Memoirs: Halloween Memories

It seems strange to be thinking about Halloween in the middle of spring. I look out my window and watch the finches and chickadees raise chicks like a Ford production line. Even the red-tailed hawks are getting into the business of raising chicks. They are successfully raising two out of three. The third chick fell out of the nest during a huge windstorm. But, I digress.

It was 1966. We had lived in San Francisco until my father decided that it was not the environment for his three little girls. When my parents decided to make a break from California, they were not too worried about my schooling. I was in kindergarten. We had just finished learning the “hokie pokie.” We took naps and had treats and ran our fingers through the paint. I don’t even remember learning how to write my name. Let’s say that it was more a play group than a classroom.

I don’t know all the whys and wherefores. Just that my parents sold everything except for the basics, which they packed into two cars. They drove from San Francisco to Salt Lake City where my grandparents were living. Once there, my parents started looking for a home, jobs, and my mother took a trip to Idaho for her father’s funeral. I think she took my two sisters because that Halloween I was alone with my grandma, grandpa, and my uncle.

My uncle was fifteen. Today, you would have called him the surprise or “oops” baby. As soon as I saw my uncle, I loved him. I followed him around all day long. At fifteen, he had long hair, wrote bad poetry and songs, and pretty much tried to look like a hippy. My father who was several years older was not impressed with his baby brother. My father found the hippy movement scary, while my uncle seemed to want to be a part of it. There was a few tense moments. But, I was five. What did I know?

My grandmother was busy baking cookies and treats for Halloween. She had helped me find a cute little costume, probably a gypsy costume. I either wanted to be a gypsy or a pirate long before the “Pirates of the Caribbean.” My uncle was told that his job was to keep me out of trouble. It was no trouble for me.

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