While Vampira & Zacherley are often thought of as the “mother and father” of all horror hosts, many prominent Midwestern hosts can credit their true lineage to Cleveland’s Ghoulardi. Never taking himself nor his film presentations seriously, radio announcer/disc jockey Ernie Anderson would create an irreverent template of wit and sarcasm many hosts still use today.
Last Sunday, I grabbed the kids and headed over to the town made infamous by the Svengoolies – Berwyn, Illinois – to observe a rather unusual event. The Annual “Houby” parade has taken place for over forty years now and, along with the National horror host, has become a local Berwyn tradition! For those scratching their heads wondering what a “Houby” is, it is the Czechoslovakian word for “mushroom.” Yes, you are reading this correctly, the entire parade is dedicated to mushrooms! Mushrooms and truffles are to the Czechs’ what the tomato is to the Italians. It is a big part of their culture and it should also be noted that other “Houby” events take place throughout the year in other places throughout the United States.
It’s been awhile since I have had fun…I mean fun like a kid. As adults we become pre-occupied with things such as working, paying bills, raising a family, etc. Not that these are bad things but in the process, we forget how to have fun like we did when we were kids. I think that is why I like being a monster fan so much…you can do all of the important and responsible things in life and yet still be a kid! Who can forget the excitement as a child on Christmas Eve. Family get-togethers that then led to a sleepless night, in anticipation of Santa’s annual visit. This followed by the nervous excitement of walking down the stairs to see if the big guy brought us everything that we had asked for. These times were magical and that is the first thing to go in adults…the magic.