Autumn Day

Dave Halliwell and Jim Tarman at the Grey Lions table.

Dave Halliwell, President of Grey Lions, and Jim Tarman, Grey Lions board member, at our table.


Autumn Day at Masonic Village at Elizabethtown is the largest annual campus-wide event. Last year, we attended for the first time in our role as soon-to-be-residents eager to move in and experience life here. On that day, the chilling rain and wind dampened our spirits, so we left early.
New Residents

This year, we are residents and could watch the preparations. As days drew closer to September 22, we observed a lot of activity. It was obvious presenting Masonic Village at Elizabethtown to the public is a matter of serious effort. Signage and road markings received a fresh coat of paint, mowing and landscaping crews were out in full force. A general attitude of excitement and expectation prevailed.

Saturday was a perfect day with clear weather and a comfortable temperature. We visited the Commandery Road area early in the morning to take Charlotte for her morning walk since the Veterans Grove was roped off. As we drove along Garfield and Consistory Drives at 7 a.m., Sojournors were placing American flags. The red, white and blue flags waving along the green grass made a beautiful sight for people driving in or walking.

CEO Joseph Murphy buying tickets from Dave Halliwell

CEO Joseph Murphy buying tickets from Dave Halliwell, Grey Lions President, for a chance on the handcarved cane in support of the Grey Lions scholarship.


We headed off to the FreemasonsCulturalCenter early so we could see displays before our scheduled time to work at the Penn State Grey Lions table located outside Deike Auditorium. We stopped to talk to Elaine Bleiler presiding before tables of her handmade crafts with proceeds supporting the Bleiler Caring Cottage.

Limited time permitted only a quick tour of the Brossman Ballroom to view the wonderful assortment of wood and other handmade arts and crafts made by men of the Rooster’s Corner Woodworking Shop. Earlier in the week, Dave Halliwell had given Jim, me, and my visiting brother, Richard, an extensive tour of the Rooster’s workshop. On the day of our woodshop tour, all furniture and other gallery items had been removed to the Brossman Ballroom for Autumn Day.

We hurried upstairs to meet Nancy Halliwell at the Grey Lions tables outside Deike Auditorium.  Our AIG (Alumni Interest Group) was there to present information about our club and to recruit new members. A Penn State motif cane hand carved by Don Zellers from the Roosters shop was being raffled to support our annual $750 scholarship. At 2:30 p.m., the winning ticket was drawn and a nurse manager in the Washington 3 neighborhood won the cane. A total of $320 was raised toward the scholarship.

On the way to the outside, we passed the Grand Master’s table where Masonic information was available. Two presentations were scheduled to promote the Grand Master’s summer 2013 trip to Alaska. We also stopped by the table for the Order of Eastern Star.

I saw a french fry truck on our way into the cultural center and looked forward to getting a treat after we finished our duty. Jim started to pay for our order when we were told the fries were free. Now that’s a good price! We walked over to a wall at the flag pole to watch the crowd and enjoy our delicious potatoes. Just as we sat, my brother met up with us. He had been to the Model Railroad Club and wanted to tell us how outstanding the facility and layouts had been. We hoped others would have the opportunity to see the trains and elaborate displays.


Other activities on the schedule included bus tours, food stands, games, information tables, giftware sales, Bainbridge Band, Zembo Shrine Clowns and Zembo Shrine musicians. The scope of activities made me wish Autumn Day was Autumn Days. Next year, we hope to visit other locations, such as in the health center, to see what is offered.

Visitors and residents had a fine time enjoying a day of mild weather, good friends and good food. The grounds continue to look beautiful as summer ends and fall begins. Caring staff and a wide range of excellent services and opportunities provided to residents and guests were showcased to perfection. For a chance to live at Masonic Village at Elizabethtown, I am glad to say we were “ready for that.”


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