Article by Richard Thompson, © 2019, Richard Thompson
A question Masons often ask themselves is, “How long is my cable-tow?” Since the length of a cable-tow changes each day, the more proper question is, “How long is my cable-tow — today?”
In most cases, when we talk about the length of our cable-tows, it is a figurative expression — there is no length in a real sense. But for three New Hampshire Masons, on this last June 28, their cable-tows had an exact length — 259 feet. Actually, it is more proper to say their cable-tows had an exact height — 259 feet.
Right Worshipful Robert Porter and Brother Roland Petersen of Rising Sun Lodge No. 39 in Nashua and Worshipful Brother Jerry Becker, our Grand Marshal and a member of Rockingham Lodge. No. 76 in Candia, stood at the top, on the edge, of the Brady Sullivan Plaza building in Manchester, a full 20 floors above the ground. They were ready to rappel down the face of the building to raise money for the Children’s Dyslexia Center in Nashua.
The three were part of the Greater Nashua, United Way “Over the Edge” event. Each participant raised a small amount of money for the United Way and a larger share for a charity designated by the participants. The three Masons raised more than $5000 for their charity.
Before R∴ W∴ Porter took the plunge he got a reprieve. A team from the Hudson Police Department lost their sponsor, so it appeared they would have to sit it out. R∴ W∴ Porter surrendered his place so at least one police officer, Capt. David Cayot went “Over the Edge.”
The three were presiding officers of the Scottish Rite bodies in Nashua and decided as presiding officers they should participate. All I can say is I’m quite happy there is the word past before my Scottish Rite title.
To say I have a fear of heights is an understatement, a gross understatement.
My wife and I took our daughter and son to New York City to do the tourist thing. We went to the observation tower at the Empire State Building and all I could do was keep my back to the building and look out over the crowd. All I saw was the sky over New York.
My son and I went to Gettysburg at a time the observation tower was still there. He was out at the edge and I was sitting, again with my back to the tower.
I congratulate our brothers on their willingness to swing over the edge of a building and look to the ground so far below. They know rappelling down the face of a building made a difference for some children who need our help.
Richard Thompson is a past master from Massachusetts, a member of Rising Sun Lodge No. 39 and someone you won’t find at the top of a building.