A group of Master Masons talk about topics of Masonic interest--each from their own unique perspective. You'll find a wide range of subjects including history, trivia, travel, book reviews, great quotes, and hopefully a little humor as well on topics of interest for Freemasons and those interested in the subject of Freemasonry.
Some outside the Fraternity see Freemasons as being stiff,
formal, archaic and arcane.One of the
great Masonic secrets is that isn't true.Oh, we have our moments of formality, but here are a few examples of
what might be called the lighter side of Freemasons' lives:
Richard Locke's Moon People
Richard Locke was so irritated by outlandish claims of
discovering life on the moon, he fabricated the discovery of an entire race of
moon beings, which took the science community and public by storm in 1835.
Chic Sale published a book, The Specialist, in the
early twentieth century, which was nearly banned.The carefully worded book was a humorous but
risqué treatise on the subject of outhouses.
Astronaut Gus Grissom also ran into a bit of
censorship.After his first space
capsule sank at the end of a mission, Grissom named his second craft the Molly
Brown because the original Molly was "unsinkable." When the NASA
board balked, Grissom submitted a new name, Titanic.After due consideration, the board approved Molly
Will Rogers was not so lucky in escaping the censor's
ax.After visiting the Soviet Union he published a book entitled, There's
Not A Bathing Suit In Russia.The
censors were not at all amused by the second part of the title when they cut it
from naughty Will's book: And Other Bare Facts.
Rogers worked with "Blue Boy," a champion hog, in
his 1933 movie, "State Fair." At the end of filming director Henry
King gave Blue Boy to Rogers to slaughter and eat.Rogers instead donated the hog to an
agricultural college saying, "I refuse to eat a co-star."
As if that's not enough on Will, he is also known to have
dated all seven of the Blake sisters before settling down and marrying
the youngest, Betty.Family gatherings
must have been interesting...
In the 1948 presidential race, Thomas Dewey's campaign came
up with the world's first political It read, "Dew It With Dewey."The electorate, instead, decided to "Dew It" with Truman.
Clifton Truman Daniel didn’t learn his grandfather Harry
Truman had been the US President until his first day of school, when the other
kids confronted him with the news.Clifton rushed home at the end of the day and asked his mother Margaret,
"Did you know Grandpa was the President of the United States?" With
all the timing of a great comedian, Clifton will then tell you, "She
Clifton's life as Harry's grandson wasn't all a bed of
roses.On one occasion, playing with a
popgun inside the Truman house in Independence, he fired a shot and knocked a
vase over.Grandpa sent Clifton and his
brother outside to play.Within minutes
Clifton rounded the corner of the house and came face-to-face with a scowling
Secret Service agent who, from a house across the street, had seen two shadowy
figures with guns sneaking around the former President's property.
England's Prince Phillip has a famously caustic and
non-politically-correct sense of humor.On one occasion when told he would be attending a Madonna concert he
said he would have to bring some ear plugs.He is also known for the quote, "If you see a man opening a car
door for a woman, it means one of two things: it's either a new car or a new
In the mid 1960s the Grand Lodge of California brought a
member up on Masonic charges for participating in a college panty raid.The judges allowed that such behavior could
be dismissed as collegiate hi-jinx, but felt the situation warranted further
investigation when the member in question was found to have 181 pairs of the
After losing the world championship in a brutal fight to
Gene Tunney in 1926, a battered Jack Dempsey told his wife, "Honey, I
forgot to duck." As medics wheeled Ronald Reagan (an honorary Scottish Rite
Mason) into the operating room after a 1981 assassination attempt, he looked at
his wife Nancy and used Dempsey's quote.
Ford VS Chicken
Finally, there is the case of the giant chicken that hounded
Gerald Ford in his 1976 presidential Instead of becoming irritated, Ford played along with the prank even to
the point of inviting the chicken on stage for an interview.Today, that same "chicken" who made
his national debut campaigning with Gerald Ford has gone on to fame in his own
right.He is now known as The San Diego
These stories aren't all that unusual.Part of the reason we are members of this
Fraternity is the fellowship we enjoy when we get together.If you're looking for more Masonic stories
that bring a little chuckle, just attend your next Lodge meeting.You're sure to find them there.
Bro. Steve Harrison, 33°,
is Past Master of Liberty Lodge #31, Liberty, Missouri. He is the
editor of the Missouri Freemason magazine, author of the book
Freemasonry Crosses the Mississippi, a Fellow of the Missouri Lodge of
Research and also its Worshipful Master. He is a dual member of Kearney
Lodge #311, St. Joseph Missouri Valley of the Scottish Rite, Liberty
York Rite, Moila Shrine and a member and Past Dean of the DeMolay Legion
of Honor. Brother Harrison is a regular contributor to the Midnight
Freemasons blog as well as several other Masonic publications. His
latest book, Freemasons: Tales From the Craft, is available on amazon.com.