The Neptune City-Saturn Town Review #8

20 Oct

It is certainly a wonderful relief for me to have been able to complete and publish the new book I had been laboring on so vehemently all of this time. It is a very personal work which required significant and immersive study on a variety of topics necessary to achieve a satisfactory completion.

Now that the work is out there for others to enjoy, I am finally able to find the time to acknowledge that the holiday season is upon us, and Halloween is the very first festivity to pay its call.

In America, while we still draw upon the Scottish tradition of Jack O’ Lantern (Joel Chandler Harris even had a version of the story), much of the spirit of the holiday largely rests with the moving humor and suspense of Washington Irving (as does the celebration of Christmas for that matter. It is an interesting piece of trivia to note that Washington Irving’s Christmas writings influenced Charles Dickens’ Christmas writings; Dickens being a vocal admirer of the elder Knickerbocker).

“The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” is the definitive work on Halloween in the U.S. and I highly recommend it. Irving’s Tales of the Traveler is another must for the holiday as well. A masterpiece in so many ways!  

Another excellent book for the season is Ray Bradbury’s Halloween Tree, as well as his Something Wicked This Way Comes. Bradbury was really the only writer to ever clearly share Irving’s gift for moving prose poetry, and both of these works greatly help in setting the mood for the haunted house set.    

This is not to say that Halloween must be a bookworm event only. Nay! It is also a wonderful holiday for the couch potato. While there are plenty of scary movies out there to go around, it is always nice to discover something new each year to compliment the endearing staple of Ernest Scared Stupid, It’s The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown, and Hocus Pocus. I would herein like to recommend Ray Dennis Steckler’s Lemon Grove Kids shorts. Very funny stuff, with a nice Halloween edge. Also all-ages.

Topper Returns is another lighthearted all-ages haunting to give a try when looking for something new. Jack Benny’s good buddy Rochester (Eddie Anderson) has a very funny recurring gag throughout the film which really steals the show. Poor Cosmo Topper! What a great character!  

Now that you have some assigned reading and television watching scheduled, what to do about trick-or-treaters? Why not become the neighborhood’s best treat-giver and shell out some neat comic books instead of/ or in complement with candy? Just make sure the material is all-ages appropriate for the sensitive little tykes (you can’t go wrong with Donald Duck or the Phantom Blot).

Well, that’s all for now, and remember: “Freedom is Ink on the Page.”

Happy Halloween!

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