Monthly Archives: April 2011

It’s a Kaple New Year!

A little over three years ago, I wrote to everyone about the conclusion to the year of Appalachia and kicked off the year of the North American Mountain Man/Woman/Dog.  I for one had not expected that Mountain to be so large, so challenging or so long to get over.  Which makes this message all the more sweet as we reach the spring start to the natural new year and can say we’ve successfully made it over the mountain and into the valley below.

From the great State of Appalachia in the heart of the Ohio River Valley,  I’m proud to drop the newest form of Kaple Communication.  Something more than an annual letter, a full interactive, social, multi-media experience.

Welcome to Kaple 2.0!

Many of you know I believe in the Power of 3, so it’s no surprise that the universe conspired for me to bundle up three amazing years of trials, tribulations, and jubilations to return with a mountain of news to share with you in threes!  Follow the links below to navigate to your favorite parts.

BUT WAIT!  THERE’S MORE!  Each month going forward I’m going to release a new chapter of the Kaple 2.0 portfolio detailing life as I’ve known it in Dayton, Athens, NYC and now Parkersburg.  You will get a note to announce each post, but come back early and often for more stories from the State of Appalachia (51st & finest, more than a place, it’s a state of mind!)

Thank you for continuing to be an important part of our lives.  If we’ve lost contact during these busy years, please reach out!   You know where to find us online and in the hills.  We promise we’ll do the same when we come your way!

Sincerely,

Gregory & Stephanie Kaple

Rally & Ryder Dogs

Soon to arrive: Baby Ray Kaple

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Happy April Fools Day!

Unlike most of the other nonfoolish holidays, the history of April Fool’s Day, sometimes called All Fool’s Day, is not totally clear. It is not like Halloween, where despite an interesting history, most people just put on Halloween costumes, get candy, and leave it at that. There really wasn’t a “first April Fool’s Day” that can be pinpointed on the calendar. Some believe it sort of evolved simultaneously in several cultures at the same time, from celebrations involving the first day of spring.

The closest point in time that can be identified as the beginning of this tradition was in 1582, in France. Prior to that year, the new year was celebrated for eight days, beginning on March 25. The celebration culminated on April 1. With the reform of the calendar under Charles IX, the Gregorian Calendar was introduced, and New Year’s Day was moved to January 1.

However, communications being what they were in the days when news traveled by foot, many people did not receive the news for several years. Others, the more obstinate crowd, refused to accept the new calendar and continued to celebrate the new year on April 1. These backward folk were labeled as “fools” by the general populace. They were subject to some ridicule, and were often sent on “fools errands” or were made the butt of other practical jokes.

This harassment evolved, over time, into a tradition of prank-playing on the first day of April. The tradition eventually spread to England and Scotland in the eighteenth century. It was later introduced to the American colonies of both the English and French. April Fool’s Day thus developed into an international fun fest, so to speak, with different nationalities specializing in their own brand of humor at the expense of their friends and families.

In Scotland, for example, April Fool’s Day is actually celebrated for two days. The second day is devoted to pranks involving the posterior region of the body. It is called Taily Day. The origin of the “kick me” sign can be traced to this observance.

Mexico’s counterpart of April Fool’s Day is actually observed on December 28. Originally, the day was a sad remembrance of the slaughter of the innocent children by King Herod. It eventually evolved into a lighter commemoration involving pranks and trickery.

Pranks performed on April Fool’s Day range from the simple, (such as saying, “Your shoe’s untied, or I accidentally stepped on your glasses!), to the elaborate. Setting a roommate’s alarm clock back an hour is a common gag. Whatever the prank, the trickster usually ends it by yelling to his victim, “April Fool!”

Practical jokes are a common practice on April Fool’s Day. Sometimes, elaborate practical jokes are played on friends or relatives that last the entire day. The news media even gets involved. For instance, a British short film once shown on April Fool’s Day was a fairly detailed documentary about “spaghetti farmers” and how they harvest their crop from the spaghetti trees.

April Fool’s Day is a “for-fun-only” observance. Nobody is expected to buy gifts or to take their “significant other” out to eat in a fancy restaurant. Nobody gets off work or school. It’s simply a fun little holiday, but a holiday on which one must remain forever vigilant, for he may be the next April Fool!

Copyright © 2008 by Jerry Wilson. Used with Permission.
Also available on the Web at www.wilstar.com

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