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June 14, 2013

FREY: Stranger shares moment of insight at Moose Lodge

I live in Frankfort, home of Loyal Order of Moose Lodge #7.

Since lodges one through six no longer exist, we are simply known as “the oldest Moose Lodge in the world.”

We in Frankfort like that distinction.

Along with serving the best food in town (the patty melt on swirl pumpernickel and rye is the best one I have ever eaten), the Moose supports Moosehaven, a retirement community, and Mooseheart, a residential childcare facility.

Once upon a time, places like the Moose and other fraternal organizations were filled to the brim with members, and certainly there was no shortage of funds for upkeep. These days, people are busy doing other things, and sadly enough, memberships are dwindling.

As with many such organizations worldwide, old Moose Lodge #7 plays a tug-of-war with itself on a year-to-year basis.

Times being what they are, places like the Moose struggle to keep the doors open. At Moose Lodge #7, for instance, the once-paid positions, like cooks and waitresses, are now graciously manned by volunteers.

My husband has been a member of the Moose for almost 35 years. Since we want to be a part of the solution that keeps the place alive, we choose to eat dinner out at the Moose on a regular basis, always on Friday nights, and usually two times a month.

It is one of those places like in the 1980s comedy “Cheers,” a place where “everybody knows your name.” The waitress knows that we all like ice water, for instance. The cook lets us know when there is homemade coleslaw on the salad bar, and will oftentimes reappear after dinner to make sure everything was prepared to our satisfaction.

On one of our nights out for dinner, and after paying the bill, our son Charles excused himself to wash his hands.

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