October Highlights

ODE TO COLUMBUS DA

Monday, October 8th Americans celebrated the Discovery of the New World by Christopher Columbus. There are those who contend that the Norse Vikings, Irish missionaries or the ten lost tribes of Israel somehow discovered America before Columbus did; but the fact is that Columbus alone got back to the Old World and spread the word.

Columbus Day is an Italian-American tradition. A man named William Monney founded an organization called the Society of St. Tammany that had what is generally regarded as the first American celebration of Columbus Day back in 1792. Later on, of course, Tammany turned to other things and this celebration became more closely involved with an organization aptly named the Knights of Columbus. Columbus Day owes a great deal to Knights. The New World or America Christopher Columbus discovered does not bear his name, but rather is named after Americo Vespuccio. Vespuccio claimed to have been the first to reach the continental mainland-in 1497 to be exact.

Vespuccio got the continent, and history has certainly made it up to Christopher Columbus. And how many cities in the U.S. are named after Vespuccio? Columbus was gifted with courage and with the patience to stick to the course he laid out for himself. There will always be new dimensions to be explored, new worlds to be discovered, in space, below the oceans. Sail on! Sail on! On Columbus Day, we honor his memory by remembering to sail on, with our eyes and hearts alert for the far horizon! Good sailing Chris!

“GOBLINS AND BROOMSTICKS!”

October 31st is Halloween- there are probably more superstitions about Halloween than about any other day of the year. Halloween used to signal the end of the harvest and was a time used by the ancient Celtic pagans to take stock of supplies for winter. They also believed the dead could reach the living on that day. And since they thought that the head was most powerful part of the body, they used that part of vegetables to carve a face and frighten off the scary things that they believed in. Jack O Lanterns were first carved from a turnip or rutabaga. They would place a skeleton on their window sill to represent the departed and protect their home.

Halloween has changed greatly since ancient times. In today’s celebration most participate in Halloween as a fun day to party. In our imagination on that festive day witches float around on their brooms probably needing an air traffic controller. Go with the kids at night for Trick or Treat; be sure to look through their “Goodies” before they eat the candy. “Have a Safe Halloween everyone!”

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