For Adults Only?

Oct 28, 2010 | 1 comment

Halloween Painting by Jess Acosta, 1989

     This week, the people of Oysterville are getting ready for Halloween – but not in quite the usual way.  Since there are no children living in the village, it is the adults who are carving pumpkins and planning their costumes for the big October 31st festivities.  Some of the neighbors are hosting a progressive dinner that night – costumes and a Jack-o-lanterns required.
     It has been some time since we’ve had a population of children in Oysterville. Even so, in the 1970s and 1980s it was not uncommon for parents to drive a carful of small ghosts and goblins into town so that they could trick-or-treat from door to door.  That has dwindled off and for the past few years all has been quiet her on All Hallows Eve.  Nowadays, with emphasis on safe celebrating, most communities host parties for their young people and trick-or-treating, if any, is confined to near neighbors and friends.
     Also, it seems to me, that adults are participating more and more in the Halloween festivities.  In my day, in  the 1940s, the parental role was to help their children get themselves dressed up for trick-or-treating, send them off to make the neighborhood rounds, and have a bowl of treats – often homemade – at the ready to keep their windows from being soaped.  (I remember that we all carried a small piece of Ivory soap in a pocket and woe be unto the neighbor who wasn’t home or who didn’t answer the door with a smile and a treat!)
     Trick-or-treating was a relatively new phenomenon in my generation.  It was the ‘answer’ to the vandalism that had become an increasing problem in our parents’ day.  According to my mother, in Oysterville such vandalism had been confined to tipping over an outhouse here and there but, in some places, Halloween became an excuse for groups like the KKK to wreak havoc.
     Oysterville is not the only nearby community that is involving adults in Halloween.  I was interested in seeing on the cover of this week’s Coast Weekend a picture of Louise Tallant, or rather of the actress who will portray Louise during the ‘Talking Tombstones’ event in Astoria from 1:00 p.m. to dusk at the Oceanview Cemetery in Warrenton.  The real Louise lived in Astoria during the early twentieth century and is the subject of a fascinating book, 1892 to 1904 Letters to Louise, A Love Story written and recently published by her granddaughter, Carol Carruthers Lambert.  It will be fun to see Louise “come to life” Sunday afternoon!

1 Comment

  1. Stephanie Frieze

    First of all, I remember Jess and the picture is wonderful! Oysterville would be the ideal place for children to be raised with a sense of community and few cars. I do think that adults are getting into the act for Halloween these days. It’s my favorite holiday during my favorite season. I hope you all have a great time!

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