I read The Kilgore News Herald issue of July 18th. There were two stories that had common parallels, but many readers may not have noticed. On page 2, was a story: “Masonic Lodge members install new slate of officers”. The story was very complete, accurate and thorough. I even visited Danville Masonic Lodge # 101 just last year. I’m a 5th Generation Freemason, and have been privileged to have joined the Masonic Lodge composed of Three Degrees largely based on the story of the stonemasons working on King Solomon’s Temple. I also joined the York Rite, Scottish Rite and other Masonic-related groups. I especially enjoy grand old Masonic architecture. I visited Palestine Lodge #31 in Palestine, TX a few weeks ago and saw a photo of their splendid Lodge Hall built in 1879 which no longer exists; and was told that (at that time) Palestine, Texas had a larger population than Dallas, Texas !! That type of educational information is rarely taught in today’s modern school books to school kids.
That brings me to the PARALLEL with that same issue of the Kilgore News Herald. The “cover story” on page 1 of that issue dealt with the iconic “Moon Landing” on July 20, 1969 by astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin. Few people realize that Buzz Aldrin is a distinguished Mason who also belongs to both the York Rite, the Scottish Rite, and the Shriners.
When the Moon Landing occurred. I remember watching grainy images on a black-and-white television. Now, comes the good part. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever envision meeting Buzz Aldrin, but I met him and shook his hand at the Kansas Cosmosphere Space Museum in Hutchinson, Kansas in August 2013 ---just under 5 years ago. It was a thrill for me to have history come “full circle”.
In closing, I congratulate all of the new officers of Danville Masonic Lodge #101 in Kilgore. I wish them a productive term in 2018-2019. I have personally known two officers for years: Bro. Kerry Kilgore, the Lodge secretary and Bro. Bret Conway, the Lodge Musician. I’d encourage any man of good character and having a desire to improve his knowledge and enhance his ethics by joining a fraternal Society to consider joining any Masonic Lodge. Masons generally don’t solicit new members. We encourage prospective candidates to come forward and “ask for membership” of their own free will and accord. You will find a pleasant and honorable atmosphere.
James A. Marples