Thursday, December 15, 2011

'The Magpie and the Tavern'


As you may have guessed from the slowdown of traffic here on The Magpie, I have stepped back from almost all of my Masonic activities this year to attend to other important things in life, but I hope to be back in 2012. In fact, I'll be back with a vengeance in January, with three speaking engagements in three states in two weeks. (I've been assured this is not illegal.)

I wasn't even going to publicize this event myself, except for a subtle clue at left you probably never noticed, a quick mention on Facebook, and the use of the touchscreen in the lobby of Masonic Hall , but I cannot rely on the museum to get the word out. The Sons of the Revolution e-mailed its newsletter to subscribers, but printed the wrong date and other errors that were minor but still annoying. Fraunces' website still lists events that have passed, and there is no mention of this one yet. And I didn't want to publicize it myself because the point of the lecture is to reach the public, not a bunch of my friends who already know what I'm going to say. Anyway, the museum's newsletter, which did get it right, can be read below, and hopefully it will be linked to its website soon.

In the ten or so years that I have been speaking on Masonic subjects, I have done so only to Masonic audiences, with one exception this April, when I discussed ritual elements, philosophy, and history at the New York City Chapter of the Joseph Campbell Foundation. I broke my own rule because I've been active there for a number of years, and I know the people there to be serious thinkers and students of mythologies, religions, and similar paths of wisdom, so I don't even consider that a general audience. It was more like speaking to a college-level class on a subject they want to know, and I anticipate the same kind of audience at Fraunces Tavern Museum.

Or I would if the museum would kindly tell its members and supporters about it.

In the meantime, here is the Magpie announcement. The major details are in the graphic above. In addition, you should know seating is limited to about 60, and it is not at all unusual for this venue to sell out. NO advance reservations are taken; tickets are sold at the door at $10 per person, so I recommend arriving no later than six o'clock. I take to the podium at 6:30.

By the title of the talk, an informed Mason would know where I'm headed, but I'm hoping this will be news to the public. Drawing from Masonic literature of the Colonial/Revolutionary period, I'll explain what it is that Freemasons mean by our "profession." In addition, I'll sketch a historical picture to clarify the role Masons played, on both sides, of the Revolutionary War, which I suspect will be surprising to those who have the popular notion that all of America's Founding Fathers were Freemasons, and they all were good guys.

Afterward, I'll be downstairs at the wonderful Porterhouse Brewing Co. drinking.



Jim Dillman said...

Jay, it's good to see you back in the saddle. I hope to be seeing you in February at Masonic Week. Congratulations on landing this speaking gig. I know you'll represent the fraternity well.

Magpie Mason said...

Thanks Jim! Definitely see you in February. And I'm particularly looking forward to The Masonic Society's speaker on Friday night.