Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Sons of the Desert: Nothing But Trouble Oasis No. 309

Oliver: Now isn't this nice?
Stan: It sure is. We're just like two peas in a pot.
Bro. Matt Gallagher of Braden Lodge No. 168 in Saint Paul has sent me a paper on a new body that some members of his lodge have started, Nothing But Trouble No. 309, Sons of the Desert. Enjoy.

On Thursday, November 14th, at 7:00 pm several brothers from my lodge, Braden #168, are hosting an event we hope will become a continuous tradition for local Masons, their friends, and family. In cooperation with the Sons of the Desert (the Laurel and Hardy fan club), we have chartered our own group (also known as a "tent" or "oasis"), Nothing But Trouble No. 309.

Why? Well, frankly most of us just didn't care to be Shriners.  Not for any malicious reason. Some just don't like the Shrine vibe. Some can't afford the expense. And for a lot of us it would have just been one more thing. But we all love fezzes.

The Sons of the Desert is an honest-to-goodness "fraternal order," taken from the famous movie of the same name, and started by the great Chuck McCann and company, to honor and preserve the films of the even greater, Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy. Starting in New York City, with Sons of the Desert Tent No. 1, they have formed these tents across the country, and around the world, to gather, drink, watch, laugh, talk, drink, laugh, drink, and pass these films to a new generation who get an inexplicable, empty feeling watching Dumb and Dumber.

The Sons of the Desert, from the movie, were a fraternal order based not-so-loosely on the Shriners, in a tongue-in-cheek, affectionate way. Oliver Hardy was, himself, a Shriner. The real world organization was formed with the blessing of Stan Laurel, who even contributed some ideas, not the least of which is that it have a "half-assed dignity about it." With that mandate in mind, we have formed and officially chartered Nothing But Trouble:  Sons of the Desert Oasis No. 309. Our evenings will consist of films (Laurel & Hardy, and others of the classic era), filmography, cocktails (mocktails, actually, as we meet happily in a dry building), a little comedy, and a lot of great fellowship.

We have no annual dues, and there are no door fees. We will be charging $5 per person for a free all-night pass to the concessions counter. All profits and donations will go to a fund reserved for the preservation and revitalization of Triune Masonic Temple, the last building from the turn of the 20th Century in Saint Paul still in Masonic use today.

In short, it's all for laughs and good fraternity, as well as the ability to mingle fraternally with other masons, non-masons, and yes, even women. If you would care to join us, our Facebook page can be found here. If you can, please RSVP to next week's event here, and if you are not on Facebook terms with the internet, you can always subscribe to our newsletter here.