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Friday, October 16, 2009

Halloween Memories




Up until this year I was living and working in a very small town south of here. Every Halloween the Down Town Association would hand out candy to the trick or treaters, starting about 5:00, or sooner, if the kids showed up early. It was quite a sight. All those children and dogs in their costumes up and down the street. They were so thick the one and only policeman in town had to direct traffic. It was like Norman Rockwell painting. I think I will really miss it this year.

I loved Halloween when I was a kid. My brothers and I had the best neighborhood to trick or treat in. There were big scary houses with gnarly old trees, and of course lots of crazy old ladies. Crazy old ladies make it Halloween, don't they? There was one house we went to every year, expecting to be eaten by the witch who lived there. We slowly and fearfully approached her big dark scary house, knocked on the door and waited. I swear, every year, she came to the door, talking about how she always forgets its Halloween and all she has is popcorn.Then she puts big handfuls of popcorn in each of our bags. We put ourselves through this for popcorn she handled with her bare hands.

We had those hard plastic mask back then. The ones with the rubber band to hold them on your face. If the rubber band didn't break before Halloween, it tangled and pulled your hair. It also was very hard to see out of the holes cut in the mask for eyes. Then there was the breathing thing. Between the hair pulling, being blind and asphyxiating it's strange we never lost anyone.

I have not been comfortable dressing up for Halloween since Ive been an adult. Someone always tries to talk me into it, but I just don't care for the attention, I guess. One Halloween, a young woman I worked with, tried to get everyone to agree to wear a costume. We all kept saying no but I guess she thought we didn't mean it. Every day she would say,"Sheila you're gonna dress up, aren't you?" And I would say no. On the morning of Halloween, she walked in wrapped from head to toe like a mummy. She had on white makeup and could barely walk because her feet were bound. She looked around at everyone and said" I thought we were gonna dress up!"

Now that's scary.

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A wife, mother, and spoiler of small dogs, I grew up in a small West Texas town, with my eyes full of sand, and my heart full of joy.


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