Halloween 2002

FTLComm, Tisdale - Friday, November 1, 2002 - by: Timothy W. Shire




It looks like 2002 will go down as a lonely year for me as the two young women who came to my door at 9:15 were my only visitors. I was so happy to see them that I actually frightened them, I took their picture and gave them a card and a short while later one of their mother's called wanting to know why I took her daughter's picture. That merely shows the concern parents have for their children and of course is the reason I gave each of them my business card.




Robert Sternberg, one of the world's most noted psychologists determined that one of the kinds of intelligence that all of us have in varying degrees is awareness of a social situation. I must admit that this one form of intelligence that always gave me trouble. A Saskatchewan Psychologist, name Adair did a landmark study and book on the problems created for people are born in the later part of the year and who begin school as five year olds. His study has actually changed the way children are admitted to school now, but what he found was that we who were born in November and December would always feel a bit out of place, because having begun school almost a full year ahead of our peers, we lacked the social awareness and would always, throughout our lives, be puzzled by things which everyone else took as common place.




I could never quite grasp just what the heck Halloween was all about, I was just as puzzled with Valentines day and to this day wonder what these two events in the year have to do with anything. Halloween is morally wrong and a corruption of the religious roots from whence came its name (all hallows eve). The practice of children going out dress in weird costumes, often celebrating various death related conditions, is remarkable to the rational logical mind and then the threat of extorting gifts in exchange for not committing acts of vandalism is even more amazing. Fortunately in the civilised town of Tisdale vandalism at Halloween is virtually unknown but I have lived in Saskatchewan towns where it was a night for almost insurrection.




November 1, 1978 in Lafleche the whole of the inside of the school was completely destroyed with thousands of dollars damage.




My last Halloween was when I was ten or perhaps eleven. After that I was the guardian who took out the village and the surround area's children on their rounds on Halloween night. It was the only thing to do, I just could not understand the nature of the event and it was better that I look after children and begin to assume a more adult role. However, I do remember George Moore, the store owner who two years in a row when I was eight and nine, dropped a lump of coal in my sack one year and a potato the other.



no kids

I am resigned to accept this annual ritual, I don't put up decorations, but I do buy some things for handouts, but this year the hand outs were a bit of a waist of money. I live on a street with no children and few children came my way and those who did, went right on by with the exception of these these two girls.




I do however, have some theories about Halloween all complete speculation but there is a distinct need for some excuse for kids to interact with the people of a community. Fund raising drives are one obvious way, but going around and having the adults of a community shell out candy or some treat to the children seems completely appropriate. With our family having grown up a long time ago, I really appreciate the wonder of childhood It was a sad day last spring when our next door neighbours with two children moved to another part of town. With them went their laughter, their play in the back yard and the smiles.




The fun of getting dressed up and becoming something or someone else for an evening has a special appeal and perhaps one of the reasons adults enjoy Halloween even more than children. The costumes we wear define who and what we are so that putting on something else, becoming something else, even for a short while is a little gleam of sunlight on our inner soul. You see this in those places that celebrate Mardi Gras as people take on another personality, often less controlled, less repressed and do so knowing it is just a form of temporary liberation.




Kids today are under a lot of pressure and perhaps they get that same relief from Halloween as they transition to some altered self while in costume.



Timothy W. Shire



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