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Masonic News & Views -- On Safari
September 24, 2011
Greetings Brother,

I apologize for being a few days late with this week's News & Views. I've been on safari - cricket safari. If you've ever had your home invaded by one of these maddening minstrels then you know what I'm talking about.

It began early one morning when the Lady BG woke me with a gentle nudge to the ribs with her elbow. "Are you awake," she asked.

"Oooowww. I am now."

"How can you sleep?"

"It's easy; watch."

Another shot to the ribs and, "I mean, how can you sleep with all that noise?"

"What noise," I asked her.

"Just listen."

I listened and I didn't hear anything. I was just about to say so when the first chirp reached my ear. "It's a cricket," I said.

It's funny how you can tell someone is speaking through clenched teeth even when you're not looking at them. "I Know It's A Cricket. I Need You To Do Something About It."

"I'm sure it'll stop in a minute," I said as I turned away to protect my ribs and other sensitive parts. "Just go back to sleep."

"It's been chirping all night. I haven't slept a wink. I've tried to find it but I can't. Now it's your turn."

I'm not sure what happened next. I was suddenly and magically catapulted off the bed and into the air. Fortunately though, the wall interrupted my flight and the floor broke my fall.

I spent the morning, and the better part of the day and night and the next day, stalking the cricket. If you've ever stalked a cricket then you know just how diabolical they can be. At times, the chirping sound seems to come from every direction. You creep slowly through the house and just when you're getting close, he goes silent. You crouch there, frozen for several minutes waiting for the next chirp, and when you finally give up and walk away..."chirp!"

Eventually, I decided it must be my footfalls that were alerting him to my approach, so I slipped off my shoes. I crept ever so stealthily toward where I'd heard him last. I froze and held my breath, determined to wait him out. But, when the chirp finally came it was from the opposite side of the room. And again, as I drew near he fell silent.

So, it must be that he senses the vibration caused when my stockinged foot contacts the floor. And so, I tried sneaking up on him on all fours but he only mocked me and chirped louder, until I was nearly upon him and then he stopped.

Sometime in the second day, I'd lost all track of time and hadn't slept; I realized that crickets must be so extremely sensitive that I was never going to sneak up on him as a man. I had to convince him that I was something else, something that he need not fear. I tried chirping like a female cricket but he, and the Lady BG, only laughed at me. Finally, I lay on the floor and slithered silent as a snake across the room. As I drew near he began to hesitate between chirps and I knew I was about to lose him again, so I began humming the melody to "That'll Be the Day." This seemed to calm him, and he continued to sing.

He stopped in mid-chirp when I exposed his Cricket Cave. He made no desperate attempt to escape as I closed in on him. He accepted his fate with a degree of dignity seldom seen. He squirmed only a little when I placed him in the tiny box and closed the lid. He chirped softly when I told him to remain quiet until the lid was opened again. And he did remain quiet while I placed a bow on top of the box, and went next door to wish the little blond haired girl a happy birthday.

Fraternally yours,

Tim Couch

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

Saturday, October 1, 2011: University Lodge No. 683 will host a Missouri Child Identification & Protection (MOCHIP) event today at South Haven Baptist Church in conjunction with the church's Annual Community Fall Festival. South Haven Baptist is located at 2353 South Campbell in Springfield. The MOCHIP event will be from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM. Volunteers are still welcome and will need to be there as early as 7:00 AM or stay until 4:00 PM. To volunteer your services call Jim Pierce at 872-9756.

Saturday, October 1, 2011: United Lodge No. 5 will hold their annual Installation of Officers ceremony. Dinner will be ready at 5:00 followed by the ceremony at 6:00 PM. This is an open ceremony and everyone is welcome. RSVP's are appreciated to help with food estimates and can be made by calling Worshipful Master-elect Michael Whitescarver at 417-689-4315.
United Lodge No. 5 meets at the Masonic-York Rite building located at 1930 West Catalpa Street in Springfield, MO.

Saturday, October 1, 2011: Sparta Lodge No. 296 in Sparta, MO will host a Concealed Carry Firearms class. The classroom portion will begin at 8:30 AM, and then a trip to the shooting range after lunch. The class should be finished around 4:00 PM. Guns will be available or you may bring your own. You'll need about 100 rounds of ammunition, .22 long rifle if borrowing a gun. For more details call 417-880-0074.

Sunday, October 2, 2011: Pleasant Hope Lodge No. 467 will hold their annual Installation of Officers ceremony today beginning at 2:30 PM. This is an open ceremony. All are invited and welcome to attend. The Pleasant Hope Lodge building is located at 104 South Main Street in Pleasant Hope, MO.
There will be a light lunch following the ceremony.

Sunday, October 2, 2011: Gate of the Temple Lodge No. 422, located at 1700 North Boonville in Springfield, MO, will hold their annual Installation of Officers ceremony today at 5:00 PM. This is an open ceremony. All are invited and welcome.
There will be refreshments following the ceremony.

Saturday, October 8, 2011: Henderson Lodge No. 477 will host a Concealed Carry Firearms class. The education will begin at 9:00 AM at the lodge hall located at 127 East Center Street in Rogersville, MO. After lunch the class will move to the firing range. The class size will be limited so reserve your spot by contacting Mike Smith at 417-753-4360 or Chad Porter at 417-763-1041.

The Tri-County Scottish Rite Club cordially invites all Scottish Rite Masons and their family and friends to enjoy fun and fellowship at their regular meetings held on the third Thursday of each month. Tri-County meets at the Elks Lodge in Bolivar , MO. Social time at 6:30 PM; Dinner and meeting at 7:00. Yearly dues are just $5.
For directions and inquiries please call John Bennett at 417-328-8188 or Jackie Slagle at 417-376-2943.

The Scottish Rite Valley of Joplin needs your help in preserving our beautiful Scottish Rite Cathedral. And, in helping preserve this piece of American history you could win a brand new Chevy Camaro. Tickets are just $50 each and only two thousand tickets will be offered. There will be cash prizes awarded, as well. For all the details on how you can help us preserve this beautiful building please go to WWW.WIN-CAMARO.COM. or visit and "LIKE" the page at While you're at it be sure and tell your friends. Thank you very much.

As you can see there's lots of Masonry going on in Missouri. See the links below to keep up with the latest or to submit information for your upcoming meeting.

For more news of upcoming events and special communications visit the Upcoming Masonic Events page on

For a calendar of Stated meetings for many of the Lodges and Masonic bodies visit the Masonic Calendar page on

For help locating a lodge building visit the Missouri Masonic Lodge Map page on

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