|From Idiots in New Haven|
I wish I could say that I was happy to have met Dr. S. Brent Morris. Well, actually, I was happy to have met Bro. Brent; he’s a bright, engaging, and for all his accomplishments, a completely unassuming gentleman. And that’s the problem: the guy has a list of accomplishments that would fill a book – in addition to the number of books that he’s written or co-authored. I mean, after listening to his bio (which ran almost as long as the excellent paper that he presented), I began to feel insignificant, like a Masonic Zsa Zsa Gabor – merely known on the internet for being known on the internet. But within two minutes of shaking hands and introducing myself, all that was forgotten; he’s charming, as well as unassuming.
The guy is just so darn likable, is the point I’m trying to get across here.
Bro. Morris was in town (New Haven) to receive the James Royal Case Fellowship Award, presented at the Masonic Lodge of Research. The award is named for the noted Masonic historian from our state, and is given to Masons of noted accomplishment. Believe it or not, Bro. Morris had quite a few books and papers behind him before he became a famous Masonic Idiot.
There is a certain irony in that Bro. Brent presented a paper on the history of itinerant Masonic speakers of the 1700s and 1800s in the US; men who traveled from lodge to lodge, earning their living by reciting entire sections of degree work during a period when many of the higher degrees were not commonly conferred. It was an interesting bit of historical background that helps to round out our understanding of how the various appendant bodies became established.
There was some more book signing afterward, during which a number of us had the opportunity to chat with Dr. Morris about Masonic history, dealing with the Antis, and those crazy History Channel “exposes.” No word on if some of the younger bros managed to talk him into heading out clubbing later on.
One thing that I forgot to ask him, though. How does he wear his ring?
Bro. Brent, if you’re reading – thanks for making this a great night for Connecticut Masonry.