There is where you travel, and then there is how you travel.
These days, John Bermudez’s ride is a pristine 1950 Chrysler New Yorker, powder blue – “You ever hear the expression, ‘land yacht’?” he says.
This affinity for vintage cars crept up on him about nine years ago. His first purchase, a 1952 Chevy 3/4-ton pickup, took him three years to fully restore. It brought back fond memories.
“As a kid, whenever anything went wrong with the family car, my father would fix it,” Bermudez says. “In high school, a group of us would buy a car cheap and pull the motor out. We’d learn from the old-timers who were willing to give us their two cents and the tools we needed.”
So perhaps it’s no surprise that he fell in love with Masonry, where the tools were symbolic but the sense of community familiar.
“You hear a lot of reasons why people join Masonry. For me, it’s always been the members,” he says. “To hear history from people who’ve lived it – I value that very much.” Bermudez was initiated in 1995 at California Lodge No. 1 in San Francisco. Today he is a past master, a past district inspector, and a leader in the York Rite and Shrine. Every year, he makes a gift to the Annual Fund. He and his lodge have built a meaningful partnership with a local school, and have led support for causes like Raising A Reader and Masons4Mitts. “By donating to these Grand Lodge programs, we are helping our neighbors and fraternal family,” Bermudez says. “I can’t imagine my life without the fraternity. I want to give back so that it continues to live up to the principle it was founded upon: taking care of one another.”