Reprinted from the March-April Scottish Rite Journal
Flat Stanley Visits Washington, D.C.
by Richard E. Fletcher, 33°
Flat Stanley came to DC and what a great time he had! First he was shown all around the House of the Temple and all the great treasures that are there; next he saw the U.S. Capitol building and then had a very nice tour of the Library of Congress. Quite a visit. But then, missing his friend in Nebraska he went back to Lincoln and we heard him say, "the National's Capital is a great place to visit."
What's the story behind Flat Stanley? Well he is a character in a series of books written by Jeff Brown. Flat Stanley is a boy who gets flattened so he can be mailed and then begins a series of adventures taking him all around the world. (His friend Flat Stella is also a world traveler.)
In this case, Flat Stanley was mailed to Dean Alban, Director of Membership Services at the House of the Temple by a 2nd grade student who goes to Fredstrom Elementary School in Lincoln, Nebraska. The class project for this year is to write friendly letters to others and the House of the Temple was chosen to be part of the project. Mrs. Spaulding, the teacher, said she hoped we would respond to our "Second Grade Buddy" by taking some pictures, gathering helpful material and explaining where Flat Stanley had been and what he had seen. The student said in her letter, "Please take him somewhere and write me back telling me about his adventures. I will share his adventures with my classmates and this will help my classmates and I learn more about other places in the world."
So Flat Stanley's adventures began with being shown all around the House of the Temple. He went into all the beautiful rooms, saw the wonderful library and met many nice people. Jay Patterson escorted Flat Stanley and took some great pictures.
Then Dick Fletcher, a volunteer at the House of the Temple as well as the Library of Congress, took Flat Stanley to see the U.S. Capitol and a tour through the Library of Congress. We saw the Capitol bathed in sunlight and then went into the Library of Congress. Some great pictures were taken of Flat Stanley viewing the beautiful mosaic of Minerva (the Roman Goddess of War and Wisdom) and the Gutenberg Bible.
All of the pictures we took were sent to Mrs. Spaulding as well as numerous brochures and workbooks.
Membership Services has been involved in a wide variety of projects over the years but this was an entirely new one! It proved to be a most interesting way to help children learn more about our beautiful country.
We truly hope Flat Stanley enjoyed his trip to DC and wish Mrs. Spaulding and her 2nd grade class every success in their quest for more knowledge. And perhaps Flat Stanley's friend will someday get the chance to visit our Nation's Capital. If you do, we will look forward to seeing you and don't forget to bring Flat Stanley.