Friday, November 1, 2013
The Martyrdom of St. John, the Baptist
After all hallows' (souls) night, today is All Saints' Day in the Roman Catholic cult. I think it's even a "holy day of obligation," meaning mandatory Mass.
Woody went to a Roman Catholic, parochial elementary school in the '50s, in a white, middle-class suburb of Cleveland. One year, the school encouraged students to come to school on All Saints' Day in the costume of their favorite or namesake Saint.
My father, an agnostic (and supremely sly ironist, I would later learn even more fully) married to my mother, a devout Catholic, got into the task.
He cut a platter-shaped and -sized piece out of a cardboard box, covered it in aluminum foil, cut a hole in the middle for my head, sprayed and dripped red paint on it, draped the rest of me in a sheet, and sent me to school--and to Mass--as (the posthumous) St. John, the Baptist.