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The Three Links Odd Cast
99 minutes | Jun 26, 2022
Pride In Odd Fellowship
June is a month of many celebrations and we're taking the opportunity to join in with one of them, though not the one Toby had expected. Brother Chris Emmons from Kanawha Lodge #25 in Charleston, West Virginia joins us to celebrate LGBTQ Pride and share his experiences as an out gay Odd Fellow. The conversation wanders around quite a bit and covers a wide range of topics, including the many great and affirming experiences both Chris and Ainslie have had in Odd Fellowship and some of the similarities between joining the Odd Fellows and coming out as a member of the LGBTQ community. The Shoutout goes to another brand-new lodge, this time it's Gem City Lodge #357 in Quincy, Illinois. In the Odd Podge, Ainslie talks about the Tuscola Odd Market and appendant festivities, including a drag show! Chris shares a little about his trip to Tuscola for the Odd Market (and his new tattoo), and Toby *finally* gets to raise awareness of the accordion.
93 minutes | Jun 5, 2022
Don't Look In The Closet...
As Odd Fellows, we're not surprised by any old thing we find in a lodge hall. For non-members, though, it can be quite a shock when relics of a former lodge are left behind and discovered while exploring a new building. Such incidents usually end up getting some kind of media coverage and one of those stories inspired hosts Sara Buesing and Emily Coleman to do an episode of their podcast Afternoonified about those discoveries. They were kind enough to join us for this episode of The Three Links Odd Cast so we could answer some questions and dispel some rumors about what may be lurking in the closet of your lodge hall (or under the stairs, or the podium, or the pool table...) Both Emily and Sara came away with a greater knowledge of Odd Fellowship and the purpose of all those hidden skeletons. The Shoutout goes to Prestonsburg Lodge #293 of Kentucky for their excellent work recruiting new members. In the Odd Podge, Ainslie finally spills the beans on his next TV appearance (spoiler alert: it's with a big celebrity), Toby shares his Grand Lodge committee assignment, Emily talks about fossilized Neanderthal poop and Sara sets a new personal record for fastest time off an airplane to view a corpse.Be sure and check out Emily and Sara's excellent podcast Afternoonified on their website or your favorite podcast catcher.
63 minutes | May 26, 2022
Demystifying Grand Lodge
GRAND LODGE. The mere words strike fear into the hearts of Odd Fellows everywhere. What is this strange, mysterious conglomeration of Odd Fellows who gather for some unknown purpose? Since Grand Lodge season is upon us, Ainslie and Toby sat down with Brothers Adam Potolsky and Matthew Finkelstein to discuss their experiences at the 2022 session of the Grand Lodge of California held in Modesto. Brother Adam is a veteran of several Grand Lodge sessions and served on the Legislation Committee. Brother Matthew is a newbie at Grand Lodge and served as Grand Herald. Each shared their insights into attending Grand Lodge and their insights into what makes the experience meaningful. Both are of the same opinion, that everyone who has the opportunity should attend, but for different reasons. Another highlight of the session was the chartering of a new lodge, Emerald Bay #50, of Lake Tahoe, California, which gets our Shoutout for the episode.
123 minutes | May 1, 2022
A Young Man's Benefit
What if the narrative we've all been told—that the government takeover of social services led to the decline of Odd Fellowship—was wrong? Esteemed Canadian economist, author, and educator Herb Emery, author of "A Young Man's Benefit," joins us to discuss his research into the end of beneficial membership in the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. What he discovered from researching records of the Sovereign Grand Lodge and various jurisdictional Grand Lodges is surprising and challenges that long-accepted narrative. It wasn't the government takeover of social services which doomed beneficial membership. It was other factors, like demographic shifts (jurisdictions that were no longer growing), increasing upward mobility of young workers who were able to provide their own insurance through savings, and a general misunderstanding of the financial projections that determined the future affordability of beneficial membership. Emery's book also gives valuable insight into the nature and working of upper management in Odd Fellowship. For those interested in the book, it's available in print form from McGill-Queen's University Press and electronically from Google Play. There's no lodge Shoutout this episode but, for the Odd Podge, Toby tells about the network of listeners helping a member find a new lodge in his new home city, Herb expresses hope for the continuation of fraternalism, and Ainslie shares the news of another new lodge just on the horizon.
107 minutes | Apr 18, 2022
As recently as 2017 Portneuf Lodge #20 in Pocatello, Idaho was moribund. Six people met twice monthly in a dusty old hall downtown with a worn-out, broken sign out front. It might as well have said that the lodge was permanently closed. Then something remarkable happened—the lodge decided to spend some money to fix up its sign. The newly painted and refurbished sign, with its glorious neon lights, was soon lighting up the night in Pocatello. The new sign gathered interest from the local newspaper and from sign communities online. That one fixed-up sign became the genesis of the revival of Odd Fellowship in Pocatello that now has other fraternal orders interested in what's going on at the Odd Fellows Hall. Sister Jessica Lewis and Brother Dustin Irish-Webb join us to tell the amazing story of the Pocatello revival and how they have turned their hall into a hive of regular activity that has the whole town buzzing. The Shoutout for this episode goes to Winslow-Hammonton Lodge #40 in New Jersey for their upcoming recreation of the first Odd Fellow lodge meeting in Baltimore in 1819. In the Odd Podge, Toby talks about his lodge's German dinner returning from its pandemic hiatus, Jessica shares her passion for a local charitable organization, Ainslie talks about an endearing gift his lodge gave to one of its stalwart members, and Dustin invites everyone to "tune in to Portneuf," which you can do on their website.
100 minutes | Apr 4, 2022
Secrets Of Freemasonry Revealed!
Odd Fellows, like all fraternal orders, have to exist in the long shadow cast by the only fraternal group that has any awareness in popular culture: Freemasons. Whether because of wacky conspiracy theories, blockbuster movies, thriller novels, or seemingly endless supposed connections to various historical figures and events, Freemasonry is the template against which most fraternal orders get compared. Even many Odd Fellows, when pressed to "explain" Odd Fellowship to the average person, will start with, "It's like the Masons but a little bit different..." To help enlighten our listeners about what Freemasonry is really about, Brother Mike Duminiak joins the show again to share his insight and experience as a Mason in Pennsylvania. Brother Mike illustrates the many similarities and the important differences between Masonry and Odd Fellowship and highlights how the two Orders are complimentary. The Ukraine fundraiser is up over $1100 and still taking donations on GoFund Me. For the Odd Podge, Brother Mike tells about helping fulfill a dying woman's wish to be buried with her child, Brother Ainslie shares his latest eBay treasure, and Brother Toby talks about a listener who alerted the podcast hosts to the Order of Mayans. NOTE: due to technical issues, there may be some dropouts in the audio. We apologize for any missing content.
98 minutes | Mar 21, 2022
Three Links 'n' Ink
An interesting and unusual confluence has occurred where tattoo artists and Odd Fellowship have mixed, creating some interesting results. From some of the most famous tattoo artists like Oliver Peck and Luke Wessman, down to the average corner tattoo shop owner, the stunning, bold symbols of Odd Fellowship have called out to the tattoo community and brought them into our august fraternity. Their keen eye for visual communication has, in many cases, reinvigorated Odd Fellowship. With so much similarity between Odd Fellows and tattoo artists it's a natural overlap. In this episode we explore what makes Odd Fellowship so appealing to tattoo artists and why so many are drawn to our Order. Brother Shayne Simmons, of Lorraine #4 in Louisville, KY, joins Ainslie and Toby to dish about the earlier days of tattooing, share how each of them got inspired to join the Order, and discuss what each of them sees in Odd Fellowship as tattoo artists. The conversation meanders all over the place, including the idea of having Odd Fellows lodges set up recruiting displays at tattoo conventions. The Shoutout goes to Tarpon Springs Lodge #34 of Florida for their 130th anniversary celebration. Ainslie and Shayne both share their excitement for impending Degree Days—the first since the pandemic—and Toby talks about his upcoming trip to visit the Grand Sessions in Oregon and California. All that and an update on Bro. John Reitzer-Smith's efforts to support our distressed Brothers in Ukraine.
19 minutes | Mar 12, 2022
Fundraiser For Ukraine
A week and a half ago, Brother John Reitzer-Smith was presiding over a lodge meeting as Noble Grand when the question arose if there were any Ukrainian Odd Fellows in need. Within the span of a few days, Brother John had made contact with a lodge in Poland that, before the war in Ukraine, had been initiating Ukrainians with the intent to form lodges in that country. Now those new Ukrainian Odd Fellows find themselves in severe distress as their wives and children flee their homes near Lviv for the relative safety of Wrocław, Poland. The lodge in Wrocław is doing all they can to help care for the families of their refugee brothers who have stayed behind in Ukraine to defend their homeland. Brother John's GoFundMe gives American Odd Fellows the opportunity to make small donations to support the relief effort of our Polish brothers as they care for the immediate needs of our Ukrainian refugee brothers and their families.
106 minutes | Mar 7, 2022
Friendship, Love, And Texas
For this very special episode we visit with Meredith Moore, Past Grand of Fort Worth Lodge #251 in Texas. Sister Meredith has become an active, indispensable, and inspirational Odd Fellow with her years of service in various lodges in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. She talks about her journey from being invited to a lodge function at Dallas #44 to being one of the most active Odd Fellows in North Texas. She also shares insights about what has led to such great cooperation between lodges and how that has helped to build and strengthen Odd Fellowship in the Lone Star State. The Shoutout this time goes to Brady Lodge #116 of Muncy, Pennsylvania for having elected the first female Noble Grand in their century-plus history. In the Odd Podge, Meredith talks about the brilliance of Winslow-Hammonton #40's plan to recreate the original lodge meeting in the Seven Stars Tavern on April 30th, Toby shares the Grand Encampment of Washington's net positive member gain, and Ainslie gives props to the latest post on The Heart In Hand Blog which was derived from the most recent episode of Modern Goat Rider.
66 minutes | Feb 21, 2022
Rose Float... or Ritual And Regalia
For this episode we had put out an invitation to members of the Rose Float Committee to join us and talk about how they put the float together and what it does to raise awareness of Odd Fellowship. Despite some encouraging communication initially, no one from the committee joined us for this episode. Ever the resourceful members, Scott, Toby, and Ainslie launched into an impromptu discussion of the importance of ritual and regalia to lodge life. The consensus amongst the three of them is that both ritual and regalia are very important and should be brought back as an essential part of the Odd Fellows experience. Being the free-thinking sorts that they are, if you have a contrasting opinion, they would love to hear it. Send them an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and share your opinion about ritual and regalia. This episode's Shoutout goes to Portneuf Lodge #20 of Pocatello, Idaho for their spectacular growth, which was all prompted originally by renovating their beautiful neon lodge sign. In the Odd Podge, Toby shares the website he built for his associate lodge (http://www.buckley75ioof.com), Ainslie talks about singing the Odes along with the new recordings available for download (https://odd-fellows.org/member-resources/lodge-odes-and-music/), and Scott shares a random encounter that may lead to some new Odd Fellows in Arkansas.
108 minutes | Feb 7, 2022
A Banner Down Under
In 2009, a hall at the Stroud School of Arts in Dungog, Australia revealed an engaging secret: a hand-painted silk banner from the 19th Century. Two years later the banner wound up in the collection of the Newcastle Museum where David Hampton would eventually find it and begin unravelling it's fascinating history. Made in London by Tutill and Company, it was the pride and joy of Williams River Lodge of the Grand United Order of Odd Fellows. The banner would have been carried by multiple members in parades and served as a strong reminder to the community that Odd Fellowship was a reliable bulwark against the vagaries of life.The banner was used by the lodge at least up until the late 1940s, when membership was still nearly 650 members. Eventually the lodge folded and the hall became part of the local school, at which time the banner was moved and stored under the floorboards in a hall at the Stroud School of Arts. Mostly forgotten at that point, it came into the collection of the museum in Newcastle who raised money and sent it on to Sydney where some restoration work was done to preserve it for future generations. The banner is remarkable both in the condition it survived in, and for the incredible craftsmanship and artistry with which it was made.David Hampton, curator of the Newcastle Museum, joins us to tell the remarkable story of the banner and how it reflects nearly a century of changes in the social and fraternal life of Australia. Along the way we hear about what life was like for the emigrants to Australia in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries and how groups like the Odd Fellows provided essential assistance and also they paralleled labor union and other trade organizations of the time.There is no lodge Shoutout in this episode (please feel free to contribute nominations) but in the Odd Podge Ainslie shares about his new eBay score, a clay Odd Fellows' pipe, and Toby asks David about the Somerton Man (Tamam Shud) case to see if he has any background on it.
82 minutes | Jan 24, 2022
Finding A Lodge In The Wilderness
A popular novel inspired a curiosity about fraternalism back in 2016 for Gary Harper which led him to start researching various fraternal orders. After some study, he settled on joining the Odd Fellows. There was just one problem, however: he had no way of finding a lodge to join. Various emails to addresses he had found online went unanswered for years until finally, in 2019, he visited the IOOF Subreddit and made contact with an Odd Fellow in a neighboring state who was able to help him make contact with his local lodge. Despite all the challenges in making contact with the lodge, he was able to join in October of that year. Since that time he's become an ardent Odd Fellow with a zeal for promoting the Order. Instead of being bitter about his struggles to join Odd Fellowship, he is willing to share his story in hopes of making lodges more visible to their communities so that others may have an easier path to joining. He gives us a glimpse into the growth of his lodge, Kanawha #25 in West Virginia, as well as his Encampment and Canton. No lodge was nominated for a Shoutout this episode so all of you listeners are encouraged to send in your nominations. In the Odd Podge, Scott tells about his search for former Odd Fellows Halls in Arkansas' capital; Ainsle shares the news about the Goat Riders, a booster club for the DeMoulin Museum in Greenville, IL; Gary shares his efforts to charter a new lodge in West Virginia; and Toby tells about the Past Grand Master who was remembered in history as "Washington's One-Day Governor."
66 minutes | Jan 18, 2022
The Important Crossover: Part 2
UPDATE: the correct audio file has been uploaded! For those that downloaded the previous version, we hope you enjoyed a preview of "The Scandinavian Polka Party," hosted by Brother Toby on 247PolkaHeaven.com.***This is the second half of The Important Crossover. If you haven't heard Part 1, go check it out from our friends at Modern Goat Rider.For the second half of The Important Crossover, Billy and Tara from Modern Goat Rider join Ainslie, Scott, and Toby to continue their discussion about whether Odd Fellowship is important. (Spoiler alert: it is!) The quintet of Poddies shares a variety of stories and opinions about why Odd Fellowship is important. Some of the highlights include Tara's gratitude for having her supportive lodge family around her when she received some bad news; the story of Toby's Past Grand Master jewel; and the kindness shown Scott when he was struggling with getting started in Odd Fellowship.
107 minutes | Jan 9, 2022
Brother Mike Duminiak of West Virginia joins us as we reconvene for the new year to tell the story of the Patriarchs Militant. This oft-ignored branch of Odd Fellowship provides some surprising opportunities and does some very interesting work. Brother Mike is a passionate and articulate supporter and gives us a comprehensive look at the history, origins, development, and current practices of the Patriarchs Militant, from the Canton level all the way up to the General Military Council. Through his stories, we get to meet John Underwood, developer of the Patriarchs Militant Degree and first General Commanding of the branch. We also get a look at how the uniforms have changed through the years, from 19th Century finery to more contemporary styles. He gives us a glimpse of the drills, practices, and procedures that make Canton attendance engaging. The Shoutout goes to Ellensburg Lodge #20 of Washington, for having just initiated twenty-one new members in December. In the Odd Podge, Toby talks about his upcoming lecture to the California Membership Seminar, Ainslie shares his latest eBay score—a membership-retention handbook from Pennsylvania, most likely from the post-WWII era—and new co-host Scott Moye talks about his renewed Covid hermitage and the book he's reading. Brother Mike also corrects the show's erroneous grasp of the geography of West Virginia.
74 minutes | Dec 20, 2021
Christmas Episode II
Toby and Ainslie take a nostalgic look back at the past year in Odd Fellows podcasting and revisit some of the topics they covered. Brother Nick Curry of Chester Lodge #281 in Virginia gives an update on the lodge's progress and how they're reforging bonds with the community that were lost when the lodge closed. Ainslie and Toby also give a sneak peak at some of the coming year's topics and guests.
58 minutes | Dec 13, 2021
The Sun Never Sets On Fraternalism
Medieval English Craft Guilds were the wellspring of modern fraternalism. From those original attempts to protect trade secrets, educate artisans, and assist members and their families, an amazing variety of fraternal orders has developed. Those fraternal groups would have remained solely in the land where they began had it not been for the subsequent spread of British influence and culture across the globe. Fraternal researcher Owen Snowdon joins us again to tell stories of how the British Empire spread fraternalism around the globe. Some of the highlights of the episode include an Orange Order lodge which was chartered in a cave during the Crimean War; another Orange Order lodge chartered by members of the Mohawk Nation in Ontario, Canada; an RAOB lodge chartered by British POWs in Imperial Japan during WWII; multiple RAOB lodges chartered by British servicemen in West Germany during the Cold War; and several lodges which were held on both military and civilian ships. The Lodge Shoutout goes to Örebrohus Lodge #87 in Örebro, Sweden, which celebrated its centennial on December 10th. For the Odd Podge, Toby talked about his associate lodge and their newfound interest in Degree Work, Ainslie promoted the new hardcover collector's edition of the "Odd Fellows Primer," and Christopher wished everyone a warm holiday greeting.Those interested in more of Brother Owen Snowdon's fraternal research can find him on Facebook by searching "fraternal and Masonic history" or by visiting his website at http://fraternalandmasonichistory.weebly.com.
81 minutes | Dec 5, 2021
Rebirth In Northern Illinois
Amidst the fields of corn, soy, and wheat, there's something else growing in Northern Illinois: Odd Fellowship. Brother Ray Jackson of Ottawa Lodge #41 shares his story of how the members of Century Lodge #492 in Carpentersville spread out across the northern part of Illinois reviving struggling lodges and renewing the spirit of Odd Fellowship. SPOILER ALERT: there's no one, main secret to their success. With each lodge being different, they members first had to dig into that community and find out what worked for the locals and then build on it. Ray goes into great detail about how that worked and the kinds of successes they have had. He also tells of the process of reviving his current home lodge, Ottawa #41, including climbing in through the window and the moldy hall. The Shoutout goes to Themis Lodge #75 of Louisiana on the occasion of their first anniversary. For the Odd Podge, Brother Ainslie talks about the Art Fellows at his lodge in Tuscola, IL who meet regularly to make art. Brother Toby thanks his home lodge, Ballard-Alki #170 of Seattle, for the reception they gave in his honor after having served as Sovereign Grand Musician.
94 minutes | Nov 24, 2021
Building The Grand United Order
With a strong interest in history, esotericism, and philosophy, it was only a matter of time before Asean Malik Bey found his way to Odd Fellowship. That first encounter happened at a friend's martial arts studio and, since that time, Brother Bey has launched a career as an Odd Fellow organizer, historian, and scholar. A member of Teoronto #8 of the IOOF and Northern Star #715 of the GUOOF, he shares his personal journey to Odd Fellowship and some of the creative solutions he's used to help build his GUOOF lodge like having the brothers provide security for community events, partnering with the local Rotary chapter, and renting out the meeting room at Dunkin' Donuts on Friday nights to do community outreach. He also shares his background in esoteric philosophy and historical collecting. Brother Christopher returns from his sabbatical (it wasn't where he claimed in the episode) and tells us in the Odd Podge of his excitement over watching the World Cup final on his birthday in 2022. Brother Toby talks about initiating new members in Eastern Washington while Brother Ainslie shares his lodge's most recent degree work. The Lodge Shoutout goes to the members of Lebanon Lodge #1 of Beirut, Lebanon, some of whom got to visit Ontario recently.
89 minutes | Nov 7, 2021
Thinking Like An Odd Fellow
More than a decade ago, Scott Moye was just your average historian in Arkansas. Fueled by a desire and curiosity to be a part of a fraternal order, he started looking around and researching and eventually landed on the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. That journey eventually lead him to scholarship and the authorship of his new book, Think Like An Odd Fellow. During this episode, Brother Scott describes his process of researching the book and digging deep into the history of Odd Fellows' philosophy and beliefs. Along the way he found some amazing philosophies and beliefs which he has updated to make them easily accessible to a contemporary audience. He also talks some about some of the less savory parts of our history which he encountered in his research. Brother Scott shares how he's applied some of the philosophies outlined in his book, including in his prior career as an educator. Since Toby and Scott are accordionists in addition to being Odd Fellows, accordion talk eventually intrudes on the conversation, along with some discussion of the frustration that new members eventually experience in lodge. The Lodge Shoutout goes to a success story, Osage Lodge #712 of Pennsylvania, which was featured in our "Saving Lodges In Pennsylvania" episode. They were saved and now have thirteen members and are running a fundraiser selling Odd Fellows rings. For more information on the rings, email Treas.Lodge712@gmail.com. For the Odd Podge, Toby shares about his upcoming trip to Eastern Washington to initiate some new members hoping to rebuild Odd Fellowship in that part of the state, Ainslie talks about his recent TV experience, and Scott hints at his next project in Odd Fellowship.
101 minutes | Oct 18, 2021
How To Run A Lodge Meeting
We've all had to sit through long, meandering, pointless meetings. Why should we allow our lodge meetings to be disorganized and annoying to sit through? Brothers Ainslie and Toby dedicate this episode of the Three Links Odd Cast to guiding you through the best practices for holding a lodge meeting so that business can get done in a quick but thorough way. They start with the preparations that should take place before a meeting and then cruise through the Opening, Order of Business, and Closing, explaining each part along the way. This episode is chock full of useful and interesting information about how to make our lodge meetings useful, engaging, and informative. It's an especially great episode for any first-time elected lodge officers. The lodge Shoutout for this episode goes to Pride Of The South Lodge #6 of Atlanta, Georgia, for their involvement with a local elementary school. In the Odd Podge, Brother Ainslie shares his experience with the beautiful memorial service at the Grand Lodge of Illinois while Brother Toby shares the exciting news about another new lodge.
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