Saturday, October 3, 2009


Do you remember when you first became enamored with Halloween and all that it entails? I've tried to remember (and when you're 50-something, there are a lot of memories to cull through!),  and two incidents jump out at me.

The first occurred when I was about 6 years old, or thereabouts. My parents had put me to bed, and were watching a scary movie on TV.  Unbeknownst to them, I had sneaked into the hall and was watching it, too--until a commercial came on and Mother got up for something.  Busted!  She tucked me back into bed, admonishing me to go to sleep, and shut my door.

Sleep didn't come for a very long time, and when it did, it was full of nightmares about oddly-acting people with strange marks on their necks. My parents, seizing the opportunity to make a point, told me the nightmares were from watching movies made for grown-ups.  I knew better.  It was because I hadn't seen the ending. My imagination filled in the gaps for me.

Did you figure out the movie?  It was 1953's Invaders from Mars.

It was years before I got to see it again--and I found it satisfyingly spooky.

The second incident happened in the fall of my second grade year.  We'd moved to Dallas after school started, and I was new to the class and a little shy. There was to be a school show of some sort, and auditions for a witch were held in my class. I was an unlikely candidate, being a chubby little thing with wavy blond hair, but I tried out anyway.  It was almost certain the part would go to another aspiring actress, a slim little girl with long black hair, and indeed, it came down to the two of us.  However, what I lacked in looks, I made up for with attitude and cackle.  I got the part, much to her chagrin.

It was only a small skit.  My lines will be familiar to most of you, though I don't remember anything more than this:

I was hooked forever.

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