In the coming weeks, after my second visit to a Masonic Lodge; I followed up with a member I met at the reception for the Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Iran in Exile. He and I got along fairly well. We found common ground in our work in entertainment and Hollywood. He had previously invited me to check out his lodge, which I eventually learned he was once Master of.
I was invited to stop by on a Sunday morning at another, different lodge. This one was also very close to my home. (Who knew there were so MANY!) I was assured that this was an extremely casual get together. Bagels, coffee, t-shirts, shorts. I still wore a jacket and dress shirt, thinking better to be overdressed than under.
I arrived at Culver-City Foshay Lodge #467 on a sunday in July 2013. Little did I know how much this three story building, on an unassuming corner of Culver City would come to mean to me.
This place was different. Very different. To start, I immediately noticed the cornerstone, erected in 1927. Anyone from Los Angeles knows that that is actually very old for this town. At the entrance my attention was brought to a large brass square and compass; embedded in a a circle bounded by parallel lines. It was so worn and pressed into the ground by untold numbers of feet that crossed it's threshold that it was nearly rubbed away.
I went in through the open door, and walked up the staircase to the second floor. I noted a very old, almost crumbling painting on rolled canvas. It depicted strange symbols and a spiral staircase. I continued up the stairs.
Once again I found myself at another threshold. I found a room full of strangers. However, this time a different feeling washed over me. I felt an immediate sense of warmth, of comfort. I extended my hand in friendship to the first man I met...