Around the Town
By Sharon Wisch-Ray

Joe Klein recognized for 50 years as a Master Mason

On Aug. 23, at Tabernacle Masonic Lodge in Fort Worth, Joe Klein, accompanied by his wife Hannah, was presented with physical recognition of having been a Master Mason for 50 years. The award; a framed certificate and unique lapel pin was presented in the prescribed ceremony by the District Deputy Grand Master of the 64th District of the Grand Lodge of Texas.

Joe Klein and his wife Hannah at his 50-year Master Mason ceremony Aug. 23.
Joe Klein and his wife Hannah at his 50-year Master Mason ceremony Aug. 23.

Joe became a member of the largest and oldest fraternal organization in the world Aug. 19, 1964 in Del City Lodge, Del City, Oklahoma. During travels throughout his career he visited Masonic lodges and met brethren in Canada, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Singapore as well as the United States.
After being transferred for General Dynamics to Fort Worth in 1967, Joe moved his membership to Ridglea Lodge and in 1972, to Tabernacle Lodge in Wedgwood. He joined and was active in the Scottish Rite as a 32nd Degree Mason and also became a member of the local Shriners.
After retiring in 1995, Joe went into the lodge officers lineup and served as Worshipful Master of the Lodge in the 1999-2000 year. In subsequent years he operated the Lodge blood bank for Carter Blood and personally reached the 5-gallon donor level at the age of 84. Blood collected by the Lodge was specifically earmarked for use by the Scottish Rite Hospital for Children in Dallas.
Joe has made it through 86 years of age and every moment of his Masonic life has been a blessing.

Election season unplugged

Daytimers will be in for a treat Wednesday, Oct. 8 when Jim Riddlesperger will analyze the November election scene.
Riddlesperger, a professor, has toiled in the TCU political science department since 1982. Through the years, he has taught a slew of students in a bunch of different courses, though he waxes poetic mostly in the arena of American politics, focusing on the presidency and Texas politics. For his teaching efforts, he has occasionally had the pleasure of receiving awards, including the TCU Honors Professor of the Year in 2012, and has never, to his knowledge, been hung in effigy. He knows how lucky he is to share the academic journey with students, many of whom have enjoyed the promise of the pursuit of happiness and built successful careers.
He co-authored Lone Star Leaders: Power and Personality in the Texas Congressional Delegation (TCU Press, 2011), The Austin-Boston Connection: Five Decades of Democratic House Leadership, 1937-1989 (Texas A&M Press, 2009) and Texas Politics (Cengage, 2011 and 2013). He co-edited a collection of works authored by Speaker Jim Wright entitled The Wright Stuff (TCU Press, 2013), Presidential Leadership and Civil Rights Policy (Greenwood, 1995) and edited Special Focus: Balance of Power between Congress and the President (New York: College Board, 2008). He has published an assortment of research articles, chapters in edited books, and encyclopedia entries — more than five dozen at the moment — to keep his mind from wandering too far from reality. His research has filled much needed gaps in the academic literature and might cure, if only temporarily, stubborn cases of insomnia. His record has assured Riddlesperger one of the biggest names in the discipline.
He has served in a number of administrative roles, most notably nine years as department chair, before his promotion to ordinary faculty status. He served as president of the Southwestern Political Science Association for the 2010-2011 year. He has also authored many meaningless memos that have processed the agenda of the university without appreciably stemming the unending flow of such communiques.
A frequent consultant to the news media concerning politics and elections, his commentary has filled what would otherwise be dead time on television, has engaged literally dozens of people on radio, and has provided newsprint that would help line the finest of birdcages. Hopefully, such media contributions, along with frequent presentations to community groups, have had a small salutary effect. He also has masochistic tendencies, serving as Chief Reader to the College Board’s AP U.S. Government exam.
His marriage to Dr. Kristina Riddlesperger (associate professor of professional practice in Nursing at TCU), has given him a lifetime best friend and partner in crime and has gifted him with two adult sons. He has decided life is too short to focus on elevated golf scores since humility is an attribute he has earned in abundance already. Through it all, he is reminded that if education is a serious enterprise, it also must reflect a joie de vivre to make it worthwhile.
As always, the program begins at noon at Beth-El Congregation. The program and lunch costs $9. It will be catered by Boopas Bagels with several bagel sandwich choices along with chips, cookies, coffee and tea. The program only is $5. Make your reservations by calling Larry Steckler, 817-927-2736 or 520-990-3155 or Hugh Lamensdorf at 817-738-1428. You can also sign up at the Beth-El website,

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