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Entry date: 10-31-2022 - Happy Halloween - Letters to My Friends

Dear Friends,


Happy Halloween!


I do kind of love Halloween. I don’t know if it is my favorite holiday, but it is certainly a fun one. Growing up, I enjoyed dressing up a lot and have some fun memories. My dad would take me to Bert Easley’s (RIP) when it was on McDowell and 7th Avenue, and we would get our gear together. I went there with my own kids on more than one occasion and miss the store. It’s a piece of Phoenix history, for sure.


As I think of it now, Easley’s Fun Shop was one of my favorite parts of Halloween. There was just so much to look at and consider when you went in there. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve been less inclined to dress up or go all out for a Halloween party, but it was still fun to go and look around or find a simple mask or part of an outfit. It’s too bad that future generations of Phoenicians will not get to peruse their wonderful wares.


I have a fun memory of my dad dressing up like frog for Halloween when I was a kid. He made a big frog head out of papier-mâché, I’m guessing, and went to some parties. I can picture him on the patio of my grandparent’s house as I had been trick or treating in their neighborhood.


While I was still of age to trick or treat, I would usually go to both sets of grandparent’s homes and make the rounds in their neighborhood. We would sometimes trick or treat at our apartment complex. I think I even had a Halloween/birthday party one year, too. That memory is dim.


One year I wanted to go as one of the Baseball Furies and did my face in the same fashion as the characters from The Warriors. The only problem was that I had brown makeup instead of black, so I looked rather odd. I’d probably get cancelled or, better yet, half-cancelled since my face was half-brown and half-white.


I’ve always been on the fence about scary movies. I internalized them a lot and found many of the classics over the years to be pretty darn scary. Growing up, I worried way too much about becoming possessed by the devil, I think. It was a legitimate fear for me. Around sixth grade, and I think I have mentioned this, one student in my class started calling me “Damian” because I looked a bit like the kid from The Omen. For awhile there, it was not very pleasant being called “Damian.”


I am probably repeating myself, but I did convince myself once while having a temperature that I was, indeed, the son of the Devil. That’s no slight on my dad, either. I was sick and we were watching The Omen on ONTV and brain played some tricks on me. I thought about grabbing the scissors and stabbing myself. It was scary as hell. Fever brain is nothing to joke about.


There is something about watching a scary movie on Halloween night that just makes it a bit better. Being it’s a Monday, I’m guessing it will be kind of tame this year, but we shall see. You never know what our neighborhood is going to be like. When we first moved into our home, it was nuts. There would be cars lining the street each year. We would give out two or three huge bags of candy. The last few years with COVID, not so much, although we gave out almost all our candy last year.


When we did the first full-length Hillbilly Devilspeak CD, we had a release party at Hollywood Alley on Halloween in 1998. The ‘trick’ of the evening was that our CDs didn’t make it in time, so it ended up being a “t-shirt” release party instead. I don’t remember who else played with us that night. Maybe it was Adam’s Alcoholics and somebody else?


So much cancellation would happen now because of that record cover… good thing I have no plans to run for office.


*****


An interesting side note… I was looking online to see if I could find any info on who may have played that CD release show with us and found a link to a wiki page about the John Peel show that Hillbilly got played on in 1995. Very cool. A definite feather in the ol’ cap.


End digression.


*****


A few years later, a bunch of us went to New Orleans for Halloween. It was a really fun trip. On the actual day, we went to see Misfits at the House of Blues in the French Quarter. I got kicked out for trying to serve a beer. That was fun.


Usually, I would never do something like that, but I was dying of thirst and the bartender was gone for what seemed like way too long. Funny how quickly the bouncers were all over me when no one near the bar had been getting served for a long time. I was happy to be out of there, to be honest. I never liked the Misfits.


They are almost as bad as the attempts to politicize Halloween this year. The stupid scare tactics being put out there regarding fentanyl in candy and such is just horrible. I understand that fear is a huge motivator, but c’mon. Halloween is for kids, goddamn it. Apparently spooky government predator-types, too.


If they want to do something helpful, why don’t they od a better job of truly educating people on the dangers of fentanyl? That’s the really scary part. Why isn’t it more common knowledge that many people accidentally overdose on this stuff every day. Instead, though, they make up ridiculous things about it being given out as if it is candy on Halloween.


I’m off the soapbox now, though. I hope every has a wonderful and scary Halloween today and tonight. If you are dressing up, good for you. If not, don’t feel bad. You’re probably old like me.


See you in November (tomorrow).



The best Halloween movie, in my opinion. Well, except for the first one.

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1 Comment


Steve Roberts
Steve Roberts
Nov 02, 2022

I was so bummed. I thought one of the perks of being a parent was getting all the free drugs on Halloween. I checked their candy just like I do every year, and there was nothing.

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