I joined my local Masonic Lodge back around 1999. I was still young and going to the local community college. My history professor took our class on a field trip to Camargo, Mier, and what was once Nuevo Camargo across the border in México.
As a youth, I remember seeing the square and compass displayed on various statues and signs in Reynosa, another city across the border. While having lunch on our field trip, I asked the professor about the symbol. That's when I first learned about Freemasons.
As luck would have it, my professor was a Mason too. When I asked him how one becomes one, he said, "it's very simple; to be one, you ask one." When we got home, I researched the history of Freemasons; I was fascinated by their history and the numerous famous members.
Soon after, I contacted my local lodge and went through the process of becoming a Mason. It took some work; but I eventually went through the degrees and became a Master Mason. Being young and poor, one of my fellow members sponsored me to become a Scottish Rite Mason and also a Shriner. At the annual Buccaneer Days parade in Corpus Christi, there was some astonishment to see a young Shriner.
I stopped going to lodge when I got a night job. I lost touch with the fraternity and haven't been back in many years. I have come across some of my fellow lodge members over the years in the course of my work here and there. Recently, I got an invitation to return to the lodge. I think I will.
To add to the pleasure of returning to the lodge, it coincides with the 100 year anniversary of our local lodge. I would not want to miss commemorating such an anniversary for a lodge that has a great deal of historical significance to our city.
I'll be talking to my Masonic brothers in the coming days to work out the details of my return. It's one of those things that I've missed doing all these years. Now that I'm older, I have a greater appreciation for the rich history and contributions Freemasons have made to society.
It should be fun.