Halloween - The 25th Anniversary
Halloween has always been a cherished time in my household. From the early age of 4 years old, I remember trick-o-treating through the streets of Bellflower, CA. Bellflower was always poppin' during Halloween. I remember distinctly the best hand-made haunted houses and candy being handed out during this time. I'm sure it was just as great in Lakewood and Downey, but Bellflower was where Halloween thrived for me. There was nothing like Halloween in the 90s in California.
Halloween peaked for me in about 2003. I used to walk home from school and the leaves would just start to be that beautiful color of golden yellow and brown. I felt like I was in a scene from the original Halloween film from 1978 (the film was oddly enough filmed just miles north from where I grew up in the city of Pasadena). I had this connection with the autumn season that seemed to trump summer, which by this point had become by saving grace. Autumn and Halloween were two times of my life that let me get creative and explore myself. I loved seeing the leaves change and have the cool breeze brush across my face. Putting together a costume each year that would be inspired by a TV show I may have been watching or a movie I was obsessed with...that was heaven for me.
After 2003, there was so much change in my life. I was starting high school; I was figuring myself out. Halloween became a milestone that I needed to pass instead of something I looked forward to each year. If I just get through Halloween, I can make it to midterms. This was a thought I would get often. Was I growing up? Maybe. Halloween had become something of a memory for me when I hit college. I partied and dressed up like the next guy, but it wasn't the same. It was more of a social event than it had been previously. It was basically Halloween 2.0: The College Years. Let's put on the most basic costume and go out drinking.
This year, my 25th Halloween, is different. For the first time in 11 years, autumn is showing its face here in San Antonio (oh yeah, I moved to Texas in 2004). The past couple of weeks have been unnaturally cooler, and the leaves have started to change and fall. Just the other day, I went walking through the historic King William District here in San Antonio just to see the homes and foliage come to life for autumn. For the first time in probably 12 years, I put effort into planning my costume. I'm excited about Halloween this year. I feel like that child who grew up in Bellflower, CA getting ready to paint the neighborhood red and receive a plethora of candy from generations long passed. The season is right this year. I am happy.