A Tiny Restoration With a Big Impact Pt 1

by Midnight Freemason Contributor 
Bro. Robert Johnson 32°

Badly stained.
As is usually the case, sometimes things break in your lodge and you have to fix them. In our case, this time it was a bad piece of drywall in the men’s room. So Brother Bob who is the Senior Warden and I headed into the basement to look and see if we had any extra pieces. Walking under our building is a bit creepy and I think its kind of fun. I never know what I’ll find down there. We cleaned it once before and found an old Masonic lightbulb, a United States flag with only 48 stars on it and an old printing press from way back, when we used to make our own trestle boards and send them out. 

This time, I saw a white curled board under a light sitting on one of our old alters which had come from another lodge which joined with ours some time ago. I walked over to it and was amazed to find an old lithograph portraying the building of King Solomon's Temple. I knew in an instant I had to take this back upstairs and tell the brothers  my plan, which was that I was going to take it home, clean it, cut it,  re-mat and frame it. They didn't seem too enthused or care much. Perhaps maybe they thought it was just another case of an empty promise or broken heart syndrome.

The reveal.
When I got home I laid it down snapped a picture of it and decided to document the process. Needless to say it sat around in my office for a few days. Then on a Sunday afternoon, I did the first steps. I cleaned it off by lightly dusting it. Then next step was to find out if there was more to the picture under the existing mat board which was either glued by chemical or merely the drippings of a leaky basement over the course of God-only-knows how long.

So I carefully peeled a bit away and discovered much to my satisfaction, there was nothing under it. So I began the very delicate process of...well, just tearing it off. There was work to do, and I wasn't finished just yet.

To be continued.


Sir Knight Robert Johnson, 32° is the editor of the Midnight Freemasons blog.  He is a Freemason out of the First North-East District of Illinois. He belongs to Waukegan Lodge No. 78. He is also a member of the York Rite bodies Royal Arch, Cryptic Council and Knights Templar, and a member of the Scottish Rite Valley of Chicago.  Brother Johnson currently produces and hosts a weekly Podcast (internet radio program) Whence Came You? which focuses on topics relating to Freemasonry. In addition, he produces video shorts focusing on driving interest in the Fraternity and writes original Masonic papers from time to time. He is a husband and father of three. He works full time in the safety industry and is also a photographer on the side as well as an avid home brewer. He is also working on two books, one is of a Masonic nature.

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