"Lodge Meeting"

When I read of the hazing of freshman in college by upper classmen, I couldn't help thinking of the candidates we had join the lodge I was a member of back in the mid 1930's. We had an initiation team that ran the candidates through a few drills, but nothing that would injure them. The idea was to scare them a little. One of the initiation rites was a "goat" or a wheelbarrow that provided a shock from a hotshot battery. As we gave them a ride in the wheelbarrow, we would push a switch giving them a quick jolt.

We met twice a month on the upper floor of a two-story building. This building had high ceilings with transoms above each door. A steep staircase led up to the rooms where we met. A group of young men who wanted to join our lodge bragged that they couldn't be scared by our initiation. We finally agreed to let them join at the next meeting. One member of our initiation team said he knew how to give them a good scare. He and his dad were going to castrate hogs that week and he would bring something to really scare them. The next week, ten young men showed up for the lodge initiation. Just before the initiation we called one of the candidates in and asked him to help us with the initiation. All he had to do was moan and groan like he was being hurt. He said sure, as long as we went easy on him. The other candidates were gathered in a room at the end of the staircase. When the lodge president called for the initiation to begin, the young man started his moaning. After a few seconds, we threw a hog testicle through the transom where the other candidates were gathered. Suddenly the noise they were making amongst themselves quieted down and a sound like a horse stampede went down the stairs. We tried to stop them, but they pushed us out of the way. Later we tried to get them to come back, but most of them said "you're not going to get me back up there". This shook up the future candidates so bad that the president said there would be no more initiation like that. No one joined for several meetings.

David W. Dickey, Sr.