Several years ago I traveled to Philadelphia to attend a meeting where I found myself seated next to a stranger. In the few minutes before the program started, we struck up a conversation and discovered that we had common interests. As we only had a few minutes to talk before the program started, we exchanged business cards and agreed to email each other.

In the next few months, we followed up and emailed a couple of times. The following year, we ran into each other again at a meeting. Once again we spoke very briefly, but agreed that we should try to get together with our wives for dinner next year at a meeting that was scheduled to be in Washington DC. I kind of forgot about it until a few months before that meeting, I received a phone call from him. He reminded me of our dinner plans but said, the reality of it was, we both had so much going on with the meetings and events that in all likelihood, we would probably not find time to get together. He extended an invitation to my wife Cindy and I to stay at his home in the Pennsylvania countryside on the weekend prior to the meeting and even offered to pick us up at the airport and drop us at our hotel before our meeting. We accepted.

Now, I want you to stop and think about all this for a minute. I ran into this stranger, at a meeting in another state, and we spoke for a few minutes. After that, over the next few years, we shared a couple of emails and spoke briefly at another meeting the following year. We certainly didn’t know each other well, but then this guy invites my wife and I to come and stay in his home in the Pennsylvania countryside for the weekend – and we accept! In the context of today’s world, think about all that; it kind of has the making of a good horror story!

So now I ask you, “In what world does this happen?”

And because we are all part of a great big Masonic family you probably already answered “In our world – in our Masonic World” and you would be correct. We were both Freemasons. Cindy and I accepted the invite, we had a wonderful time, and became great friends with Gene and Sally.

With everything that goes on in the world today – the scheming, crime, intolerance, and hate isn’t it great to be a part of this great fraternity and trust that there are people surrounding us that share our virtues and values. People that you may not be well acquainted with, but who you can trust! During the weekend that Cindy and I spent with Bro. Gene Herritt and his wife Sally, I was once again reminded of something very special about our fraternity. I was reminded of what it feels like to be a Mason and it’s a great feeling!

As Brother Paul Harvey use to say; “And now for the rest of the story”.

This past December, just after Christmas, I once again traveled to Pennsylvania. This time it was to witness the installation of my good friend Bro. Gene Herritt, as the Right Worshipful Grand Master of Masons in Pennsylvania. When we met, neither of us had any clue that someday we would be Grand Masters. We were just two Masonic Brothers with common values so we quickly bonded, and in our world, stories like that are a common occurrence.

Isn’t it great to be a part of our great big Masonic family where you can go just about anyplace and find strangers who you can quickly bond with and trust! “Behold how good and pleasant it is for Brethren to dwell together in unity.”

May God bless you and God bless our great fraternity,

L. Arby Humphrey

Grand Master