On Wednesday, September 13, we turned our monthly picnic into a community barbecue, free to anyone who wanted to attend. At one point, every seat in the dining room was taken, and a few people sat outside. We estimate that at least 60 people attended, but it might have been more.
And True Fellowship lodge knows how to throw a party! Everyone ate their fill of delicious food, provided by the members of the lodge, with special recognition to grill-master Ben Shuler who treated us all to delicious tri-tip steaks and chicken thighs (and plant-based burgers were available on request, of course). Plus, worried we might still not have enough meat for everyone, Debbie Wolf brought barbecue ribs tender enough to literally fall off the bone. And it’s a good thing she did, because at the end of the night, we had exactly ONE serving of meat left, proof that we fed everyone, but still the first time one of our pot lucks didn’t end with everyone divvying up the leftovers.
In addition to the members of the lodge, we had members from other lodges in our district, and many strangers who were learning about Odd Fellows while they were there (but weren’t we all strangers, once?).
We gave tours, proudly showing off our beautiful old meeting hall, and explained who we are. By the end of the night, we’d handed out about a dozen applications, that we may or may not see again (we can hope). But more exciting than that, we collected two applications, along with application fees, from two soon-to-be members!
Everyone who came truly seemed to have a fun time. We broke out some party games, had some tunes going in the background, and had a truly stunning selection of desserts to chow on, for once the initial courses had finished settling in our bellies.
From my point of view, the best thing about that night was having the hall filled with people again. The whole point of having a lodge, or any other building, is to create a space where people can gather together and enjoy each other’s company. And that’s exactly what we did.