Halloween: Tradition

The Cast: Memories (mine).

A story should be here. I like stories.

The other day I was talking with my youngest, and while we talked we somehow got around to Halloween (sure, it is that time of year, but, we did not start on that topic). While this talk evolved and moved about different subjects, I was surprised at what memories came to mind. Many of which were oriented around Halloween and this time of year. I love this time of year.

For as long as I can remember I have loved this season of holidays. One of my earliest costume recollections is of me as the dreaded vampire Dracula. Another time I was Luke Skywalker (Episode IV). For this, I use my brother’s karate tunic and ace bandages wrapped about my lower legs to replicate the boots (I looked cool). Years later I would be Indiana Jones—because he is cool.

Halloween, 6th Grade.
Me on the left and Miles Buechler on the right.

As a teen, Casey Jones was a popular selection—given my preferred late-night activity of choice. I’ve even done that one a few times as an adult. Good times… During a couple of years, my family dressed up in theme. Once, we were the Avengers. Another year, the Justice League. Those were very good times since the whole family worked together. I recall one year where I was Han Solo and my dog was Chewbacca (we strapped a light-weight bowcaster to his harness). And, of course, Batman has been a reoccurring event. So much fun.

My wife as April O’Neil and Myself as Casey Jones.
From left to right: My son Zander as Bruce Banner/Hulk, my wife as Black Widow, my other son Ender as Iron Man, myself as Captain America, my youngest daughter as Thor (Athora), my oldest daughter Sarah as Hawkeye.
Myself as Batman. I wore this to a coworker’s son’s birthday party (her request) and he cried. Everyone else was fine and had pictures taken.

One of the best parts of all this is that my children have really gotten into Halloween. Some more than others. But, it has become a family event in a way. Not just another holiday. Not just an opportunity to knock on doors and collect free candy. It’s a time to have fun together. It’s a time to pretend and enjoy being maybe a little more ‘yourself’ than you normally would get to be. Maybe I’m just too much of a child at heart, but I really enjoy watching my children and now my grandchild get into the spirit of Halloween.

My grandson as a baby shark.

Referring back to earlier, I was surprised as to what memories surfaced. I had a recollection of a year where I slowly dressed into my costume throughout the day (yes, you read that sentence correctly). What I did was this: Because Halloween fell on a weekday, on that particular year, and I had to attend work, I put on khaki slacks and a light green shirt. I then wore a dark brown jacket and my fedora for my arrival to work at the middle school. Then, when I went to work at the university—later that day—I added my tan tie and put my lecture things in a satchel. Side note: A student thought this was so cool she asked to send a picture to her mom because her mom loves Indiana Jones. It went over well. When I got home, I added my whip and gun. Costume complete. And, it was a more realistic costume than anyone realized because, like Dr. Jones, I’m a teacher. Part-time.

My Indiana Jones clothes. Also known as Casual Friday wear.

I guess what I’m taking too long to say is that I love Halloween. I love the cooler air. I love the changing leaves. I love that people (of all ages) can pretend and not be judged. And hopefully, you understand what I mean by that. On any given day of the week if you saw an adult man in a pink tutu you would judge him to some degree or another. Whether judging is right or wrong to do is not the point. The point is that man would be judged. But, on Halloween, it’s a different story altogether. That’s the part I love. People, just getting to be ‘free’ in a way that they don’t normally get to be.

One of my dreams is world peace. Like when someone asks me what I want for Christmas I say, “World peace.” then I smile and they stop talking because they don’t know how to respond (I ask for it every year). Now, how that occurs and what is tolerated to have world peace creates a whole new set of problems—which is probably why we are not there yet. But, on Halloween, I honestly think that we are closer to being there than any other day of the year. Children have fun. There’s candy. Parents play along (and have fun too). There’s candy. The kids have fun. Candy. There is make-believe everywhere. I love it. Anyway, take some time to play and enjoy yourself this year. Take time to play. It’s supposed to happen. Play is one of those things that people don’t do enough of. Play. Be safe. Have fun. Happy Halloween.

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