I fondly remember back in 1996 when I was asked by Past Grand Commander C. Fred Kleinknecht to travel to Anacortes, WA to meet with Mrs. Dorothy Ives, the widow of Ill. Burl Icles Ives, 33°, Grand Cross, at their home. Dorothy (pictured below with Bro. Burl) was an amazing lady filled with lots of energy and spirit. She told me many stories about Burl, and the one I remember most was his love of Freemasonry.
“Yes, Burl loved his music career but he truly loved Freemasonry and what it stood for," she said. "Burl loved Freemasonry, and of all the places that wished to have the items collected throughout his life, I feel he would have fully approved The House of the Temple above all others.”
She also told me that when Burl died at his home he had all sorts of masonic memorabilia surrounding him.
During my visit with Dorothy, we talked about creating an exhibit at the House of the Temple honoring Burl. We had worked for many months together, many times she and her daughter traveling to the House of the Temple to meet with fabricators and others to help in the development of the Burl Ives Room in the House of the Temple. The room turned out to be fantastic, which included a steady stream of music and televisions which paid a real tribute to Burl!
The classic holiday TV show Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is narrated by Ill. Bro. Ives who also plays the character Sam the Snowman. The House of the Temple has the actual Sam the Snowman prop that was used for the TV production (shown above)! Most children have seen this show during the holiday but have probably never heard of Burl Ives. Next year when the show is aired during the holidays, let them know about Burl Ives and what a great man, entertainer, and mason that he was.
This wonderful collection has found a new home. Lifelong friend of Burl’s, Randy Sparks, has the perfect room for the collection in his Kansas City Museum. Randy is founder of The New Christy Minstrel Singers which formed in 1961 and are still touring today. The group was very popular in the 1960s as they appeared on the Andy Williams Show, won a Grammy Award, and sat on Billboard charts for two years. They sold millions of records, had demands for concerts and were invited to perform on many television shows. The House of the Temple is very lucky to have Mr. Sparks take this collection for future generations to see and enjoy.
Rest in peace, Bro. Burl and Mrs. Dorothy Ives—you will forever be in our hearts and memories, and your legacy will continue with your very good friend Randy Sparks in his foundation, the New Christy Minstrels in Leavenworth, KS.
Please Welcome the Newest Addition to the Library, Museum, & Archives!
Enter the Nilfisk GM 80 HEPA Vacuum—or Nil for short. I am sure people are wondering why we are so excited about a vacuum. First of all, this is a very expensive vacuum designed for exceptionally fine filtration. Ordinary vacuums do not have HEPA (High-efficiency particulate arresting) filters and cannot be safely used for hazardous dust, including the mold problem that we have in the Library’s various collections. Nil safely removes the dust from the books without damaging the books and without spreading the mold everywhere (see the before and after photos below).
The mold problem came about in the Supreme Council Library due to improper temperature where the collections were located. Too much humidity generated too much water, which, in turn, created mold. While we waited to receive enough money to purchase Nil, the affected books were quarantined until the mold dried.
#GivingTuesday was the perfect opportunity to see if our community would like to donate to a worthy cause. Thanks to our #GivingTuesday donors and one of the Library’s biggest donors—who wishes to remain anonymous—we raised the money needed to purchase Nil.
Temple Library Welcomes
Grand Master of Panama
Left to right: Ill. Arturo de Hoyos, 33°, Grand Cross and MW Carlo Rognoni, the Grand Master of Panama. Grand Master Rognoni used the resources of the House of the Temple Library to do primary research on Panamanian Masonry. He is currently writing a Grand Lodge history and has utilized the vast resources that the House of the Temple amply provides.
Our Friends are a vital asset to the library. By encouraging interest in its collections and services, the members act as goodwill ambassadors for this unique institution. Amicus Librarium, a quarterly email, is intended to provide you with essays, book reviews, and a wide range of information about the Library’s history, news, and events. Amicus Librarium welcomes your contributions. Please send not only your suggestions on items you would like included, but also your essays, book reviews, and photographs you would like to share with us and other Friends. I look forward to hearing from you. To become a Friend and receive Amicus Librarium, please click the subscribe button below or drop me an email, and I will add you to the distribution list.
— Joan Kleinknecht