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Masonic News & Views -- Skunked
February 28, 2011
Greetings Brother,

I should have known something was up when I woke this morning before dawn, bright eyed and bushy-tailed. Unfortunately, I wasn't the only one.

I tiptoed into the kitchen, started a pot of coffee, switched on the news channel, and reached for my favorite coffee cup. It wasn't there. I looked all around, and finally remembered having it out at the workshop yesterday. I slipped out the back door and down the steps to the shop, and sure enough there it was. As I headed back up the familiar path to the house I was ruminating on the wisdom of having two favorite cups and whether that were even possible when sudden movement in front of me stopped me in my tracks.

I'm not sure what the proper reaction is when you come upon a skunk in your path, but I'm pretty sure I didn't do it right. I jumped and I might have even screamed just a little - a husky, manly scream. Turns out though, that skunks are startled by husky, manly screams. I think we must have seen each other about the same time. I jumped and he turned around to show me his butt. I wasn't prepared for this, I hadn't had my coffee yet, but the last thing I wanted to see this morning was the butt of a skunk. I cringed, expecting the worst, but it didn't come.

I peeked out from my crouching coward position, and he was still there. He hadn't sprayed, yet, but his tail was straight up and he was quivering as if he could barely restrain himself. I wanted to run, but with less than five feet between us there was no way I was going to be quick enough to escape being perfumed. I'd have been happy to let him pass without incident, but he didn't seem to want to. It seemed as if I had trespassed into his territory, and that's when I realized he was living under the back porch of the CowChows and now he was prepared to defend his home against an intruder.

It was a standoff, but I knew it wouldn't last much longer. If I stayed he would continue to feel threatened and would spray. If I tried to run, he would spray. I tried talking to him in a soothing voice, but apparently they don't like that any better than manly, husky screaming.

As slowly as I possibly could I slid my hand up, lifted my hat gently off my head, and then eased it down by my side. His quiver had become more of twitch and I knew he was locking his sights on me. I took a deep breath and tossed the hat in one direction and dove, tucked and rolled in the other. I quickly lost control of my tumble but the bridal veil bush at the bottom of the hill stopped me before any real damage was done.

I struggled to my feet and stumbled out of the bush, and the skunk was gone. I started up the hill but went only a few steps before I knew... yeah, I'm gonna need a new hat. Luckily, though, my favorite coffee cup survived. As for the skunk, he'd better be filling out his change of address cards.

Fraternally yours,

Tim Couch


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

Monday, February 28, 2011: Branson Lodge No. 587 will meet in Special Communication for work in the 2nd Degree of Freemasonry. Brothers Robert Huels and Jesse Crigger will be presented for the degree of Fellow Craft. Dinner at 6:00 and Lodge will be duly Opened at 7:00 PM.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011: March Madness Ritual Instruction kicks off tonight at the Masonic York Rite building located at 1930 West Catalpa Street in Springfield, MO. Instruction will begin at 6:30 PM. RWB Randy Jones, Grand Lecturer of Missouri, will instruct on the 2nd section of the 3rd degree. All Master Masons are encouraged to attend.
March Madness Ritual Instruction will be held on the first four Wednesdays of March beginning at 6:30 PM each night with the exception of the March 23 school when we will have dinner at 6:00 and instruction at 7:00 PM.

Saturday, March 5, 2011: A Chance-to-Advance one day class will be held at Gate of the Temple Lodge No. 477. The day will begin with breakfast at 6:30, registration at 7:00 AM and Lodge will be duly Opened at 8:00 AM. The Fellow Craft degree and first section of the Master Mason degree will be conferred before lunch; followed by the second section of the Master Mason degree after lunch.
Breakfast will be provided by Abou Ben Adhem Shrine and lunch will be prepared by the Gate 422 Cook Crew. A donation of $5 for lunch will be appreciated. All Master Masons are invited in.

March 10 thru March 20, 2011: The Shrine Circus is coming to town!. Tickets are available from the Shrine office by calling (417) 869-9164.

Saturday, March 12, 2011: Neosho Lodge No. 247 will host a Regional School of Ritual Instruction to be conducted by RWB Tim Couch, RGL. Instruction will begin at 10:00 AM with refreshments beforehand.

Saturday, March 26, 2011: Monett Lodge No. 129 will host a State School of Ritual Instruction and the Regional Round Robin Ritual Competition. RWB Randy Jones, Grand Lecturer of Missouri, will conduct the school and competition. Breakfast at 8:00 and instruction will begin at 9:00 AM. All Master Masons are encouraged to attend.

Friday & Saturday, March 18 & 19, 2011: Multi-State Scottish Rite Reunion hosted by the Valley of Joplin. This is going to be a once in a lifetime event. Freemasons from Louisiana, Oklahoma, Texas, Missouri, as well as other States will gather in Joplin for a two day Reunion to confer the Scottish Rite Degrees. Degrees will be conferred by teams from differing States. This is definitely a Reunion that you will not want to miss. Contact the Orient of Missouri Membership Director, RWB Greg Ross KCCH @ 417-872-8179 for information, details, and petitions.

Want a chance to win a brand new Chevrolet Camaro? Well, here ya go. The Valley of Joplin will award a brand spanking new Chevy Camaro to one lucky ticket holder on October 19, 2011. 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 and to get your winning ticket visit WWW.WIN-CAMARO.COM. or visit and LIKE the page at Facebook.com/Win-a-new-Camaro

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 Masonsmart.com

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

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

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