From the Archives: The 50 Year Member: Part Four - Inward Not the Outward

by Midnight Freemason Contributor
Bro. Bill Hosler, PM

The lodge BBQ was a smashing success. The evening was perfect. A slight breeze was blowing through the warm night air, light music playing in the background. Dozens of kids of all ages were running around the backyard each one stuffed full of hot dogs and hamburgers. Their faces were encrusted in chocolate and marshmallows from the s’mores they had roasted at the bonfire. Their parents hoped all the running and playing would tire them out so they would be ready for bed when they got home.

The grownups were sitting around the bonfire chatting enjoying the conversation in the beautiful night air. Topics ranged from their favorite carry in dish of the night to who would conduct the stair lecture in an upcoming degree.

Pudge was sitting by himself at the picnic table. Even though he seemed to be in a good mood it appeared he had something on his mind.

The 50 year member was dressed in his casual attire. Khaki shorts and a Hawaiian shirt. It was the perfect outfit for such a beautiful summer evening. “Hey Pudge!” The 50 year said “Did you get enough to eat?” Oh yeah, I’m stuffed” Pudge said “Some of these people are awesome cooks.” The old man was smiling “We will have to do this more often. Everyone is having a great time.” Pudge tried to smile “They sure are. It’s nice to see everyone dressed casually for a change. I don’t feel so out of place.” The old man frowned. “I don’t understand Pudge. Everyone dresses casually for a cookout.” Pudge put down his drink and said “I know. I don’t mean here I mean like at lodge. I have over heard some members talking about how me and some of the other younger guys don’t wear suits to lodge.” Pudge continued “I’m a T shirt and jeans kind of guy. I wear nice clothes when I go to lodge but it seems like unless I am wearing a suit some will think I am not serious about Masonry or that I am being disrespectful. I thought they said in Masonry it was the internal, not the external that counted.”

The old man leaned back into his chair. He himself had thought the same thing when the younger guys started coming to lodge. All these younger guys he sees on a daily basis are covered in tattoos and piercings. He had worried about the future of the country because all these kids dress so crazy. But after getting to know many of them, especially Pudge he had seem how serious they were about the craft. They are constantly asking questions and having discussions about Masonry his opinion of the younger generation had changed. “Most of them were just kids trying to be themselves” he thought.

“I understand what you are saying Pudge” The old man replied “But you have to remember our generation were raised to dress up for every occasion. Back in my day we dressed for every event. We even wore a suit to go to the movies!” The 50 year member continued “In my day it was considered disrespectful not to wear a suit to lodge. I imagine until recently it has always been that way.” “I understand that Pudge said “But like it says the internal, not the external.”The old man explained “That is true it is the internal not the external and I guess really there isn’t anything wrong with wearing casual attire while at lodge. Many of the smaller lodges in the country towns do it all the time But I say the
internal is exactly the reason while you should dress up to attend lodge.”

Pudge look surprised at what the old man was saying. “My internal is the reason I should dress up? I don’t get it.” The old man continued “Masonry is about making you a better man. Wearing a suit won’t do that but being well dressed makes you feel more confident and creates an heir about you. That confidence really shows to everyone you encounter. If you are in a suit you feel like you can take on the world and everyone you encounter believes you can. That you are well put together and pay attention to the small details and are well organized. Basically what I am saying is your outward affects your inward.” 

Pudge sat stunned. He had never thought about it that way. “So basically it’s like the old saying Clothes makes the man.” “Exactly” The old man said “If you feel confident and on your game you will perform better. Whether you are performing ritual or giving a speech. Even at your job. Think about it Pudge. When you see someone in a suit or dressed like they just got out bed. Who would you think has it more together?” Pudge stared at the table. “I think the guy in the suit.” The old man touched his hand. “Exactly. Sometimes a man has to dress up. It’s part of being a man. Whether you are attending lodge, going to a funeral or even a wedding. You want to look good and show respect for the event or the people you are with and respect for yourself.”

“I’m not saying you have wear formal attire all the time. A T-shirt and jeans is fine when you are with your friends or going out to a casual gathering but I will warn you. That confident feeling gets addictive and you will find yourself dressing up more often or wearing dressier casual clothes.” The old man said smiling “And the ladies like it to.”

Pudge laughed. “Like ZZ Top said every girls crazy about a sharp dressed man.” The old man looked puzzled “Who is ZZ top?” both men started laughing “I’ll explain later” Pudge said “Let’s get another drink and roast some marshmallows.”


WB Bill Hosler was made a Master Mason in 2002 in Three Rivers Lodge #733 in Indiana. He served as Worshipful Master in 2007 and became a member of the internet committee for Indiana's Grand Lodge. Bill is currently a member of Roff Lodge No. 169 in Roff Oklahoma and Lebanon Lodge No. 837 in Frisco,Texas. Bill is also a member of the Valley of Fort Wayne Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite in Indiana. A typical active Freemason, Bill also served as the High Priest of Fort Wayne's Chapter of the York Rite No. 19 and was commander of of the Fort Wayne Commandery No. 4 of the Knight Templar. During all this he also served as the webmaster and magazine editor for the Mizpah Shrine in Fort Wayne Indiana.

1 comment:

  1. Bro. Hosler, I really enjoy these short stories you produce. They are fantastic ways for the younger generation to understand the older generation and the older generation to understand the younger... A great way to bring forth the issues that really matter.. Brotherhood. Thank you for sharing these and keep it up. Honestly, I would like to see these become printed one day.

    Bro. Aaron R. Gardner
    Celestial Brotherhood


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