Honored Mason got his start in Rockdale lodge
Bill Cooke

Neighbor Grover sez never argue with an idiot because he’ll drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.

Nice note arrived at this desk recently from Rockdale native (Minerva actually) Charles Trotter of Willis over in East Texas.

Included was a clipping from the Conroe Courier, an article about Charles receiving the Golden Trowel Award in the San Jacinto Masonic Lodge 106.

It’s the highest award a mason can receive and is given “to a Master Mason who exemplifies outstanding service to the fraternity, his community and fellow man.”

Cha rles, who is a reg u la r attendee at Rockdale’s homecoming each June, said he began his Masonic career in Rockdale Lodge 414 AF & AM.

“I had some great friends and brother Masons in Rockdale, and my Dad and brother were Masons,” he said.

“I’ve been away from Milam County for many years but my roots are there and I’ll never forget the wonderful people I grew up with in Minerva and at Rockdale High School,” he said. “I have fond memories of being a Rockdale Tiger in football, basketball and tennis (in the 1940s).”

Charles said he kept his membership in Rockdale Lodge 414 until his Dad died in 1960.

“I still enjoy The Reporter and look forward to it each week,” he said. “Give my regards to the ‘Reporter Bunch’.”

Consider it done.

After graduating from RHS, Charles served in the U.S. Navy as a signalman from 1944-1946 aboard the USS LST 656. Following World War II he pursued a career in the petrochemical field.

In The Cour ier inter v iew, Charles stated why the Masons are so special, and everything he says certainly, in my observation, fits the fine men today of Rockdale Lodge 414.

“When I was growing up in the small country community of Minerva in Milam County, I observed several of the men whom I knew to be Masons and my Dad was a Mason. They helped each other, the widows, the ill and the elderly, and they attended church regularly, supported the school system, civic duties and lived the life a good man should live.

“After 56 years, I’m still a Master Mason. I associate with some of the most honest and trustworthy men from all walks of life; it’s why I became a Mason.”

Well said, Charles. And your words are hereby dedicated to the members of Lodge 414 in Rockdale.


Dick Summers sent the following story-of-the-week. I may have printed it before or maybe not. Senility helps keep everything fresh.

Anyway, it goes like this:

An old Italian lived alone in New Jersey. He wanted to plant his annual tomato garden, but it was very difficult to work, as the ground was hard. His only son, Vincent, who used to help him, was in prison.

The old man wrote a letter to his son and described his predicament:

Dear Vincent, I am feeling pretty sad because it looks like I won’t be able to plant my tomato garden this year. I’m just getting too old to be digging up a garden plot. I know if you were here my troubles would be over. I know you would be happy to dig the plot for me, like in the old days. Love, Papa

A few days later he received the following letter from his son.

Dear Pop, don’t dig up that garden. That’s where the bodies are buried. Love, Vinnie

At 4 a.m. the next morning, FBI agents and local police arrived and dug up the entire area without finding any bodies. They apologized to the old man and left.

The nex t day the old man received another letter from his son.

Dear Pop, go ahead and plant the tomatoes now. That’s the best I could do under the circumstances. Love, Vinnie.

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