From the Wise Master (August, 2015)

posted Aug 4, 2015, 4:52 PM by San Jose Scottish Rite   [ updated Aug 4, 2015, 4:52 PM ]
The July trip to the “USS Hornet” aircraft carrier in Oakland was quite nice. Arriving on board at noon and viewing the initial video session we chose oneof the three “guided tours” available. Each tour holds about 30 visitors and ours was the below decks engine room tour. It takes two and ½ hours and all of the below waterline engine machinery equipment and technology required to power the ship was explained in detail. This was the first time we had ever seen engine room systems and it was really amazing. 
A tour like this would be a wonderful experience for children and families whose “kids” might eventually want to have such a naval career. Several other tours include Naval aircraft, Gemini and Apollo spaceflight capsules. Also the three decks “topside” where all the ship command, combat, navigation, communication and radar systems are explained in detail. The next time I visit the Hornet I want to try the aircraft flight simulator and out what it must be like to take off and land on the deck of carrier.
Another reason I wanted to make this trip was to have Naval Chaplain John W. Berger, CDR (Ret.) sign my 32nd degree S.R. book. He is an exceptionally well known and well loved person and a 50 year Chaplain in the U.S. Navy, but I was told that he had just passed away the previous week. However, that his funeral service would be held at Willow Glen Funeral in two days. 
So—several of us attended the service and I was able to say a few words about Scottish Rite and why I was there. I met his family and they were very pleased and that they would sign my book in his place. I ended my talk with the words “Oh Johnny, I hardly knew thee, but we will always remember you.”  Thus ended my second trip to the USS Hornet

Dell Bleiler, Wise Master