“The farther we’ve gotten from the magic and mystery of our past, the more we’ve come to need Halloween.”

My back is pure misery. I grab things so I can move from room to room. I keep wishing for a Star Trek doctor with his medical tricorder to knock at the door and with one button take the pain away. I guess I’ll just have to keep wishing.

We are again blessed with a warm, sunny day. The house is even cooler than outside. The blue sky is striking. I figure I’ll make my way to the deck in a bit to enjoy the day.

When I was a kid, we always carved pumpkins. I loved to pull out what we always called the pumpkin guts. Every year the pumpkins looked the same when we were done. They had triangle eyes and a triangle nose and a wide grin with a few teeth up and down. The pumpkins went on the front steps. We’d put in real candles and light them. The wind was always blowing them out, but we’d keep lighting them. There is something magical about lit pumpkins grinning in the darkness.

We loved being afraid, not actually afraid but afraid of scary stories we knew weren’t real. My dad told great stories. We all know the hook. I swear it is a universal story. Small parts of it change, but the hook is always on the car door.

I remember walking on the sidewalks and seeing my shadow. It looked tall and eerie this time of year. Add the sound of my footsteps, and I’d keep an eye out to make sure I wasn’t being followed. I never was, but my imagination worked overtime. Ghosts flew.

I still love the old black and white horror movies. They were always on this time of year. When Dracula hid his face with his cape, we knew, without seeing it, that he was about to bite some poor victim. Renfield was one of my favorite characters. He’d do his master’s bidding and eat flies to keep up his strength. Bela Lugosi had the best voice. Frankenstein wasn’t as scary as Dracula. The doctor’s creation never really had a chance. One of my favorite scenes is when the villagers carrying torches and pitchforks follow their dogs to where the monster is. I always felt bad for Larry Talbot who turns into the Wolfman. His fate was decided by Bela, the Gypsy. I still love these movies. Lots of blood and slashers do nothing for me.

I am resting my back today, not that I need an excuse to be a sloth.

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10 Comments on ““The farther we’ve gotten from the magic and mystery of our past, the more we’ve come to need Halloween.””

  1. Bob Says:

    Sorry to hear about your back. A friend of mine has been getting back pain relief from an electronic muscle relaxer. He has been using an external one and he will be having one implanted in his body.

    When I was a kid we did the same as you with pumpkins. It made a mess and as a result I hate anything made with the stuff. I especially hate pumpkin pie. To me it tastes like baby food baked in a pie. We bought my kids the plastic ones that they carried around to collect candy while trick or treating. No mess and reusable. Thank goodness they have pretty much outgrown trick or treating. In our old neighborhood kids from the souronding apartments invaded to beg for better candy. Like criminals they go where the money is located. 🙂 Thankfully, my condo complex is inhabited by lot’s of retired folks and the kids haven’t come around here on Halloween in the last two years. Hopefully, this year will be the same.

    When I was a kid there was a small family cemetery in our neighborhood and we always ran past the place while trick or treating in our costumes. No problem during the rest of the year.

    Last night the cold front came through in the middle of the night. This morning the clouds dissappated and the sky is clear with a cool high temperatures of seventy four degrees. Autumn has arrived temporarily. 🙂

    • katry Says:

      Bob,
      I have had surgery 3 times, physical therapy and two shots, neither of which did any good so I am skeptical of trying something new.

      I can take or leave pumpkin pie, but I do like sweet potato pie and custard pie. My mother never made pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving. I used to use a pillow slip for my candy haul. I gave my 3 grand-nephews and my grand-niece reusable bags which light up at night. I don’t ever mind giving out candy. I loved seeing the costumes, and I remember how fun. it was to trick or treat when I was a kid. In the last few years the number of kids has gone up. I give out full size bars to older kids and Halloween pencils to the little kids.

      I’d have run too. On Halloween the door between the dead and the living opens at least that’s what I imagined.

      A couple of places in the state hit 80˚ today while much o the state was in the low 70’s. We call that a hot spell.

      • Bob Says:

        I never has sweet potato pie. It’s a staple in the Deep South. I want to come to your house. Full size candy bars is the way to go.

      • katry Says:

        Bob,
        You should hear the kids’ excitement when they see the big bars. I always get what I like in case of leftovers. When I talked to my sister today, she also mentioned getting the big bars, which used to be 5 cents when we were kids. We called them nickel bars.

      • Bob Says:

        A full size piece of candy hasn’t cost a nickel in a very, very long time. Halloween is the holiday most awaited by dentists and candy manufacturers. 🙂

        The Cowboys showed up in San Francisco and beat the 49ers 40 to 10. The NFL is still trying to suspend Zeke Elliott for supposed girlfriend abuse when the police didn’t even arrest him. I guess the NFL will take it to the Supreame Court. 🙁

      • katry Says:

        Bob,
        We knew year to year which houses gave nickel bars and we’d hit them all. We’d avoid the apple houses except the ones which put coins in the apples.

        Dentists and candy manufacturers are not as happy with Halloween as with Easter when Americans shell out more cash for candy than they do on Halloween.

  2. Caryn Says:

    Hi Kat,
    Sorry that your back is acting up. It sounds bad if you’re having to hang on to things to get around. Take it easy.

    I don’t remember carving pumpkins as a kid. We drew a lot of pumpkins on orange construction paper and gave them eyes and a mouths cut out of black construction paper. I did the waxed paper leaves. I even preserved leaves in melted wax which was a little messy, (and a bit dangerous too, if you weren’t careful).

    The weather up here is beautiful again today. Late May weather. The trees are mostly green with spots of color showing up. It’s a bit weird.

    Enjoy the evening.

    • katry Says:

      Hi Caryn,
      I woke up several times during the night. I think I moaned and woke myself up.

      Just the opposite, we never made construction paper pumpkins. I loved construction paper. I even have a few packages here now. You never know when construction paper will come in handy.

      The weather is definitely weird and will continue the next few days, but I’m not complaining. I love each and every day.

      Have a great evening!


  3. Check this out, Kat, brand new on one of my fave Hollywood history podcasts: http://www.youmustrememberthispodcast.com/episodes/2017/10/16/bela-and-boris-episode-1-where-the-monsters-came-from

    Hoping your back feels better soon, R

    • katry Says:

      R.
      Thanks so much. I have bookmarked the link and have already listened to the podcast on the page from the link. Bela Lugosi was a handsome young man.

      Thanks, I have rested the back all day, even took a nap. I am less of a question mark.


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