Tuesday, January 27, 2009

A Mason whose roots run deep.

By Julianne Goldthwaite
Special to The Mountaineer

Charles Cathey recalls 9 generations of family history in Bethel

If 70-year-old Charles Cathey was offered a million dollars to move away from Bethel’s Pigeon Valley, he would turn it down in a heartbeat because one can’t easily dig up roots as deep and strong as his – nine generations deep, that is.

“In 1798, my great-great-great-great-great grandfather Captain George Cathey, a captain in the Revolutionary War, settled on the Pigeon River near where the east and west forks of the river meet,” began Cathey. In 1815, George Cathey moved his family to Missouri in a wagon train, only leaving behind his oldest son, William Cathey (Cathey’s great-great-great-great grandfather).

“William Cathey is the earliest relative buried here in the Bethel cemetery,” said Cathey, adding that William had one child, his great-great-great grandfather Colonel Joe Cathey, whose title of “colonel” was a title of respect and who, in 1835, served on the N.C. State Constitution Convention, as a N.C. senator in 1842 and also ran a farm, store and mill where Pigeon Valley Rest Home sits now. Next come Cathey’s great-great grandfather Joseph Turner Cathey and his great grandfather Kenneth Clay Cathey, followed by his grandparents Thomas Joshua and Minnie Trull Cathey, whose home Cathey lives in today.

Cathey recalls his grandfather sitting by a tall radio during World War II and listening to radio news personalities like Gabriel Heater, Edwin R. Murrow and H. V. Kaltenborn. “My grandfather used to tease and threaten to hold my feet to the light above his bed,” recalled Cathey, noting that his grandfather told him about the passenger pigeons in the mid 1800s,blocking out the light when they migrated.

“Another family story was that my Grandmother Cathey’s father, James Riley Trull, came up with the community name of ‘Cruso’ after reading the book ‘Robinson Cruso,’” added Cathey.

Cathey’s parents, Hugh Joshua and Barbara Sheffield Cathey, dedicated much of their live caring for him and his older invalid sister, Vera, who suffered from cerebral palsy and lived to age 46 while her twin sister only lived three days. “My mother gave her life caring for my sister,” said Cathey, adding that his father was an accomplished mechanic, plus worked for Champion Papers during World War II. “Gas was hard to come by during the war, so my dad converted an old Chevy truck to run on charcoal (for Champion). Also, I remember people bringing him broken bicycles and he fixed them up.

” In his early years, Cathey worked on Rickman’s farm on the thrashing machine. After he and his friends got filthy, the first thing they did was jump in the river, and then went to the movies at the Park or Colonial Theaters. “I was always a problem child,” Cathey said with a laugh. “My schoolmates probably still remember me as the first terrorist in Haywood County when one of my friends and I made gun powder and about blew up the science lab!

” As he got older, Cathey helped care for his sister Vera, but his mother made sure he was able to grow up as much like his classmates as possible. “A few times when I watched Vera and it got late, I do remember watching out the window for my mother’s car to come up when my buddies wanted me to go somewhere – but I never minded watching Vera,” he said.

In the ninth grade, Cathey was on the May Court with Mary Kay Phillips Cody while his
future wife, Ava Jean Henson, was on that same court with Neal Kelly. In their senior year of 1955 through 1956, however, Cathey and Ava Jean began dating when he and Roy Browning were football team captains while she was a cheerleader. Cathey was named “Most Athletic” along with Louise Pinkerton, but it was always “Most Intellectual” Ava Jean Henson that he had his eyes on, and they were married on January 5, 1957.

They were married 47 years when Ava Jean passed away in Sept. 2004. During their married life, Cathey served as a medic in the Army from 1957 to 1959 and worked at Dayco in the research and development department for 35+ years, from 1962 to 1997.

Over four decades, he has served in the Masonic fraternity , member and Past Master of Sonoma Masonic Lodge, member and past officer of The Waynesville York Rite Bodies, Grand Chaplain for order of the Eastern Star in 1990-91, a member of the Asheville Scottish Rite Bodies where he received the honor of 33rd degree in 1991, Grand Commander of the Grand Commandery of Knights Templar of North Carolina in 1996 and Grand Master The Grand Lodge of North Carolina in 2000, and was honored by NorthCarolina Governor Jim Hunt with the “Order of the Long Leaf Pine,” the highest honor a governor can give a citizen. He was also proud to present eight $1000“Charles Edward Cathey Masonic” scholarships in 2007 and again in 2008.

In the shadow of a glowing wall of civic honors, Cathey says that he is most proud of his children, Chuck, Tom, Machelle, his daughter-in-law Amy and his grandchildren - Joshua, Seth and Jared. All three children agreed that they couldn’t have had better parents. “I remember as a little girl, I was ‘Daddy’s girl’ and I would run and knock him down at the door,” said Machelle Cathey.

Cathey’s sons Chuck and Tom fondly recalled vacationing at the beach and spending time at their Cruso cabin – camping, riding bikes, fishing, and deer hunting. “I always wanted to be like my dad – he worked on machines and I always wanted to be in engineering,” said Chuck Cathey. “A lot of people say I look and act like my father and I couldn’t think of a better compliment.” Tom Cathey described his father as patriotic and an inspiration. “He inspired me to serve in the military,” said Tom Cathey, who has served 28 years in the military and is now a colonel in the Army Reserves.

“My son Chuck is the ninth generation of Cathey’s who have lived within a mile of where George Cathey settled in 1798 – that has put a feeling in my heart for this river and this area,” said Cathey. “I always tell people that this valley is my body and this river is my blood.” Cathey is featured on “Walking in the Footsteps of Those who Came Before Us: A Collection of Bethel History” where he recounts stories including the passenger pigeon story, the Bethel Academy and the industries of Woodrow.

To contact Cathey, call 648-1468 or e-mail at cecathey@aol.com. If interested in the Bethel history video, visit the Bethel Rural Community Association website at www.bethelcomm.org or call 506-0939.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Over the Centuries.........

I don't recall where I found this,but came across it agin this evening while trying to locate something else. I used it about five years ago as part of a Masonic Education Program, and it was well received. This eveing I have added the late Brother President Gerald Ford to the list of atendees. Hope you enjoy reading it. JLH - Pots

Over the centuries many well known men have been members of our Noble Craft. For a few moments, please allow your imaginations to run wild and consider what may take place at the Installation of The Celestial Lodge, otherwise known as the Grand Lodge Above.

Even though it was late fall, there was a warm breeze blowing and the sun was setting behind the Lodge Hall. Gathered in the parking lot filled with their works were Bros Henry Ford, Ransom Olds, Walter Chrysler, John Willys and Andre Citroen. The only vehicle missing was Bro Hart Massey's tractor.

Greeting members in the entrance hall was Bro Cliff Arquette of Charley Weaver fame and Bro Ed Wynn. In the boardroom, a group of senior DeMolays were gathered including Bros Walter Disney, Chet Huntley, Wendell Corey, Van Johnson, Robert Cummings, John Steinbeck, Fred McMurray and John Cameron Swayze.

King Gillette, razor in hand, passed the lodge caretaker who was having a minor problem with his vacuum cleaner, which was quickly cleared up with the help of its inventor, Bro Frank Hoover, while at the other end of the hallway Bros Emmett Kelly, Clyde Beatty and all seven of the Ringling Bros were discussing the Shrine Circus.

Taking a quick look into the Banquet Hall, Bros John Molson, Frederick Pabst and Joseph Schlitz were busy rolling in some kegs of beer for Bros Sam Bronfman, late President of Seagrams Distillers, who was setting up the bar for the Festive Board to follow the Ceremony. Brothers Dave Thomas and Colonel Harland Sanders were cooking up a storm in the kitchen and it was an easy guess as to what the evening meal would consist of.

The orchestra members for the dance to follow the Banquet were tuning. Members of this All-Star group included leader Paul Whiteman, WC Hardy, Nat King Cole, Irving Berlin, George M Cohan, Cyril Stapleton, Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, Count Basie, Roy Acuff, and Al Jolson. Tonight's performance would be M.C.ed by Bros Arthur Godfrey and Danny Thomas.

Magical Bros Harry Houdini and Harry Blackstone were setting up their props while Bros WC Fields, Red Skelton, Oliver Hardy, Bud Abbott, Harpo Marx, and Foster Brooks were fine tuning their comedy routines for tonight's show which was being produced by Bros Cecil B DeMille, Flo Ziegfeld, Louis B Mayer, Hall Wallis and DW Griffiths.

A number of sports celebrities were gathering together, including Bros Abe Saperstein, creator of the Harlem Globetrotters, who was explaining his version of the game to Bro James Naismith, the inventor of the game. They were joined by baseballers Bros Charles Ebbetts, Ty Cobb, Branch Rickey and Cy Young, the first pitcher to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

A little further along the hall was an array of masons dressed in knee breeches, lace cuffs and powdered wigs, others in tuxedos, including Bros Kit Carson, Davey Crockett and Buffalo Bill Cody, clad in their familiar buckskins, Chiefs Crazy Bull, Tecumseh and Joseph Brant in their native attire. Most colorful are the military uniforms of Lord Nelson, Lord Cornwallis, Captain James Cook, the Duke of Wellington and John Paul Jones.

I was gazing in awe at these members of Celestial Lodge, when the Grand Master, MW Bro Harry Truman, appeared from the preparation room accompanied by Bros John Jacob Astor, Luther Burbank, JC Penney, Adlai Stevenson and Jennings Bryan.

Bro John Diefenbaker had just signed the Tyler's Register with one of Bro John Shaeffer's pens. He was accompanied by Bros Robert Borden and RB Bennett. fellow Canadian Prime Ministers, and by Bro Joe Smallwood of Newfoundland.

At this time, the Tyler, Bro J Edgar Hoover, informed the brethren that the meeting was about to come to order.

On entering the lodge room the brethren were greeted by the Inner Guard, Bro Paul Revere. Seated already were polar explorers, Robert F Scott of England and Bro Richard E Bird of the United States, together with Matthew G Perky and Canada's Henry Larsen. Bro Charles Lindbergh could be seen in deep conversation with Bros Hap Arnold, Gus Grissom, Eddie Rickenbaker and Charles Kingsford-smith.

From the Junior Warden's station came a burst of laughter. Bro Will Rogers had brought broad smiles to the faces of the Royal personages gathered around him, including George 1, Frederick the .Great, Gustav V of Sweden and George VI. To the right of the Junior Warden's chair, architect Sir Christopher Wren was joined by Statue of Liberty sculptor, Frederic Bartholdi.

Bros Norman Vincent Peale and Peter Marshall, who would assume the Chaplain's duties this evening, were in conversation with the DuPonts, Peter and Victor, and the Rothschilds, James and Nathan.

Gathered around the Secretary's desk, Bro Rudyard Kipling was discussing the evening's proceedings with Bro Robert Burns, who was to give one of the Charges assisted by Bro Mark Twain. Also taking part were Bros Conan Doyle, Walter Scott, Samuel Johnson, Alexander Pope and Robert Service.

The Grand Organist, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, was discussing last minute changes with Bros Gilbert and Sullivan.

Bros Clark Gable, Peter Sellers, Wallace Beery, Douglas Fairbanks and Brian Donleavy were discussing boxing with champions Jack Dempsey, Jack Johnson and Sugar Ray Robinson. Another small group, in the persons of Bros John Wayne, Hoot Gibson and Tom Mix, were listening to Bro William Thaddeus Phillips, also known as Butch Cassidy.

The founding members, Bros George Washington, Sir John A MacDonald, Guiseppe Garibaldi, Benito Jaurez, John Hancock and Ben Franklin were seated in the East. They have been joined by Sir Stamford Raffles, founder of Singapore. The Generals, Omar Bradley, Jimmy Doolittle, George C Marshall, John Pershing and Douglas McArthur, take their seats next to Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill. The Lodge Treasurer, Bro Henry Knox was busy collecting dues from Bros Gerald Ford, Thomas E Dewey and William McKinley. The Master, MW Bro HRH The Duke of Connaught, has rapped the gavel to call the Lodge to order and it is now time for us to depart. With one last took at this brilliant assembly, one wonders what the public's perception of Freemasonry might be if they were able to visit such a lodge.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Two Raised in Robbinsville # 672 AF&AM, By Aid of the Representative of Seven.

Two Raised in Robbinsville # 672 AF&AM, By Aid of the Representative of Seven.

That’s what happened Thursday January 15, 2009 at Robbinsville Lodge # 672. While 7 was the least number required for an Entered Apprentice Lodge to meet during the Building of King Solomon’s Temple, 7 is what helped in raising two brothers in Robbinsville. Newly Raised Brothers Johnny Collins & Rick Eller, Jr had the great honor and privilege to see and experience first hand how our Fraternity of Brothers will come to the aid and assistance of another Brother.

In the past few years Robbinsville # 672 has experienced occasionally some minor problems with getting enough people to properly conduct the final section of the Master Mason degree. Knowing two candidates were approaching the final steps of their Blue Lodge journey as Craftsmen, some of the Brothers got together and spent some time learning the active parts of the second section for the first time; still help was needed in some of the no-speaking parts of the work. Word went out to a couple of lodges who have helped others in the past, but what happened this evening at Robbinsville 672 was a true example of the good fellowship which prevails in this area.

Seven – yes, seven Lodges came together tonight to help in raising these two Brothers. If memory serves me correctly, and I apologize if I miss anyone - Masters, Past Masters, Officers, and members visiting from Andrews, Clay, Junaluskee, Marble Springs, Montgomery, and from our neighboring district Oconee Lodge came to help bring these two young men to "More Masonic Light"

To those visiting Brothers, on behalf of Brothers Collins and Eller and the Master, Wardens, Officers, members of Robbinsville Ldge, Worshipful Brother Jack Long District Deputy Grand Lecture, and myself the District Deputy Grand Master, words can’t express how grateful we are for your assistance this evening. Tentative numbers we were expecting were around twenty or so, but when we saw almost sixty there we were, were, were…..well, words just can’t describe it. You have truly demonstrated to our newest Master Masons one of the great lessons which Masonry teaches – Brotherly Love.

Again, if I missed anyone, I sincerely apologize.

Thank you all.

Fraternally and POTS

Thursday, January 8, 2009

"Remember now thy Creator"

In the coming months I will be posting various Masonic "lessons", and to the best of my ability giving explanation of each. We will begin with Ecclesiastes 12:1....which as most of you know holds a significant place in the Master Mason's degree.

Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them;
while the sun, or the light, or the moon, or the stars, be not darkened, nor the clouds return after the rain:
in the day when the keepers of the house shall tremble, and the strong men shall bow themselves, and the grinders cease because they are few, and those that look out of the windows be darkened, and the doors shall be shut in the streets, when the sound of the grinding is low, and he shall rise up at the voice of the bird, and all the daughters of music shall be brought low;
also when they shall be afraid of that which is high, and fears shall be in the way, and the almond tree shall flourish, and the grasshopper shall be a burden, and desire shall fail: because man goeth to his long home, and the mourners go about the streets:
or ever the silver cord be loosed, or the golden bowl be broken, or the pitcher be broken at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern.
Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.

Of all the quotations, allusions, facts and names from the Great Light which are a part of the Masonic ritual, none has a more secure place in the hearts of the brethren than the first seven verses from Ecclesiastes xii.

Of the two favorite interpretations of Biblical commentators, one makes this dramatic passage a description of old age and senile decay; the other a reference to the seldom experienced and much feared thunder storm in Palestine.

The physical interpretation may be most easily considered verse by verse:
1. “Remember now thy creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them”.
2. “While the sun, or the light, or the moon, or the stars, be not darkened, nor the clouds return after the rain:”
The darkening of light and luminaries refer to coming blindness or extreme near-sightedness, and the clouds which return after the rain to a continuation of poor sight, even after much weeping.

3. “In the days when the keepers of the house shall tremble, and the strong men shall bow themselves, and the grinders cease because they are few, and those that look out of the windows be darkened.”
The keepers of the house are the hands which tremble with palsy in old age. The strong men are the legs which become bowed with the years. The grinders which cease because they are few are the teeth, and those that look out of the windows is a poetic expression for sight.

4. “And the doors shall be shut in the streets, when the sound of the grinding is low, and he shall rise up at the voice of the bird, and all the daughters of musick shall be brought low;”
The doors are the ears which grow deaf in age and can no longer hear the sound of the grinding of grain in the little stone mills which the women use. To rise up at the voice of a bird may signify the light sleep of age easily interrupted by any slight sound, or nervousness which is so extreme in some old men that they start at any little noise. The daughters of music are the vocal cords which lose their timber in age, resulting in the cracked voice of senility.

5. “Also when they shall be afraid of that which is high, and fears shall be in the way, and the almond tree shall flourish, and the grasshopper shall be a burden, and desire shall fail; because man goeth to his long home, and the mourners go about the streets:”
The old man fears any height, knowing his brittle bones will stand no fall. He is timid, and he has no strength with which to defend himself. The almond tree blossoms white, like an old man’s hair. Any little weight, even a grasshopper, is too much a burden for extreme age to carry. The old have no desires. The long home is the grave, in preparation for which the mourners go about the streets.

6. “Or ever the silver cord is loosed, or the golden bowl be broken, or the pitcher be broken at the fountain or the wheel broken at the cistern.”
The silver cord is the spinal cord. The golden bowl is he brain, the pitcher broken at the fountain a failing heart, and the wheel broken at the cistern the kidneys, bladder and prostate gland, all of which give trouble to an old man.

7. “Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was, and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.”

Whether or not the writer possessed a sufficient knowledge of anatomy to symbolize parts of the body as the “silver cord” the “golden bowl” the “pitcher”, the “wheel broken at the cistern” is so problematical that much skepticism of this interpretation has been expressed. The people of Israel were nomads, tillers of the soil, vinyardists, tenders of flocks. Their wisdom was of the spiritual rather than the material. That they had dissected dead bodies enough to gather the relationship between its parts is not impossible as animal sacrifices were so common. But the imagery seems to be rooted in too high a degree of scientific knowledge to be wholly credible. The storm interpretation is not open to this objection, and certainly it is far more in keeping with the magnificent poetry of the words.

Think of a windy day, with clouds and rain; towards evening it begins to clear, and the heavens turn black again as the “clouds return after the rain.” This was a signal for caution if not for terror in Palestine. Men and women and children feared the thunder storm, probably because it came so seldom. Doors were shut in the streets. The strong guards who stood before the houses of the wealthy were afraid, and trembled, for they might not leave their places. The little mills with which the women ground grain eventide ceased; few would remain at their tasks in the face of the storm. Women in upper rooms drew back into the dark. Those outdoors became nervous; no one sang; the black thunderheads flourished their white tops like the almond tree; everyone feared the lightening and the thunder which was on high; even a little weight which kept a man from running to shelter was a burden.

Here the admonition is to remember the Creator before the terror of death, which is worse than the terror of the storm. The rich man with his golden water bowl hung on a silver chain must fear it. The poor man with his earthen pitcher who must send his women to the well for water is in terror. Even the man strong and rough as the crude wooden wheel which drew the skin bucket to the top of the well shook with fear. Death is the same for all, and feared alike by all.

Such an interpretation almost equals the poetry of expression. But read it how we will, the majestic awe-inspiring poetry rings home the solemn warning with a shake of the head and a shiver up the spine. . . Remember “now” thy Creator - “now,” before the fearsome storms of life. or the decay of old age are upon you; wait not until “fears are in the way” to cry for help to the Almighty. Delay not until toothless, sightless, white haired age asks for help from on high because there is no help left on earth! Remember “now” thy Creator, while limbs are strong and desire ardent, while life pulses readily and the world is all before -.

Such is the intention of these ringing sentences, and such do they mean to Freemasonry. Every Master Mason learns so that he can never forget, when he who had received the benefit of lodge prayer had now to pray for himself. He who had been taught to fear not while in the hands of his brethren, stands at last, in allegory, in danger and alone.

No man thinks of his Master Mason’s degree but hears again in his heart at least the beginning and ending of this sermon in poetry. “Remember now thy Creator, in the days of thy youth - then shall the dust return to the earth as it was, the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.” The solemn strokes on the bell which is Ecclesiastes and the soul-gripping drama of the legend of Hiram Abif are never to be known apart by him who met them together

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Robbinsville 672 Installs 2009 Officers

Saturday, January 03, 2009 the officers elected and appointed for Robbinsville Lodge # 672 were installed for the ensuing year. Worshipful Bro. Jim Hyde District Deputy grand Master of the 41st Masonic District performed the ceremony, assisted by Worshipful Brother Jack Long, District Deputy Grand Lecturer as Installing Marshall installed the officers during an open installation with wives and other family members and friends present. Worshipful Brother Pastor Daniel Stewart, Past Master was the Installing Chaplain.

Lodge was opened in due form by Worshipful Bro Jim Hyde and the 2008 officers present. Labor was dispensed with and all the officers were given their oaths and installed. Worshipful Bro Harold Phillips was installed as Master, Worshipful Bro Pastor Burlin Aldridge as Sr Warden, Worshipful Bro Michael Phillips, PM as JR Warden, Worshipful Bro Mitchell L. Colvard as Secretary, and Worshipful Brother Ed McCollum, PM was installed as Treasurer. The rest of the officers were appointed to seats as follows:
SD-Dennis Wilson
JD-Worshipful Mike Phillips
Steward – Buck Jackson
Chaplain – Kelley Hooper, PM
Tyler – James Millsaps

At the end of the installation at the request of Worshipful Master Phillips, District Deputy Grand Master explained to the audience significance and purpose of the “Closing Charge” to the visitors and while the Brethren were in due form around the alter, he gave the “Closing Charge”.