If ever one wanted insight into the mystery of Muskegon, the closed
Muskegon Masonic Temple gives a good view. It is the temporary bus
station until the Muskegon Area Transportation Authority builds a new
structure on Morris Street. It is spacious, clean and elegant and
people can keep warm inside the hall from around Six in the morning
until after Ten at night. Every day but Sunday, when there is no bus
service except Greyhound. It is an example of how Muskegon shows a
kind face to its less fortunate. It does have many benches with
unnecessary hand rails sectioning the flat surface so laying down to
take a nap is impossible. If one can sleep sitting up, leaning against
a wall, one could have a degree of comfort. I see this because I spent
time with an ethnologist from the University of Nebraska who shared
many homeless "survival strategies" with me as we traveled New Mexico.
It's probably matter of time before a security guard is hired to suss
out the passengers from the loiterers. The old bus station on Morris
took a beating from the itinerant and homeless, who cannot stay at the
Male or Female shelters during the day, from my understanding. The
homeless are given generous use of the bus system, so this might be a
place to be until one can check in for the night. Maybe alternating
between the library and the bus station will keep the security people
from a toss-out decision. Walking over to Walker Ice arena, which has
hockey even after midnight, has warm seats near the chilled ice to be
used by spectators who need a third indoor place when January hits?
I remember one night at the old bus station, I noticed a woman with
all her possessions in trash bags, apparently a domestic situation had
gone sour. All those bags couldn't go on the MATS bus. More than a few
bags of groceries must be managed in a special cart. She had a place
to take her in for a month located in Lakeside, a blessing because it
was bitter cold. She was working an old model cell phone to try and
raise a ride, calling likely numbers and even calling the cab
companies, looking for some mercy. One man walked over to a waiting
Port City Cab, made financial arrangements, helped her load her bags
in the van, and she went hopefully without hitch to a warm place with
an open door she could lock behind her, after being granted a key.
Similar scenes will be played out here soon in a dining hall where
Masons and their families took their meals.
Now what happened to the Muskegon Masons, purportedly a strong branch
of the society of illuminati whom pull the strings of the nations? The
membership dwindled in Muskegon, and one Mason from Montague shared
with me how the lodge from the north adopted the Muskegon remnant. I
know that it is unnecessary to give a secret handshake at Hennessy's,
Unruly Brewing and Pigeon Hill to find hospitality and friendship.
Maybe we can blame the failure on Facebook, where we can find
connection without having to learn ancient lore.