No Saints today, but today is Halloween, an annual holiday that has its roots in the Celtic festival of Samhain. Today is also World Savings Day. Early Voting continues in Louisiana for the Open Primary Election, the Presidential Election, and the Congressional Election. Today is also the birthday of my favorite (and only) sister, Liz Ellen (1960).
In the 16th century the name “Halloween” was first found, representing a Scottish variant of the fuller All-Hallows-Even (“evening”), that is, the night before All Hallows Day. The development of artifacts and symbols associated with Halloween formed over time encompassing customs of medieval holy days as well as contemporary cultures. The souling practice of commemorating the souls in purgatory with candle lanterns carved from turnips became adapted into the making of jack-o’-lanterns. The imagery of Halloween is derived from many sources, including national customs, works of Gothic and horror literature (such as the novels Frankenstein and Dracula), and classic horror films (such as Frankenstein and The Mummy). Elements of the autumn season, such as pumpkins, corn husks, and scarecrows, are also prevalent. Homes are often decorated with these types of symbols around Halloween. Halloween imagery includes themes of death, evil, the occult, magic, or mythical monsters. Traditional characters include ghosts, witches, skeletons, vampires, werewolves, demons, bats, and black cats. The colors of black and orange are associated with the celebrations, perhaps because of the darkness of night and the color of fire, autumn leaves or pumpkins. Trick-or-treating is a customary celebration for children on Halloween. Children go in costume from house to house, asking for treats such as candy, with the question, “Trick or treat?” The word “trick” refers to a (mostly idle) “threat” to perform mischief on the homeowners or their property if no treat is given. (In It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown! (1966), the kids say “Tricks or Treats!” which I always thought was odd.) World Savings Day was established on October 31st, 1924, during the 1st International Savings Bank Congress (World Society of Savings Banks) in Milano, Italy. In the resolutions of the Thrift Congress it was decided that ‘World Thrift Day’ should be a day devoted to the promotion of savings all over the world. In their efforts to promote thrift the savings banks also worked with the support of the schools, and the clergy, as well as with cultural, sports, professional, and women’s associations. Representatives of twenty-nine countries wanted the thought of saving and its relevance to the economy and the individual to be emphasized to the worldwide public. The World Savings Day is usually held on October 31st except in countries where this day is a public holiday, since the idea is for banks to be open, so that people are able to transfer their savings into their account. Before the Thrift Congress there had been some examples of days that were committed to the idea of saving money in order to gain a higher standard of life and to secure the economy, such as in Spain where the first national thrift day was celebrated in 1921, or in the United States. In other countries, such as Germany, confidence in savings had to be restored since many people had lost their savings in the German monetary reform of 1923. After the Second World War World Thrift Day continued and reached the peak of its popularity in the years between 1955 and 1970. It practically became a veritable tradition in certain countries. In Austria, for instance, the official mascot of saving, the so-called ‘Sparefroh’ (literally: ‘Happy Saver’, or rather “save happily!”) reached a higher degree of brand awareness than the republic’s President and even a street was named after him. In the 1970s the Sparefroh-Journal, an educational magazine for younger people, reached a circulation of 400,000 copies. Now the focus of the banks that organise the World Savings Day is on developing countries, where many people are unbanked. Savings banks play an important role in enhancing savings in these countries with certain campaigns and initiatives such as working with non governmental organisations in order to double the number of savings accounts held by the poor. (But it can’t hurt any of us to save our spare change.) Early Voting continues in Louisiana for the Open Primary Election, the Presidential Election, and the Congressional Election. I must also note that today is the birthday of my favorite (and only) sister, Liz Ellen, who, as usual, is the same age as me, less two years, one month, and twenty-five days (1960).
Yesterday before he went to bed Richard gathered up the trash and wheeled the trash bin out to the curb.
I did my Book Devotional Reading, posted to Facebook that today was Halloween, and posted to Facebook that today was World Savings Day. On our way to work I did my Internet Devotional Reading. Once we clocked in at the casino for the first day of the two-week pay period, Richard was on Mississippi Stud; I was the Relief Dealer for Mississippi Stud and Three Card Poker, and I also broke Let It Ride twice; once at the beginning of the shift before the table closed, and once near the end of our shift after the table reopened. At 9:15 am, while I was breaking the Three Card Poker table, I gave a player the Ace, King, and Queen of Spades, which gave him the Progressive Jackpot of $5,100.
On our way home I Bluetoothed the photos Richard had taken of our granddaughter this month to my phone, and Richard stopped at the bakery to get me individual Poboy sized loaves of French bread. I addressed and put a birthday card out in the mail for my son Matthew in South Carolina, then I ate my lunch salad while reading the morning paper. In the latest AP College Football Poll, our LSU Tigers are now ranked #15 (Alabama, our next opponent, is of course ranked #1). I then uploaded the October 2016 photos from my phone to the hard drive of the computer, then burned a copy of my October 2016 photos to a CD for myself, and burned a copy of my October 2016 photos to a CD for Liz Ellen. I then wrote my group Third Tuesday Book Club Reminder Email about the November 15th meeting (which I will not be able to attend), when we will discuss Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee. I then finished as much of my packing as I could do; the stuff that I will have to use tonight and tomorrow I will collect in separate bags to take, and tomorrow night I will stow them in my Suitcase Bag (for clothes) and my Carry-One Bag (for everything else) once we are settled in our hotel room in Texas. Richard made roast beef poboys for me, and roast beef wraps for himself. He then went out and got ice for the ice chest, and then packed the ice chest. He then scheduled the payment of two bills online, and loaded my two bags and his duffle bag in the car. And I am finishing up today’s Daily Update now, as Richard puts the garment bag in the trunk; we will watch Jeopardy!, and then we will go to bed.
Tomorrow is the Solemnity of All Saints, a Holy Day of Obligation. In the secular world, tomorrow is the first day of the Month of November, tomorrow is the last day for Early Voting in Louisiana for the Open Primary Election, the Presidential Election, and the Congressional Election, and tomorrow is the birthday of my friend Jocelyne in West Virginia, who many years ago sat one seat ahead of me in second grade (1958). I will wake up half an hour early, and while getting ready to go to work I will gather up the rest of the stuff I need to pack, so that when we leave the house the rest of my stuff will be in the car. When Richard and I get to the casino, we will sign the Early Out list. If we get out early enough, we will come back home, sleep for a few hours, then attend the 9:45 am Meeting with the Table Games Director. If we do not get out early, after we clock out we will attend the 11:15 am Meeting with the Table Games Director. Either way, by 12:30 pm at the latest we will be on our way to Texas. And I will be doing my Daily Updates on my Tablet, and if we get into a motel room soon enough, we will watch the baseball game from Cleveland between the Chicago Cubs and the Cleveland Indians, with Cleveland ahead in the World Series 3 to 2; a Cleveland win will end the Series, and a Cubs win will force Game Seven on Wednesday night (also in Cleveland). Also tomorrow night, our New Orleans Pelicans (0-3, 0-1) will play a home NBA game with the Milwaukee Bucks (1-1, 0-0).
Our Parting Quote this Monday as the Trick or Treaters scurry off into the humid gloom of night comes to us from T. M. Wright, American author. Born as Terrance Michael Wright in 1947 in Corning, New York, his first publication was the non-fiction study of unidentified flying objects, entitled The Intelligent Man’s Guide to Flying Saucers, in 1968 for AS Barnes. In 1978 he began writing the Strange Seed series, with the books Strange Seed (1978), Nursery Tale (1982), Children of the Island (1983), and The People of the Dark (1984). This series had five foreign editions. His seventh novel, A Manhattan Ghost Story, has had 14 foreign editions and was optioned to be filmed in the 1980s. A screenplay was written by Ronald Bass for which he was paid two million dollars, a record-breaking amount for an adaptation of a novel to the screen. The option was taken over by Robert Lawrence Productions in 1991, and then exercised in 1993. Many actors and directors have been attached to the project over the years including Wayne Wang, Julia Roberts, and Sharon Stone (who received five million dollars because of her pay or play contract). As of 2015 the film was in development at Touchstone Pictures, but it is not listed on IMDB. Wright’s fiction appeared in several magazines including Twilight Zone Magazine, PostScripts, Cemetery Dance, Flesh and Blood Magazine, UpState, and Brutarian. Wright also painted book covers and did illustrations for magazines, including Brutarian. He did the artwork for his own book covers for Sleepeasy (1993, for the 2001 edition from Leisure Books), of two foreign editions of Cold House (2003, German and Italian language editions), for The Eyes of the Carp from Cemetery Dance Publications in 2005, for Blue Canoe (2008) from PS Publishing, and for his collection Bone Soup (2010) from Cemetery Dance Publications. In 2004 Wright was the judge for the inaugural Anubis Awards by Jeff Schwaner (owner of Broken Umbrella Press). He spent the last years of his life in a Corning, New York nursing home living with Parkinson’s Disease (died 2015): “The most we can hope for when we write anything is dazzling imperfection. The least we can hope for is accolades from one or two people who don’t know us. Spending all afternoon on “the right word” is probably foolish (though I’ve done it many times), but then again, it may not be. There may be people out there who’ll read that nearly-perfect sentence (or paragraph), with its “right word,” and they’ll nod and smile and say to themselves, “Hey, that’s not too bad.”