James Kevin Drake, Grand Monarch
Thank you so much for coming to my installation. I am humbled and proud to be your Grand Monarch. The Grottoes of North America have a strong tradition of leadership with a dedication to serve the Prophets and Ladies of the Enchanted Realm.
I am a Past Monarch of AMROU Grotto, and today is so special for us. My lady Dana and I are so excited to travel throughout the realm with enthusiasm. A little about myself. I’m an Ohio native growing up in Zanesville, Ohio. (The city with the “Y” bridge? Yes, a bridge that allows you to drive on and then drive off on the same side of the river). I came from a large family of 10. Being the next to the youngest, I felt and experienced hand-me-downs and great home cooking. I grew up with good old fashion country values, working hard on a dairy farm, helping my Father around the house, enjoying what nature blesses us with like planting a garden, raising horses, of course, good morals like respect for the elderly and ladies, with a sturdy handshake that means your word. I remember how important our church was to my up-bringing. In the early years going to our little country Methodist Church. When I turned 13, my God Parents started taking me to St. James Episcopal Church choir and the young group “episco-pals” (good memories). As a Senior Acolyte, I received the ‘Order of St. Vincent”. This was a very proud moment for me.
I became a Master Mason in 1976 on our first Master Mason George Washington’s birthday at Honor Lodge #726. I am a Past Master of LaFayette #79 in 2008, a proud Prophet in 1978, a Past Monarch in 2010, Elected to the Grand line in June of 2014. I graduated from Maysville High School, educated at Southeastern Business College and Ohio University in Business Administration Commerce. I was involved in many sports, basketball-baseball, track, golf, tennis, football, and band. I’ve been in sales and marketing for over 40 years. A part owner in XDP Media Group of Cincinnati Ohio, (retired) our clients included Procter and Gamble, Ohio State, Perdue and Xavier University, and many more. I was a videographer and photographer for ESPN, FOX and the Speed Channel. CEO of XDE Magazine (Xtreme Digital Equine). (retired) Traveling the USA for the world shows for the American Quarter Horse Association and also the American Quarter Horse Congress held in Columbus, Ohio.
The challenges ahead will be exciting as I look at this year as another new beginning. With GOD’s help and with all that we’ve been through, the feeling of getting back to normal will be a feeling of joy. Let’s look strong to the future and take nothing for granted.
Bless each and every one of you. Be safe & healthy with good travels. New memories await us all.
James Kevin Drake