When Bro. Ainslie asked me to post it came as an honor to be included amongst the rest of the great articles on the blog !!! (Thanks and flt)
I’m not sure quite where to begin so I’ll just go with the flow…..As a tattooer and collector of things considered “odd” I almost feel as if I belong to the Order before I ever joined ! I am an avid fan of the macabre and often my wife and I find ourselves in the strangest places ie: abandoned insane asylums, derelict cemeteries, old prisons, and long forgotten settlements here in Columbia, SC. I have traced my ancestry back to the plantation on which generations of my ancestors lived slaved and died. (Pipe Down Plantation in case anyone was interested) on Sandy Island. I have everything from slave shackles to klan applications,regalia etc !
On one of my excursions l came across the tombstone above, this is located in what is called Lower Cemetery. I noticed that there were 3 links at the top and Wayman #1339. That was a few years ago. I reached out to Bruce Lee Webb who told me what they were without actually telling me but by looking through his vast array of pictures on IG. “Oddfellows huh , hmmm”
My thirst for knowledge took over and I began researching as much as I could online. I reached out through the IOOF’s page and was almost immediately contacted by the Past Sovereign Grand Master Jimmy Humphrey…..Let me say this, after a couple emails and phone conversations, this man popped up in my city , at my tattoo shop to talk about Oddfellowship !!!!! He is an honorable man guys seriously! I asked him about a lesser known group of individuals who had a serious impact on the lives of black people in the south, the Grand United Order of Oddfellows. Not only did he tell me about them, he contacted them for me, and soon he will become a member of one of our lodges.
As fate would have it, there was a few GUOOF lodges in SC and I was contacted by the Noble Grand who has been working tirelessly to bring light and life back to the order in SC. I mulled it over with another artist/friend and within a couple weeks were brothers of Florence Lodge #2212. (FEB 11 2017)
Why did I join the lesser known group you may ask? I will save that for part II…..
I leave as I came with FLT
Bro. Page Warden/public relations /historian Florence Lodge #2212