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It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown

Like most kids, I looked forward to Halloween. We use to get whole candy bars back in the day. What really made it fun was my dad’s creative flair to come up with costumes.

My parents didn’t want us kids watching scary shows and preferred that we stay away from shows with magic but we watched a few. The Adams Family played in black and white reruns every weekday. Some how it never got old, it was just fun. I saw them as goodhearted people who were a little weird. This is where my dad’s first idea came from. He shredded ropes, lots of it and made it into a long-haired wig that ran around the circumference of our head. By putting on my dad’s old hat and his sunglasses, wah-la, one of us was transformed into Cousin It. My sister, brother and I took turns being Cousin It each year. I don’t remember wanted to dress as anything else, so I was especially excited when it was my turn. I’m sure we must have complained. It didn’t take long for him to come up with another idea. We watched It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown as a family every year. My dad pulled out some chicken wire and began to fashion a large round ball…with shoulder pads. He wouldn’t tell us what he was doing but we all watched in wonder. Covering it in papier-mâché made from newspaper and with a final coat of white paper towel and some orange paint, we watch in awe as it came to form. It was a large and rather heavy pumpkin. Dad cut out eyes, a nose, and a mouth we could look through. I think we drew straws to see who would be the first to be the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown had been seeking all those years. It almost doubled our height and was rather awkward to wear. We turned our heads sideways to put it on and then had to be escorted because visibility was limited. We could only see straight a head but not our feet. Steps or curbs could be disastrous. But we were proud to wear it, and wear it, and wear it. Again, I’m sure we argued. Dad went back to work with the chicken wire and created Donald Duck and some other cartoon character from the newspapers that none of us kids knew (we weren’t as excited to wear that one). None the less, we had the best costumes in the neighborhood but the worst treats. My parents would buy a box of apples to give away, when that was still a thing. Our pride in our costumes was only slightly overshadowed by our embarrassment over our friends disappointment in Trick-or-Treating at our home.

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