By: Kenneth Quick, Lemon Grove Assembly Adult
Hello friends, brace yourself, this has the potential of being a long read, but I wanted to share a part of me with you all, please take the time to read it ….
So many girls and adult ladies have shared their “Rainbow Story” and #whytheyrainbow with you. I do not often hear the dads sharing their #whyirainbow. Well, I have my “Rainbow Story,” which a few within Rainbow have had the opportunity to learn, and yet, so many have not, including many of my friends and family who are not associated directly with Rainbow, CAIORG. I promise to do my best to keep it brief, however, that is a hard task when you become passionate about something, or an organization, and the work they do. . . .
Once upon a time, a man meets a lady; they giggle together, and smile at one another for seven months and decide to get married. In their search for a reception venue, the El Cajon Masonic Lodge is discovered and secured for the event. Immediately, the young groom begins to be told stories of Rainbow Girls (Girls Youth Group), DeMolay (Boys Youth Group), and their Sponsoring Head called the Masons. The groom inquiries, “Are these the Masons I have heard about that perform occult rituals, secret meetings, and mysterious acts?”
Sure enough, the groom learns this is that very group that he had been told about, however, they were rumors, and lies, and could not have been further from the truth. As you have probably figured out, that groom was me, and my beautiful bride is Lisa.
After our marriage, as we began to build a life together, her twin sister Pam, continued to discuss this group called the “International Order of the Rainbow for Girls” (IORG). Which she and her husband, Tim, were members of the executive board. I also learned, she and Lisa were members of the youth order, as teenagers.
Still a bit unfamiliar, you can imagine my intrigue and curiosity to learn what this was about, what they stand for, why it was important to her, etc. After all, until now, all I had heard were rumors. The longer we were married the more this organization crept into daily conversations.
As soon as we found out Lisa was pregnant with a girl, Pam made it clear that our daughter would be eligible to join on her 11th birthday, and the planning to have her initiated was put into motion. Many of you have stated your memories of her being carried to events as an infant, carrying the bible for Installations, being present at events and functions long before becoming a member, etc. All of this, giving me more exposure to the group, their adult supporters, and what they really stood for.
The time came for TaylorAnn to be initiated in the summer of 2010, and I still did not know much of the Rainbow practices, rituals, traditions, etc, all I knew is that the girls loved to have fun, and often participated in community service projects. I have a vivid memory of a non-Rainbow event in our home that many Rainbow Girls just happened to be at, as friends, I noted a comradery and sense of belonging among the girls, and
when clean up time came, it was done in a flash. I looked at Lisa and said, “These Rainbow Girls are invited to any and all events in the future.” What dad would not want his shy, timid, daughter involved in something like that, right?
It was now Initiation, and I had no idea what to expect, I was nervous, excited, and curious all at the same time. As the meeting went on, the lessons and traditions were made known. I was at the edge of my seat with excitement of the journey our daughter, and inherently, we, as her parents were about to embark on.
I mentioned that TaylorAnn was shy and timid, characteristics that some of you, meeting her more recently, may not have seen in her. Why, you ask? Because of her journey. As she slowly (very slowly) but surely began to open up, embrace the lessons taught to her in Rainbow, Girl Scouts, Church, school and home, and being exposed to new opportunities, she became more confident, aware, and mature, leaving her shyness behind, so that she could put others first, time and time again.
So yes, this dad, reluctant to allow his shy and timid daughter join a group because of rumors I had been told, could not be more proud of her and this organization. And let me say this . . .like any group of humans, it is not always about rainbows, butterflies and unicorns. There are difficult times and situations, there are adults both in and of the organization that will spread rumors like what I had been told about untruths. I can tell you, they are just that … Untruths! CA IORG stands for love and service, while
promoting business management, public speaking, event planning, and more.
We are not a religious group; however we do teach lessons of free public education, religion, nature, immortality, fidelity, and patriotism, and the importance they hold while answering the call of love and service. Notice the shift, as I spoke about a third-party organization, to including myself in first person! Remember what I said above? What father would not want their shy daughter involved in such a group? Well, I am here to testify, and shout it from the mountain tops, I am glad I did not listen to the rumors. I am blessed to be a part of this organization and have made so many of my friends here.
Thank you for letting me share my story, and our journey, this is #whyirainbow. Our journey includes a “how” we got here and “why” we stayed. I got here in spite of the lies, and stayed because of the truth!