Halloween is here.

Halloween is just around the corner. This is a picture of how I usually decorate my windows. You are looking past the lemon tree that Kurt grew from a seed, to the front bay window in which I have silhouettes cut out.

I usually put out pumpkins on top of bales of hay, in the front garden with assorted gourds. Of course I always put American flags everywhere…I’m a sucker for American flags.

This year I will have different decorations up. So far in my front window I have a tableau of two skulls, one of which has a black mask on. Behind them are the ever-present combat boots with their flags in them. There are gourds around them that actually grew from the seeds of the gourds in the front yard from last year. Haven’t decided if  I will bring out the silhouettes or not. I might cut new ones. Since I am a shadow puppet artist, I like silhouettes.

We never get any kids trick or treating. We live on a busy street with erratic sidewalks. No sidewalks on my section of the street. I remember the anticipation of trick or treating when I lived on army bases in Germany. We lived in apartment building with 6 apartments per “stairwell”. The stairwells were teaming with kids. In one apartment we lived in, there were 22 kids living in our “stairwell”, which, if you consider our family only had 2 kids, was a lot. I remember names like O’Day’s, who lived underneath us with 7 kids, and the Flowers, a large black family who lived across the hall. The army was an equal opportunity employer in the 50’s and 60’s (after a stressful integration), and a large amount of those men who volunteered during the cold war came from poor sections of America, where having a steady job, food for your children, and an opportunity to serve your country was attractive.

We loved Halloween on base. It was an opportunity to dress up and run around like lunatics up and down the stairwells, collecting candy. As an American enclave, we continued American traditions like Halloween, I am sure to the amusement of the Germans. We liked to think that at that one moment in time, we were doing exactly what all kids were doing in America, across the ocean, dressing up, screaming and running, and then later sorting out our booty.

 

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