Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Halloween in Marblehead (Don Oja-Dunaway)

Halloween is not my favorite holiday (that would be Thanksgiving!) by any stretch... but I've always enjoyed it - from the time I was a small child living in suburbia, I loved the ritual of my father walking me around the neighborhood to trick-or-treat, while my mom stayed home to hand out candy. I participated in my share of costume parties in high school and college - my husband and I attended one the first Halloween we were married, with the theme of Come As Your Favorite Dead Person (unique, eh?). There was Marilyn Monroe, Harpo Marx, Thurmond Munson, Jimi Hendrix, etc. - Robert was dressed as Generalissimo Francisco Franco (a running joke on the popular Saturday Night Live back then - "GFF is still dead!") and I was Billie Holiday, complete with the ever-present gardenia behind one ear.

In my 8 years of teaching preschool and four years as a director, it was a matter of course to dress up: Dorothy (duh!), Mother Nature, a gypsy and a beautiful rich woman (since I never wear make-up, this was more elaborate than it sounds) - I do believe my piece de resistance was the year I masqueraded as Tina Turner (obviously not at the preschool) after I found a great blond spiky wig at a neighorhood garage sale (rollin' on the river indeed... :-)

My children always came up with something original and fun - we liked to make our own outfits, supplemented with accessories bought end-of-season (vampire fangs for a dime, a witch hat for $1.00), accumulated over the years and stored in the Halloween box on the top shelf of the garage - I took great joy in escorting my own children around the neighborhood (while my husband stayed behind to pass out candy) and was devastated the year Eric (our youngest) declared he had no need for parental companionship any longer and, following in his older brother's and sister's footsteps, ventured out with friends.

For the last six years, it's been my turn to hand out treats... which I do love, complimenting each little one on their adorability (should be a word if it's not) - our front posts are decorated with ceramic jack-o-lanterns with candles inside, on the door is a fall wreath and from the porch eaves dangles our wooden Halloween wind chimes, which we've had *forever*, making a wonderful clattering sound in the breeze...

So... the Reese's peanut butter cups are bought and I'll leave work a bit early tomorrow to make sure I'm on hand when the first costumed kiddo comes to call - if the weather holds, we'll average 100 or so spooky visitors. Even Rocky looks forward to the evening, perching on the back of the couch so he can watch the comings and goings - Happy Halloween!

P.S. No matter what they say, I still believe candy corn is the most disgusting treat on the planet - yuck!

SONG: Halloween in Marblehead by Don Oja-Dunaway

BOOK: The Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury

POEM: Superstitious by Shel Silverstein

If you are superstitious
you'll never step on cracks.
When you see a ladder
you will never walk beneath it.
And if you ever spill some salt
you'll throw some 'cross your back,
And carry' round a rabbit's foot
just in case you need it.

You'll pick up any pin that you find lying on the ground,
And never, never, ever throw your hat upon the bed,
Or open an umbrella when you are in the house.
You'll bite your tongue each time you say
A thing you shouldn't have said.

You'll hold your breath and cross your fingers
Walkin' by a graveyard,
And number thirteen's never gonna do you any good.
Black cats will all look vicious, if you're superstitious,
But I'm not superstitious (knock on wood).

QUOTE(S): "There is nothing that gives more assurance than a mask." ~ Colette

"Clothes make a statement. Costumes tell a story." ~ Mason Cooley


  1. You made an awesome Tina!

    And do you recall my Shel Silverstein/Lindsey story? *wink*

  2. Hey, M ~

    I look back with pride to my Tina years - she's always made a wonderful role model!

    Now I'm the one with a terrible memory - I do not recall the Shel Silverstein/Lindsey story... so I will call you later to get the scoop... :-)