Thursday, January 29, 2015

A Review: Freemasons: Tales From The Craft

Some years ago, I was surfing the internet and I found this great blog called The One Minute Mason.  The author posted frequently, and most often, the posts were just two or three sentences long--it was rare to get what would be considered a paragraph.  He featured brief little factoids from American history or culture that in one way or another involved Freemasonry.  I enjoyed that blog a great deal, and checked it almost every day.  I love trivia, and that's exactly what he was writing--trivia geared for Freemasons!

I finally contacted the author of that blog--Steven Harrison.  Very often the One Minute Mason's two or three sentences resulted in me spending an evening researching the subject in more detail--more than once, with Steve's permission, I'd post an expanded version of his original piece with links to the One Minute Mason. 

Left to right: Midnight Freemasons Greg Knott, Steve Harrison, and Todd E. Creason in Urbana, Illinois
Steve and I later became friends, and when I decided to turn my blog, The Midnight Freemason into the contributor blog The Midnight Freemasons (plural), Steve was one of the first guys I called, and his contributions to that blog have always been amongst the most popular posts. 

Steve wrote a book a couple years ago Freemasonry Crosses the Mississippi.  It was a collection of much longer stories Steve had compiled.  It quickly became one of my favorite books--one of the better thumbed books in my collection of Masonic books.  But I was thrilled when Steve told me he was working on a collection of his blog posts--those short little blurbs that I had enjoyed so much on his One Minute Mason blog.

I have really enjoyed Freemasons: Tales From The Craft--I sat down and read it from cover to cover the day I received it from Steve in the mail.  I don't know how many of those little blurbs I read to my wife as I was reading it.  This book is great fun, and you'll learn a lot in the process.  And if you're like me, you'll get interested in one of Steve's short subjects and wind up spending a few hours learning a lot more about a famous Freemason, or a moment in history, or some odd little Masonic connection to something unexpected.  Get it and enjoy it.  And buy one for your Lodge's library, too!  These are great little pieces for discussion during the education portion of your meetings.  In fact, my next education topic is coming from this book--"here's a dozen things you probably don't know about famous Freemasons."  Both of Steve's books are available at follow the links above.

However, as good as they are, when you get this book don't be too anxious to get into the meat of the book.  Steve's a great writer, but you wouldn't want to skip over the finely crafted introduction written by another very distinguished writer.  Me!   


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