Thursday, October 31, 2013

Dear Brethren and Friends:

VOLUNTEER UPDATE: My recent plea for two additional members to join the Reception-Stewards Committee has been heard! Well, by one, but heard just the same.

A BIG Thank You and Welcome to the Team goes out to Valley Brother,Frank J Lorine!

Bro. Frank, we're all looking forward to seeing your smiling face at one of the tables outside the Grand Banquet Room on November 15th. Thank you again!

We are still in need of one more member for the Committee and yes, we still looking for volunteers for our NEW Prompters Team! 

Are you one of the guys we're looking for? Call 215-563-1814 to volunteer or for more info!
Dear Brethren and Friends:

Hey, don't look now, but the word is out about our earlier dinner reservation deadline!

Yes, the phone rang off the hook yesterday and I expect it will do the same today.

If you haven't clicked "Going" or called or emailed in yet, don't delay! November 5th will be here before you know it.

Have a great Thursday everyone! Trick or Treat!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Dear Brethren and Friends:

Good Morning everyone! It's Wednesday, 30 October. If you're coming to the 15 November Special Assembly and Rendezvous, the dinner reservation deadline is 5 November. Not time for the virtual kettle drums yet, but I'm warming up.

Call today, beat the rush. Or you can click on the events tab above, (Sorry Web Edition folks this is just for the Facebook group!), click on the Fall Special Assembly and Rendezvous, and then click "Going" and guess what? You've made a dinner reservation! How easy is that?

Again, if you click "Maybe" you have NOT made a reservation. The caterer charges us per dinner ordered. That being the case, I can't order a dinner based on the idea that you might be there to eat it. So, if you are actually coming, get your reservation made by 11/5 or pay, okay I lied, hit the kettle drums, BUM, BUM, BUM, BUMMMMM, you'll pay $30 for your dinner!

Still looking for volunteers for prompters and more especially for 2 guys to join our Reception-Stewards Committee. Interested? Call 215-563-1814 (Sorry
Jeffrey Lees) for more info or to sign up.

Have a great Wednesday everyone!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Dear Brethren and Friends:

Good Morning and happy Tuesday everyone!

Have you made your dinner reservations for the Special Assembly & Rendezvous yet? If you haven't remember, time is shorter now. You must have your reservation in by 5 November. That isn't too many days from today. Don't miss the deadline if you plan to be with us!

We're still looking for prompters. What's that you ask? Well a prompter is a guy who sits on the sideline during the Degrees with a copy of the script and when a Cast member forgets a line. . .that's right, he 'prompts' them with the word they're looking for! How hard can that be? As a prompter, you'll be listed in the Cast list in the Reunion Book, be introduced with the Cast when the Degree is complete and, get that all satisfying feeling from just being involved! The only obligation other than attending the Reunion is attending the rehearsals. How tough can be? Are you that guy that would like to get involved? This is the job for you! Call the office for more info or to just volunteer!

We're still looking for two more guys to join our Reception-Stewards Committee as well. This job has so many different facets to it, from stamping Passports, to selling Scottish Rite regalia, working with the dinner ticket or parking validation sales, to checking in our Candidates. It's a jump in and roll up your sleeves and be part a team task. Sounds like you? Call the office for more info or to get signed up.

Like I always say, make this Tuesday twice as nice by doing something kind for someone! Have a great day!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Dear Brethren and Friends:

Good morning and Happy Tuesday everyone.

Well as you've probably noticed by now, I posted the Fall Special Assembly & Rendezvous yesterday. If you have 'clicked in' yet, please do so soon. Our deadline this time around is Tuesday, November 5th. You don't want to miss it. Remember, when checking in, if you're bringing your lady or another guest, be sure to post that on the event wall. If you require a fish dinner or if you have dietetic (gee I hope I spelled that right), post that as well. NOW FOR THE DISCLAIMER: For those of you reading this on "Across My Desk, The Web Edition," you're going to have to call in your reservation to 215-563-1814 or by email to

So, what did you think of the new Caterer? Did you enjoy the meal or not so much? I'd be really interested in your opinions. We have an Executive Committee meeting Thursday night and no doubt, I'm sure to be asked for feedback. If you have any, please let it in the comments below. Thanks!

I've been receiving a lot good feedback from the Class members regarding their initial experience in the Valley. So far all of it has been positive. Congrats to everyone, Cast Members, Committee Members, Officers, and yes, even the guys on the sidelines for making this past Friday a memorable evening for our new Brothers.

Out of our 88 Candidates, we have 83 active in the Class, which means we have 5 guys (sounds like a burger joint) in line for the 2014 Spring Class, which will be named in honor of Valley Brother, Orator of Benjamin Franklin Consistory, and lets see he's going to be something else soon, oh yeah, soon to be Right Worshipful Grand Master, Bob Bateman, 33! Yes, our Spring Class will be named in honor of our Illustrious Brother, Bob. Be sure to mention that when discussing our Valley with Prospects. While Bob is serving as Grand Master, every Valley will have a Class named in his honor. We, as his Valley, should have the largest. Lets make it happen!

Have a great Tuesday everyone. Make it a "Twosday," which means make it twice as nice by doing something kind for someone.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Dear Brethren and Friends:

Happy Sunday everyone!

I don't like to name names because sometimes you forget someone and that is never my intention. But sometimes I feel it is very important to let those responsible know that they're appreciated.

Our Casts on Friday evening did a great job. As did our Support Teams in, Make up, Marshals, Reception-Stewards, Stage Crew, and Wardrobe.

Congratulations and Thank You:
Yasser Al-Khatib, Len Bezar, Robert Burns, Bill Mervin, Tom Wible, Skip Leopold, Bob Wasko, Ray Wasko, Christopher David Zenzel , Joe Brunelle, Brian Skoff, Scott Hilsee, Rob Kaiser, Andrew Dobson, Russ Combs, Dan Martin, Jason Jordan, Mark DeMatteis, Fred Kopetz, Brynell Wallace-Rogers, Douglass Hocker, John Jackson, Jeffrey Lees, Bill Brown, Jime Rae, Jim Wakeley, Barry Epstein, Norm Greene, Josh, Paul Noble, Joe Calabrese, Rich Jones, Bob Crotts, Steve Rashkow, Joe Sbaraglia, and Phil Janusz!

I hope I didn't forget anyone. If I did, consider yourself mentioned too, but do me a favor and post your name in the comments, that way you're remembered and acknowledged.

Great job again guys. You make our Valley as great as it is!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Dear Brethren and Friends:

With apologies to my fellow Scot, Rod Stewart, "Tonight's the night!" And it is going to be all right!

Tonight is the big night for 88 Brethren who will become members of "Pennsylvania Freemasonry's Best Kept Secret!" Be sure to take a minute or two and greet as many of them as you can. They will all be wearing the white "Candidate" name tag with their name. Use their name when you greet them. Nothing makes someone feel better than to be called by their name. Lets be Brotherly to our new Brothers!

Good luck to our Casts tonight. We all know you guys will be fantastic. I'm looking forward to seeing Bro.
Bill Mervin, in his first 'starring' role!

Have a great Friday everyone and an even better weekend, and I'll see you tonight!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Dear Brethren and Friends:

Good morning and Happy Day Before!

That's right our Fall 2013 Reunion begins tomorrow evening. We have a large Class and a large turnout expected.

Tomorrow evening's meal will be the Valley's first encounter with the Temple's new Caterer as well. I know a few of you have already sampled their fare as have I, but here's to hoping that this is the start of good and 'tasty' relationship.

We have a large Class. It is extremely important that each of us, whether an Officer, Cast Member, or just one of those smiling faces on the sidelines, do our very best to make this a great experience for our new Brethren. I don't have to tell you how special our Valley is and what it means to each of us that are active in it, but we want to be sure that our Candidates are made to feel, first, welcome, and secondly, and probably the most important, appreciated. They are bringing numbers to our membership for sure, but they are also bringing new vision, new ideas, and new talents. We want them to become active members among us. Whether they choose to get involved in our Officer lines, Degree Casts, serve on a Committee or simply be another one of those smiling guys on the sideline, it is important that they know that the opportunity is there and that they are most definitely welcomed to it, however they choose to pursue it.

Get up during the intermissions. Go introduce yourself and shake a hand or two. They're your Brethren. Treat them like a Brother. Who knows, you might even make a great new friend.

Have a great day everyone!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Reunion Week-Wednesday Update

Dear Brethren and Friends:

Good Morning and welcome to Reunion Week Wednesday!

Today is and has been traditionally our dinner reservation deadline, but our new caterer has different requirements regarding how she would like to have our counts. So, yesterday I had to give her our dinner count. I gave her a count of 244 persons. That number included the 46 Candidates that did not confirm their attendance. I also ordered additional 12 dinners for our usual group of Brethren that seem to ignore our deadline each and every Reunion. Don't ask. I don't get it either.

Remember Brethren, the Executive Committee has voted to increase the cost of walk up dinners, or dinners sold with no reservation to $30 per person. Most especially with this large crowd, this will be strictly enforced. Pass the word. Make sure our Brethren know. This rule has been in The Double Eagle since it was passed by the Executive Committee, but you'll won't believe how many claim to have never 'heard' of it. We actually had a Brother threaten to take me "outside" once when the Stewards told him he had to pay more because he didn't have a reservation. Of course I convinced him that wouldn't exactly be smartest thing he ever did.

Tonight our Casts will have their 'dress' rehearsal. They don't actually dress in costume, but tonight is when they finalize, the wheres and hows of presenting the Degrees at the meeting. Good luck guys have a great rehearsal for what will surely be great conferrals on Friday night!

Have a great Wednesday everyone!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Dear Brethren and Friends:

Good Morning and welcome to Reunion Week Tuesday!

Okay first question. Do you have a dinner reservation made yet? You do? Good. Thanks. Now the second question. How about all those guys you usually sit with at dinner and during the meeting? Or and more importantly, how about your Candidate? Remember this a new experience for him. Do they have their reservations made yet? Not sure? Can you do me a big favor and check with them? I'd appreciate it and that would help me to smooth what is appearing to be a bit of a bumpy road with the new Caterer. I know with a group our size that that there would be some glitches and the like the first time out, but with a Class this big, and with our usual large attendance, it could be a lot easier for all parties concerned if we have everyone's cooperation. Thanks!

As I said, we have a large Class, but would you believe the line is already forming for the 2014 Spring Class? It is! I've spoken to a number of Brethren that are very interested in becoming Scottish Rite Masons, but cannot do it this Fall. They've agreed to petition now and go into our queue for the Spring. Remember, I sent out 434 petitions to prospects. We've got 88 Candidates in this Class. That means that there are still a lot (hey, it's too early to do the math! Excuse me.) of possible Candidates out there. I sent an introductory letter and a petition to newly raised (between January and June 2013) Master Masons in Districts A, B, C, D, E, 6, 8, and 36. Chances are one or more of those guys are in your Lodge. Talk to him. Ask him if he got the petition and if he has any questions, and let him know that you'd be very happy to assist him. You never know, we could very well repeat this success in the Spring. Lets keep it going!

Well I have a busy day ahead. You're going to call in your reservation, if you haven't already, and so are your buddies, and of course your Candidate's going to call too. I'll be there waiting to hear from you and them! 215-563-1814.

Have a great Tuesday everyone!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Dear Brethren and Friends:

In fourteen hundred and ninety-two Columbus sailed the ocean blue, and since I don't know the rest of that poem, he discovered, Ameri. . .the Dominican Republic! For those of you who have this Holiday off, have a good one!

While we're on the subject of 'discoveries,' 88 Philadelphia region Master Masons will discover "Pennsylvania Freemasonry's Best Kept Secret." this Friday when they become members of the Valley of Philadelphia.

Yes, after Friday's deadline we officially have 88 Candidates in the "Supreme Council, NMJ 200th Anniversary Class." The coveted, 'Class Predictor Award' goes out to our Sovereign Prince. Bro.
Jeffrey Lees, MSA, who wins it for being the closest without going over. Sorry, Bro. Mike McKee, you were two short of your prediction. Bro. Jeff, enjoy your award, which is nothing more than bragging rights, so settle down everyone.

Now on to more serious issues. If you haven't called in yet for your dinner reservations please do so now! Our new caterer is has shortened our deadline without telling me about it, initially. I have complained to the Superintendent and he has assured me that he will speak with the caterer, but your assistance now will be greatly appreciated. If you know of any other Brethren who cannot read these words as they're not members of our group or subscribers to my blog, please contact them and tell them to call in as well. I would like to have everyone in the count by this time tomorrow morning if possible. Also MANY of our Candidates have not checked in yet. If you're a recommender, it is your DUTY to insure that your Candidate has called in. I
have begun calling the Candidates myself, but your assistance would be a great help.

This Wednesday is the last rehearsal for our Casts prior to Friday's Degree work. Good luck and Thank you again to all of our first timers. To those of you who haven't decided to get involved in YOUR Valley yet, keep an eye on our Casts this Friday, it may inspire you!

Have a great Monday everyone. I will be busy putting the final touches on the November issue of The Double Eagle, which goes to print tomorrow and hopefully answering the telephone and taking the final dinner reservations!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Fall Class Deadline Friday!

Dear Brethren and Friends:

Happy Deadline and Holiday Weekend Friday everyone!

Yes, the Fall Class Deadline has arrived. When I left the office last evening we had 81 Candidates for our Class. Valley Brother and Orator of Philadelphia Lodge of Perfection,
Mike McKee, picked up two more at his Lodge's October Stated Meeting last night, so that gets us up to 83! Now I know I just mentioned a 14th Degree guy and I usually cap that off with a, "Calm down Cliff," as I know how excited my Illustrious Peer gets whenever I refer to Members of the 14th Degree, but as it is a Holiday weekend, I'll say, "Go for it Cliff!" Who am I to downsize his Holiday spirit?

Okay, so now we have 83 Candidates! Wait, not so fast. That's right I have another Brother coming in the office today to drop one off and Valley Brother and Master of Ceremonies of DeJoinville Council,
Yasser Al-Khatib, messaged me that he had just put one in the mail, which gets us up to 84! WOW! If that doesn't get you in the Holiday spirit, I don't know what does!

I want to thank everyone who worked so hard to make this Class as large as it is. But, our work is far from done. We've got the numbers which is fantastic, but now we have to 'keep' them. Lets get these guys active and involved in our Valley, because that is truly where growth comes from. Each of you know how much our Valley has to offer, or we wouldn't be so enthusiastic about it. Share that feeling with our new Brothers. I've called this Class historic, but it's up to all of us to make that history realized.

Well, enough preaching. It's Friday! And a Holiday Friday to boot. Have a great Holiday Weekend everyone! If you haven't gotten your dinner reservations in yet, please do and spread the word to others.

Wait. What's that? What do I mean, "Holiday Weekend?" Oh come on now! All right, for those who don't know, this Sunday, is 13 October, the 238th Birthday of the Greatest Fighting Force the World has ever known, THE United States Navy!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Thursday, the day before the Deadline!

Dear Brethren and Friends:

Good morning and good Thursday everyone! It's going to be wet around here the next few days. Leaves are falling and roads are wet and you know what that means. Be careful!

As of right now I have 78 petitions processed, but I understand that there is one waiting in the Scottish Rite Office and two more are in the mail on their way to the Office, so if you're keeping up with me, we'll have at least 81 Candidates in the Fall Class!

Tomorrow, (reasonable facsimile of kettle drums time again) BUM, BUM, BUM, BUMMMMM, is DEADLINE DAY! So if you haven't gotten a Candidate yet, you're on the clock!

I spoke with Amy, the caterer yesterday. Seems she and I have a bit of a disagreement regarding when I turn in our counts to her. Traditionally we've given the Temple Caterer, our count on the Wednesday prior to the Friday meeting. She wants our count in on the Wednesday, the week before! So yesterday was technically our reservation deadline. I gave her an estimated count. Hopefully we'll be okay. But, this is your advance notice that in November our reservation deadline will be, Tuesday, November 5th. Please make a note of it. This information will also be in the November issue of The Double Eagle.

Have a great day everyone!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Wednesday Morning Update

Dear Brethren and Friends:

Good morning and good Wednesday everyone!

We're sitting at 77 Candidates for our Fall Class this morning with Friday's petition deadline looming. Will we reach 80 or more? Who knows, but the clock is ticking.

I noticed yesterday that our large Class is a little slow on the draw. Very few of our Candidates have called in to confirm their attendance. I know that deadline isn't until next week, but it would be nice to have some sort of early projection as to what our dinner count might look like. If you're a recommender, please contact your Candidate or Candidates and remind them to call in. Thank you.

Our Fall Reunion actually begins this evening. Yes, you read that right. Tonight is the first rehearsals for the 16th and 20th Degree Casts. If you're in one of these Casts, please do your very best to make the rehearsal. We have a lot of newbies in the Casts and it is important that we have good rehearsals.

Well, will today's mail (sounds like a great name for a men's clothier) have more petitions coming in? We'll see. The deadline approacheth. Tick. Tick. Tick.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Tuesday Mid-Morning Update!

Dear Brethren and Friends:

TUESDAY MORNING UPDATE: Okay for those of you already on your coffee break, take that sip and swallow it before reading this Update any further. Go ahead, I'll wait. Done? Good, and here we go. . .

Petitions Nos. 73, 74, 75, and 76 are here!

Thanks to Bros. Dan Scheetz and Gaetano Romano for their efforts! 

So now, Bro. Andrew Dobson
 has No. 77 and he'll be dropping that off at tomorrow night's Cast Rehearsals.

77, can you believe that? We're getting 'one day class' numbers without even having one! Who says that's the only way to insure a large Class? Leaves a little something to said about TRADITION!

Hey Mike McKee! 90 just might be doable Bro!

Deadline Week Update-Tuesday morning

Dear Brethren and Friends:

Good Morning and Happy Tuesday everyone!

Well, we're one day closer to DEADLINE Friday, and we have yet another Fall Class Candidate Count Update. As of last evening we have 72 Candidates for the Fall Class and we've already received Petition No. 1 for our 2014 Spring Class. WOW!

Then last night, Valley Brother and member of our Reception-Stewards Committee,
Andrew Dobson, messaged me to let me know that he has Petition No. 73 in his hands! Way to go Bro. Andy!

Our Sovereign Prince, Bro.
Jeffrey Lees, MSA is predicting 80, Bro. Mike McKee, Orator of Philadelphia Lodge of Perfection, is predicting 90, and we have one guy that seems to think 100 is possible with so few days left. I don't know about predictions. I predicted 70 and we've beaten that so, the question I have now is, DO WE HAVE YOUR CANDIDATE'S PETITION YET???

Monday, October 7, 2013

It's Deadline Week!

Good Morning everyone and welcome to DEADLINE Week! That's right. This Friday, 11 October is the deadline for Candidates to submit petitions for our Fall Class.

Speaking of our Fall Class, as of this past Friday we had 68 Candidates. Now I say 'had' as I had received telephone calls and emails from Brethren letting me know that more petitions were in the mail. This Class is going to be in the mid-70's or even higher.

Our Cast rehearsals begin this week as well. We have a number of first timers in our 16th and 20th Degree Casts. It's great to see newer members stepping up and getting involved. We always share that with every Class when they first join the Valley that opportunity for involvement is there and these Brethren are taking it. We're glad to have them on the team!

I know THE DOUBLE EAGLE says the deadline for dinner reservations is next Wednesday, 16 October, but I am asking everyone if possible to get yours in by Tuesday 15 October. The Masonic Temple's caterer is asking to have my count by Wednesday and as it appears we're going to have a large crowd your assistance is greatly appreciated.

Have a great week everyone. Yes, it's deadline week. Do you have a Candidate yet?

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Dear Brethren and friends:

Just about everyday I post something 'blog-like' on the Valley's Facebook group, "Valley of Philadelphia, Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite-Members Only!" which means if you do not have a Facebook account or you are not a member of our group, you are missing these posts which contain information regarding our Reunions and other events, along with some mild quirkiness.

Now, I understand that social media isn't for everyone. So beginning tomorrow, 7 October 2013 my Facebook group posts will be shared here.

Stay tuned!

Sincere fraternal regards,

Steven Morrison, 33
Valley Secretary