This is where I stand on Halloween candy. Get a lot. Save most of it. Eat it judiciously.

I collected and stored candy in a pillowcase with a draw string. The pillowcase had blue and red stripes. I think this is a tradition that has fed away. Now people use plastic jack-o-lantern tubs. Anyway, my pillowcase stayed under my bed. That was for security. I would triage my candy. I ate the jawbreakers right away. They were of no consequence. So too with the pez, an incredibly overrated candy. The baby ruth mattered. A bed of nougat laden with peanuts in a bath of chocolate. The baby ruth was eaten last. Often it was never consumed, but thrown out in a fit of parental oversight. “you cannot eat that, it will make you sick.” And so it was never eaten, but truly savored.

My sister was able to save her candy as well. She kept hers somewhere in her room. I do not know where. It was the princess room and I was a foreigner there, given only an occasional visa to its environs.

I know Gretchen saved her candy well, though, because it was still in the house on one fateful Thanksgiving dinner with The Binghams. The Binghams lived about two miles away. We went to church with them. I think their son, Tyler, went to school with my brother. Tyler Bingham was perfect. Well, not as perfect as Bruce Balastier. Obviously. But still, pretty close to that standard and certainly a more ideal expression of the good son than myself or my brother. I think he had an acolyte collar on him that day, actually. Did I mention he was a great alto in the choir? I am sure you already heard that from my mother. Anyway, so Tyler is perfect but he had a sister, much older, who I had never met before but who came to dinner that year. I think she was somewhere between 17 and 30. Being about 10, it was hard to tell.

In our house, Thanksgiving dinner was as much about method as about content. The point was to eat in as long and drawn out a fashion as posssible. Dinner might last about 150 minutes. You were not supposed to get up the whole time. There would be a short break before dessert, and then another 60 minutes at least of eating and talking. Even the food was formal: There was no banana pudding with nilla wafer dessert. No sweet potato with marshmallows and pecans. No cheerwine. There were dishes like succotash, waldorf salad. Cranberry dressing without rings. Anyway, I am going on too long. The point is that this was part fun and part work, especially if you were impatient.

Tyler’s sister was impatient. She got up from the table early in the meal. That was apparently ok. We didn’t hear from her until dessert. Or, her mother didn’t find her until dessert. Tyler’s sister was upstairs, though, in the princess room, eating candy. All of Gretchen’s candy.


2 Responses to “halloween”

  1. Kyle Killion Says:

    Hmmm, I wonder if she still hides candy at home. I will have to take a look around.

  2. Hey Adam,
    Thanks for your note on my blog and the recent sermon I preached. Your words mean a lot and it’s great to hear from you and see that you are doing well.

    I remember fondly those trips we made to the prison and particularly the way home on the first trip where we stopped and ate at I-Hop or Denny’s and had a really good reflective discusssion about the experience talking to the inmates and learning their stories.

    I’ve always felt as I did in that halloween hayride shooting we covered together (the girls mourning at the candlelight ceremony in the school parking lot) that you showed a great depth of compassion and empathy for your photo subjects. I sensed from how you worked and the conversations we had that you also have a lot of compassion for others.

    It looks like the place where you work is evidence of that. By the way, tell me more about the job when you have a chance (my email is cpc_andy_acton@earthlink.net)

    Like the name of the blog and good to see you and your family are doing well.

    Things are good up here in Silver Spring, MD (DC area), Colesville Presbyterian Church. Been here for 1 year and 3 months. Good congregation; learning a lot, growing a lot. Have a wonderful wife Elizabeth who is a youth director in a nearby Presbyterian church. We have two cats, Harper (Lee) and (Bob) Dylan, bro and sis from same litter. They’re funny and keep us on our toes.

    Stay in touch buddy,

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