1269.02 Miles and 3 Days later...

by Midnight Freemason Contributor
Bro. Brian Schimian

A while back, I had the honor and privilege to take an impromptu journey, traveling East (literally) to meet a Brother, his wife and brother and explore the wonder of the George Washington Masonic Memorial. You can read about it right here.

A huge dog riding in the back of a truck
reminded us of this "movie star".
This time the trip was a little more South than East.  And a little more planned out.  The Brotherhood was certainly Bountiful.  I was able to travel with Bro. Robert Johnson to Doric Lodge No. 732 in Nashville, TN. for a presentation he was giving on the Colonial History of Freemasonry.  On the drive into Nashville, we did happen to see one movie star riding in the back of a small pickup truck…

We were greeted with open arms by WM Fraizer & Bro. Boone as they picked up up from the wonderful aLoft Hotel.  We received a tour of the TN Grand Lodge, which is a beautiful building and was previously a Scottish Rite Temple.  Bro. Johnson even took one for the team.  He knows, we know.  All I will say is, there is only one true Master, eh Brother?

Carved S&C
Grand Lodge of TN
After our tour of the Grand Lodge, we were shown around beautiful downtown Nashville.  Then it was time to get to the fellowship.  By that I mean we went for “pre-game” and were introduced to the “Prohibition Era” style cocktail house.  When in Nashville, you must visit The Patterson House.  Top notch spirits and all of their syrups, mixes and juices are made in-house.  They even have differently shaped ice to complement the different drinks.

After the eduction in fine drinking, we were off to dinner at The Southern, a Steak & Oyster House in the heart of downtown Nashville where we were joined by Bro. Cole.  The only thing better than the food was the conversation and brotherhood.  From there we were introduced to the Flying Saucer Draught Emporium.  I am not too sure that anything more would have been able to improve on that night.  Again, we traveled hundreds of miles and found ourselves among family.  That is the best way I can explain it.

Monday, we were on our own for a bit, but luckily it was TN Grand Lodge week.  That means one thing, bling!  We made our way around the Grand Lodge meeting some great Brethren and picking up some wonderful items to remember our visit by.

We walked around the downtown area and checked out some shops.  Even drove out to the other side of the Cumberland River, around the Ole Opry and had some great lunch.  Check out a few shops out there and even a small museum that had some pretty interesting memorabilia from Bro. Audie Murphy.  Not only did he lie about his age to get into the Army so he could fight in WWII, but he earns the Medal of Honor then returns home to write an autobiography about it and then played himself in the movie.  The dude was amazing!  Bro. Johnson and I certainly had ourselves a good time and the conversations we had during the drive to, around and from Nashville were certainly of epic proportions.

Then it was off to Doric Lodge No. 732 for some more brotherhood and Bro. Johnson’s presentation.  While there we met SW Tyler Sanders, Bro. Kannard (with his wonderful wife and son), Bro. JP Clardy and even Brethren from Memphis.  There was even a PDDGM in the audience.  I know I missed a to of people, but there are too many to list.  Then, possibly the nicest thing that WM Fraizer and the Brethren of Doric Lodge could have done, happened.  Being that we were in a different Masonic Jurisdiction, we were treated to witness the Opening and Closing of the Lodge.  They did an awesome job and it was beyond captivating to watch the ritual, the same but different, being performed for us.  We even were party to some Masonic Education as they studied with their newest E.A.  We even received a keep sake from the WM, who knew a tiny piece of metal could mean so much.  We stayed longer than I am sure the Brethren’s “significant others” would have liked and discussed the future of Freemasonry and Doric Lodge.  It was really refreshing to know and hear firsthand that the idea of a few is the movement of many.

The point is, our family grew exponentially that weekend.  I can say that I truly felt at home among those Brethren.  Really, I joked that I would buy Bro. Johnson a plane ticket home, I was staying.  I would have to say that if you have the chance to travel, put Doric Lodge No. 732 on your list of destinations.  A Master’s Wage will certainly be earned.

To the Brother’s of Doric Lodge, I raise my Vieux Carre in your honor and in thanks for the warm welcome and fellowship and I offer this toast:

We meet as Masons free and true, and when our work is done,
The merry song and social glass is not unduly won.
And only at our farewell pledge is pleasure mixed with pain,
Happy to meet, sorry to part, happy to meet again. 

We Masons prize that noble truth, the Scottish peasant told,
That rank is but a guinea stamp: The man himself the gold.
We meet the rich and poor alike, the equal rights maintain,
Happy to meet, sorry to part, happy to meet again. 

PS - You are welcome for the snow flurries Tuesday morning, Brethren.  We were happy to leave you a taste of Chicago weather as we journeyed home.


Bro. Brian Schimian is Life of Member A.O. Fay #676 in Highland Park Illinois and the Medinah Shriners - Lake County Shrine Club. He was also the Past Master Counselor of DeMolay - Lakes Chapter in 1995. Brian is a father of two children."Start Square, Finish Level"


  1. Bro. Schimian -- Thank you so much for the kind words. The brethren of Doric Lodge #732, my officers, and the members of the Nashville Valley of the A.A.S.R., S.J., that you had the opportunity to meet really enjoyed that time with both you and Bro. Johnson. You and the other "Midnight Freemasons" exemplify what we at Doric Lodge are endeavoring to do. Namely, to encourage the continued growth, focus and quality of Freemasonry in America as it moves into, what I believe, is its "Second Renaissance". Come visit us again, and the vieux carre's will be on me. - W.M. Al Frazier

  2. Was at the Grand Lodge annual communication as well. Snow prior was a little strange, but didn't distract from a wonderful gathering and beautiful building. Look forward to attending more there in the coming years.


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