‘Crypto-Jews’ In The Southwest Find Faith In A Shrouded Legacy : NPR

Really interesting article that I shared with my Jewish father-in-law, Sheldon (many of you have met Sheldon at various events). Not only that, but some people are rediscovering and nurturing the faith that their family members kept hidden or unexplained for so long.

There were the grandfathers who refused to eat pork and wore hats. The sheep and cattle ranchers who slit the throats of their animals, drained the blood, removed the sciatic nerve and salted the meat. These kinds of stories aren’t uncommon in the American Southwest.

At a bedside altar facing the room’s East wall, Sonya Loya’s maternal grandmother, a staunch Catholic, would pray three times daily with a shawl over her head. Living in Alpine, Texas, a small town isolated in the high desert, she taught her family to routinely check their hens’ eggs for spots of blood. Her last request before she died was that she be buried with her feet facing the East.

"There’s something about it, deep within our souls," Loya says.

It wasn’t until Loya was an adult that she learned of a possible Jewish legacy in the region — a narrative that the media would magnify and scholars would dispute. She matched her family surnames with names of medieval Sephardic Jews on an online database. Suddenly, her grandmother’s unquestioned traditions dramatically changed in meaning. Had she been a Jew all along?

via 'Crypto-Jews' In The Southwest Find Faith In A Shrouded Legacy : Code Switch : NPR.

Not-Very-Scary-Movie Night: Fun For All

Last night’s movie event was a lot of fun! Not only was there popcorn, pizza, and cookies, we even had cartoons before the show.

The movie was “Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein,” a classic horror-comedy monster mashup. It was a good choice for a kid-friendly pre-Halloween event; as Steve G. noted, there aren’t a lot of Halloween movies that are “soft” enough for little kids.

It was a fun event, and there are already plans to find a suitable movie for the fast-approaching Advent season.

Universal Pictures made a great deal of money from its monster movies in the 1930s. In the early ’40s, the burlesque team of Bud Abbott and Lou Costello kept the studio’s coffers full. When the two franchises were combined in 1948, the result was another windfall–despite the apparent oil-and-water mix of subject matter. Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein was the first of these summit meetings, although the title is a misnomer. Actually, Bud and Lou bump into most of the Universal heavy-hitters, including Count Dracula (played by Béla Lugosi himself), the Wolfman (Lon Chaney Jr.), and the Frankenstein monster (veteran monster Glenn Strange). There’s even a token appearance by the Invisible Man, whose disembodied voice is recognizable as that of Vincent Price. Sure enough, the film is funny, especially since it gives the portly Costello multiple opportunities to do his wide-eyed, quivering scaredy-cat routine. Audiences ate it up, and in future installments Bud and Lou would run into Boris Karloff, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, the Invisible Man, and the Mummy. But the first was the best. –Robert Horton

via Amazon.com: Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein: Bud Abbott, Lou Costello, Lon Chaney Jr., Bela Lugosi, Glenn Strange, Lenore Aubert, Jane Randolph, Frank Ferguson, Charles Bradstreet, Bobby Barber, George Barton, Harry Brown, Charles Van Enger, Charles Barton, Robert Arthur, Bram Stoker, Frederic I. Rinaldo, John Grant, Mary Shelley, Robert Lees: Movies & TV.

Gather Ye Thy Junque!

The next BIG RUMMAGE SALE is planned for Saturday, September 11. Although it is a day of national remembrance, it can also be a day of shedding unwanted clutter, or of finding new treasures to cherish. Start gathering your items now (especially working appliances, kitchenware, large furniture pieces, or anything t0 help someone needy make their homes more comfortable).