Earlier this year I was asked if I was going to attend the Spring Reunion of the Valley of St. Louis in April 2018. I had to tell my good friends that because I was traveling to Ohio for a short speaking tour and also, that I was going to Masonic Con 2018 in that same month, it would be next to impossible. Just too much time away from home.
Fast forward a couple months, it's April and I'd just arrived in Ohio to speak at the beautiful Willoughby Chapter #231 when I received an email from Randy Davis, a brother I'd never met. He asked if I could come down to St. Louis to talk at the Grandmaster's Breakfast. I took a deep breath. I called my wife. I think she said something like, "You can't turn down a request from a Grand Master like that." So I emailed him back and said I'd be there.
We hammered out the logistics and it turns out this was the same weekend that the St Louis Reunion was happening. It looked as though I'd attend the reunion after all. I arrived on Friday evening, just in time to see an excellent portrayal of the 14th degree. I looked around the library and then went to my accommodations for the evening, the dormitory.
I first slept here a few years ago and I loved it. I highly recommend the experience of a dorm stay at a valley, whether it's St. Louis or Guthrie or wherever. Typically, at the Valley of St. Louis there are about thirty beds, which are all filled up. Guys come in on Friday, and stay the night and head home Saturday, unless you're me. I stayed over an additional night into Sunday.
|Getting ready for a degree.|
I was told it would be fine by the Valley Secretary, the always awesome, Ill. Bro. Bret Akers. I was then told that there would be Brothers at the Valley until late, like 2am or 3am to clean up after the Reunion for a dance show that's coming to the venue. So I went along about the day, attended degrees, and at 5pm, I departed for a dinner with the Grandmaster with my liaison, Randy Davis. During the dinner, gents kept telling me that I was crazy, that the Valley was haunted, when they heard I was staying the night alone. And even that should look out for, "the Green Man". Afterwards, Randy Davis dropped me back off at the Valley and I made myself at home in the dorm, all by myself.
|A view standing outside the dorm, looking down the |
hall at the other end. Yes, it's dark.
I stayed up a little late. I think I closed my eyes around midnight. I woke up a few hours later around 2am and heard some old wooden soled shoes walking the halls and some clear voices talking about reimbursements or something of the like. I went back to bed. I woke the next morning and made my way to the Grandmaster's breakfast where I was to present.
|Setting up for the Grandmasters Breakfast|
Before the event really started, I saw my great friends Jacob Thompson and Randy Sanders. I walked over and said, "Good morning.", and exchanged the usual pleasantries. Jacob asked how I slept and I told him that I slept very well. I informed him that I only woke up once and that I heard them talking about some stuff and making final rounds before leaving the building around 2am.
Jacob then told me, "We left at 11pm."
RWB, Robert Johnson is the Managing Editor of the Midnight Freemasons blog. He is a Freemason out of the 1st N.E. District of Illinois. He currently serves as the Secretary of Waukegan Lodge No. 78 where he is a Past Master. He is also a Past District Deputy for the 1st N.E. District of Illinois. Brother Johnson currently produces and hosts weekly Podcasts (internet radio programs) Whence Came You? & Masonic Radio Theatre which focus on topics relating to Freemasonry. He is also a co-host of The Masonic Roundtable, a Masonic talk show. He is a husband and father of four, works full time in the executive medical industry and is also an avid home brewer. He is the co-author of "It's Business Time - Adapting a Corporate Path for Freemasonry" and is currently working on a book of Masonic essays and one on Occult Anatomy to be released soon.