Sunday, October 31, 2010

Hallow'een Memory-ShellHawk/Mistress of Mayhem

I hate to disappoint people. It's a personal quirk that has gotten me into trouble from time to time when I over commit myself instead of being sane and saying, "no." Psychotic need to please and make people happy. Urgh.

I really hate to disappoint my readers. I had planned (although I use the term very loosely-it was more in the neighborhood of a fleeting thought) to unearth a great Hallowe'en memory to share with you all, and actually get myself together enough to do a vlog post-my very first-about it. But I ran into what is a very personal problem for me, and has been since I was a kid.

I have a crappy memory.

Seriously. I envy people who can remember every costume since they were five. That's just not me. The picture above was taken in 1973, when I was five, and I have only the vaguest tickle at the back of my mind of the details of the night we went skating in Hallowe'en costumes. It's very disappointing.

What I do have, though, is a kind of emotional memory about Hallowe'en in general, rather than one about a particular Hallowe'en.

My Hallowe'ens sort of run together in a stew of cold, windy nights, because this time of year is when the Santa Ana wind conditions prevail in Los Angeles. Sycamore trees dropped their leaves and brought that very particular sharp scent with them, and crackled under our feet. (I remember playing in the schoolyard one year, and the wind was so strong that it could support my child's body weight and shove me around at will.)

I remember that every year, my elementary school would have a Hallowe'en carnival, though I couldn't tell you exactly what was in the booths for games. We would all dress up in costume, even the teachers, and walk around the transformed playground looking for sweets. I'm sure they're not allowed to do that anymore. This is politically correct California, after all.

I remember every year, my dad would sit down with me and carve a pumpkin.
He always helped us choose a great pumpkin, and it always seemed really huge to me. I think we stopped carving together in my late teen years, which made his visit and pumpkin carving last Hallowe'en really special to me.
I think this is the part where he asked, "Are we having fun, yet?" I replied, "No. We're having a family experience."

The teenage years were consumed with a worship of Adam and the Ants, so my costumes changed a little. Antfan, 1984, below.
I went through a period of not taking pictures for a while, so no "costumes through the years" montage to share.

I did keep up with my dad's pumpkin carving tradition through the years, though prop building didn't come in earnest until three years ago, with the building of Stewie. The general good feeling of Hallowe'en increased as I realized I would be able to provide kids with a great Hallowe'en memory of their own. The other day, one of the neighborhood boys knocked on my door and thanked me for doing such a great job on my Hallowe'en display. He had that look of admiration in his eye.

Perhaps that spark can be fanned a bit, and he can be part of the next generation of haunters and Hallowe'en fanatics.

Thank you to all the wonderful members of the Hallowe'en community who took the time to be part of this series of special memories. I know all of you had very busy schedules, and that makes you participation even more cherished!

Happy Hallowe'en everyone! Keep passing the torch.


  1. Nothing wrong with those memories at all! I don't remember specifics about Halloween but I do remember the general 'feeling' which is what I hold dear.

    Love Adam and the Ants, I'll have to dig up the picture when I dressed like Adam Ant for Halloween when I worked at Piggly Wiggly back in 1983!

    Happy Halloween Shell!!!

  2. Thanks for sharing all the memories :) Happy Halloween.

  3. You nailed it, so many of them are blurred,just fleeting images. It's when you put the whole thing together that the real picture of Halloween come to focus.

  4. Thanks my dear that was more than fun. Your blog is a constant source of inspiration, and again you did not disappoint :)

    And thanks to everyone for sharing.

    Here is to next year!


  5. I'm totally diggin' the Adam Ant thing! I wanna see more pics of that!!! C'mon ShellHawk...stand and deliver! (okay, that was lame, but I couldn't resist)


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