October 31, 2015, Phoenix- This day was the first Halloween I have spent away from home, since 1991. The current generation of children are more likely to be confined to one narrow space, or another-either a prescribed street, populated by well-heeled folks, who put up elaborate decorations, or a carefully-arranged event, often (ironically) faith-based. The turnout on my street, last year, was exactly eight trick-or-treaters.
I had business here yesterday, and elected to stay down in the city, especially after getting invited to a large house party. The day proceeded as a drive around several Memory Lanes, starting with breakfast at a family restaurant, close to our old house. It was called Fast Eddie’s, for several years. Now, it goes by The Cracked Egg. The Irish Omelet was hot and well-prepared, and the servers congenial. I like the former name better, but everything else is just fine. I drove by our former home, finding it occupied by a family who seem to be doing well. Then, came a visit to Penny’s grave site, where I placed a dozen roses, and reflected on all that we managed to accomplish together, often in spite of ourselves.
After a couple of hours in Sunnyslope’s Acacia Branch Library, and a bit of shopping, I took a couple of strolls around Steele Indian School Park, named for the former Bureau of Indian Affairs residential school, whose vacant buildings are preserved at the site and for Horace C. Steele, a businessman, whose charitable foundation made the park possible. Several families were enjoying the bright late afternoon, including a few who were fishing the small pond.
After a second stroll, this one at Park Central Mall, which was once managed by my late friend, Mike. The place was mostly closed for the evening, lending an eerie, but not disconcerting, aura to my time. It reminded me of a similar walk, last year, at the huge, but silent Frankfurt Messe.
Upon arriving at the aforementioned party, I found myself being greeted by Gomez and Morticia Addams (aka my friends, Jens and Maggie). There were nearly a hundred people on site, but I seemed to be the only one with a plastic mask (Chewbacca, from “Star Wars”), which precipitated a lot of good-natured chuckles, from the older guests, and eye-rolls from the hipsters. The food was nice, though, and Maggie’s intense decorations were, as usual, phenomenal. Three small outbuildings, and the grounds in between, contained theme-park quality displays. After a few lengthy conversations with some old friends, and new acquaintances, it was time to watch, as Gomez and Morticia offered their signature tango. We were not disappointed.
I had to head back to Prescott, shortly after 10, but I will recall this much-needed time, reconnecting with old haunts (no pun intended) as a time for grounding. The coming, very busy two weeks will go much smoother, for the break that was taken.