Michael A. Smith was serving as the Tyler for Freeport Lodge #23 in Maine when he came across a group of old books that caught his attention. One in particular, “Short Talks on Masonry” by Joseph Fort Newton, published in 1928 by the Masonic Service Association, peaked his interest and led him on a Masonic journey like no other. Smith speaks about the books contents:

“This was a book made up of short, deep yet digestible, independent chunks, disseminating the history, allegories and meanings to be found within Masonry. It was all exceedingly interesting to my recently raised eyes. Here were some explanations about what I had gotten myself into.”

Masonic books

By this point, Michael had been producing and publishing audio books for many years, but the discovery of this book proved to be different than any of his other projects.

Michael contacted MW Brother George Braatz, PGM of Ohio and Executive Secretary of the Masonic Service Association of North America (MSANA) in Washington, D.C. to pursue the rights to turn the special book into audio recordings. Smith composed a contract that brought profits back to the MSANA to support its efforts. Five months later, his proposal was approved.

The Short Talk Bulletin Online Audio Library

Working with other freemasons, Michael was able to turn Short Talks on Masonry, The Short Talk Bulletins, timeless talks written by influential thinkers and leaders of the craft, and The Builders – A Story and Study of Freemasonry (also by Newton) into The Short Talk Bulletins Online Audio Library. In doing so, with a $20 annual subscription (donated to the MSANA), Masons everywhere are able to access the archive and listen to the short talks via smartphone and computer. Michael has brought other Masons on board to produce and record the talks, creating a growing community of writers, readers, and thinkers.

The Maine Mason

The Short Talk Bulletins were published every month for almost 100 years. You can access the Short Talk Bulletins Online Audio Library here.