Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Remembering Charlie

When I joined the Scottish Rite in the fall of 2008, I posted about my experience at the Greenville Fall Reunion. I want to quote from that post regarding the Brother who welcomed me in the parking lot of the Scottish Rite center early that Saturday morning before sunrise:

What a day. Up at 3:30 am. Coffee and the paper. Shave and shower. Get ready and leave for Greenville by 6:00 am in order to be at the Scottish Rite Center by 7:00 am. I got there about 6:50 am and it was still pitch dark. No cars in the huge parking lot, so I just stood there in the dark. About 7:00 a Lincoln Town Car pulls into the lot and parks right beside me. An older Brother gets out wearing the white hat of a 33d Mason. He greets me and I shake his hand and introduce myself.

"Where is everybody?" I asked.

"C'mon," he replied, "we gotta go in around back."

Now keep in mind this is a large parking lot and I'd parked toward the front of the center. We start a rather long walk down the hill to the back of the center and as we round the corner I see several cars in the back. I was immediately struck by how kind and gracious this elder Brother had been to me. He could have just pulled up, rolled his window down, and said "You need to park around back." But he didn't. He saw me standing there "stranded" and parked beside me in order to walk me to the back where everyone was--and him probably at least 25 years my senior. What a memorable way to start me off in the Scottish Rite.
That Brother's name was Charles "Charlie" Saylors. I learned yesterday that Brother Saylors passed away on Sunday. I regret not getting to know him better, but I have fond memories of him giving impromptu lectures at the most inopportune times (as far as the Degree Teams were concerned) all during the presentation of the Degrees at the Reunion. It was easy to see then that Brother Charlie commanded the respect and admiration of his fellow Masons, and I'm quite sure he will be missed by one and all.

Godspeed, Brother Charlie.

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