"'I am about to relive
childhood vicariously through my own child, and I have no idea
what sort of adventure that's going to be...'
So said I just two short
and Yes! As my mother has already alluded to, it has happened!!!
I am at a rather advanced age a brand new father!"
So said I just over a year
ago! I now naturally have a bit more of an idea of just what
sort of adventure it is, as I'm living it now. And, as all proud
fathers will tell you, it is indescribably wonderful, mindboggling
and joyful, and is absolutely not recommended for anyone who
I seem to recall also saying
that around age two my daughter would discover the word "no".
Well, that's just happened
a year early. And not only does this possible future thespian
delight in regaling all of us with her proficient ability to
shout "NO" over and over again, but she has taken to
making the most monstrous of angry little faces to accompany
Ah, daddy's girl...
Anyway, little Clara was a
bat for Halloween 2007. This year, I'm pretty sure she's going
to be a Wonder Pet. And I cannot as a result help but recall
my own treasured recollections of this most delightful of holidays.
My only Canoga Park memory
of Halloween is from 1960 we were about to move to a mysterious
place called the "South Bay" and I remember wondering
if they even had trick-or-treating there.
Naturally, they did, and it
was wonderful. I remember one neighbor who would film their ghoulish
visitors yearly, and come next Halloween the home movies of the
previous year's festivities would be screened on a window next
to the front door which would of course have been far
more interesting if any of us could ever remember what costume
we'd worn the previous year.
I remember a classmate from
elementary school who would always bring in a wonderful looking
record put out by the "Famous Monsters of Filmland"
people, and every year we would wait with baited breath to listen
to what wondrous horrific incantations were sure to emanate from
the turntable and every year we would end up scratching
our heads, since the record was essentially indecipherable
you really could not tell what those people were talking about!
I finally found that record
a few years ago, and it's true the thing is impossible
My last childhood memory of
Halloween remains the most poignant, and involves my Mom (Sheryl
to you). It was Halloween of 1971, and I was going out with a
couple of friends to seek out parties. I was in my early teens,
and my parents had given me very reluctant permission to do so,
but it was clear that they were not altogether happy about it.
At any rate, while waiting
for my friends to arrive, I was listening to the radio on headphones.
Dad had just upgraded to stereo, and in those days I would spend
a lot of time listening to the "alternate rock" FM
The station I tuned into was
not playing its ordinary fare. Instead, I was treated to eerie
music, punctuated by the sound of some ghastly old hags reciting
the witch scene from "Macbeth", and giving way to a
most amusingly sinister sounding Vincent Price, who proceeded
to elaborate lovingly on the ancient rites of witchcraft...
I was, as I said, in my early
teens, and spooky Halloween stuff was definitely for the younger
set, and yet well, I was moved, and intrigued, and all
I wanted to do was listen and explore and give in to my "childish"
desire to indulge in the spookier aspects of the holiday.
Mom accosted me shortly thereafter,
informing me that I could still elect to stay at home. I naturally
refused I was a teenager, I had a world to figure out,
I had mySELF to figure out, I had to get out there and be cool...
And I have never told her,
so she is reading and learning this right now (which is highly
appropriate as I am now dealing with my own child who is easily
as stubborn and sensitive as I was) but:
Mom, you don't even know how
much I secretly wanted to stay home that night, and NOT be cool
and NOT go out gallivanting, but only stay home, make popcorn,
see the trick-or-treaters, watch something scary on tv...
Oh, that would have been heaven!
I wanted to tell you then, but, being 15, couldn't.
I always think of that night
at this time of year.
And, for the record, I had
a really boring evening going out...
And I hope Clara June reads
this before she hits her teens and learns from Daddy's mistakes.
And I hope you all have the
most wonderful Halloween ever, and we'll see you in November!