(My new American Thinker post)
Halloween was totally new when our family came to the U.S. The idea of kids wearing masks and asking for candy was totally new to us. I mean totally new. I don't remember watching a Disney cartoon about it, and we learned a lot about the U.S. in Cuba watching Disney cartoons.
So we went out on our first Halloween and could not help laughing whenever my mom said "trick or treat." She couldn't get the pronunciation down and said "tree ka tree." The three of us couldn't stop laughing at my mother's accent until she got mad and said that if we didn't like her accent, then we could eat breakfast somewhere else. We did not laugh anymore after that because we really didn't have another place to go for breakfast. I should add that the McDonald's across the park did not serve breakfast in 1964.
My kids have grown up, pursuing their careers, interests, and other things. Therefore, Halloween just doesn't mean as much as it used to. I still enjoy seeing the little kids in their costumes, but it's different. My grandkids are cute wearing their costumes, but they're still too young to get into the Halloween spirit. I'll wait a couple of years to take them trick-or-treating.
A few years ago, I had Dr. Ileana Johnson, author and native of Romania, on my podcast. We spoke about her book Echoes of Communism, her story about growing up in communist Romania. We found a lot in common about leaving communist countries and settling in the U.S. She is also a wonderful economist who has a lot to say about socialism and what's going on in our colleges.
Dr. Johnson wrote about Dracula and the castle during a recent trip to Romania:
Bram Stoker chose Transylvania, the western province of Romania, as the location of his 1897 gothic novel "Dracula" because of the dark, foreboding feel of the area even when it was bathed in sunshine. The myth of Dracula was so attached to Vlad Tepes and Bran Castle that the locals, when asked about it, shrugged their shoulders with amused looks, and went about their business.
The real Vlad Tepes, the inspiration source for Count Dracula, was known for his strong resistance and valiant battles against the advancement and occupation of the Ottoman Empire. "Voievode" Vlad was a real hero and founding father to the local population.
Vlad III, Prince of Wallachia (1431–1476), was named posthumously "Vlad the Impaler," for his habit of impaling his enemies and those condemned for capital punishment. Tepes was his Romanian moniker for "Impaler." He ruled mainly from 1456–1462, the incipient period of the Ottoman conquest of the Balkans. Of the house of Draculesti, Vlad III, son of Vlad II Dracul, was born in Sighisoara, Transylavania and died in Bucharest, Wallachia.
Dracula is Romanian for "the son of the Devil." Historians argue over the meaning of the Latin "draco" (dragon). Vlad was of the order of the dragon bestowed on his father to defend Christianity. However, the Romanian word for dragon is "balaur." "Dracul" is identified in modern parlance as the "devil." The Ambras Castle portrait of Vlad III, c. 1560, is reputedly a copy of an original made during his lifetime.
I catch this article every year and and enjoy it a lot. Who knew that Dracula and a castle could be so interesting? Well, it is, and I hope you read her full article about Dracula before the kids come to your door.
And then play "The Monster Mash" to make Halloween complete.
Happy Halloween, and don't forget to vote.
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