Saturday, January 20, 2007

Road race features beer and chili

My local lodge hosts the 5K "Hot Biscuit Run" every summer. The lodge and the Eastern Star (OES) ladies provide big tasty home-made biscuits smothered in butter and jelly to all the runners upon their return. The proceeds of the event are used by the OES for Christmas charity work. I'm not a runner, but I have worked at the event a few times as a road-blocker-offer.

Newport Lodge No. 455, F. & A.M. of Newport, New York
, has found an even better draw than biscuits. It's unclear from the article if this is a Masonic-sponsored event, or if they're just renting out the lodge building, but up there in the cold — on Feb. 3 — there is a 5K and 10K run along with a 5K walk where you get beer and chili upon your return.

"We have been rumored to have Bloody Mary's available at the 5K turnaround," said race director John Slocum.

The proceeds go to the St. John's Church food pantry in Newport.

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  1. That sounds like a great time for everybody. I don't think that many Brethren from my lodge would actually be running in the events, but walking for beer and chili would be a big hit.

  2. Don't knock it!
    Chili is actually a very healthy dish - beans provide protein, especially if mixed with rice. Tomatoes are lo-cal and are known to have anti-oxidants. The hot spices are also good for the blood.

    And beer? Keep in mind that for centuries, light (albeit, warm) beer was the drink of choice for workmen in Europe and the US. Think of it as a primitive Gatorade.

    Hmm. Could that be why the JW is admonished to keep an eye on the Craft?

  3. So how is a beer and chili cook off, although for charity, less dorky than NASCAR? Think of the OES ladies in flashing their "star power" and all of the OES/masonic men encrusted with pins and cheap windbreakers propagating remedial concepts of the Craft serving beer, chili and peanut butter sandwiches (??).

    Ok, it's down home and for a good cause and I am really, truly not against such efforts, except for the almost conscious attempt at not caring about what one says or wears when representing Freemasonry (and another Order that has clearly failed to define itself to modern womanhood).

    I just thought I'd bring this up since I cannot fail to see the irony after the days of rather pointed comments about the A. & A.S.R.'s involvement in NASCAR (which I, like many of your readers, find difficult to swallow), or the unrighteous insults against S. Brent Morris, who has more masonic scholasticism under his belt that any of the angry miscreant posters will every hope to have before their imminent expulsions for a rather sociopathic bad attitude.

    Face it, the Craft in this country adopted long ago a ma and pa hominess that borders on the crass and idiotic. I'm as against it as most here are, but that's my problem. It still exists and it's wise to choose one's battles before their own (or their lodge's) ding dong tendencies are exposed--even *if* it is "for charity", which is supposed to make it, all of a sudden, ok and totally defensible.

    Glass houses have scratches on the glass and an occasional molotov crashing through.

  4. Anony:

    There's no dorkiness meter here. I fail to see the irony that you say you cannot fail not to see. My article on the chili and beer 5 and 10K runs is simply a factual presentation. I didn't editorialize about it nor say it was a good thing while the SR's sponsorship of NASCAR was a bad thing. It just is. It's just Masonic news and information.

    When I pontificate or editorialize, you'll know it. I admire and often follow Bro. Winston Churchill's admonition: "If you have an important point to make, don't try to be subtle or clever. Use a pile driver. Hit the point once. Then come back and hit it again. Then hit it a third time — a tremendous whack."

    But sometimes, to paraphrase Sigmund Freud, an article is just an article. I intend this blog to be a source of news about Freemasonry for the reader as much as I do a soapbox for me or a place for other Masons to vent.

    I didn't say I support or decry the beer and chili event. My only personal input in that article was that I'd worked 5K runs at my own lodge several years ago.

    Please read more carefully: It wasn't a chili cookoff, it was a road race where they served chili and beer to the finishers.

    Regarding Bro. Brent Morris: I hurled no insults, but I do find his self-proclaimed status as spokesman for all of Freemasonry a bit pompous and improper. Did you see him on the History Channel's "Mysteries of Freemasonry"?

    I haven't read his book, or Bro. Hodapp's "Freemasonry for Dummies," so I cannot comment on the contents. I find the titles abhorrent — but then, I've always found those two series' titles abhorrent. The acceptance by the public of the titles' demeaning nature ("You're a dummy" and "you're a complete idiot") just shows that the public is made up of a lot of dummies and complete idiots, and that the publishers of those titles AREN'T dummies and complete idiots, as they are providing what the public wants to buy.

    The same general public mentality that gave us such titles is what has caused the "ma and pa" mentality in Freemasonry you noted. Somewhere around the mid-20th century, Freemasonry (at least in the South, maybe elsewhere in the U.S.) gave up being a philosophical brotherhood to became a social club rivaling the Lions, Moose and Elks, that opened its doors to men who don't think outside any box. Tolerance of those who were different went out the window in exchange for what is now both a stereotype and a reality. The demographics of modern Southern Freemasons and that of the majority of NASCAR fans overlaps quite a bit.

    Are you threatening to toss a molotov cocktail in my direction? Be sure to use a glass bottle — not one of those plastic longnecks they're forced to sell at sporting events because the fans can't resist throwing them.

  5. I agree, that the "idiot" and "dummies" labels are a turn off, and certainly give the wrong impression when speaking of the craft.

    Personally I wouldn't have read the "dummies" book on FM if my father hadn't given it to me... but having looked through it - I was pleasantly surprised to find it's a fairly good resource.

    Perhaps the publishers will take a page out of the interweb someday and start putting out a less contemptuous-sounding title like:

    "The Total Newb's FAQ about..."


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