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November 1 is mighty close to being ol’ Robbo’s very favorite day of the year.  Some of this is liturgical, some of it seasonal.  Indeed, there’s some sort of interrelation between the two, perhaps that they both remind us of our mortality.

Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

One of the traditional ceremonies of All Saints’ Day here at Port Swiller Manor is the disposal of the Halloween Jack-O-Lantern.

We do this by taking it out the back gate and to the edge of what is identified on local topographical maps as “an unnamed tributary of Bull Neck Run” but which we simply call “the creek”.   It’s a good twelve feet from the top of the bank down to the water, very steep on our side but of a somewhat softer slope on the other.

Anyhoo, at the edge of the creek, after thanking him for his services of the night before we give ol’ Jack a mighty heave-ho.

Depending on various factors such as size, weight, slipperiness and the like,  Jack might do just about anything on landing.  Sometimes he will hit a rock or a log and blow apart like a bomb.  Sometimes he will just catch the lip of the bank and then roll back down the slope.  One year, he made it all the way across and wound up in a bush on the far side, facing back across the defile and looking positively indignant.  As fall went on and he kept sitting there glaring, it got rather creepy.

Speaking of which, yes, ol’ Robbo once again did the traditional triangular eyes and nose and toothy grin.  In the matter of pumpkin carving, I am the oldest of old-school, and I positively loathe all this fancy-pants “sculpturing” tommyrot.

UPDATE:  Well, Jack didn’t quite make it all the way across this year.  He face-planted at the top of the bank and rolled back down into the streamed, losing his crown in the process.  He’s sitting there now, moodily looking downstream.


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November 2014