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John Wayne A Mason?
The cover of your May 1997 issue featured images of several prominent Masons, including John Wayne, as “Legends of Freemasonry.” I have frequently heard that although John Wayne was a Mason, due to pressure from family, he gave a “death bed” rejection of his Masonic membership. What is the real story?

Bro. J. T. Rutherford, 32
El Paso, Texas, Scottish Rite Bodies

John “Duke” Wayne’s real name was Marion Robert Morrison. He was raised a Master Mason on July 11, 1970, in Marion McDaniel Lodge No. 56 in Tucson, Arizona. When he died on June 11, 1979, he was a Mason in good standing. As to the alleged “death bed rejection of his Masonic membership,” the truth is less dramatic. Bro. Morrison was a Roman Catholic and obviously found no conflict between his faith and Freemasonry. His family, however, incorrectly believed otherwise and declined having a Masonic memorial service.


A Rite Difference
As a psychologist and owner of a behavioral health care company, I read with interest your lead article in the April 1997 issue of the Scottish Rite Journal. It pointed out that all the famous people noted in the article (Hans Christian Anderson, Winston Churchill, Leonardo Da Vinci, Thomas Alva Edison, Albert Einstein, August Rodin, and many others) had only one thing in common: each had a learning difference, NOT a learning disability. Thankfully, through its learning clinics, centers and programs, the Scottish Rite is helping America’s children who have learning differences.

Bro. Gary L. Rogers, Ph.D., 32
Chattanooga, Tennessee, Scottish Rite Bodies

In the same article Bro. Rogers praises here, Bro. Wilson H. Craig Jr., 32, Valley of Macon, Georgia, found an obvious, but inadvertent error. The article states Thomas Alva Edison invented the telephone. Of course, Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone. Edison invented the carbon button microphone, a considerable improvement for the telephone. Bro. Craig is a resident of the Michigan Masonic Home. Busy with fax and e-mail communication, he was unavailable to receive our telephoned apologies, but a helpful nurse took our message for him and commented, “Oh, yes, Mr. Craig is very busy all the time.” Glad to know, though, that he is not too busy to read each issue of the Scottish Rite Journal with an eagle eye. Will he pick up on this brief item? You bet!


Three-Year-Old Postmaster General?
Regarding the article “John Wanamaker, Exceptional Man and Merchant” in the March 1997 Scottish Rite Journal, note that Brother Wanamaker served as Postmaster General in the 1889--1893 administration of President Benjamin Harrison (1833--1901) and not that of President Benjamin Harrison’s grandfather, President William Henry Harrison (1773--1841), per the error on page 48. Mr. Wanamaker was about age three during the administration of the senior Harrison.

Dr. Lawrence Kent, 32, Orlando, Florida, Scottish Rite Bodies
Founding President, Presidential Families of America

Our apologies for this editorial error. The original article did not give President Benjamin Harrison’s full name. His grandfather’s name was inadvertently inserted in an ill-fated attempt at greater historical accuracy. Another case of reach exceeding grasp!


The Challenge Of Change
Congratulations on the February Journal’s article “The Challenge of Change” by M.W. Bruce R. Betts, 32, K.C.C.H., Grand Master, Grand Lodge of Utah. I had been searching for ideas to present to my Lodge, and the inspirational comments of this article fit my intent perfectly. Bro. Betts eloquently demonstrated how to enhance Masonry. I encourage all Scottish Rite Masons to read this article and to bring its message to their Blue Lodges and so help reshape Freemasonry.

Bro. Leo J. Ghirardi, 32
Morgan City, Louisiana, Scottish Rite Bodies


We All Have Some Way To Serve
Thank you for featuring my article “Freemasonry, Mother of Tolerance” in the June 1997 issue. I am 96 years old and very nearly deaf after a work life spent around very noisy machinery. I cannot talk to another person if other persons are also talking near me, so I have to avoid crowds which has made me avoid attending Lodge and other Masonic meetings for some five years now. Seeing my article in print really boosted my own feelings and made me realize that everyone, including myself, has some way to serve Masonry. When you get to the point where you think you are no good for anything any more, it really hurts. Thanks a lot and best wishes.

Bro. Robert D. McNew, 32
Little Rock, Arkansas, Scottish Rite Bodies


Masonic Pen Pal Wanted In Scotland
Though I am not a Scottish Rite Mason, I am a member of the York Rite, Allied Degrees, and Red Cross of Constantine. I would like to correspond with other Masons. Write: Andrew Wishart, 5 Donald Crescent, Thornton-Fife, Scotland--UK, KY4--1AR


Flag Issue Terrific
I really enjoyed the special July 1996 “Flag Issue” of the Journal. I work for the Texas Department of Public Safety and serve as the Service Commander for the Region Three Safety Education Service. I was able to present that issue’s poem, “The Flag” by Baxter Black, with background music in several schools and a retirement home in South Texas. Everyone wanted to know the source of the material and get copies of it. Can you send me 30 additional copies?

Lieutenant Jimmie D. Kaelin, 32
San Antonio, Texas, Scottish Rite Bodies

I teach fourth grade and recently used the special Scottish Rite Journal issue devoted to the flag in my American history planning unit. I found it very informative and useful. Could I receive additional copies for my classes?

Stephanie Tayman, Calvert Elementary School
Prince Frederick, Maryland

The special July 1996 issue of the Scottish Rite Journal has proved very popular. As a service to Freemasonry and America, the Scottish Rite, Southern Jurisdiction, has had extra copies printed and will provide complimentary magazines in reasonable amounts for any appropriate purpose such as distribution to local Masonic, civic, educational, patriotic, or youth groups. To order, please contact the Office of the Grand Executive Director at The Supreme Council in Washington, DC, by calling (202) 232--3579 or faxing your request to (202) 387--1843. Or write to: 1733 16th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20009--3103.


Sign It!
I found the January 1997 article “What Every Lodge Needs” by Bro. Paul M. Simon, 32, of special interest. The article recommended that every Lodge and other Masonic facility have information posted outside noting hours, meetings, and contact numbers. The article reminded me of our trip to Washington last summer when my wife and I tried to visit the House of the Temple. Regrettably, my Journal was not consulted beforehand. Every issue, I now note, contains a “Temple Welcome” [see page 54] giving the Temple’s location, visiting hours, a telephone number, and other contact information. We included Washington, DC, in our itinerary with the House of the Temple as our only place of interest in that city. When we arrived, however, the building was locked with no indication as to when it would be open. Brother Simon’s article brought our unsuccessful visit to mind. The House of the Temple, like the Masonic buildings noted in the article, lacked posted information.

Bro. Forest A. Case, 32
Tampa, Florida, Scottish Rite Bodies

Following the suggestions of both the article by Bro. Simon and the letter from Bro. Case, the House of the Temple now has, if somewhat belatedly, an informational sign posted at the door of the Temple. In the photo to the right, Ill. George E. Enders, 33, one of the Temple’s several guides, points to the sign and stands ready to give any visitor a warm welcome to the House of the Temple and a complimentary tour from 8:00 am to 2:00 pm every weekday. Groups may schedule special tours on weekends. You have seen images of the Temple in our annual Scottish Rite Calendar. Now see it in person. It is more beautiful, impressive, and historic that even the calendar’s marvelous pictures suggest! Call (202) 232--3579 for more information.


The Wrong Hilton
In the March 1997 Scottish Rite Journal, the issue’s final feature was titled “Sometimes a man’s name lives on....” It listed the names of Masons known to every household such as “Brother Charles C. Hilton [who] founded his hotel chain in Chicago.” Not so. The founder of the Hilton hotel chain was Conrad Nicholson Hilton (1887--1979) who started his chain in the Southwest.

Bro. Paul D. Davis, 32
Cumberland, Maryland, Scottish Rite Bodies

Right you are. The article inadvertently confused Conrad N. Hilton with Charles C. Hilton, a Mason, who also was a hotelier in Chicago. He managed or owned the Briggs House, Sherman House, Trenton, Palmer House, and Grand Pacific hotels. At the time of his death (1905), he was the proprietor of the Hotel Hilton.