The Craftman's Journey: Part XII

by Midnight Freemasons contributor
Michael Shirley

I’d been keeping track of the Master Mason’s mandolin’s progress on Facebook, and frequent updates had had me hitting refresh at odd hours. But now that the finish needed to dry thoroughly before Joe could polish it, I was having withdrawal pains. After about ten days they were down to a dull ache, so when Joe texted me that he had just posted a few new pictures, I actually didn’t immediately sprint to the computer. It was more of an urgent canter. 

Waiting, it seemed, had its rewards, because the new photos were of a glossy beauty, so shiny I could use it as a mirror, with a brass tailpiece and gold tuning machines. It looked like a mandolin, and for the first time I could imagine playing it. Once again, I just stared. When I wasn’t staring, I was looking at YouTube videos of some of my favorite mandolin players, and imagining them playing my mandolin (it sounds a lot better that way in my head). 

After I messaged Joe (I may have used all caps) saying how beautiful the pictures were, I asked him what was left. “Just a little more polishing,” he said, “and then I need to set up the bridge and the neck and put in the endpin.”  A couple more days, I thought. I was wrong.

This is the 12th installment of Michael Shirley's Mandolin Series.  To be continued . . .
W.B. Michael H. Shirley is Past Master of Tuscola Lodge No. 332 and Leadership Development Chairman for the Grand Lodge of Illinois. He's also a member of the Illinois Lodge of Research, the Scottish Rite, the York Rite, Eastern Star, and the Tall Cedars of Lebanon. He's also a member of the newly-chartered, Illini High Twelve No. 768 in Urbana-Champaign. The author of several articles on British history, he teaches at Eastern Illinois University.

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