2008-10-30 / The Walrus Says

The Walrus Says

By Jim Munro

Tomorrow the island's children will be taking part in one of the oldest holidays still celebrated today, one of the most popular only to Christmas. Halloween is on Oct. 31, the last day of the Celtic calendar. According to Google, it was originally a pagan holiday, honoring the dead. It was referred to as All Hallows Eve and dates back over 2,000 years. All Hallows Eve is the evening before All Saints Day, which is celebrated on Nov. 1.

While there are many versions of the origins and old customs of Halloween, some remain consistent by all accounts. Different cultures view Halloween somewhat differently but traditional Halloween practices remain the same.

Halloween culture can be traced back to the Druids, a Celtic culture in Ireland, Britain and Northern Europe. Its roots lay in the feast of Samhain, which was annually on Oct. 31 to honor the dead. Samhain signifies "summers end" or November. Samhain was a harvest festival with huge sacred bonfires. Many of the practices involved in this celebration were fed on superstition.

The Celts believed the souls of the dead roamed the streets and villages at night. Since not all spirits were thought to be friendly, gifts and treats were left out to pacify the evil and ensure that next year's crops would be plentiful. This custom evolved into trick-or-treating.

***

If you see a lobster walking up your driveway tomorrow, it could be Apple Jack, a Jack Russell terrier. If the lobster is with a dinosaur, that's probably 5-year-old Tyler Messinger. Ten-year-old Marc Desvaux could be the baseball player at your door. Reece Bennett, 10, will fool everyone as a princess. Two 6-year-old super heroes will be policing the area, Rianna Dunne will be Supergirl and Hayden McNeil will appear as Batman.

WOOO!

*** Boy Scout Troop 1 will conduct its annual Scouting for Food drive Saturday beginning at 9 a.m. All collections go to the food bank at St. Mark Church for distribution to needy island families.

Please contribute canned and boxed goods only. Needed are canned tuna, beef stews, turkey, chicken, ham, peanut butter, canned fruits and vegetables, canned and dry beans, pasta, pasta sauce, rice and soups.

***

Kudos to two island educators who have been honored for excellence in their profession. Judd Silvia, a special education teacher at the Wickford Middle School, was named teacher of the year by voters at the North Kingstown Wal- Mart. Judd was presented with a $1,000 grant for his school and a $100 gift certificate to buy supplies for his classroom

***

Islander Dan Hansen has been in Mobile, Ala. this past week for the USTA Junior Team Tennis national competition. Dan is on an under-14 team from the International Tennis Hall of Fame known as the Legends. Dan's team is the first under 14 team from Rhode Island to capture the New England title. He is a sophomore at NKHS and is ranked in the top 10 in New England in his age group.

***

R.I.P. Payton Watson, a brave and wonderful young lady.

***

In the mood for some hot cakes? The boys and girls NKHS swim teams will hold a pancake breakfast fund-raiser at Applebees in the South County Commons Saturday morning from 8 to 10. Tickets are $5 per person and are available from Jamestown swim team members, Kendra Davis, Jessica Rudman, Emmy Lutes, Bruce Page and Victor Lambert. They may also be purchased at the door. Questions? Call Jean Lambert at 423-9239.

***

This poser from B.J. Whitehouse: My mother was a tailor and she sewed my new blue jeans.

***

Welcome Dick and Jane from the Potter League for Animals. They are 3-month-old brown kittens adopted by islanders Ann Delmonico and her daughter Gillian. Ann said they lost their cat 1 1/2 years ago. "Our family now has a new sister and brother. It's working out well, we're enjoying them," Ann said.

***

Who had the lead in the TV show "Highway Patrol?"

***

Last week's poser from the Jamestown Community Theatre's upcoming "Song Man, Dance Man" was correctly identified as The Candy Man by John A. Murphy, Barbara-Ann MacIntosh, Marlene Murphy and Betty Kinder. All agreed that the best version was sung by Sammy Davis, Jr.

***

Bob Kinder, replying to the question of what was Hellzapoppin, correctly said it was "a somewhat racy variety show starring Olson and Johnson in New York in the 1940s." Right, lots of girls including Martha Raye.

***

According to an item in the URI Quadrangles magazine, islander Arthur W. Manchester, a saxophonist, has released his first recording at the age of 61. It's called "Little Nights" and is full of Arthur's originals. The article says the CD was a work in progress for two decades. The CD cover was designed by Newport's Lakuna Productions. Arthur teaches at St. Michael's Country Day School in Newport and at the Pennfield School in Portsmouth where he is the band director.

***

A Snapple cap moment: Pigeons have been trained by the U.S. Coast Guard to spot people lost at sea.

*** Be true!

***

Call in your stuff for this column to 423-0383 or 829-2760 or e-mail us at jtnwalrus@hotmail. com

Return to top