I can barely describe it to you. It was so awesome. Everyone was kind and smart and helpful. They not only knew who Ben Allen was, but they had a ton of his stuff. And they let me see it! His ring he got when he made the thirty-third degree, a sword he made his friend, a picture of him when he was young and it’s easy to see why Sue would have fallen for him. And the Buddha. I didn’t immediately recognize its provenance, but I am betting one of you will look at it and say “Oh, that’s a Thai Buddha” or whatever.
I’m guessing the Professor will know.
My camera is so crappy. I could not get it to focus on the sword. But I think some of the pictures are at least good enough that you can get a feel for what a talented jeweler he was.
It was nice to know that, at least among Masons, Ben Allen is not forgotten. It also made seeing the sword on the top of his grave more meaningful in retrospect.
And the Masonic temple… People I don’t even know what to tell you. It was both a hair weird (just because I don’t really know anything about the Masons, other than that they rule the world behind the scenes, which turns out is not true!) and breath-takingly awesome at every turn.
I wanted to take a million pictures, but I felt like they were being so generous in allowing me there in the first place that I didn’t want to impose.
Plus, they showed me this little video that explained what “Free & Accepted Masons” meant and about how they’d ruled the world behind the scenes. Ha, no, not really. But kind of, in that a ton of important historical figures were Masons and the Masons believe that their Masonic values of equality and freedom shaped those historical figures’ political values.
So, it was cool. I swung by the Scene‘s offices so I could pick up the Halloween issue so that I can send it to them. Man, I am stoked. I feel like I got to peek into one of the most mysterious places in town, only to find it full of really cool people.