|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.
Pity Dr. S. Brent Morris.
A few years ago I walked into a meeting all excited. “I’ve been exchanging emails with Brent Morris all week! He reads some of my stuff, too!”
The reaction was a bit deflating. “Who?”
After I explained that he was a noted Masonic author, and editor of the SR Journal, the reaction was still less than I’d expected. “Oh, so he’s some Scottish Rite guy, then?”
At our Grand Lodge session in March, I met somebody who said, “Hey, I was in Washington D.C. a while ago and I ran into somebody who knows you. He said to say ‘Hi’.”
I was curious. “Who was that?”
The brother couldn’t remember. Some famous guy, or something like that, he thought.
I tossed out a few hints. Grand Lodge officer? Agent Scully? Author?
“Yeah, I think he’s an author.”
“Where were you in DC when you met him?”
“Oh, I was in the Scottish Rite building. It’s really nice.”
By now everyone around us was curious. “Wait, was it Brent Morris?” I asked.
“Yeah, Brian Morris, that’s him!”
The rest of the crowd looked blank.
“Come on, you know, Brent Morris.” I said. “Freemasonry in Context? Is It True What They Say About Freemasonry? The Scottish Rite Journal?”
“A Complete Idiot’s Guide to Freemasonry?”
One guy looked up. “Is he the guy who came to New Britain last year?”
For those of you who do know who Bro. Morris is, or those of you who are curious and want to meet him in person so he can sign your big yellow orange book, he’s going to be visiting Connecticut at the end of the month. The Masonic Lodge of Research in New Haven will host Dr. Morris on Wednesday, May 27 at the Masonic Temple on 285 Whitney Ave.
A buffet dinner ($20 per person) will be at 6:15 pm, after which Bro. Morris will be delivering a research paper that will be suitable for non-Masons. I assume that this means it would be less dull than those papers which are suited for Masons-only, but the upshot is that you can bring a friend, or even your wife.
A handful of copies of Bro. Morris’ book A Complete Idiot’s Guide to Freemasonry for Dummies will be available for sale. Anyone interested in should make reservations with RW Carl G. Ek by calling 203-469-0746 (leave a message) or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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