A Mason Walkin' In Memphis

 by Midnight Freemasons Founder
Todd E. Creason, 33°

Marlowe's Restaurant sends a pink Cadillac limo to pick you up at your hotel when you're hungry. We couldn't seem to get enough of the wonderful local cuisine in Memphis, Tennessee. If you couldn't tell by our clothes, this was July 4th.  Left to right: Valerie, Katie, & Todd Creason
We'd never been to Memphis before, so this year we decided to take our annual 4th of July trip to Tennessee.  And since we were driving this time instead of flying, I decided to try and little experiment--I wore my Mason cap the whole week just to see how many comments I got as we traveled through Illinois, Missouri, Arkansas, and into Memphis, Tennessee.  Of course we did all the tourist stuff so we were enjoying these sites with other tourists: Graceland, Memphis Zoo, Beale Street, Redbird Stadium, Bass Pro Shoppe at the Pyramid,

We hadn't even gotten out of Illinois when I got the first remark.  We stopped for breakfast in Salem, Illinois at a Denny's when the waitress filled my coffee and said, "my dad's a Mason."

A couple hours later we bought gas at a truck-stop in Arkansas.  I went in to get coffee and when I went to pay for it, the cashier waved me by.  I looked at him questioningly, and he pointed to his ring and smiled.

At the Graceland Guesthouse when I checked in, the guy at the check-in desk asked me if Elvis was a Freemason.  I told him he wasn't.  "Well that kind of surprises me," he remarked.  "You guys have some nice looking jewelry, and he sure liked jewelry."

When we called Marlowe's for the pink Cadillac limo to take us to dinner (Marlowe's has some fantastic food and we ate there a couple times) the driver shook my hand in a very familiar way when we got out of the car.  Never said anything, and wasn't wearing a ring, but it was pretty clear he was a Mason.

At the Bass Pro Shop at the iconic pyramid downtown (only Bass Pro Shop I've ever been to that had valet parking), one of the security guards was a Mason, and during our discussion we learned he was a very smart man--from Illinois and a huge Chicago Cubs fan!

At a Mexican Restaurant we dined at, I got the question, "Isn't your name Hiram?"

There were a couple others--one at this huge fireworks store in Arkansas on the way home called "Boomtown" and one at the Memphis Redbirds Stadium.  I was a little surprised at how many times I was approached.  I think we've all had that experience of somebody seeing our ring, or a hat, or emblems on our car and walking up to us.  But it never ceases to amaze me how many times this happens considering just how small in numbers our Fraternity is compared to the population.

And maybe it's just that Masons are friendly people and are always anxious to meet another Brother.  I have very seldom ever passed up an opportunity to meet a Brother when I've seen a ring, a hat, or a Masonic license plate.  My youngest daughter is 12, and she picks out those Masonic symbols as quickly as I do . . . Dad!  Look!  That guy's got a Masonic tattoo!  Go find out where he's from!

And I almost always do.

Next time you go on a trip or on a vacation, try it.  It's pretty amazing the diversity of people you'll meet, and the stories you'll hear just because of this one common Brotherhood we all share.  In the end we're just all one big happy family!

So please, feel free to share your favorite "Masonic Encounter" in the comments!


Todd E. Creason, 33° is the Founder of the Midnight Freemasons blog, and an award winning author of several books and novels, including the Famous American Freemasons series. Todd started the Midnight Freemason blog in 2006, and in 2012 he opened it up as a contributor blog The Midnight Freemasons (plural). Todd has written more than 1,000 pieces for the blog since it began. He is a Past Master of Homer Lodge No. 199 and Ogden Lodge No. 754 (IL) where he currently serves as Secretary. He is a Past Sovereign Master of the Eastern Illinois Council No. 356 Allied Masonic Degrees. He is a Fellow at the Missouri Lodge of Research (FMLR). He is a charter member of the a new Illinois Royal Arch Chapter, Admiration Chapter No. 282 and currently serves as EHP. You can contact him at: webmaster@toddcreason.org

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