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Linda Lange

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Member Since: May, 2012

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Blogs by Linda Lange

HALLOWEEN AS IT USED TO BE
10/29/2013 2:31:18 PM    [ Flag as Spam or Inappropriate ]

The magic is gone for me, but the memories are fun.
I loved Halloween when I was a child. When I still believed in ghosts and monsters, it was an evening of magic and adventure. What creatures might lurk behind the next bush? If someone was burning leaves—no laws against it then—the rising smoke, glowing embers, and pungent odor added mystery and enchantment to the night.

I was an only child and lived on a busy highway, so for years I would go to a playmate’s home for trick-or-treating. I would caper in the dark through the unfamiliar neighborhood. Although I had no intention of playing a trick on anyone who didn’t ply me with candy, it was intriguing to think that for one night, I had a license to be naughty.

Running wild through the night was the holiday’s hallmark. In my neighborhood today, trick-or-treating is a regimented affair. A siren—the same one that announces tornadoes and other disasters—blows promptly at 6:00 to begin the festivities and again at 8:00 to end them. Because Daylight Savings Time has been extended into November, and Cincinnati is on the western edge of its time zone, the skies remain light through much of the mandated begging time. Of course it’s safer, but it can’t be as much fun.

The first year my friend invited me to join her, I was unprepared. Fortunately, my parents allowed me to cut eyeholes in an old sheet and dress up as a ghost. After that I would go early each October to the five-and-dime to select my costumes, relishing the silky feel of the flimsy fabrics, grimacing as the outfits shed glitter. My earliest masks in the 1950s predated plastic ones—they were made from a burlap-like fabric, stiffened, molded, and painted.

I don’t remember my parents ever checking my haul for contaminants or sharp objects. In those days before a few bad apples spoiled it for all of us, I ate whatever I received. Homemade popcorn balls were a special treat. I remember one candy, endemic to Halloween, that I never knew before or since—large chunks of cheap taffy, choking hazards for sure, wrapped in orange or black waxed paper. I didn’t care much for these, and they generally languished in the bottom of my bag until I gnawed at them out of desperation or glumly threw the petrified things out.

I also miss Halloweens when my son was small. His birthday is October 29, so his grandmother would join us for a week-long celebration. At age two, he strode out into the night for the first time as a tiny Incredible Hulk, only to cling to me in tears when he encountered older kids dressed as vampires. But he soon learned to appreciate the fun. For years his parties featured costumed guests and scary movies.

One year he claimed, from an outdated video store promotion, an almost life-sized cardboard figure of Freddy Krueger from the Nightmare on Elm Street films. Although my son has moved far away, Freddy remains a permanent part of our Halloween décor. Meanwhile, my son organizes horror-movie festivals in his new hometown of Seattle—and writes, directs, and produces his own gory and raunchy slasher-film parodies.

Although much of the magic of Halloween is gone for me, I still enjoy my recollections. Times are different, but I hope today’s kids are able to find their own Halloween magic and memories.


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More Blogs by Linda Lange
•  HALLOWEEN AS IT USED TO BE - Tuesday, October 29, 2013  
• IT'S HER BODY, BUT ... - Tuesday, October 22, 2013
• ARE OLD LADIES CUTE? - Tuesday, October 01, 2013
• NONE OF MY BUSINESS - Tuesday, September 24, 2013
• TOM BROWNING SAVED MY LIFE - Tuesday, September 10, 2013
• SOCIAL SECURITY? ME? - Saturday, August 17, 2013
• THE TOUGHEST LOVE - Saturday, July 27, 2013
• GET OVER IT? - Wednesday, July 17, 2013
• EULOGY FOR A SUPPER CLUB - Tuesday, July 02, 2013
• I DON'T LIKE TO SEE MY HEROES HURTING - Sunday, June 23, 2013
• MEMORIES IN A BOTTLE - Sunday, June 09, 2013
• CULTURE SHOCK IN A '13 CIVIC - Saturday, May 25, 2013
• BAMBI GO HOME - Saturday, May 04, 2013
• WHAT FAMILY DOES - Monday, April 29, 2013
• THE TALK - Tuesday, April 09, 2013
• I SAID "NO"! - Tuesday, April 02, 2013
• BOOMER LIT - Tuesday, March 05, 2013
• A PIECE OF MY LIFE, ON STAGE - Sunday, February 24, 2013
• I MISS NEWSPAPERS! - Tuesday, February 12, 2013
• SOMETHING TO HOLD ONTO - Tuesday, February 05, 2013
• SNOW DAY - Sunday, January 27, 2013
• KAEPERNICKING, OR YOU GOTTA HAVE A GIMMICK - Thursday, January 17, 2013
• STILL SO INTO THIS - Monday, January 14, 2013
• A NEW START FOR LILY AND ELLIE - Sunday, January 06, 2013
• REFLECTING ON MY 2012 - Monday, December 31, 2012
• HONEY, HAVE THE STEINBERGS PUT UP THEIR LIGHTS? - Thursday, December 20, 2012
• REQUIEM FOR TWO SPORTS BARS - Saturday, December 08, 2012
• THE YEAR WE WERE REALLY THANKFUL - Tuesday, November 20, 2012
• MY CREATIVE FOUNTAIN IS A CHLORINATED POOL - Sunday, November 18, 2012
• CIVIC DUTY? - Monday, November 05, 2012
• FOOTBALL FASHION - Monday, October 29, 2012
• GREEN TOMATOES - Sunday, October 21, 2012
• THIS BIG ONE DOESN'T NECESSARILY BITE - Sunday, October 14, 2012
• THE KNEECAP - Saturday, October 06, 2012
• THE ROAD NOT TAKEN - Sunday, September 23, 2012
• EDUCATION OF A NEWBIE AUTHOR: LUNCHEON SPEAKER - Sunday, September 16, 2012
• A QUIET DINNER - Saturday, September 08, 2012
• BATIK AND OLIVER COME HOME - Sunday, September 02, 2012
• ARTSTREET AND HOMETOWN PRIDE - Thursday, August 30, 2012
• OF FOOD, AND LOVE, AND LOVING FOOD - Sunday, August 19, 2012
• NEW BABY/NO PETS? - Sunday, August 05, 2012
• I HOPE I'LL KNOW - Sunday, July 29, 2012
• CONFESSIONS OF AN INTERNET JUNKIE - Sunday, July 15, 2012
• SECONDHAND SMOKE - Saturday, July 07, 2012
• BAY BEACH MEMORIES - Monday, July 02, 2012
• HAPPY ANNIVERSARY, TITLE IX! - Sunday, June 24, 2012
• THE CHAPTER MY HUSBAND MUSTN'T READ - Sunday, June 17, 2012
• JUNE, MOON, BRIDES AND ALL THAT - Sunday, June 03, 2012
• JESSE WHITTENTON RODE IN MY CAR - Thursday, May 24, 2012
• THE PACKERS HERITAGE TRAIL AND ME - Sunday, May 20, 2012
• THE HARDEST THING I'VE EVER HAD TO DO - Monday, May 14, 2012


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