Welcome to Lodge 49. On an empty beach, Dud, a man adrift, wanders the shores of Long Beach searching for something, anything. There he stumbles across something unexpected. A ring, that to the average person is worthless, but something is better than nothing.
Against this backdrop of aging strip malls and subdivisions, we find Ernie, a salesman working the beat in the tireless trenches of B2B servitude. The glimmer of the big score is always just around the corner but is about as close to happening as Lucy letting Charlie Brown kick the football. “It’s a cold hard world” croons in the background with Lee Hazelwood’s cowboy hardened realism.
It is a cold hard world, and as Ernie jokes on the golf course, ‘this ain’t Pebble Beach’. Sometimes in life, there are people who would give everything within their grasp for an ounce of hope. So is the tale of Liz, the suffering saint of our tale. She traded her dreams for debt left to her by her father. She stares up from the valley she in and now must struggle to lift her brother Dud back out as well. Burning the bills in the sink, looking at the utter futility of the situation, adds to the weight.
In contrast to the troubles of our travelers, we are given an oasis, Lodge 49. Nothing magical appears about the lodge at first glance, with the 1960’s wood paneling, musty carpet that needs cleaning, and the tributes to members and leaders gone by. Yet, that isn’t the magic or the mystery. At the lodge, it goes beyond being where everyone knows your name. It is the ability to step away for a few hours from the cold outside, forget about what they are not in life, and be something, a knight, the Sovereign Protector, or a squire. The chance for something more is what Dud is seeking. And that is the beauty of the story. Life often takes us on a road we may not have expected to travel, but there is magic in everyday life. If we look for it.
So come and take the journey. See if you can find the keys along the way to the True Lodge.
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