scottish Rite Valley of Danville roll around.  It's coming right up again, so I thought this week on my usual weekly feature "Freemason Wisdom" I'd feature somebody from the Valley of Danville (IL).

former swim suit model

"A lot of people look up to me . . . probably because I'm so tall."

~The Illustrious William J. Hussey, Jr., 33°
Valley of Danville (IL)

I had a tough time selecting the quote this week--this is just one of many stunning quotes I have collected from this insightful man over the last five or six years.  I've been lucky, as his official biographer, I've had both the access, and the opportunity to watch him work.  Being around him must be like it was watching Einstein at the chalkboard, or Sherlock Holmes interviewing a client, or watching the first time Elmer finally deduced "Hey, wait a minute, dat was the wabbit!"

But seriously, I've met a lot of interesting people since I've become a Freemason, but by far one of the most interesting is the Illustrious William J. Hussey, Jr., 33°.  It seems to be the goal of Bro. Hussey to remind us that although the work we do as Freemasons is very important, there is nothing wrong with having a little fun along the way. He's an individual that always brings something of himself into everything he's involved in--and what he brings into everything he does is entertainment.

Jake and Elroy burst into the reception unannounced
Between the Hawaiian shirt nights at his lodge, the chili cook-offs down in Southern Illinois, and the practical jokes, there is an air of chaos that naturally seems to surround him wherever he goes.  When The Hussey is around, you just never know what might happen. Especially during one of our Valley's solemn (and rather dull) receptions after the reunion.  You just never know who might come strolling in unannounced--the Blues Brothers, an old lady looking for her cat, or even Young Frankenstein doing a remake of "Puttin' On The Ritz."  But it's always entertaining, and something many of us look forward to (and a few of us less smart Masons actually get dragged into helping with).

Is that Marty Feldman?  Or The Midnight Freemason?
The Midnight Freemason is too smart to get dragged
into Hussey chaos.  Right?  Lets just go with that, okay?
But one thing I've learned about Bro. Hussey over the last few years, is there is one thing he takes very seriously--our fraternity.  There are few more dedicated to ensuring the continuation of our fraternity than he is.  His enthusiasm for our fraternity is contagious--I know, he gave it to me.

One thing about Freemasonry that few talk about is that we all bring something unique to our fraternity.  We all get the opportunity to offer something of ourselves to it.  One of the first conversations I had with Bill Hussey wasn't that long after I became a Master Mason--I joined the Scottish Rite a couple months after I was raised a Master Mason.  He corrected me on a misconception I had about the fraternity. I'd been told several times that I'd get out of Freemasonry what I put into it--in some ways that is true.  But Bill had a different take on it, and one that worked much better for me.  He told me early on, that Freemasonry is what I made of it. 

Freemasonry isn't a pre-defined path we follow--it's a journey.  It's personal.  We follow our own path, and when we're willing to offer something unique, we get something unique out of it.  When we're willing to say yes, rather than no, it's remarkable the places that we can go (that almost sounded like Dr. Seuss).  It's not the same for everyone, and we don't get the same things out of it.  Bill was absolutely right.  It is what you make it.


"I'm sorry.  What's your name again?"
"You idiot."
"Nice you to meet 'You Idiot.' My name is Bill Hussey."

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