A Night at the Johnson's

by Midnight Freemason Contributor
Bro. Aaron Gardner

Note from the editor: This piece originally came to me a while ago, but had been pushed back due to some pertinent posts and dates which were promised to other articles. Better late than never. I also want to acknowledge my gratitude to Aaron for his kind words. ~RHJ

While traveling to Michigan from Oklahoma I was forwarded the opportunity to stop in Illinois and visit with Brother Robert Johnson. It was planned ahead of time to visit with him the first opportunity I had. It was long over due considering we have been writing for this blog together, quite sometime now. The opportunity just never presented itself with me being overseas when I started contributing to The Midnight Freemasons and being stationed in Fort Sill, Oklahoma for the remainder of my Army career. When I called Bro. Johnson I was already in Missouri traveling North ready to meet with him and his family. He answered and propositioned me to stay over the night and go to the first ever Masonic Symposium in the Midwest being held at Pleiades Lodge # 478. The trip to see Bro. Johnson, turned into an educational experience where I was able to meet many different faces of the Craft including Bro. Brian Schimian and the newest Midnight Freemason, Bro. Robert Walk. 

The first day I was in Illinois, Brother Johnson had to work and was going to be gone well into the night. I came to the Johnson’s house to be greeted by a couple rambunctious kids, RJ’s mom and the awesome Cori Johnson. With all the action going on in the house, I wonder how Brother Johnson finds time to work on Whence Came You, Iron Mike Magazine and this blog. He is truly talented when it comes to balancing family, work and Freemasonry.

A short while after I was welcomed into the Johnson home Bro. Schimian walked through the door and gave me a nice Fraternal hug. It was a pleasure, yet again, to meet him finally; especially after our long conversations starting back when I was deployed. He took me out to dinner to celebrate being a free man no longer in debt to the United States Government. Of course, while at dinner we couldn't stray away from talking about the Craft. We talked about everything under the sun but it always came back to the thing that brought us together in the first place: Freemasonry.  

When RJ got home, it was the same story. He greeted me with a Fraternal hug and we began talking; all three of us, about the wonderful Fraternity we are a part of. It is amazing how meeting with two men (and a lady), we could feel like we have met before. There was no such thing as awkward pauses, no worrying of offending one another, just three brothers getting together under one roof. We talked about everything from the esoteric, to ritual, to our personal lives. When brethren get together under one roof, regardless if you haven't met them in person before, there are no secrets. Being with RJ and Brian was as close to home as I could get without Emily. There is no way I could express how grateful I truly am to the Johnson’s for allowing me into their home, and to Brian for keeping good company until we were all together. I was about as comfortable as I could get. Just ask Bro. Schimian when he came down to the basement to wake me for the next morning, I didn’t even hear him on the stairs. (I hear everything while sleeping)

The next venture for us in this great friendship we have built was the Symposium. I am not going to take away from Brother Brian Schimian’s article, his article explained it quite well. It was a great time and met some great people that I have talked to for a long while, almost as long as I have been a Mason. It was humbling when talking with brethren, who I have never had the privilege to meet or speak with before, talk to me about things that I have written. When Brother Charles Harper Sr. shook my hand and greeted me like we have been friends for years, despite our differences and beliefs. The whole experience in itself was enlightening and opened my eyes to different ideas in the world of Freemasonry. Opened them so much that Brother Robert Walk and I talked about an idea that we both came up with separately. Granted, we had different thoughts about the idea but overall we had the same idea and just needed to discuss what our plan of action was going to be. 

With so much happening in the world of Freemasonry, I am blessed and honored to be working with some of the greatest minds in the Craft that I know today. From those who spoke at the Symposium, to those who write their own blogs, and to the men and lady who write for the Midnight Freemasons. Thank you all for showing me how great this Fraternity is and can be in the future with us working together. 


Bro. Aaron Gardner , an American Soldier who just recently transitioned into the Reserves after 8 years serving the Active Duty Army. He dedicates the majority of his free time to Freemasonry with his constant studies, writing and traveling from lodge to lodge to learn as much as he can regarding Freemasonry. He likes to relate his everyday life to the Craft and anything he finds he wants to spread to the world. It is his passion to study people, religion, history and Freemasonry. When he isn't working as a Soldier he is dedicating his time to the amazing and supportive Emily, writing about Freemasonry and writing his very own novel. His blog page is Celestial Brotherhood.

1 comment:

  1. Brother, I am just honored to have been able to meet you, finally.

    You are a heck of a Brother and great person to hang out with.

    Thank You for your service to this Country and for your contributions to Freemasonry. I am very humbled to have you as my friend and Brother.


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