About that skeleton

Sat, 01/21/2023 - 11:15am

To the Editor,
In response to Dr. Benjamin Hruska’s wonderful article from Dec. 9, 2022 of what the symbolism meant in the Order of Odd Fellows regarding the skeleton: Please view the book “Burlesque Paraphernalia,” catalog #439, introduced by David Copperfield. In all fraternal organizations, especially at the turn of the 19th century, the embracing of skeleton symbolism allowed one to better accept the concept of mortality. By confronting one’s fears we are better at accepting the absurdities of life and hopefully better at treating our fellow citizens with respect. The idea of death and mortality was used in various initiation rites of fraternal organizations and well, fellow members got a kick out of scaring the hell out of a future member! Check out that book noted above. I myself saw the display at the Historical Society back in the 1990s and it got my interests piqued. Really enjoyed the article Ben, and all the others you write.
Carl Sedon
Northville, N.Y.