Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween by Kat Magendie

In the cove here between Killian’s Knob and Walter Bald, there will not be, nor has there been, any trick or treaters. For to get to my little log house, they’d have to walk a ‘fir piece’ and then trek up my steep road, then up my steep driveway, then up my stairs, to my porch, and then knock on my door. By time they arrived, trick or treat would be over, and besides, all I’d have for them is some rocks a la Charlie Brown and the Great Pumpkin.

And speaking of Charlie Brown, I still watch that show—that is my Halloween celebration tradition. Since the move here, I don’t dress up. I don’t trick or treat. I don’t receive trick or treaters. I don’t watch any of the Halloween movie specials about vampires. And, I most especially do not buy Halloween candy, as I and my spousal unit in residence would be the only ones eating it (and yet, as I type this, I yearn for those miniature candy bars—the snickers, the milky ways, the health bars! Oh My!)

I found a photo the other day of my son dressed as—guess what?, come on, take a guess—yes!, a Hobo. He didn’t particularly want to be a hobo (what kid does when there are millions of manufactured suits out there of their favorite cartoon icons?), but I didn’t have the money to buy anything fancy. I was so proud of my ingenuity (um, okay, well, the old usual smudged face, patches on shirt and pant leg, and frayed pant cuffs, etc), but little kids only know that someone down the street bragged about their Star Wars, Spiderman, or Incredible Hulk costumes. He still had fun, once he ran out into the inky night full of ghosts and goblins and Icons.

So, tonight when it's time for the little ones to stalk the night elsewhere, I’ll be sitting in my tower on the mountain thinking about chocolate, and memories, and laughing, and “Trick or Treat; smell my feet; give me something good to eat!” I’ll be thinking about my favorite personal costume of all time—my mother dressed me up as a gypsy, complete with lipstick, one of her colorful skirts, and scarf. Oh I felt beautiful and grown up! One can find gratitude in anything if one opens up a memory, an idea, a moment, a tradition, and peers inside. Right this moment, I am smiling at that young girl, dancing through the night in her gypsy costume, feeling beautiful for the first time, ever.


Barbara Quinn said...


Did I scare you?

Happy Halloween!

Angie Ledbetter said...

I've some of the same memories of childhood Halloween, and my kids have never dressed in bought costumes. We had bats, hobos ("Will work for food" on a sign and a stubble beard drawn on), cheerleaders, saints of old, farmers, etc. College daughter right now is building her own costume to be the Queen of Hearts with her group of Mad Hatter's Tea Party friends. Maybe the desire to make something original and NOT buy a plastic costume is genetic? :)

PS Go eat a little chocolate for me!

Mary Ann said...

My childhood memories of Halloween must have taken place on another planet, for back in the '50s in my neighborhood kids by the dozen roamed alone with paper sacks. One family gave homemade caramel popcorn balls wrapped in Saran Wrap. Still do. Each year we bugged the hell out of the School Sisters of Notre Dame in their convent, and then we ran through the lit churchyard to ring the doorbell of the Redemptorist priests' rectory. Ran wildly, freely, probably flew a bit, too. Grown-ups handed out unwrapped candy sometimes, and that was all right, too. I swear that I do not recall an adult ever having to walk the All Hallows Eve night with us, for on that planet we were safe. No one thought of apple-hidden razor blades, for man was still unfallen there. Sigh. We mostly dressed as ghosts from sheets bought cheaply at the local Goodrich rubber plant. (I am not making this up. My mother bought her Keds there.) There were sixty-five kids on our block alone and hundreds more zooming around us from a few streets away. The night lasted a million years, and then we straggled home to dump out our treats and gloat over our loot. Whatatime! Happy All Saints Day today.

Patresa Hartman said...

hobo! yes! i was a hobo, too. but never a gypsy. that must have been a beautiful costume!

i'd be happy to send you some of our leftover halloween candy. oy!

Kathryn Magendie said...

P - I'm waiting *tap tap tap tap* laughing...

Mary Ann! That is just the kind of thing you need to be writing-you storytell SO very well. :-)

*hi ang and barb BOO!*

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