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Life and Arts

Masons offer up slice of Americana

You just don’t get a juicier slice of Americana than hearing roaring engines compete with classic rock ‘n’ roll through a haze of grilling burger smoke. Burbankers, along with surrounding area residents, were recently treated to just such a heaping slice as members of the Burbank Masonic Lodge 406 rolled out a great day of food, music and an eclectic collection of vintage vehicles, dragsters and nitro-methane cackle cars to raise funds to benefit the Los Angeles Shriners Hospital for Children.

Chaired by Jeff Lindstrom, last week’s Burbank Masonic Lodge fourth annual Charity Car Show was staged at their Irving Drive facility with the help of Bill Rogers, Vince Deglinnocenti, Jeremy Chongco, Steve Harris, Al Moen, Andrew DeCaro, William Cunningham, Norm Furman, Billy Campbell, Erik Adams, Rick Lake, Todd Nicolas, Simon McIlroy, Christopher Barnes, Stirling Locket and Jeff Yates.


Among those who participated in the day by putting their cars on display were Jim Stevens, Joel Embick, Russ Collins, Dave Maher, Phil Cozano, Tony Wade, John Rodriguez, Steve and Janet Border, Nick Sfetku, Hank and Joan Ahlers, Dale Hudelson, Kirk Peeler, Peter Babian, Chris Carson, John and Linda Martinez, Robert Trainer, Emmett Van Ness, Bob Ranney, Don Lister, Louie Gonzalez, Ed Silberman and Lucy Lindstrom.

In 1908, with Burbank not yet an incorporated city, the less than 400 people who lived in the area relied on a budding business district and numerous small farms for their immediate needs. That year also saw a small group of men set in works the motion that would result in the formation of a local Masonic lodge.


The following year, the California Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons granted a dispensation that resulted in the chartering of Burbank Lodge 406, and the organization held its first meeting in the summer of 1909. First housed on the second floor of a building on South San Fernando Road, the Burbank Masons moved to their second location on Olive Avenue in 1931, and then on to their current Irving Drive home in 2000.

Throughout the daylong event, hundreds of Burbank residents and families came out to enjoy the show that included the music of Pam Lowe and Chad Watson. Among those in attendance were Assemblyman Mike Gatto and his staff advisor Stacey Brenner, John and Mary Jo Hjelmstrom, Paul, Taylor and Ashley Akard, Greg and Gavin Rogers and former Burbank Leader contributor Marc Yablonka who authored the book “Distant War: Recollections of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia” (Merriam Press, 2009).

Funds raised at the car show will be presented to Shriners Hospital Los Angeles that is one in a network of 22 nonprofit pediatric hospitals across the country that provide specialty care for children and their families. While the emphasis of Shriners Hospital Los Angeles is to provide medical care at no charge for children, its mission also includes research on the conditions treated, and the furthering of education and training of medical professionals including medical residents and fellows, nurses, physical, recreation and occupational therapists, speech and language specialists, psychologists, social workers and child life specialists.