|Me and Blackjack Pershing|
I've been writing about Famous American Freemasons for years, so a lot of the things I collect have nothing to do with Masonry, but they have to do with the more famous members of our Fraternity. I have a portrait of Uncle Joe Cannon as Speaker of the House of Representatives. I have an old cast iron piggy bank I use as a bookend--it's WWI General Blackjack Pershing. My pencil cup is a ceramic coffee mug bust of W. C. Fields (you can see it in the picture)--probably a 4-H art project from some kid thirty years ago. Even the coaster under my beverage on my desk has John Wayne on it. I even own a couple old Victrola ceramic records recorded back in the 1920s by Al Jolson. And I have one of those U. S. President collector spoons people used to collect--you'd find them back in the day in truck stops and novelty stores--I remember seeing them at Stuckey's back when I was a kid in the 70s. Mine is President William McKinley, and I'm determined to find and acquire all those old spoons from all the Presidents that were Masons. There were 14 Mason Presidents, and that could set me back . . . like $20. Just a bunch of junk the "Pawn Stars" on History Channel wouldn't give you anything for, but I love it.
No matter what you collect, there is nothing more exciting than a new acquisition--when we make a major find for our collections. Think Indiana Jones without the danger of being in an old tomb, and probably with a Venti Mocha from Starbucks as you search the cases of the local pawn shop--we're always looking for our "Holy Grail." And we all have a couple items in our collection that mean something very special to us. Maybe it was a lucky find. Or maybe it's the hat or gavel we used when we were Master of the lodge. Or perhaps it's a lapel pin or cuff links given to us by a Brother Master Mason--or a relative. While these items may be worth little to anyone else, they are priceless objects to us.
|My 82-year-old Tennessee dues card|
and my rare W.C. Fields 4-H project
We collect because its fun--it's a challenge to find these odd and unusual items we are attracted to. The things we surround ourselves with tell a lot about us. Years ago, a friend of mine told me he'd learned more about me in ten minutes looking at my bookshelf than he had in ten years of knowing me as a friend. And over the years I've talked to a lot of Masons, and the things they collect sometimes astound me.
So tell me . . . what do you collect? Please share!