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Friday, March 2, 2012

The Potentates Ball.


I don't even know where to begin this post.

It was a formal event. There were a lot of fancy/boozy drinks, there were fezzes and formal wear, there were a bunch of clowns running around. It was the 2012 Potentates Ball.

Most of us are aware that Shriners exist. We've gone to their circuses and we've seen them parade in their tiny cars. Some people aren't aware that the money they raise from those events go to fund the Shriner's Hospital for children. When a child goes to that place for rehabilitation their costs are fully covered. Which is pretty amazing if you think about it.

Well, we went to the annual Shriner's Potentate's Ball in Des Moines (money raised at the event goes towards funding the hospitals). It was a hoot. Ever heard of a hospitality room? Me neither. Hospitality rooms are filled with free food and booze! And there were about 30 of them! Each room was hosted by a different group of Shriners from a different part of Iowa or Missouri. After hitting several of these rooms I began to notice that all of the Shriners were covered in enameled pins. I coveted their pins and ached for one. After a few beers I got bold. We were out smoking and I grabbed one of the pin-laden fellows by the arm and asked him,

"How do I get my hands on one of those fancy pins, fine sir?"

He responded,

"all ya gotta do is ask, Sweetheart."

And he pinned three pins on my shirt! A tiny car, a gold one with mushrooms, and a horse. I was in heaven! Pins to add to my ever growing collection of knick knacks. For the next few hours I was a pin-askin' for fool. But, everyone was super nice and helped me out. I was even able to land the elusive St.Joesph Missouri pin. Take that!

All in all. The shriners are a blast to party with. Everyone was hospitable, friendly, dancy, and wonderful. We listened to live bands, wandered around the facilities, watched middle aged people wrestle in a hotel room and enjoyed general merriment. Good times.


  1. I'm glad you had a good time at the ball :) I like reading your blog posts, even though I hear the stories in person.

    1. if i wrote down all the stories I've already told you (from the potentates ball) the post would be six pages long. those shriners can party.

  2. now i want to go look at my pins! But i only have a few, and i'd gladly share if the opportunity ever comes up...

  3. tom! are you a mason and a shriner? that's awesome.

    I'd love to see those pins.

    1. heck no, not me. but i got some totally unrelated pins. i think i might even have a chrome canadian goose pin. honk