Wednesday, April 21, 2021

R.I.P. Dave Lettelier


David Lettelier was the Founding President of Phoenix Masonry and curator of its extensive museum, much of which came from his personal collection.  Over the years Phoenix Masonry has become one of the most visited Masonic websites in North America, if not the world.  Dave's interest in Masonry was broad and the museum showcases all manner of Masonic articles, from Co-Masonry, Prince Hall, Grand Orients....The world of Masonry is vast, complex, and diverse, and on Phoenix Masonry one can find a little of everything.

I wrote a few Masonic essays some years ago that caught Dave's eye and he asked to publish them on the Phoenix Masonry site. I was happy to do so. He later sent me a Phoenix coin which still sits on my mantle with other treasured Masonic items. We never met in person, but had talked about meeting up next time I went back home to Florida. He'd even looked into sending me some Cuban sandwiches packed in dry ice and shipped express to France after I bemoaned not having any Cuban sandwiches here. Dave was just a nice, thoughtful, and generous guy, a broad-minded Mason, and even though we never actually met in person, a friend as well as a Brother.
 
 
We hadn't been in contact for a long time, but a few days back I got a strong urge to write him about a project I am working on in which I thought he might be interested.  Maybe something (GA?) was letting me know that it was then or never, I don't know, because yesterday a mutual acquaintance contacted me to inform me that David had passed. Sad thing is I never sent the letter, and it's my loss not having been able to exchange ideas with him one last time.
 
David was a real mensch and a vital presence in Freemasonry. I will miss him. My sincere condolences go out to his friends and family. I hope it brings them a small measure of comfort to know that David was well-liked and respected and had a positive impact on many lives, including my own.
 
Peace be with you Brother.
 
Please feel free to share your memories in the comments.

Monday, April 12, 2021

THE SOUTH: Tampa


Le train vient de faire halte

Deux voyageurs seulement descendent par cette
   matinée
 
brûlante de fin d’été
Tous deux sont vêtus de complets couleur kaki et 
    coiffés
 
de casques de liège
Tous deux sont suivis d’un domestique noir chargé de
 
porter leurs valises
Tous deux jettent le même regard distrait sur les 
    maisons
 
trop blanches de la ville sur le ciel trop bleu
On voit le vent soulever des tourbillons de poussière et
 
les mouches tourmenter les deux mulets de l’unique
 
fiacre
Le cocher dort la bouche ouverte
 
---------------------------
 
The train has just come to a stop
 
Only two travelers get off this
   scorching 
 
end-of-summer morning
Both are dressed in khaki-colored suits and
    capped
 
in pith helmets
Both are followed by a black servant charged with
 
carrying their bags
Both cast the same distracted look at the
    too-white
 
houses of the city at the too-blue sky
One sees the wind kicking up dust devils and
 
flies tormenting the two mules of the only
 
cab
The coachman sleeps, his mouth open

Sunday, April 11, 2021

TAMPA, FLORIDA

Alfred Starr Hamilton
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
To sting a centipede around
A pineapple bend, on a peach - - truth is
Studied on the breast - - abysmally 

A picture of a tramp is being excruciated
Betwixt a splintered park bent bench

And truthfully
And in Africa 
A pink pygmy 
Sits stupidly on a bamboo spear
In the hark wide open jungle
 
 
from 
The Poems of Alfred Starr Hamilton, The Jargon Society, 1970