We’ve all got a story about that one year when we showed up in the best version of a wicked princess ever, or spent hours making the stickiest popcorn balls imaginable. Maybe for some of us, every year is the best. That’s cool. I’d like to hear from you and share in return my favorite Halloween memory of all time.
(From Left to Right–Gail, Mom, Cookie, Tana. Photographed at the Las Vegas Review Journal, Halloween 1983.)
Growing up in Las Vegas was pretty unforgettable for me and Halloweens were absolutely the best. For starters, we always had the day off school. As a kid, I thought it was in honor of hobgoblins, witches and warts. Turned out that was Nevada’s statehood day. Pretty cool, right? Yep, but not quite as cool as trick-or-treating at Liberace’s house, or Siegfried and Roy’s. Friends, I had some great Halloweens in my childhood town. But the year my mom and I shared our costume was by far the best.
Mom worked at the local newspaper in those days, The Las Vegas Review Journal. She had a group of friends who were like my adopted aunts–Gail, Cookie, and Tana. They were so cool and I looked up to them because they were hardworking ladies who loved hanging out together and having fun at nights and on weekends. Another idol of mine at the time was Madonna. It was the year of hits like “Borderline” and later “Lucky Star”. To fashion the costume, Mom and I made the rounds at our local swapmeet, buying up every five-cent black rubber bangle we could find. The rest we pieced together from some of Mom’s “going out dancing clothes” and my “Boy-Toy” belt. The morning of Halloween came. Mom and the “aunts” had decided on a “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” theme for their workday costumes. Mom wasn’t sure of what to wear, so she tried on my Madonna costume, which fit perfectly. She had someone snap a photo of her, Gail, Cookie and Tana on the front steps of the newspaper of their motley foursome.
When she got home later that night, it was my turn to be Madonna. I know I had a good time trick-or-treating. But the best part for me is what I already shared above. My mom had just survived cancer earlier that year and was starting to put weight back on to her 85-pound frame. As a 9-year-old kid, it never occurred to me to question how it was that my 33-year-old mom was able to fit into my little girl’s costume.
(Me wearing the Madonna costume at mine and mom’s apartment, Halloween, 1983.)
On this, last day of October and Cancer Awareness, I want to wish all the survivors out there a very Happy Halloween. And to the people currently fighting the disease and their kids, I want to say that my mom is now 30 years cancer free so keep your hearts and your heads up! And have a wickedly cool and fun Halloween!!!!
Remember, Be Here Now