With everything that occurred over these last 18 months, you may have missed the 50th and 51st anniversary of our most iconic image in our Shrine fraternity.
The photo is known as the “Editorial Without Words.” It was taken informally, not planned in any way, on June 11, 1970 in Evansville, Indiana. A unique snapshot, captured for all time, illustrates the special relationship between our Nobles and Shriners Hospitals for Children.
A recent article summarized how this image was created and by happenstance, is a legendary symbol of Shriners everywhere.
“Hadi Shriners in Evansville was holding its annual summer picnic. Patients were invited, and everyone enjoyed a day of food, fun and carnival rides. Toward the end of the day, Shriner Al Hortman, who became a Shriner after his daughter, Laura, was treated at Shriners Hospitals for Children, noticed a young girl who needed help. On this day, Noble Hortman lifted Bobbi Jo Wright and her crutches and carried her from ride to ride. A local newspaper photographer, Randy Dieter, captured the photo with a long lens as the two walked past him. Dieter wouldn’t realize until much later how much impact that single image would have. Neither would the Shriners, or Bobbi Jo herself. Today, Bobbi Jo lives independently and is active in her church. She spends much time and energy traveling and speaking on behalf of Shriners Hospitals for Children, and meeting and encouraging other patients and families.”
A larger-than-life replica of the “Editorial Without Words” stands outside our Shriners Auditorium. It was the vision of our past Potentate, Illustrious Bob Greene.
During a conversation with First Lady Helen Greene, she reminded me that he was interested in promoting the Shrine through this iconic symbol that visually shared the good works we accomplish. Illustrious Bob Greene had this idea while in the divan preparing for his year as Potentate. It was his legacy to the Temple that a statue, which showcases our work, was in place when the Wilmington auditorium hosted events for our community.
“When the circus, rodeo or any event for that matter is held at the auditorium, many attendees do not really know about the Shriners and our good works through the hospitals. They have seen us in the parades with our fezzes, but many do not know who we really are. Bob felt that the statue was a way to quietly show any event attendee who the Shriners are and allow people to remark on the statue. There may be someone who inquires about the statue and starts a Masonic journey because of it. That was his wish.”
Our statue was installed in January 2003.
Thank you to Helen Greene, Harvey Waugh and John Wilder for assisting with research for this Shrinerist article.
Feel free to use these suggestions generously with friends, family and ruffians.
Have Fun and Stay Safe,
Your humble Shrinerist
Nobles can reach the Shrinerist at firstname.lastname@example.org 24 hours a day, 7 days a week!
In the above photo: The installation of the “Editorial Without Words” statue in front of the Aleppo Shrine Center in 2003. From left to right are: Treasurer Bob Keogh, 2nd Ceremonial Master Bob Smith, 1st Ceremonial Master Steve Eriksen, Most Worshipful Don Hicks, Illustrious Bob Greene, Assistant Rabban Peter Stone, High Priest & Prophet Alex Campbell, Oriental Guide Al Flight, Recorder Harvey Waugh.