Traveling Man – Metropolitan Opera House, New York City

the world’s oldest fraternity

Hello, again, my brothers and friends. Anthony Prizzia here, trying my best to educate and let others better understand why I love being a part of the largest, oldest, and most exclusive fraternity in the world. In my opinion, being a part of Freemasonry is like having family members worldwide. Some you see every day, some only once every other year, and some you know of but have never met yet. But for me, it is even more than that. The best way I can describe it is from my stories of traveling and meeting brothers far and wide.

So, this story starts with my first trip to the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City. My Aunt and Uncle were members and got my father, two sisters, and me excellent seats and reservations to the members’ lounge, which is the only way to spend intermission at the opera. As we are going to our seats, I see an older couple sitting next to us that we were in their 80s, by my guess. Being an Upstate New Yorker and new to opera, I am taking it all in.

Virtually everyone was decked out in their best dress, fur was flying, and the jewelry was sparkling even in the pitch black of the opera house. And as a Freemason, I am always on the lookout for a hint of who might be a Mason in my vicinity. Does the guy next to me have a pin, a ring, a set of cufflinks, or some other almost hidden speck of Masonic light on them? And as if two Cheerios in milk, sure as anything, the gentlemen next to me has a very classy but reserved masonic ring on his hand. I do not say anything to him and notice that as they were getting up to enjoy their intermission, I see his wife struggle a little as she navigates the walk to her side of the aisle.

My family exited from the opposite side because we went to the members’ lounge to enjoy some great wine and snacks. Not soon after, I had to use the men’s room and somehow got lost backstage and found myself in the changing room… a story for another time. After I regroup from that little excursion, it is time to get back into our seats, and again I see the wife of my Fraternal brother struggle a bit to get into her seat. The show is now over, and we all must file in a sea of people down these very dark and small stairs to leave the building. So, I wait a min and extend my arm to the woman and say may I have the pleasure of helping you down these awful stairs? I am sure her husband was not aware that we were brothers but said thank you so much to me. But the hilarious part happens at the bottom of the stairs outside the building. Her son, whom I had no idea was with them because he was in the row behind us, says to his mom, “Mom are you picking up men at the Opera again.” To this, I smile, flash my ring to him and his father and say I just wanted to make sure she was taken care of, and I hope you all have a great night.
Now I did not do this for any thanks or recognition, but to act in a way that I hope a fellow person or brother would work for my family if I were unable. Is this a rule in our fraternity? No. Is this done for personal, political, or financial gain no? It is just a tenant of our obligation to look out for our extended family. I know many brothers worldwide have similar stories on both sides of this story, and I would love to hear yours if you have one. In closing, my brothers and friends, please get out there and travel. I would love to read your great traveling story and share it on Craftsmen Online to inspire others to do the same. Email me, here. Safe travels!
RW Anthony Prizzia Past Master of Adonai Lodge #718, Highland, New York Bro. Prizzia is also a proud member of: Cyprus Shrine, Oriental Shrine, and Ulster County Shrine Club Valley of Albany A.A.S.R Poughkeepsie Chapter 172 Poughkeepsie Commandery 43 Royal Order of Scotland