Gulf Shores

Gulf Shores
Photographer Patricia Gulick

Friday, March 14, 2014

10-25-13 RMB Scary Fun

10-25-13 RMB Scary Fun

Dear Rita Mae Brown,

To celebrate the upcoming Halloween evening, on this Friday night, I took the boys, my trio of nephews, to an event called Trunk or Treat. Old cars that gather regularly along a major thoroughfare of the city known as El Cajon, open their trunks on this evening to supply candy to children and adults alike. A fair, complete with bumper cars and rides that swing their riders around in carriages, has set up camp. 

There are haunted campers to walk through and vendors of culinary delights like cotton candy, hot dogs and hot chocolate on this chili night. Oh yeah, there are chili dogs too.

Live bands play at every corner and the music booms over strategically placed speakers. Visitors are encouraged to come up to a “stage”, which is really a set of steps leading up to some city government building, and dance or sing along with the entertainers.

The boys are in costumes, a mix of various costumes really. One was mostly ninja, another more a pirate and the eldest, a zombie.

I find it interesting that the four of us are drawn to a band that sings the blues. An elderly black man crooning the crowd captivates my white boys’ attention. We sit and listen. And we watch a little, bold, girl child dance in the space twix entertainer and audience.

It is light enough to see immediate surroundings, as dusk turns to night and street lights alight, but it is dark enough to be fun and sometime eerie, in the midst of man-made fog, creeping along the street and adults equally costumed, as zombies and rock stars pass by. There was even a Grinch.

A work mate invited us. She and her husband frequent the car show, displaying their own vehicle sometimes. She has a reserve of candy set aside for “our” boys and is happy to see we made it to the show-party. At a few year older than I, she is one of the biggest kids I know, up in the ranks of my sister, my Rita. On this night, she reminds me to be young again too.

We all crafted a good memory tonight, the boys, myself, the little girl that danced, the man that moved us with song, and my friends, all of us in our community. The walk a handful of blocks from our car to the event, built excitement, and the walk back afterward solidified our bond as adventurers into a night of scary fun.

In your books you describe several Halloween festivities, community and families becoming one. On this night I experienced it. On this night, for a little while, I was a kid too.



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