Sunday, October 19, 2008

31 Days of Halloween: A Halloween Memory

The Voodoo Queen and I are still on the road-- have been since Thursday, having driven to Iowa to attend a memorial for my friend, artist Linda Miller-- but there is a free computer for customers at the hotel I'm in tonight. So I'd like to share a Halloween memory sent to me by horror author Amy Grech, who has a new anthology out titled Apple of My Eye. Here it is:

Candy Corn Memories

"Halloween has always been my favorite holiday. Growing up, I relished Halloween’s approach even more than Christmas. Santa had nothing on Halloween with jack-o-’lanterns, costumes and candy…

"My elementary school hosted a 'ragamuffin parade' each Halloween. My friends and I got to dress up in our Halloween costumes. I remember some of the boys went as members of the band Kiss, with black and white make-up and all.

"Possessing an overactive imagination and embracing my dark side at a very early age, one year, I decided to be an octopus. Somehow, my father altered a rather large cardboard box so that it had a round top and a frayed bottom to represent tentacles. We painted it black and added silver for contrast around the eye, nose, mouth and arm holes. It was very hard to walk in that cardboard concoction—I almost toppled over several times—but I managed to hold my ground and won the prize for most creative costume that year, a plastic pumpkin filled with candy!

"This year, you’ll find me at the NYC Halloween Parade in Greenwich Village. Just look for the girl with skeleton hands!"


Amy's memory of struggling with her bulky costume brings back for me another memory: reading about the character Scout struggling with her giant ham costume in the novel To Kill a Mockingbird. A pleasant association, and it also reminded me of wearing heavy, sweat-inducing masks when I was a kid out trick-or-treating.

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