Wednesday, October 30, 2013
Halloween Memories, by Charlene Farnsworth
Over the years, I have become disenchanted with Halloween. That is probably because my childhood memories are that of dressing up as a pleasant personality—one that made you smile rather than wince. This may have been a storybook princess, a cartoon character or perhaps a cute animal. My early and midlife adult memories are also of a more calming approach to Halloween. Then more frightful figures were introduced and became quite popular. Each year, the costumes, masks and makeup are more gory, which adds to my discomfort at Halloween.
Some vacation spots have annual shows with a Halloween theme. Knott’s Berry Farm has “Knott’s Scary Farm,” Universal Studios has “Horror Nights,” and the Queen Mary has “Dark Harbor.” The ghouls and goblins are lurking here and there and jump out at their “prey” unexpectedly and are often disfigured, dripping with blood and missing various body parts. It amazes me that people actually pay to be subjected to such fright. This also entails enduring heavy traffic around and long lines within these locales.
Thankfully, my parents took an everlasting photograph of me in my favorite Halloween costume. I was Little Bo Peep, and Mom fashioned my frilly dress from some kitchen curtains that she had replaced. Dad skillfully handcrafted the shepherd's crook.
Another fond childhood memory is how much my brother Jim and I enjoyed trick-or-treating at Mr. and Mrs. Woodmansee’s house on our block. This was because they always passed out the bigger-and-better nickel candy bars instead of the usual penny candies.
One would never know that Halloween is not my favorite holiday by what I do each year. I assemble well over 100 candy packages for the door-to-door visitors, family members and friends. Before Halloween, I personally deliver some of the treats to favorite children in my neighborhood. Have you ever heard of home delivery to the trick-or-treaters? It is also tradition for me to take these treats to my friend Steve's home some distance away because he has many more trick-or-treaters from his neighborhood and church than I do.
In my senior years, the Halloween season seems to be too long and way too commercial. For my preservation, I always avoid the store aisles with the gruesome masks and various body parts. I think I’ll stick to my more calming homemade treats and cheery "Casper the Friendly Ghost" for my Halloween entertainment.