(by Julie Beck, The Atlantic, July 26th, 2019. The image by Wenija Tang)
Every week, The Friendship Files features a conversation between The Atlantic’s Julie Beck and two or more friends, exploring the history and significance of their relationship.
This week she talks with three old friends who found a sense of community when they joined the Freemasons. They discuss what Masons actually do together (at least the parts that aren’t secret) and how their weekly meetings at the Joel H. Prouty Lodge in Auburn, Massachusetts, have added a crucial regularity to their friendship.
jim gonyea, 47, an IT program manager who lives in Cherry Valley, Massachusetts
rob lajoie, 50, a graphic designer who lives in Leicester, Massachusetts
chris lapierre, 46, an electronics technician who lives in Sturbridge, Massachusetts
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.
Julie Beck: How did you three first meet and become friends?
Jim Gonyea: Rob and I met in college, through…