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The Adventures of Furthermore, the Masonic Raven
Written by Skip Boyer



FURTHERMORE AND SKIP GIVE THANKS

Brothers All: A time of Thanksgiving isn't limited by national boundaries, so Furthermore and I take this moment to share some thoughts on the holiday as it is celebrated in the U.S. And we thank you for your patience....Skip

THANKS, MY BROTHERS...

Furthermore, my Masonic pet raven brother, and I recently returned from a very quick visit to the wicked city of New York. All Westerners know it has to be wicked because it’s located east of the Mississippi River, so it just naturally follows. As I think I’ve mentioned before, I don’t usually take Furthermore on business trips but this time he insisted. Said he hadn’t been to New York in a while. Wanted to know if they were still speaking Dutch there.

So we went. I don’t think he was impressed. We walked around Times Square and up Broadway one evening. I thought we might try to go to a show. Well, you can just imagine how Furthermore felt about attending shows with names like “Cats” and “Lion King!” He is not fond of cats, even a little bit. He did enjoy the taxi rides, pointing out—and correctly I believe—that New Yorkers would be unable to drive if you disconnected their horns.

Anyway, we’re home now and we got into a discussion of the American celebration of Thanksgiving last night. Furthermore was settled comfortably atop the large skull he calls home when I stopped by. He was beaking through a calendar and muttering around his cigar when I entered the old lab chamber, one heartbeat ahead of the hydra’s third and fourth heads.

“You certainly have enough holidays,” he observed, tapping a claw on the month of November.

“Only if you work for the government,” I responded, boxing the hydra’s ears with a blackjack containing 75 dollars in old silver coins. “The rest of us could use a few more.”

“Halloween I can understand,” he continued, paying little attention to me. “What a glorious holiday that used to be in the old days.” He sighed. Of course, for Furthermore, the “old days” are located somewhere between the Salem Witch Trials and the heyday of the Inquisition. “And Labor Day. That’s a day on which you don’t labor, right? Really, the rest of these make very little sense. What’s this Thanksgiving, anyway?”

I sensed an opportunity here to share one of America’s most meaningful holidays with Furthermore, so I settled down in front of the great stone fireplace and began an expansive and remarkably intelligent discussion about the Pilgrims or Separatists as they are more correctly known.

And Furthermore was clearly bored. It’s easy to tell with birds, you know? So I began explain about parades and football games and turkey dinners. When I reached the part about the traditional Thanksgiving turkey dinner, Furthermore shot straight up to the smoke-stained rafters with a screech that could wake the dead. And probably has on more than one occasion.

It seems that he took immediate exception to a holiday that centered around eating a bird. With a snort of disgust, he flew off to find the hydra and some of the Things he calls friends, there to discuss the identity of the real turkeys of the season.

I was left alone with thoughts of Thanksgiving, truly my favorite holiday. One reason I enjoy it so much is the varied history it carries. You already know the basic Pilgrim tale. We here in the American West have our own special contributions, however. For example, the idea that certain sporting events should be part of the holiday probably had its origin in Tucson, Arizona. It started with horse races and baseball games. On Thanksgiving Day, 1879, for example, two baseball teams sponsored by the two local newspapers went at each other. The Citizen’s team beat the Star’s team, 31 to 30. Clearly a pitching battle. By 1899, football was the main attraction--as it is today. That was the year Tempe Normal School (now Arizona State University) trounced the University of Arizona 11 to 2.

As much as I love the history of Thanksgiving and the ways in which we’ve celebrated it as a nation (I’m a big fan of parades which is another story entirely), there is another reason the holiday appeals to me. It is a time for me to stop for a moment and spend a day with my family and friends, wrapped in memories of other times, other places, certain that for this one day, at least, my world is right. When I offer up a small prayer of thanksgiving for all that has been a part of my life, I say a few special words of thanks for my friends. And because I number you and all the Brothers of our Craft among them, I send you these words with the hope you will have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday, full of warm memories and all the blessings of the Great Architect of the Universe.

And, out of respect for Furthermore, I may even switch to ham this year. On the other hand, who knows what he eats?




BACK TO THE HOME PAGE?

To all Lodge Trestle Board editors: Feel free to use any of the tales of Furthermore. Should you choose to do so, however, we deny any responsibility for actions by your own lodge. If, after the first couple of columns, the brethren appear restless and begin to surge toward you as you enter the lodge room, we suggest you flee and deny any connection with Furthermore.






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