“Halloween Birthday” Remembered

Today is Halloween,  and also the birthday of one of my very good friends,  Sister Mary Alvira!  Sister is of the order,   Sisters of Christian Charity, and was my 7th and 8th grade teacher , at German St,Vincent’s  Orphan Home, and that was in 50’s. She had told me her first name was Veronica, when she was at St.Vincent’s, with her four sisters  and a brother. Sister Alvira was the baby of the  their family and loved, helped, and encouraged so much that she was a favorite  friend of a lot of us “Orphans” that were  destined, one day , to be  in her classroom.

Time sure goes by in a hurry – have to put on my thinking cap – so glad you called me  when you did, and wanted me to find our friend, Gail P., – and bring her out to see you, while finishing up your last “Tour of Duty at St.Vincent’s.” It was good for us to have that last and final time  to remember and talk about a whole lot of nothing! You then went to the “Mother House” in Wilmette, IL   –  that was a nice long drive  –  and was  again, with Sister Emeline and your other sisters who also became “Nuns.”

As one gets older, (that would be me) one finds most old memories are “Happy and Beautiful” of the “Good Old Days!”  Give Sister Emeline  a warm “Hug and Kiss” from me and all my family  — we love you both!

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Frightened to Death!

Would you have enough nerve to go to the cemetery  around midnight and walk at least 500 paces  and then start to dig a hole and bury a small box? When you are a young college girl, and you are seeking membership into a secret group,  you are willing to go along with their “Initiation Ritual” –  you will prove to this organization you are a worthy prospect. You  are a willing player and it is important to you, you will do anything – just give me the chance of a “Life-time” to show what I can do!

So, at midnight, a group of young  girls, went to the “Cemetery in North Saint Louis, Missouri.”  Each,  “new Pl edger”   takes a separate path  into the Cemetery,  dig their hole, deposit their box in hole,   and run out  as fast as possible, to the agreed meeting place! But, the girl that we are reading about in the “Newspaper,” never  came out of the Cemetery!     “WHY?”   “Frightened to Death” –  tracking the story    –    speculating that the young girl,   while digging the hole   –  the wind blowing   –     her long skirt blowing in the wind   –  caught  under her shovel  –   she tried to   pull away,   but the shovel  having her pinned down to the ground  –  she may have thought a   “Hand from the Grave”    was pulling her?    We can only surmise at the  amount  of her   “FEAR”  –  “Fright”    as she   “Dropped  Dead!”

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Halloween Time pg.3

Halloween isn’t over  – until you receive “Goodies!”  So, when Mom said  that we  would  be getting  something “Bigger and Better”  –  she knew just what we would like!

We headed out to the shopping area along Florissant Avenue, a couple of streets with a variety  of merchants  – beauty parlour to dry clothes type store and everything in between. We stop at the stores that indicated “Ghosts and Goblins” invited.  Even though, we were welcome to come in and act silly, I was scared stiff and we were the guys that were suppose to be scary! Would have been nice if we had pictures taken of “Halloween” but those were the days and times to save more and spend less, because of he “War” going on.

We received money in our bags as we were going to some of the Merchants, gave what was in my bag to my Mom to save so I would not lose.  As we started on the way toward our house, my Mom said we could stop at the  Drug Store and spend the money on Ice Cream, if we wanted? That was the best  of ideas on how to end such a fun evening.

We had the     “Best   tasting    Ice Cream”   ever     –   and it was “Free”   – my first remembered Halloween!

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Halloween Time pg.2

When,   I was a little kid,  doing “Halloween,”   all I knew   was a couple of  minutes  I saw  in  the “Halloween”  scene ,   in the movie   – “Meet  Me  in   St.Louis”  and   “Margaret O’Brien,”throwing  a handful of flour at an old “Grump of a Man” and running as fast as she could!   Well,   I was too scared to ring someone’s   door bell, and throw anything!

My other  heavy -duty equipment  –  a bar of “Soap”  –  forget me writing on windows  –  doors were out, too   –  someone could possibly open the door  –  grab me  –  and   run me  home in a case of fright,  after a hard hand swat to my rear-end!   Corporal Punishment  for me   –  since I was the oldest and should know better    –  received my fair  share as I received the blame when my younger brothers did something they should not have.  I  had to learn early  –   do not get in trouble,    keep  my brothers   safe and out of harm’s way  or pay the hard way  –  where it hurts!

So, as followers of the neighbor kids, we were too short  to use a bar of soap to write on the automobile windows,   we mostly   –  just watch   the bigger kids  – doing dumb  stuff  – and they were thinking  they were having a whole lot of fun!

The “night” was not over  –  we went home and turned in our “weapons”  and  …..  we were told …. that we could do something   …. bigger  and better

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Halloween Time

During the early 40’s, while we were doing our best  — working together to support our men and women in an effort to win WWII,  Halloween took a back seat  –  and I, a little kid, just did as I was told!  With a small “Victory Garden” and a few chickens, we learned to do without, and be  happy and feel blessed with what we had.

When you are attending school, your teacher informs you of the up coming  “Holidays”  – what you need to do to celebrate, and just so your parents know how much you know  –  you bring home evidence! I could draw a big circle and color it orange and cut it out, call it a pumpkin,  and it was for  the 31st of October, so we could celebrate, “Halloween.”

To this day, I’m surprised to be alive? I was fully “armed” to go out to do “Halloween” with my “Pea Shooter”  and  “Soap Bar”  and a bag of “Peas” – the required ammunition!  For me , to put a “Pea” in my mouth, line up ,  in the “Pea Shooter”  –  and blow as hard as  a “Tornado”  or “Hurricane” with a dead aim at the neighbor’s windows  –  what   a  joke on me? I hardly had enough wind   in me to get my self home! What ever happened to all the peas – did I swallow half of them?  The “Pea Shooter”  was only an ice cream soda straw!  I do not believe  even one pea   hit a window?      Till this day  – I still don’t know what   I was suppose to be doing!

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Today’s Good Word – Encourage

One , never knows  where one will be to offer “Hope and Encouragement”  and be able to build up confidence in another human being.  If you are a “Watcher” of people  –  study the behavior of one another?  You would  believe we  were “Aliens.”  as our general approach is hostile!

The other evening, at the Fed-ex Store, to ship a package, the lady next to me ask the attendant, if there was a cheaper price for shipping this  “Box of Goodies” for Halloween to her daughter and college dorm friends?

Whenever,   I’m in earshot of hearing a discount request  – I just love to put my two-cents worth in the pot?   So, I just said, if you remember the old “Famous-Barr” stores, giving  double stamps on Tuesday  –  some kind of discount helps to buy more? I continued with telling , that when my son was in the Navy, and for a Christmas treat for him and whoever he wanted to share with  – I would have Famous-Barr send a case of Fortune Cookie boxes and a case of other sweets, to enjoy!   With this store discount and no tax since this shipment went to the service  men and women aboard the USS Ranger,  I was able to ship more often.

We struck up such a good conversation about doing more shipping to help build up the morale amongst our kids and those they associated with, it seemed as if we were family. Our conversation was enjoyed by others waiting in line, their faces were happy – not gloomy looking  – so , at least everybody’s wait was inspired. When the other lady was leaving, we ended our  conversation   –  just like family, we will  be seeing   again?

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