50-32 – Happy Halloween

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Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. I tried so hard to find a picure of when I was a kid in the plastic Princess costume – it may have been Sleeping Beauty – but I could not find it. It’ll probably turn up around Christmas.

That is the first costume that I remember wearing as a kid. I have no real memories of other costumes until high school when I went as Oscar Madison one year and wore my Dad’s Army uniform another. Someone shaving creamed my back while I was wearing that and I was so pissed off because I wasn’t supposed to get it dirty.

Over the years, I’ve gone to several Halloween parties, some with themes like science-fiction [I was a Bajoran civilian from DS9] or superheroes and villains [as Poison Ivy].

For a decade I was in a medieval re-enactment group so every weekend was Halloween, only historically accurate.

I remember going through the drive-through at Burger King or Dunkin’ Donuts in full medieval regalia where I would get some odd looks. I went into a 7-11 once to buy soda.

Our friends have a summer family reunion that is a costumed event. Last year, we were pirates and cowboys the year before.

Gishwhes has also afforded me opportunities to dress up, most memorably as Batgirl, an homage to Yvonne Craig who had recently died.

Any excuse to dress up and have fun.

This year’s costume, as journalist/press person, is my first, perrhaps only politically charged costume.

This year, my middle son is a pink dinosaur person with a spear, and he is the happiest little kid in the world. He can’t wait until after Halloween because the pink dinosaur costume is also pajamas, and he will probably wear them every night this winter.

My daughter is Harley Quinn from Suicide Squad, and she is using all of her own clothes. Resourceful, and…a little scary. She decorated an old wiffle-ball bat and I put the makeup on her, and it is perfect.

This is what Halloween is. Kids and fun and candy, of course. This year, we’re also giving out toys and Halloween pencils that we had around the house, leftovers from a school party or McDonald’s happy meal. We did this last year, and the kids were so thrilled to get something like that.

The school parade is in an hour – my daughter’s last one in elementary school; then no more school Halloween parties. It is the end of an era.

Halloween and Political Statement

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​As Walter Cronkite said, “Freedom of the press is not just important to democracy, it is democracy.”

My Halloween costume this year is a political statement. I’ve been shocked and appalled by the number of attacks, both verbally and physically on journalists in the past year and throughout this election cycle, mainly from one side in particular.

There is a reason that freedom of the press is in the first amendment; it is that important.

We can’t let serious presidential candidates mock journalists for their disabilities.

We can’t let candidates refuse press credentials to mainstream, reliable, longstanding investigative journalistic newspapers like The Washington Post, the paper that broke the Watergate scandal.

At the same time, we can’t let them issue credentials to their friends.

We can’t let campaign employees (Lewandowski) assault journalists (from Breitbart no less).

We can’t let journalists (like Amy Goodman) be arrested for inciting and disorderly conduct when she is working as a journalist (and has been for more than 20 years) and covering an important news story that you just don’t like (ND pipeline).

I’m certain that I’ve left out at least half a dozen incidents that I can’t recall at this moment.

This is for every journalist kidnapped while doing their job. At the most recent White House Correspondents’ Dinner, President Obama honored Jason Rezaian, journalist released from an Iranian prison. He stated, in part, “This year, we see that courage [Jason Rezaian] in the flesh and it’s a living testament to the very idea of a free press, and a reminder of the rising level of danger, and political intimidation, and physical threats faced by reporters overseas.” [And I would add, here at home as well.]

This is for David Bloom who died doing his job.

This is for Daniel Pearl who was murdered for his religion.

This is for Bob Woodruff who got a traumatic brain injury doing his job.
This is for Spotlight, the Academy Award’s Best Picture for 2016.

This is for every journalist who went to jail for protecting a source.

This is for the First Amendment and the freedom of the press.

Country Store

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Every August my monthly writing group goes to lunch. We plan out the rest of the year’s meetings and catch up on the summer.

All of us are either “graduates” of the weekly bi-seasonal writing group or still attendees. That group starts in three weeks.

I love wandering around the country stores. Most of them have additions so it’s like going through a maze with each doorway leading to a new theme: Halloween, candy, kids, flowers, food, soaps, candles. So many things to look at and touch and smell.

And lunch was great: quiche and salad and of course a cider donut  (their specialty).