Wednesday, November 7, 2012

‘Storage Wars: Heredom’

Courtesy A&E
Ms. Jenny Grumbles, star of A&E’s Storage Wars: Texas series.

Cooped up inside the house again because of another crazy storm, this one dumping some snow on us—and with Phil Lesh performing down the street to boot—I reluctantly turn on the television, and find a new episode of the Storage Wars: Texas series. One of the bidders, the pretty blonde named Jenny, acquires a storage locker containing a number of items of Masonic interest.

The locker catches her eye thanks to an inventory tag on the rear of a chest of drawers that reads MASONIC HOME. Not really knowing what that means, she quickly notices that this and the other pieces of furniture are of a quality that she believes she can sell at a profit. So she bids on, wins, and dubs it her Masonic locker. Going through the drawers looking for loot, she finds a 32° black cap which, of course, she immediately puts on. Then, out comes a Most Wise Master’s collar, with jewel, similar to those shown at right. Finally, and with some fanfare, she produces a jewel box, and opens it to reveal a gold ring with Masonic symbols all over it and a diamond too.

She visits Plano Lodge No. 768 and consults with two brethren who explain the significance of the regalia, and even offer approximate values. It is a funny segment with two older Masons rattling off Masonic jargon that only baffles the young lady even more. Asked about secrets, the two tell her the big secret in Masonry is that there are no secrets. (Don’t get me started.) The cap was put very optimistically at $50, if a buyer can be had. Then, using a copy of Jim Tresner’s Vested in Glory, they explain the purpose of distinct regalia for the Chapter of Rose Croix and its presiding officer. The Rose Croix regalia was valued at about $100, which isn’t too far from what is asked for such pieces on eBay. The ring, a Master Mason’s ring, with diamond, was said to be worth $1,100.

What these Storage Wars series never explain is how these lockers become available. I bet plenty of them are abandoned by individuals who do not pay their rents, but for sure others are auctioned off after the tenants die. I cannot help but wonder about the brother who rented this locker. I remember years ago reading about the Texas Masonic Home and School being closed after going bankrupt, which might be the source of the furniture. As I recall, the institution lost its money as an investor in Enron.

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