Intellectual Nourishment

The nice part about living in a small town is that when you don't know what you are doing, someone else does.

Friday, October 3, 2008

A Real Life Legend

By Rachel Campbell
Vampire novels have seemed to become rather popular as of late. Many bookstores have an entire section devoted to the blood sucking demons. While many vampire stories are intriguing, the original story was told by Bram Stoker, about the blood-lusting fiend obsessed with a young woman, causing English citizens to look over their shoulder.
Dracula was not necessarily a fictional character. The story about rising from the dead to drink blood and turn others into undead demons is fiction, but Dracula was actually the name of an awful, ruthless Romanian prince: Vlad Tepes Dracula.
Vlad Tepes was the son of Vlad Dracul, the military governor of Transylvania, a region of North West Romania. The name Dracul means "dragon" and was given to the elder Vlad when he was inducted into the Order of the Dragon.
As young Dracula was growing up, the Ottoman Empire was embarking on a massive military campaign against much of Eastern Europe. Because his father was such a huge military threat, the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire took Dracula and his younger brother as political hostages, leaving a bitter taste in Dracula’s mouth toward the Ottomans.
Around the age of seventeen, an escaped Dracula managed to rustle up a band of men to attack and seize Wallachia, another province of Romania. He took his place on its throne and began his rule of terror. Vlad Dracula was not merciful to his opponents, domestic and foreign. He would often impale is victims from "stem to sternum" and watch them die while drinking their blood, which was a sign of power in Romanian tradition.
He was so cruel, that when he was finally killed in battle, the Sultan requested that Dracula be beheaded and his head brought to Constantinople (present day Istanbul) as proof of his demise. It was believed by many that because of his horrific crimes that caused his excommunication, Dracula’s soul was lost forever and, in revenge, he took the form of a blood sucking demon. For more on Dracula, check out the many articles online.


By Rachel Campbell
Two major issues were discussed during the September meeting of the GSSD. The first was an issue of old fittings from the old water system not meshing well with the new water system. This has caused some problems with some of the older homes of the community and the GSSD has determined that if other problems arise with this connection, it will consider reimbursement for the repairs.
Also on the agenda was the issue of an Anti-Fraud Resolution Program. Gunlock's size allows for a simple plan. The GSSD is required to give every homeowner a copy of this program, so attend the October meeting to get yours!

Baby Announcement

John and Jean Powers had a healthy baby boy on September 17, 2008 at 12:54 am. His name is Christopher Payden and he weighed 7 lbs 5 oz and was 18.5 inches long. Mother and baby are doing great.

The Origin of Trick or Treating

The custom of 'trick or treat' probably has several origins. Again mostly Irish. An old Irish peasant practice called for going door to door to collect money, bread cake, cheese, eggs, butter, nuts, apples, etc., in preparation for the festival of St. Columbus Kill. Yet another custom was the begging for soul cakes, or offerings for one's self - particularly in exchange for promises of prosperity or protection against bad luck. It is with this custom the concept of the fairies came to be incorporated as people used to go door to door begging for treats. Failure to supply the treats would usually result in practical jokes being visited on the owner of the house.
Since the fairies were abroad on this night, an offering of food or milk was frequently left for them on the steps of the house, so the houseowner could gain the blessings of the "good folk" for the coming year. Many of the households would also leave out a "dumb supper" for the spirits of the departed.According to Tad Tuleja's essay, "Trick or Treat: Pre-Texts and Contexts," in Santino's previously mentioned anthology,Halloween's modern trick or treating (primarily children going door-to-door, begging for candy) began fairly recently in the US, as a blend of several ancient and modern influences. In 19th Century America, rural immigrants from Ireland and Scotland kept gender-specific Halloween customs from their homelands: girls stayed indoors and did divination games, while the boys roamed outdoors engaging in almost equally ritualized pranks, which their elders "blamed" on the spirits being abroad that night. Its entry into urban world can probably traced back in mid-19th Century New York, where children called "ragamuffins" would dress in costumes and beg for pennies from adults on Thanksgiving Day. Things got nastier with increased urbanization and poverty in the 1930's. Adults began casting about for ways to control the previously harmless but now increasingly expensive and dangerous vandalism of the "boys." Towns and cities began organizing "safe" Halloween events and householders began giving out bribes to the neighborhood kids as a way to distract them away from their previous anarchy. The ragamuffins disappeared or switched their date to Halloween.
The term "trick or treat," finally appears in print around 1939! Pranks became even nastier in the 1980's, with widespread poverty existing side-by-side with obscene greed. Unfortunately, even bored kids in a violence saturated culture slip all too easily from harmless "decoration" of their neighbors' houses with shaving cream and toilet paper to serious vandalism and assaults. Blaming either Neopagans or Halloween for this is rather like blaming patriots or the Fourth of July for the many firecracker injuries that happen every year (and which are also combatted by publicly sponsored events). Given this hazardous backdrop town councils, school boards and parents in the 1930's invented this custom as it is being celebrated today to keep their kids out of trouble.As far as the custom across the Atlantic goes, by the mid- 20th century in Ireland and Britain, the smaller children would dress up and parade to the neighbors' houses, do little performances, then ask for a reward. American kids seem to remember this with their chants of "Jingle bells, Batman smells, Robin laid an egg," and other classic tunes done for no reason other than because "it's traditional."

Taken from

Simple Halloween Ideas

By Sara Laub

Since I am always looking for simple ideas of things to make to make Halloween fun, I thought I'd do some research and this is what I found from

Empty and clean a one-gallon milk jug. Turn it up-side down, with the spout facing down. Spray paint the jug any color you want. After it is dry, paint a face on it. Tie a strip of old fabric or a rag where the spout is. Then attach a chain or rope to the top. For the Frankenstein Milk Jug spray paint the jug green and then spray paint the bottom of the jug, black. When dry, flip the jug over and with the spout facing down, paint on a face. Screw in 2 large bolts into the jug, just below the face. Attach a chain to the top and a black rag over the spout. Tie with black thread. Cost: $2.80-the cost of a gallon of milk.

These suggestions just flat out work!
- White Sheets - Put sheets over the furniture in your living room. It is very effective. They don't have to be old, just white.
- Black Flowers - Get some cheap plastic flowers from any discount store. Got a bundle from Walmart for just $1.00. Or use some old twigs with leaves or a stiff bush clip from your yard. Spray paint the flowers or leaves black with cheap black spray paint. Set in an old can, spray painted black or grey. Or use an old vase. Looks fantastic on a coffee table or dining room table.
- Black Wreath - Here's how: Make a circular wreath from sticks and old plyable branches, or buy one ready made. Saw one at Walmart for $2.00. Attach some old plastic flowers to the wreath too. Spray paint the entire thing black, then LIGHTLY spray over it with white spray paint. This gives the effect of looking old. Now add a red ribben or bow, and plastic skull, pumpkins, bats, spiders...whatever you want.

Instead of buying premade paper bag candle holders or fancy candle holders, make them yourself from cans. Clean several cans of various sizes. Put water in them and set them in the freezer. Remember the ice will expand, so don't fill them too high. Remove them when frozen and with a chisil, cut out eyes, pumpkin faces, whatever. Remove the ice and let dry. Spray paint the base coat, say orange, for a pumpkin. Paint whatever else you want, add sand or dirt and a votive candle. We experimented with a narrow and small can. The votive candle did not melt the paint. One can we did was an "eye" can. We spray painted the can green. Took a nail and punched several holes all over and painted eyes on the holes. At night it looks like eyes are glowing.

Simple decorations made from clay pots used for plants. You can use these to hold candy. Easy to make. Just paint the face and add fun eyes that can be glued right to the pot. This one is easy, cute and cheap. Cost less than $2.50 to make.

Fall Recipe

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
Ingredients :
Pumpkin seeds
Melted butter
Vegetable spray

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Rinse seeds well. For every 2 cups of seeds, put 4 cups of water and 2 tbsps of salt into saucepan. Add the seeds and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes. Drain well in strainer. Place on paper towels and pat dry. Toss the seeds with melted unsalted butter in a large bowl until evenly coated. Spray cookie sheet with vegetable spray. Spread seeds over tray and bake for 30 minutes, stirring, and tossing occasionally. When seeds are golden brown they are ready. Store in airtight container in cool place.

Jokes for Your Entertainment

What do you get when you cross a vampire and a snowman?

Why do witches use brooms to fly on?
Because vacuum cleaners are too heavy...

Do zombies eat popcorn with their fingers?
No, they eat the fingers separately...

What do you call someone who puts poison in a person's corn flakes?
A cereal killer...

Why do mummies have trouble keeping friends?
They're so wrapped up in themselves...

What kind of streets do zombies like the best?
Dead ends...

Why did the Vampire subscribe to the Wall Street Journal?
He heard it had great circulation...

Halloween Poetry

Haunted House
by Jack Prelutsky
There's a house upon the hilltop
We will not go inside
For that is where the witches live,
Where ghosts and goblins hide.
Tonight they have their party,
All the lights are burning bright,
But oh we will not go inside
The haunted house tonight.
The demons there are whirling
And the spirits swirl about.
They sing their songs to Halloween.
"Come join the fun," they shout.
But we do not want to go there
So we run with all our might
And oh we will not go inside
The haunted house tonight.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Gunlock Town Events

Oct 2: GSSD Meeting at the Town Hall at 7:00pm
Oct 9: Gunlock Fire Department Meeting at the fire station 7:00pm
Oct 16-17: No School. Fall Break
Oct 22: Pinewood Derby
Oct 31: Halloween! Trick or Treating!