Halloween is now over. So, hopefully, the candy sitting in the pumpkin-shaped bowl on Editor Emeritus Gene Deason’s desk is just as over. We’ve actually been pretty good about picking up the wrappers here at the office, surprisingly.
Everybody loves Halloween, whether you are young or not so young like I am. While I haven’t dressed up for years for the holiday, I do enjoy the things we get to do at the newspaper and some of the service clubs I have belonged to over the years.
This past Thursday evening, Interim Publisher Rick Rogers and I shared the great experience of taking pictures of trick-or-treaters here in the front parking lot of the Bulletin.
It was fun. The weather was perfect – well, maybe you native Texans were chilly, but I was enjoying Pennsylvania summer during Texas’ fall – and the turnout was great.
There were family-themed Dr. Seuss costumes, Batman was all over the place collecting candy, princess were abound and one 1980’s and 1990’s movie character even showed up – Chucky.
I had forgotten about Chucky, but I won’t forget after he came to our offices on three separate occasions. I nearly even had the perfect shot of Chucky chasing his prey as a family was walking across the grass lot beside the paper. The youngster – probably about 3 years of age – was hustling to keep up to his brothers and sisters and parents.
But, just as I raised the camera to get the shot, Chucky took a tumble on the uneven lot and his father quickly dropped back to grab the doll … I mean child … and quickly whisk him to The Depot, where more fun, and candy, awaited.
The last time I remember dressing up … I went as a sportswriter. Which, given my career path wasn’t all that far off the beaten path. I began my career in sports, first covering high schools, then Division I colleges, then NASCAR and Major League Baseball by the time I was 22.
That Halloween night a few years back I showed up in jeans, a pair of Vans casual skateboard shoes, a Reebok play dry long-sleeve undershirt and a black Miami Ink t-shirt.
My friends were a tad upset at first when they saw my everyday style of clothing … I mean costume … as some had gone the whole 9 yards spending more than $100 on an outfit.
They all erupted in laughter when I told them what I was supposed to be. Then, I was kindly reminded that Halloween is the one time of the year where you are supposed to dress up as something your normally wouldn’t be each on any normal day of the year. Some of my demure female friends told people I was a bouncer. Just don’t call me “mijo” as I preferred Sam Elliott’s character from “Road House.”
After all, I did go from the sports side to the news side of the newsroom many years ago. That is the equivalent of going to the Dark Side if life were compared to the Star Wars saga.
Oh, by the way, did anyone see where I put my lightsaber?
Pancake Supper set
Tuesday is more than just Election Day – get out and vote! – as the Kiwanis Club’s annual Pancake Supper will happen from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Brownwood Coliseum.
For $6, you get all the pancakes and sausage you care to eat. The fact the event is going into its 63rd year, the club must be doing something right.
The Kiwanis Club’s signature event is the organization’s biggest fundraiser of the year, and the money raised will be put back into the area to support many youth organizations.
Vote “None of the Above.” I always get a kick out of laying that line on people. As a kid, I had parents who loved comedy, and the comedy of Richard Pryor’s movies from the 1980s were no exception.
One of my favorites is “Brewster’s Millions,” where Pryor in the role of the main character, a washed up minor league pitcher who can get anyone out for three innings, inherits millions, but has to spend millions to get to the even larger prize – more millions.
One of his spending schemes in the movie is vote “None of the Above” in a fictitous run for mayor of New York City. He basically pays people to not vote for him. Well, he wins the election, finding himself in a conundrum, and then has to resign.
Over the years, when people get serious about voting – which I am but also serious about comedy – I throw out the “None of the Above” line to anyone who asks me who I am voting for.
I love the quizzical looks and expressions of disbelief.
My first memory of voting was my senior year in high school. With an October birthday, I was one of the only kids in my class who could vote. And I did. I will never forget the long political conversations I would have with my history teacher, Mr. Howell, and I would have. Those conversations spanned long after my high school graduation.
He lives one street away from my parents, and when I would go home to visit I would usually see him out walking his dog in the evenings. We would always end up talking; usually well past the hum and lighting of the street light across from my parents’ house.
So get out and vote! And eat some pancakes! And don’t tell that pesky sheriff’s office that I have a lightsaber. They may want to try and confiscate it!
Brent Addleman is the editor of the Brownwood Bulletin. His column appears on Sundays. He may be reached by e-mail at email@example.com.