Thursday, November 12, 2009


Halloween is a most favorite holiday in my family. We all hand out candy and do the typical Halloween things. However, one of my sisters spends a couple of weeks getting ready for The Annual Event – her haunted house. This year was the best yet with grown men screaming in terror, women crying in fear, and teenage boys tripping over themselves in their haste to escape. All in the span of the 25 feet from the end of the driveway to the front door.

Oddly enough the littlest trick or treaters didn’t think it was scary at all. That the dummies on the front porch swing didn’t gently reach out to brush your hand as you walked past confident in your conclusion that they were only clothes stuffed with blankets. That the tall grotesque masked mannequin near the front door didn’t silently glide in behind you after you had already run the gauntlet to reach the safe place - the front door and the cute girl pirate with eye patch and pink tutu holding the holy grail of Halloween – the bucket of candy – to just be standing there, hovering, towering, when you turned around to leave. And that the bloodied doll lying in a crumpled heap on the driveway wouldn’t come to life by twitching an awkwardly bent foot or winking one glassy unfocused eye. Tempered for all ages with the level of scary reflecting the level of cockiness and attitude from the trick or treater. Her house is legend. Neighbors come back each year just to see what is new and if they can escape without needing a second pair of chonies.

But my most favorite part of Halloween is that it means the All Soul’s Procession is just a week away. The event that says ‘Tucson’ better than any other event held in this town. One person’s idea transformed to 20,000 people remembering and celebrating loved ones who have passed. My family walks every year, face paint, dressed in costume and carrying a sign with photos of those we have lost. It is always tough when, gathered at my sister’s house getting ready before the procession, we ad new photos to that sign. The best years are those when we take the sign out of storage and without any modifications we are ready to walk. We prefer that the photo of my grandmother not have additional company.

This year I did something I’ve never done before, I actually brought my camera. And used it. Typically I want to just enjoy the life-sized horse model, the paper mache masks, the costumes and the drums. We were early this year, also something unheard of, and walked down to the beginning of the parade route. I saw it from the first woop of the police siren. When we got to the end of the route, we were so close to the beginning of the procession, we decided to walk back a block or two so we could watch the tail end of the parade. Then we followed the stragglers to the docks to see the floats cross the stage. I didn't take as many photos as I usually do during a photo shoot. Too many other things going on, I guess. And I apologize to anyone out there that I got with the flash. I hope the stars you saw were very short lived and you didn’t trip over anything while temporarily blinded.

I hope to see you out there next year. Bring your face paint, costume, masks and most importantly memories of those who you would like to honor during this incredible night.

No comments:

Post a Comment