By Kathy L. Collins

Each year, the widows of DeSoto Lodge #105 in Riverview are honored with an Annual Widows Appreciation Dinner. The ladies hold a special place in the hearts of every member of the DeSoto Lodge. Their husbands served the lodge, and they are dearly missed. In December the dinner was held. The Riverview High School Chorus, “Vision,” provided the entertainment for the evening.

This dinner was just a little bit extra special. Back in 1997, a special doll named “Pouty” was handcrafted by Past Master James Bailey. When the doll was presented to the sitting Worshipful Master, it was done so with a request that “Pouty’ be presented to a DeSoto widow of his choice.

“Pouty” was presented to Geraldine Starnes who enjoyed it for many years. It became a memento among the DeSoto widows and changed hands several times when Brothers of the Lodge were lost. It was presented to new widows as a means to provide them with comfort in the time of their loss.

At some point “Pouty” was lost or misplaced. Starnes asked Worshipful Master Tracy if he could find the doll so that the tradition could continue. The doll has held a special place in the hearts of the widows. Starnes said, “When I was in possession of the doll, in times of loneliness, I would just hug the doll and think of my loved ones. I just loved the ‘Pouty’.”

As luck would have it, “Pouty” was located by Worshipful Master Tracy. At the most recent Widows Appreciation Dinner, “Pouty” was presented to the ladies who asked that she be placed in a permanent display in the lodge as a tribute to the widows of DeSoto Lodge.

The DeSoto Lodge #105 is a part of the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of Florida. The fraternity known as Freemasonry arose in the late 16th and early 17th century. Today, there are approximately 1.6 million members in North America.

The DeSoto Lodge #105 meets on the first and third Tuesday of each month at 7:30 p.m. The lodge is located at 10801 DeSoto Rd. in Riverview. For more information, visit www.desoto105. org or

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