Well, in good form, I couldn't sleep last night (yet another night lately of sleeplessness) and this morning I slept through the alarm. Of all days, I had to sleep in on the day of a speech I wanted to see. Cursing I dressed and raced to the Masonic Village in Elizabethtown where the presentations were located. To top it all off, PA was hit with an early snowstorm, but the snow did not slow me and I only missed the first 20-minutes of Brent Morris's speech on "Writing Research Papers".
He gave a nice speech with some great points and gave me some new ideas to research. Some of these inspirations came from his lips as some knowledge he was lacking in historical knowledge. He did a Q&A with the Brethren present then the important part of the day...lunch.
I sat with Cliff Porter, one of the speakers, and a few Brothers from some of the online forums. It was good to put the faces to the names. If it had not been for the ending of lunch and the reconvening of the presentations we probably could have talked all day about every little thing concerning Masonry.
Cliff was amazed at my journey to the East Coast and honored me by introducing me to the congregation. His presentation was on the psychology of Freemasonry and different personality types. He could only talk for about 45-minutes. He also did a Q&A.
Thomas Jackson, Chairman of the Academy of Masonic Knowledge, even gave a few words, and one of the things he said really caught my eye (this is paraphrased):
"If we could combine the enthusiasm of the youth with the knowledge of the elderly we could move the world."
We finished the Q&A where Cliff asked me and a few others to have drinks at his hotel. We accepted. Afterward, I took a tour of the Masonic Cultural Center and took some pictures. It's quite a spectacular place.
These next few photos are of the tunnels that run beneath the buildings in the village so that the inhabitants did not have to face the inclemencies and vicissitudes of the weather outside.
Once I had my fill I took off for Cliff's hotel, and after some hick-ups with getting gas, I made it there. We talked Craft and opinions over some drinks before heading into the restaurant. We ate, we talked, and we exchanged contact information, but then it was time to depart.
I definitely would suggest, that if you ever have a chance, go see Cliff Porter give one of his speeches and meet him. He is quite a character.