How do YOU get ready for Halloween? Carve a jack-o’-lantern, put orange-colored bulbs in your porch light? Stuff newspapers or leaves into one of those big plastic-bag pumpkins or scarecrows to decorate your front yard? If you have young children you probably buy costumes or create them yourself. My children are well past that age, but I ran into a real challenge helping someone with a costume—my mother.
Mom always entered the Halloween contest held at the Linglestown American Legion. Judged at midnight, she invariably won a prize. One year she dressed in shabby men’s clothes, spattered with paint, and carried a Sherwin-Williams can crammed with dried-up brushes.
Another year Mom went as the devil, wearing her long, red bathrobe with a tail tied to the back. She painted her face red and wore horns. The finishing touch was a large garden pitchfork, which for most of the night stood abandoned near the pool table, while the “devil” wielded her cue stick.
Mom as the "Devil" pool shark. Oct 2000
One Halloween evening, Mom recruited me from my home next to door to help. She had bought a scarecrow-looking bag to stuff, but cut the legs off at the waist so she could wear it as an outfit. The scarecrow’s head was a pumpkin. The challenge was to keep it proportionally round with newspaper stuffing, balancing it to stay in place, while allowing her to see. With much squishing and stretching and shuffling we finally succeeded.
Dressed as a scarecrow with a pumpkin head, my 79 year-old mother won first prize.
First Prize Scarecrow with Pumpkin Head 1999