Converted from paper version of the Broad Ripple Gazette (v04n17)
Broad Ripple History: MASONIC LIFE AT MUSTARD HALL IN THE 1940s (part 1) - By Sally Kellerhals
posted: Aug. 24, 2007
MASONIC LIFE AT MUSTARD HALL IN THE 1940s (part 1)
My parents, Warren and Mabel Sparks, were very active in the Broad Ripple Masonic Lodge life in the 1940s, 1950s and early 1960s. They made friends there with people who were very kind and friendly, most of whom I knew, too, since I was always eager to go to "the Lodge" for any of their get-togethers. The walls must have throbbed with the merry noise everyone made, whether it was a bean soup dinner, a pitch-in, the Christmas party for kids or any other occasion. And I went to everyone that I could. I was born in 1939, so I was just the right age to enjoy all the fun of these very sociable years.
image courtesy of Joe Seiter postcard collection
The bean soup dinners were held on the first floor where the kitchen was along the back wall. We must have gotten there early on these evenings because I remember so many times when I went into the kitchen to see how things were going and when we would eat. My mother always told me not to bother the cooks, but I found the ladies in the kitchen very friendly and willing to answer my questions. There were men in there, too, to move the pots around - those things were huge and must have been very heavy when full of that luscious soup that I can taste even now.
Finally, we would sit down to eat at tables put end to end from the front of the first floor to the back. There was always a crowd at these events, and for good reason - the food was great, and the talk and fun were even better. Groups formed and then ate at the tables and while their food settled, everyone laughed and talked for quite a while until they left for home. I always found some friends I knew who were my age and after dinner we kept ourselves busy by running up and down the steps or going up to the second floor and hiding or running in the big open ballroom-type space. It was usually dark so it was great fun - until some adult came up and flipped on the lights and hustled us downstairs. We were always told never to go up to the third floor, of course, where all of the rituals were performed - we never did that. After the elevator was installed, riding up and down between the two lower floors was another way to have a good time. If someone is alive who took us to task for our noise and running, I apologize now - but it was a wonderful building for fun.
end of part one