Rocky River #703, F&AM

From the East - February 2015

I recently had a chance to hear our DEO, WB Jonathan Krapf, giving a presentation on some of the symbols of the craft. And I was thinking, how do I apply them to my everyday life as well as in my year as Master? And here is what I came up with: 

The 24-inch gauge is for the instructive purpose of dividing our time. Personally, I’ve had to do that on a broader scale since my back surgery. It’s been difficult. Before my surgery, I was a working man with a 70-hour workweek, a wife, a house and three kids. It was difficult but I did a fair job of using the gauge. But now, I have more time for reflection. It wasn’t easy going from a full schedule to trying to fill my day. That’s when I decided to make my lodge a full time job. And it’s been a challenge but I think my accomplishments speak for themselves. 

The common gavel: Divesting our hearts and consciences of the vices and superfluities of life. It’s helped me to realize that with my afflictions, it could be very easy to be addicted to painkillers and drinking and a variety of other addictions. I have no desire for painkillers or other drugs, and even though I have an occasional beer from time to time, I reflect on my many advantages, personally and spiritually, as the gifts I have in my life have sustained me thus far. 

 

The plumb is my way of reflecting on my pride as a soldier. I stood uprightly as an NCO in charge of my squad of men and I had many responsibilities. I’ve learned in my various stations as a Mason that leadership and responsibility go hand-in-hand, standing uprightly at each station. From being a Marshal to my ascent to Master, it’s my honor to serve this Lodge. 

The square: To square my actions is difficult at times but I really try to think before I act or speak. I have made many decisions in my life, some good, and some bad. I am very proud of the good decisions I’ve made and the bad ones allow me to make better decisions next time. My virtue stands resolute. 

The level: Traveling on the level of time to that undiscovered country teaches me to be grateful for every day that I am blessed with, and living them to the utmost. I live each day one at a time. Until I am called upon to meet my maker, I pray that I live every day fully and with distinction. 

The trowel: I hope that with this tool in my toolbox that I’m able to spread brotherly love and friendship amongst my brothers everywhere and live up to the examples of my brethren before me as well as being a good example and teacher to our brothers of the future. 

The compasses: To circumscribe our desires and keep our passions within due bounds. I’ve had many desires in my life. Many I have achieved, and many I have laid by the wayside. My passions, as well, have been numerous, and so many I’ve suffered over the years. But the life I’ve lived has taught me to appreciate what I have. The memories I cherish have been bountiful. I love them all, good and bad. I am grateful for everything and everyone in my life. 

The Holy Bible is the rule and guide of our faith. When I was baptized at 14 years old, I called to the Lord to help in my need. My belief was limited and unrefined. I called upon Him for strength and guidance and a quest for faith. As I’ve aged, my faith has grown in many aspects. If I live my life a day at a time and always strive to do right by my fellow man, it is certain that I will always put my best foot forward in all that I aim to achieve and learn from my mistakes as I proceed. 

The rough ashlar and the perfect ashlar: These two symbols are distinct for me, in the fact that when I start something, I’m the rough ashlar. As I move toward my goals, making the edges smooth and polishing the sides, readying it to be placed, I do not stop with my goal until I have what I feel is a perfect ashlar, a stone worthy to be placed in the “building” of my life, “That house, not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.” 

And finally, brotherly love, relief and truth: I have tried my best to regard the human race as one family, treating everyone as I would like to be treated. In all that I do, I do my best not to be judgmental and assist my fellow man where and when I can. I feel it is my duty to do so. 

I have used these tools and symbols of Masonry as guidelines in my everyday life, along with so many others. These tools have made me a better man and allowed me to conduct my life with dignity and respect for myself and for others. 

Until the next time, I remain, on the level. 

Fraternally Yours, 

Jimmy Dixon, Worshipful Master 

From the East - January 2015

I hope all of you enjoyed the holidays and I wish all of you a prosperous New Year. A resolution is usually a part of everyone’s plan for the new year. In the past, I have ignored making resolutions for one reason or another, but this year my resolution is to become more involved in the lives of the people I care about and in the craft of which I hold in such high regard. I’m talking, of course, about Masonry. In my mind, it’s not just about the brothers who attend, but also the families that support them and in my year, I am making the resolution to get the families more involved. So on special meetings once a month, I’m going to schedule a family night, so that we, as brothers, can involve our families and make them feel as much a part of the lodge as we do. I’m hoping that these events will bring us all closer as a family in the craft. 

 Installation was a well attended event with many family and friends there. I was very pleased at the turnout, and I want to personally thank all the installing officers for their efforts, and the members of the Jobe’s Daughters Bethel for serving us dinner and posting the colors. Well done ladies! Thank you to Kevin’s Catering for once again preparing an excellent meal. Thank you to the members of our Eastern Star Chapter for their help in the evening and for organizing the wonderful Christmas party the following Sunday (including all the shopping for the children’s gifts.) Thank you also to the Grand Dignitaries that attended; WB Jonathan Krapf, DEO; RWB Robert D. Stands, DDGM; RWB Anthony Constantine Jr., DDGM; RWB Donald C. Morgan, DDGM; and RWB Eric R. Schau, Junior Grand Warden as well as all their ladies that were there. Thank you so much for making our night so special. To WB Sidney Solomon (who got me started on this journey of mine) it was my honor to have you place the jewel of Master on me; thank you brother! And, of course, thanks to all my family who attended, and thank you to my lady Donna Crockett for the gavel she presented to me; it is, in fact, "a nice hunk of wood!"

The Christmas party was an excellent turnout as we had about 35 children in attendance. It was a great time and I would like to express thanks to the Rainbows for the refreshment and their help with the gifts and to the Eastern Stars for all they contributed to the day’s events. Thanks to the amazing Paul and the magic show and what a great job he did with the children. Thanks to the face painter, Theresa Jamal, who worked alone this year, but still took care of all the children’s faces and hands; great job, thank you! To Santa and Mrs. Claus well done and thank you. (My apologies to Mrs. Claus for messing up her introduction.) Thank you to all the brethren and the moms who brought their children out. I hope it was as much fun for you as it was for me. 

I had my first official stated meeting on Dec.11th. Thanks to brother Roeder for sitting in as JD, and also thanks to WB Guy Bardt for taking on the job of director of stewards; he is handling the kitchen duties for the upcoming year and I want to ask that all of us assist him as much as possible in this huge task. I also want to thank the visitors we had that night; WB Ross S. Brochhagen, PM of John W. Barkley Lodge and his father RWB Ross Brochhagen Sr., Past Grand Organist for the Grand Lodge of New Jersey. Thank you Brethren for visiting our lodge. The Past Master’s breakfast was on the 27th of December and it was a nice turnout. I want to thank all the Past Masters who were there and to my lady Donna and Bev Pomminville for preparing the meal; it was a great time, thank you! 

Well brethren, I’m hoping as my year progresses that my articles will get better instead of just info on past events. I’ve never had the opportunity to write for a publication of any kind, so now I’m going to have to gather all of the imaginary talent I can muster. I’m actually curious to see what comes out! In closing, let me say I’m looking forward to seeing all of you at lodge and our future events and will keep you up to date as best i can. Until next time, I remain on the level.

Fraternally Yours, 

Jimmy Dixon, Worshipful Master 

From the East - November 2014

Greetings from the East, 

Amazing! The peak of autumn in mid-October – golds and yellows, crimson red, bright burnt orange, faded greens. I had the opportunity to experience a kaleidoscope of these colors while driving south on I-71 to Cincinnati for the 205th Annual Grand Lodge communication. Brethren, take the time to experience and enjoy each and every season. Every season reveals God’s glorious works and wonderful creations! 

An important proposal passed at Grand Lodge allows for Ohio lodges to have gambling on the premises that is permitted according to the laws of the State of Ohio. This is a step in the right direction for our fraternity. The proposal to allow alcohol consumption (beer, wine and champagne) received significant support, but did not achieve the required majority to pass. I believe this issue should be decided by individual lodges and, hopefully, there will be a proposal to do this in the near future. 

Another point of importance at Grand Lodge was our Worshipful Brother, Jonathan Krapf, was appointed as a District Educational Officer for the 22nd District. In my travels, there is no better lecturer in the District. He reflects all the principles and lessons that are taught in the lectures and is truly a Mason to emulate. Congratulations and good luck to Worshipful Brother Krapf! 

I want to thank my primary officers, Senior Warden Jimmy Dixon and Junior Warden Steve Pominville. In the leadership forums, they stress that if you have a successful year it is because of your officers but if you don’t then it’s a fault of the master! I believe we had a successful year and a lot of that success is because of these brothers and by the work of the other officers. Thanks for your efforts and hard work. I will be supportive and assist you in your journey to the East. I hope and challenge all Past Masters and brethren to do the same. 

This is my last article written by me as your Worshipful Master. Our editor told me to write with some substance. I tried to touch on the teachings and principles of Masonry and the importance of education and proficiency and the work the Craft. I tried to be insightful and meaningful and it my hope that the brethren took something back from these articles. I have my notes on when I was first installed as Master from our Past Master’s breakfast. Being an operative mason, I talked of the restoration and rebuilding of our lodge. My main goal was to establish a solid foundation for our future officers and our lodge as a whole to build on. I hope to some degree I have accomplished this role. Once again, thanks to everybody who has aided and assisted me this past year. It was a pleasure and an honor to serve you as the 86th Worshipful Master of Rocky River 703. Thank you and God bless. 

Fraternal regards, 

 

Michael Goldbach, Worshipful Master 

From the East - December 2014

Greetings from the East, 

Greetings for the first time from the East. My name is Jimmy Dixon and it is my honor and privilege to serve as the 87th Worshipful Master of Rocky River Lodge #703. I would like to thank the brethren and the Past Masters who voted for me and I want to assure all the brethren that I will do my utmost to preserve the honor and reputation of Rocky River Lodge and that I will do my very best as your Worshipful Master in the coming year. 

I’d like to give a brief background on myself. I was born in Lakewood, Ohio September 27, 1962 and was raised in the City of Cleveland, on the East and West side. All my experiences in this city have been vast, from the culture, to the neighborhoods I’ve lived in, to the places I’ve worked. 

I spent a very rewarding career in the US Army from April of 1980 to my Honorable Discharge in July of 1994. I’ve been many things in my life, from a soldier, to a husband and father of six children and have worked in a host of professions which I found exciting, rewarding and very instructive to becoming the man that I am today. 

I was an accomplished landscaper for many years and that piqued my interest to return to school at 28 to become a certified carpenter. That I did for more than 15 years covering all aspects from residential to commercial. In the off season, I was a tow truck driver, in which I saw many seasons, especially winter ones, come and go. It was that experience that heightened my desire to become an over-the-road truck driver, learning my craft from such professionals as CR England and US Express. I saw almost every state in this wonderful country of ours and still share some of the travel experience with my brother who is also a professional truck driver. 

My interest in the lodge has been a long one which really took off in 2009 when I was deemed medically disabled to work. That is why I put my full effort into the lodge and, ironically, it was Worshipful Brother Sid Solomon who gave me my start. 

Once, when I drove tow truck with Madison Towing, I picked up Sid in his car after an accident and while helping out, I saw his license plate and Masonic ring. He informed me that he was a member of #703 and I then asked him how I could become a member as well. He said, “You just have to ask.” I also informed him that #703 was the lodge of my grandfather, N. Truman Detherage. He was a member from April of 1956 until his death in June of 1972. And then Sid said, “Very cool. I will send you a petition,” and the rest is history! 

Since then, I have done my best to be involved in the lodge and excel in my education from the degrees that made me a Master Mason to the chairs I’ve occupied in my ascent to the Master’s chair. Along with my successful work with many of the candidates of whom I’ve helped achieve the level of Master Mason, I have attended all of the other classes and leadership forums as well. I’ve also taken many courses on Freemason University.com and have passed the examination for the Ohio Masonic Code. I feel that my education is only beginning and I will do my very best, along with my officers, my mentors, and with the help of the Past Masters. 

I’m confident that the events and programs I have in mind for this upcoming year will bring us all closer as family and as brothers. Again, thank you. I’m looking forward to the coming year.

Fraternally Yours, 

 

Jimmy Dixon, Worshipful Master 

From the East - October 2014

Some of Mason’s best and simplest teachings are that of the exploration of our working tools. In the Compagnon Degree that we presented, the “Tools” are the Square, the Level and the Plumb. With them we try, square and prove. With them we learn the faculties of judgment, what is true and what is real. What is truth? What is reality? Do we, as Masons, have a better idea of truth and reality?

On Saturday, October 11th, we have a special called meeting for an Entered Apprentice Degree. On October 16th, we have a tentative Entered Apprentice Degree that will be done by the past masters. This is due to the absence of the primary officers who will be attending Grand Lodge in Cincinnati that week. Watch for updated announcements on our web site.

October 30th will be a very, very special meeting for our lodge and district. Mark your calendars and try to attend this special meeting!

Once again I would like to thank everybody that helped, consulted and assisted me this past year. Much appreciated.

Fraternally, Michael Goldbach, Worshipful Master