Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Play of the Day: Halloween, McCain style

MIAMI (AP) — Cindy McCain was dressed as a would-be first lady Friday when she brought early Halloween spirit to her husband's campaign plane.
The wife of Republican presidential contender John McCain popped through the brown curtain separating the candidate and passenger sections of the Boeing 737 shortly after takeoff, carrying a plastic Halloween pumpkin filled with candy.
"Take one," she said repeatedly to staff and reporters as she and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., walked the length of the aircraft, passing out an assortment of KitKat bars, Reese's peanut butter cups and Hershey's chocolate. Graham has been traveling with his Senate colleague recently.

Click here for the rest of the story.

This is a non-partisan message...

Mark Harvey

Labels: , ,

The History Of Jack O'Lantern

Pumpkin carving is a favorite part of my Halloween celebration. I've grown 'em (about 40 one year) and I've carved a ton of 'em. Few folks really know why or when the jack o'lantern tradition began. So I decided to put a version of the story here for your reading pleasure.

People have been making jack o'lanterns at Halloween for centuries. The practice originated from an Irish myth about a man nicknamed "Stingy Jack." According to the story, Stingy Jack invited the Devil to have a drink with him. True to his name, Stingy Jack didn't want to pay for his drink, so he convinced the Devil to turn himself into a coin that Jack could use to buy their drinks. Once the Devil did so, Jack decided to keep the money and put it into his pocket next to a silver cross, which prevented the Devil from changing back into his original form. Jack eventually freed the Devil, under the condition that he would not bother Jack for one year and that, should Jack die, he would not claim his soul. The next year, Jack again tricked the Devil into climbing into a tree to pick a piece of fruit. While he was up in the tree, Jack carved a sign of the cross into the tree's bark so that the Devil could not come down until the Devil promised Jack not to bother him for ten more years.
Soon after, Jack died. As the legend goes, God would not allow such an unsavory figure into heaven. The Devil, upset by the trick Jack had played on him and keeping his word not to claim his soul, would not allow Jack into hell. He sent Jack off into the dark night with only a burning coal to light his way. Jack put the coal into a carved-out turnip and has been roaming the Earth with ever since. The Irish began to refer to this ghostly figure as "Jack of the Lantern," and then, simply "Jack O'Lantern."
In Ireland and Scotland, people began to make their own versions of Jack's lanterns by carving scary faces into turnips or potatoes and placing them into windows or near doors to frighten away Stingy Jack and other wandering evil spirits. In England, large beets are used. Immigrants from these countries brought the jack o'lantern tradition with them when they came to the United States. They soon found that pumpkins, a fruit native to America, make perfect jack o'lanterns.

For years my family and I have headed out to Half Moon Bay to procure pumpkins so as to bring them home to create Jack O'Lanterns. This year will be no exception as I love the tradition my parents gave to me so many years ago.
So there you have it.

Mark Harvey

Labels: , , , ,

OnePlusYou Quizzes and Widgets

Thank you for visiting - Mark Harvey