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Masonic News & Views -- The Japanese Beetle Battle
June 14, 2010
Greetings Brother,

One day last week I was out working around the CowChows and spotted my first Japanese Beetle of the season. I always swear I'll be prepared for the invasion next year but somehow I just never am. I think it's because I've never found a solution that I'm entirely happy with.

I've tried the Japanese Beetle traps, but they use a scented lure that really works. The idea is that you place the trap away from any desirable plants; the beetles are lured in by the scent and fall into a plastic bag and die. It works too well. Every beetle for miles around is drawn by the scent and instead of having a moderate invasion you find yourself dealing with the entire Japanese fleet.

I tried poison. It works, but it's nonspecific. It kills all the bugs and that hardly seems fair. The thing that really bugs me about these bugs is that they don't really care what they eat. From the moment they reach maturity they have only one purpose, to propagate like crazy. The leaves they eat are just sustenance so they can keep doing it. I even tried playing Barry Manilow music but that only seemed to agitate them.

Then, a couple of days later, it hit me. I couldn't believe there was such a sure and simple solution, and it had never occurred to me before. I waited until well after dark, slipped out the back door, crept out into the orchard where they seemed to congregate, and under the star decked canopy of heaven I quietly and solemnly obligated them all as Master Masons. Then, feeling certain that they would never come back I breathed a deep sigh of relief, removed my top hat and went inside.

Everything seemed fine until this afternoon. I stepped out onto the back porch and could not believe my eyes. There were Japanese Beetles everywhere, thousands more than there were before, but there was something different about them. Where before they just seemed to buzz around and clamor all over each other, they now seemed somehow organized. They were flying in formation; they were marching in rows from leaf to leaf, and to my complete amazement I realized they were marching to a faint but distinct musical cadence.

I was standing there on the back porch of the CowChows, dumbfounded and utterly confused, when one the beetles broke from formation and flew directly at me. I was too stunned to move and he landed on the bridge of my eyeglasses. My eyes crossed as I tried to focus on him and I stumbled backward, but caught the porch rail. I steadied myself and as he finally came into focus I saw it, a great big grin under a tiny red Shriner's fez.

Fraternally yours,

Tim Couch

Now, on with the news........................

Friday, June 18, 2010: Visitation and Masonic Funeral Services for Illustrious Bill Moore will be held from 6:00 to 8:00 PM at Greenlawn Funeral Home South in Springfield, MO. Big Bill's obituary can be seen by clicking here.

Saturday, June 19, 2010: Friend Lodge No. 352 in Ozark, MO will meet in Special Communication to confer a 2nd and a 3rd Degree. Breakfast will be ready at 8:00 and Lodge will be duly Opened at 9:00 AM.

Saturday, June 19, 2010: Sparta Lodge No. 296 will hold their annual Pig Roast from 3:00 to 6:00 PM. The lodge building is located at 7702 State Hwy 14 East in Sparta, MO. You can get driving directions to there by clicking here and using the Missouri Masonic Lodge Map. Seven bucks will get you live Blue Grass and Country music, BBQ Sandwich, Home-cut fries, Baked (Masonic) beans, Dessert and a cold drink. BRING YOUR LAWN CHAIRS AND COME SPEND THE AFTERNOON IN SPARTA, MO.

Saturday, June 26, 2010: The Oklahoma Masonic Indian Degree Team will confer an outdoor 3rd Degree at Fohn Charolais Farm, Cassville, MO. The farm is located on Hwy 76 about 3/4 miles west of Hwy 37. Lodge will open at 10:00 AM. Coffee and donuts before Lodge. Lunch (BBQ) will be served for a donation. If you haven't seen the Oklahoma Indians confer a Degree come and join us. Tiler will check all dues cards.
In case of inclement weather the degree conferral will be held at Pythagoras Lodge No. 383 located at 1704 Main Street in Cassville, MO.

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