Saturday, October 25, 2008
Halloween is my favorite holiday, probably because it's all heart. It's the most creative one and it really is all for kids.
I loved making costumes, masks, cardboard robot suits. My father taught me how to make a papier-mâché mask one year. I made Quasimoto, the Hunchbach, with the droopy eye and discolored purplish skin tones.
We sat on the flagstone patio outside the family room on Rivergate Drive, in Wilton, Connecticut. We made sketches in green covered Clipper sketch pads and then measured our heads. It was sunny and the air was crisp, a New England Fall.
We sculpted our monster faces out of dark olive drab plasticine clay on masonite boards. We mixed some flour in a plastic bucket with warm water and ripped and dipped our strips of newspaper from a copy of the Wilton Bulletin. Then we applied the strips, so gently, this way and that, criss-crossing for strength.
And then we'd watch it dry and while it would dry we would sit and talk. Or pet Lucky, my dog. Or just sit. Breathe. The pines creaked in the wind, birds chattered. Mom clunked pans in the kitchen.
It wasn't much of a mask, but it's a major memory for me now that I am 56 and my dad is long gone. They say take the time, but when you spend time with your kids, you're not taking, you're giving.
Thanks for giving me that time, dad. Thanks for my best Halloween.