© Copyright by David Lady
“Aww, COOL!” exclaimed Jody as Susan turned the page. The eight-year-old smiled broadly at the picture of his Aunt Susan, taken when she was about his age, dressed in an implausibly bright and colorful witch costume for Hallowe’en. “That was the first Hallowe’en costume your great-grandma ever made me,” smiled Susan, “and I drove my parents nuts with it! I wanted to wear it around even after Hallowe’en, I loved it so much.” “Did Grandma and Grandpa let you?” asked ten-year-old Tyler, who sat on the sofa with Susan and Jody. “Well, not much,” she answered. “They finally had to literally take it away from me, and make Grandma store it at her place.”
“Great-Grandma musta been cool”, declared Jody. “I wish we could got to meet her.”
“Boy, Aunt Sue, it’s weird to think of you being a little kid and trick-or-treating and stuff,” marveled Tyler.
Susan turned the next page in the photo album, revealing more pictures of her childhood Hallowe’en shenanigans.
“Now, I was seven when I got the witch dress you just saw,” she went on, “and that started the tradition. The next year, my Grandma made me this outfit for trick-or-treat night!”
Jody looked at the brown furry animal in the photo Susan was pointing to. “You were an Ewok, from Star Wars, right?” he asked confidently.
“An Ewok?”, she chuckled, “No, sorry, ‘BUUUZZZ!’–Do we have any more guesses?”
“I know it, it’s a raccoon, right?” asked Tyler.
“You got it, whiz kid, I was a raccoon to end all raccoons that year. . . complete with a big striped, fuzzy tail! Dad said it was a wonder one of the neighbors didn’t shoot me, running around dressed like that!”
“I know the next one!” Jody interrupted. “It’s a mermaid!”
“That was an easy one, Dick Tracy,” said Tyler, “Did ‘ja want to wear that one around all the time too, Aunt Sue?”
Susan looked longingly into the picture of herself at age nine.
“Not Really, Ty, that tail held my legs together, so I could only walk in little teeny steps. I’m afraid some of Great-Grandma’s ideas weren’t terribly practical. . .I sure did always have fun, though!” She turned to the next page, which showed four shots of a little girl in a blue and white outfit with an odd, six-pointed face mask.
“Then the year after that,” she went on, “I was a Snow Queen.”
“What’s a Snow Queen?” asked Jody.
“I was never sure, exactly,” replied Sue, “It was from some old fairy tale Grandma liked. . .I was just crazy about that beautiful costume, though.”
“Cool,” commented Jody.
Susan looked wistfully at the photos a moment longer and then heard the back door swing open, which meant her sister Barb and Barb’s husband Jack were home. Barb was dropping her keys back into her purse as she entered the room. “Hey, Susie-Q!–How’d it go?” she asked as the boys jumped off the sofa and bounded toward her for a hug. “Great, Barb. . . the boys were just humoring me by letting me talk about my misspent youth again,” Susan answered, closing the photo album and rising from her seat. Jack stuck his head into the room and waved. “Looks like your sentence is up, Sue,” he announced. The boys said goodnight to their aunt and followed their dad upstairs, ready to be put to bed.
“Thanks again for watching the guys, Sis,” said Barb as Susan put on her jacket. “No problem, Barb. . . they were great tonight,” she replied, “and I got to help get ’em all excited about it being almost Hallowe’en. . . We talked about costumes and dressing up and trick-or-treating almost the whole night.”
“That they don’t need any help with,” said Barb, rolling her eyes for emphasis. “They’ve been excited about Hallowe’en for weeks now. . . you should hear the way they flip out every time we see a plastic pumpkin or a paper skeleton at the mall. . .”