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.

13 comments:

Lee Love said...

One of the nice things about both the Shrine and the Scottish Rite, are that they make you stretch a little bit. Rub shoulders with folks that don't live where you do. It is refreshing.

There are many different groups and units in the Shrine. You can find "The Vibe" that suits you. I only wore my Fez when I was made a Shriner. I am more likely to were a my Glengarry cap.

To each his own, but I don't think you have an accurate perspective on the Shrine or Shriners.

Raconteur said...

There's no reason to get defensive about the Shrine. But not everyone is into it. That there are so many different groups and units is, frankly, one of the turn offs. Plus, many of us would still like to see activities and fraternity coming out of the blue lodge.

Anonymous said...

They get the wrong "vibe" from the Shrine...and yet with "half-assed dignity" they will "gather, drink, watch, laugh, talk, drink, laugh, drink..." At least the Shrine spends a good amount of time on charitable efforts.

I thought this was a Masonic blog? Why are you pimping a film club?

A gathering of men to talk smart about their refined taste in movies (pardon, "filmography")is not a Masonic event simply because some of the men are also Masons.

Disappointing post. You should be more than a bulletin board.

Nick Johnson said...

Anonymous,

I'll take each line:

They get the wrong "vibe" from the Shrine...and yet with "half-assed dignity" they will "gather, drink, watch, laugh, talk, drink, laugh, drink..." At least the Shrine spends a good amount of time on charitable efforts.

This is called humor. Please review this comic.

I thought this was a Masonic blog? Why are you pimping a film club?

Why am I pimping a film club?

1) Matt's a good friend of mine.

2) I've helped a little bit on this project myself.

3) I reward lodges that do something other than flip pancakes or write checks for scholarships by telling the world about the cool, interesting project they're doing. This "film club", as you call it, is a way for the brothers their SOs and families to hang out and have fun. Fellowship is as important as ritual.

A gathering of men to talk smart about their refined taste in movies (pardon, "filmography")is not a Masonic event simply because some of the men are also Masons.

You're right. It's not a Masonic event but who cares? The brothers are getting together to have fun. And I see you have some disdain for movies (pardon, films). That's cool. But some of us don't. Again, why quash someone's good idea just 'cause it's not reciting some Masonic biography about George Washington or frying a fish?

Disappointing post. You should be more than a bulletin board.

If a lodge is doing something that I think is cool, then I sure am going to be a bulletin board for them, especially if I have helped on it. We should be encouraging ideas like this. If we don't, we may as well hang it all up. Without encouraging new ideas, we will find ourselves on a downward trajectory.

Tom Accuosti said...

I thought this was a Masonic blog? Why are you pimping a film club?

Are you aware that many Masons start their own little groups or clubs based on the interests that some of them have *outside of Masonry*? The first one that comes to mind is the Shrine, itself. That idea spread, and became an appendant body on it's own.

But more recently we have the Widow's Sons Motorcycle Club, for Masons with an interest in riding their bikes together. No, it's not "Masonic" in the Blue Lodge sense but it's certainly an great side body for those who want to combine some other interests.

Personally, I'm waiting for Nick to start posting some cookie recipes for the upcoming holiday season.

Nick Johnson said...

You'll really love my snickerdoodles. I get compliments all the time.

Lee Love said...

I wholeheartedly support new masonic social clubs. It simply isn't necessary to compare to the Shrine, especially with inadequate knowledge about it. The shrine is much more than wearing funny hats and drinking booze.
As mentioned, the Shrine does much good charity work. But as a fledgling member of the Zuhrah Pipe and Drum band, it is most humbling when a call is put out to the unit for a piper to play at a funeral. I aspire to be able to do so someday.
So, in a time when many decisions are made based on uninformed opinion, it is especially important for Masons to make decisions based upon Light.
Good Luck Brothers!

Dustin Tarditi said...

Have you looked into The Grotto?
http://www.scgrotto.org/

Lots of fun and fellowship there too. Great charity, too.

Raconteur said...

Guys, I think you're missing the point. We're not looking for an organization that does great fellowship.

We're doing great fellowship.

Unknown said...

I'm only a lowly new Entered Apprentice, but even I know that some of my Brothers who have posted here need to read up on their history. There have been literally hundreds of different organizations with Masonic ties over the centuries. In fact, just about any type of fraternal group can trace at least part of it's origins to the Freemasons.

Just because these guys want to be part of something a bit outside the umbrella of traditional bodies doesn't make it any less viable. The idea that everything has to be tied down to paying dues to "official" channels is very anti-Masonic in principal in my opinion.

chimaya said...

Hello,
A quick introduction from my end-Iam Chinmaya from Bangalore,India. The reason for my mail is that I understand that the "sons of the desert" are having their next convention at Hollywood and would want to know if you are attending it. You may check this for more details- http://www.laurelandhardywood.com/ .
Incase you or anyone whom you know are,please let me know as there are somethings that i want to discuss regarding the same.My id is-chimayaprakash@gmail.com Else,you may ignore this.

Regards and best wishes,
Chinmaya

Chris Cordray said...

Let me just start off by saying, I am NOT the same "Anonymous" who rained on this parade earlier. And I can't agree more with Tom's comment about like-minded men getting together to enjoy common interests. If you look at the history of the Shrine, it started virtually the same way as the original SOD group. Like-minded men, who happened to be Masons, who wanted more out of the Fraternity. The original "Anonymous" sounded a lot like a Shriner who didn't like hearing someone speak ill of them.

That being said, I think the Shrine gets a bad rap, especially from serious, academic Masons. One of my Lodges is just such a group, and many of the Brothers look down thier noses at the Shrine because of the reputation they have earned over the years. I hate to see it because one can't exist without the other, and the Shrine is a great organization, which needs some more serious, academic Masons to help guide it into the future.

Karl Schill said...

I just might want to join sons of the desert. How to join? Let me know please. O Karl Schill, PM Brownstone Lodge, Hershey, PA