The Three Links Odd Cast is an exploration of and discussion about issues in Odd Fellowship for members of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. It provides a fun, light-hearted look at the history, traditions, customs, and practices of Odd Fellowship as well as an examination of where the fraternal order is today. NOTE: there will be *NO* discussion of The Unwritten Work or any of the signs, grips, or passwords of Odd Fellowship.
Another New Lodge - Wyoming
George Sliney, a young immigrant from County Cork, Ireland, rode out along Owl Creek in Wyoming Territory in the latter half of the 19th Century and staked a claim that would become his cattle ranch. Over time, he would become one of the most prominent citizens of Hot Springs County and the city of Thermopolis. He was also a member of Thermopolis Lodge #26, IOOF. That obscure footnote of history would eventually inspire Bradyn Harvey and Gage Maser to join the Odd Fellows and revive the charter of Lodge #26, but this time bearing the name of pioneer settler George Sliney. Although it took two years and much searching, Bradyn was eventually able to find PG Steve Masters and join Riverton Lodge #44. Not long after he set about the task of reviving the charter for his home town lodge in Thermopolis. Odd Fellowship is definitely a hot commodity in Wyoming these days as plans are also underway to revive the lodge in Casper. In the Odd Podge, Ainslie gives an update on the progress of the Odd Fellows Primer, Toby gives an update on the project to record new versions of the Odes, and Christopher praises the cleanliness of the bathrooms at Buckley Lodge #75.
What If - There Was A Crossover, Pt. 2
It's another crossover episode with our brothers and friends at Modern Goat Rider! Ours is the second half of the crossover so be sure to download and listen to Episode 29 of Modern Goat Rider to get all the context for this episode of the Three Links Odd Cast. In the first half of the crossover we discuss how Odd Fellowship would have been different today if we had made changes in the past. For our half of the episode, we're guessing about how things would be different going forward if changes were made now. Among the items of speculation: if Abby from NCIS were a member, would she be an Odd Fellow or Rebekah? Is it feasible going forward with three different orders of Odd Fellows (Manchester Unity, GUOOF, and IOOF)? How will lodges be different after COVID? Will there be more embrace of technology? Will they lose members or gain members? Is the isolation of COVID lockdowns and quarantines driving demand for membership? Are our lodges prepared for new members in a post-COVID world? What would be different if local political leaders were members of our lodges? Would that help direct lodge resources to areas of need or would that encourage political discord to enter our lodge halls? Give a listen while we propose how Odd Fellowship could be different going forward. If you've got a response to our conjecture, be sure and share it with us on our website, http://www.threelinksoddcast.com.
About The Rebekahs
The Rebekahs are an important component of Odd Fellowship that frequently gets overlooked when talking about the Order. Prompted by a request from a Rebekah in Texas, we decided to go straight to the top and do an episode with Sister Elizabeth Mowry-Harbstreit, President of the International Association of Rebekah Assemblies. Sister Elizabeth is a passionate and knowledgeable Rebekah who gives us a thorough education in the history, development, present, and future of the Rebekahs. She talks about the roots of the Rebekah Degree as an honorary degree restricted to the female relatives of Odd Fellows and how it grew and changed to become an self-guiding unit of Odd Fellowship especially for women. This is a can't-miss episode for anyone with a strong interest in learning more about Odd Fellowship. Note: there is no lodge shoutout this episode because no one nominated a lodge. Be sure and let us know about lodges doing great work at firstname.lastname@example.org so we have a shoutout for future episodes!
Musical Heritage of Odd Fellowship
Odd Fellowship has a long heritage of music, much of which has been forgotten. In this episode we explore the mysteries of the Ode Book and other forgotten pieces of Odd Fellows music. PGP John H. Seiffert, a Lutheran church music director in his professional life, dedicated a large amount of time to compiling the IOOF Odes, published by Sovereign Grand Lodge first in 1877 and then subsequently several times thereafter. The Ode Book includes several settings of the Opening and Closing Ode as well as settings of odes and songs for other lodge occasions such as hall dedications, anniversaries, installations of officers and funerals. The ritual also contains quite a bit of music, especially for the Initiatory Degree. Beyond just the music suggested for lodge use, there was a lot of popular music of the 19th Century written by, for, and about Odd Fellows and we give a survey of that music as well. Settle in for this episode—it's a long one at over two hours. We're sure you will enjoy every minute of it as much as we enjoyed making it.
New Lodge In Virginia
Nick Curry was sitting in his hometown in Virginia looking for some kind of community organization to join. He searched on the Internet and made a list of all the usual fraternal and community groups. The more he researched them, the more one organization stood out: the Odd Fellows. He set about the task of gathering people together that he knew and started down the path that would end up re-chartering Chester Lodge #281 after nearly three-quarters of a century defunct. Along the way he had incredible guidance and support from the Grand Lodge of Virginia who stepped in to help guide the new lodge and provide them with what they needed for success. Sister Janet Gibson, Past IARA Secretary, was part of the team from Grand Lodge who has made such a contribution to the new lodge. This has put Virginia on a path toward growth in membership as the Grand Lodge has embraced technology and launched a new website. Brother Sergio rejoins us after his work with the Material Sciences Division but remains very taciturn about what he did. Toby quotes a line from "Steel Magnolias" as he ponders why so much growth in Odd Fellowship has come from the South. Ainslie shares about his work on the forthcoming Odd Fellows' Primer. Our Shoutout goes to Dallas #44 of Texas, subject of the previous episode, for their incredible dedication to the Odd Fellows' Living Legacy Program.
Growth From The Arts Community
This week we're reaching deep into the heart of Texas to talk to Brother Ivan Kotcher, Noble Grand of Dallas Lodge #44. When he first joined the lodge less than ten years ago, it was down to a small cadre of elderly members barely able to make quorum. He shares the story of how a pair of well-known and charismatic artists in Dallas were able to draw large numbers of members to the lodge. Some of the lodge's success has been due to their commitment to feeding their member before and holding regular social gatherings after lodge meetings. Dallas Lodge #44 also believes strongly in making members feel like they are part of a community and that extends to making long-time members feel that they are important, too. All that plus a rant about jurisdictions that *still* don't have a website and a brief tour of the purpose of trustees and the Finance Committee in the lodge. The Lodge Shoutout goes to newly-chartered Chester #281 in the Jurisdiction of Virginia.
Giving Odd Fellows the recognition they deserve
I look forward to this broadcast every week. The topics covered so far are important and informative, and are presented in an amusing and self-deprecating way. It also presents facts tidbits about Odd Fellowship that are interesting to non-members and members alike. Keep it up, Brothers and Sisters!
This podcast has become a source of pride for me as an Odd Fellow. This is a great window for those interested in learning about the current state of the Order. The hosts are very knowledgeable and have done a great job bringing in guests from all over.
Episode one was a good start. Interested in seeing how the next few will go now that the group has introduced themselves. One shocking takeaway is how lax lodges can be in regards to those interested in joining. Makes one wonder, how many potential members have been lost because of a lack of follow-up or proper communication chain.