The back of the picture simply reads "My Halloween Party 1970." I still remember Emily, Gigi, Norell, Diane, and Anita. One is easy, Sister is right there, left front.
One of the scary things about this pic is that I remember getting ready for the party. And I decided to go as a zombie. My favorite costume was always a gypsy. I remember driving to my grandparents and the curve in the road where the gypsy camp was set up, when my parents were young. Traveling with my Daddy was always an adventure. He was famous for reading every sign
But in 1970 I didn't want to dress up as a gypsy. I chose to paint my face with lipstick and wear a white sheet. A Zombie ahead of my time.
My mother knows how to throw a party. And she has always been very clever, as is every good mother. My father was not at the party. He was doing something else, getting ready to scare the living daylights out of ten year old girls.
Our last little bit of entertainment involved going out to our garage. My mother had hung old sheets across the door opening. A single candle was lit on the middle of the floor. She had found a poem at the library, in the old days when a person had to seriously research ideas and not copy off of Pinterest. The storytelling began, a sad tale about a man. I don't remember the story as much as I do the things she passed around while telling the story. She had blown out the light but the porch light reflected out to the garage. His eyeballs were cold peeled grapes. She passed around his spine, which was wooden spools linked together. There were all kinds of gross body parts. And at the very end of the tale, my father came running into the garage as screaming girls were heard all over town when we jumped up, running all over in the semi-dark. Crying and screaming are good indicators of success. I have always had the reputation for doing both, well.
1980. Ten years later. Once again, Sister is on the left, dressed as The Farmer's Daughter. Pam and Andrea are to my right. And I was going for a different look. I was taking Art that semester as a requirement for my degree. We all made paper machie masks just in time for Halloween. I got an A. It was a super fun project. I used my lovely, original mask and came up with the idea of being Candy Kane. I'm wearing a satiny tuxedo shirt over black fishnet stockings and my black Capezio dance shoes. Obviously, we all had fun with our costumes and the chance to be campy and slightly risqué.
The scariest person at the party was Burt. I took a few friends upstairs to see my family. My parents were there (I was living in their basement) and my three grandparents. Burt had purchased the most horrible mask possible, a very creepy, leering, wrinkly, bald headed old man with long flowing grey hair. He was dressed like a bum, carrying a paper bag with a bottle inside. He would drink from the bottle in the sack and then cosy over to you. Hideous. I know he scared one of my grandmothers because I can guarantee she had never seen anything like that before. I never told her he was the man I married. From then on, he had to ask permission to bring that ugly thing out of the trunk. I hate it. Maybe it has rotted by now.
Halloween makes me sentimental, remembering all the fun times running across the yards in our little part of town, knocking on the doors of thousands of houses. All the bad things we didn't know about as we trick or treated, unencumbered with parents or cell phones. We did return home and empty our pumpkins out on the kitchen table, watching Daddy pick out a piece or two, just in case. Going to bed before Halloween was over, listening to the older kids yelling, running up and down the street, the neighborhood dogs barking at children running in the leaves. Lying in the bed, looking at the orange globe full of candy.
I'm off to purchase good chocolate candy, maybe wearing my turquoise wig. We shall see. Last year was the first time I didn't hand out candy. But the porch light will be on this year and a nice veggie soup or chicken curry will be on the stove for the grown-ups living here. And I won't mind the doorbell ringing off the wall. I'll just remember the fun they are having when I open the door, definitely in my turquoise wig by then, and scoop out a handful of Reese's Peanut Butter cups and Snicker's. No tricks at this address.