Thursday, October 27, 2016

Bittersweet Trick-Or-Treat

Who am I?*

Most childhood Halloweens mush together in the SJG brain. I vaguely remember a princess stage, a Hobo stage, and that's about it. I'm sure I dressed up, I'm sure I ate too much candy, but the rest is a big Abba Zabba blur. I'm more sentimental about my extended door-answering phase. As a teen SJG, I loved handing out candy. Loved it. The cute kiddy costumes. The parents waiting at the bottom of the steps. This was my idea of pure gooey fun. Still is.

Memories of opening the door on Halloween stick with me more than anything else about the holiday. I'm sure this has to do with the fact that the SJG is a giver. A giver, I tell you. How many times must I remind you? I like to give. Candy. Unsolicited advice. Directions. Easy-to-return gifts. Extra helpings of kugel. But back to Halloween. My favorite memory of all time? I was in 11th grade. It was 1974. I opened the front door, expecting a few trick-or-treaters. What I found instead was this:
The Uni High Marching Band 1974
 Steve Kaplan, second row, long hair, with drum mallet
The entire Uni High Marching Band spread out across our front lawn. And there was my cousin Steve Kaplan (alav hashalom) grinning back at me. I think of Steve every Halloween. If only I could open the door and find him there in his band uniform, smiling at me. That would be sweeter than any Snickers Bar or Reese's Peanut Butter Cup.

(*spooky ex-governor of Alaska)


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