Thursday, November 1, 2018

Halloween and Día de Muertos (José and Ann)

Wednesday was Halloween and the start of Día de Meurtos, and this year we’re getting in the spirit of both. At last Thursday’s workshop, older bud Ann brought in fresh-baked Nestle Tollhouse Monster Mash Cookies. Originally, she was going to bring in Nestle Slice-and-Bake cookies because she wrote about how great they were for Halloween Parties on a time crunch. But the Monster Mash came pre-sliced, which saved her even more time!

This will probably be our first year celebrating Día de Muertos, since this is the first year we’ve had an older bud who celebrated it, José. In the spirit of the holiday, here’s are stories from our late older buds:

In Memory of Arthur 1
In Memory of Arthur 2
In Memory of Arthur 3
In Memory of Miss Mo
In Memory of Gloria and Aileen
In Memory of Gogo
In Memory of Bernice and Helen
In Memory of Hattie

And to close up the post, here are some stories from the land of the living.
José Dominguez
Don’t Mess With Witches

Many years ago in CO Juarez Chihuahua, a friend of mine asked me for a ride and I said "OK." When we were moving, I asked him, "Where are we going."
"To see Simonita, a witch. I need help. I can’t find work." Well, he did not like to work so I knew what the problem was.
So we arrived at a small house near the border of Texas in the top of one small hill. Simonita, the witch, asked to sit down and we did. Then she focused on me and asked "Carlitos. Do you believe in my job? Do you believe in me?"
I answered, "I respect you as a person, but I don’t believe in your powers." So she told me in a soft
but commanding voice, "Please wait outside." So I did.
After some minutes, Miguel, my friend came out smiling and told me: "Carlitos, Simonita wants to speak to you." Again, she invited me to sit and asked, "So you do not believe in me?" (I knew that my answer had to be short, cautious, and simple to not complicate the case.)
"No, I do not, but my respect to you is always present."
She stared firmly on me and with soft force told me: "Carlitos, I am going to do something to you so you will believe in me." (Oops, I thought, I don’t want any problems and she is offended.)
I answered, "Simonita, I respect you but there is no problem to believe that you are a different person and you can influence people."She did not say anything and I went out at last.
So if you don’t believe in witches, please don’t mess with them, it can be dangerous for your health.

Ann Von Dehsen
A Halloween Story

When my children were in elementary school, we lived in a small town outside of Media, Halloween was a big deal in this area, capped off by a large parade through downtown Media.
In my neighborhood, there was a group of wealthy, stay-at-home moms. They spent their days decorating their perfect homes in Halloween splendor, sewing elaborate costumes for their perfect children and baking from scratch, perfect Halloween cookies and pies. We called them “the ladies who lunched club.” I, however, belonged to the smaller “ladies who worked club.” Our club soon discovered that black and orange paper chains looked just as good as fancy pumpkin lights, that Pillsbury slice and bake pumpkin cookies were a God send, and that Sara Lee made one hell of a good pumpkin pie!
We also became quite adept at turning cardboard boxes into imaginative costumes. My personal best was a haunted house with a hole at the top for my daughter’s head and two holes at the sides for her arms. The box was spray-painted black with cut-out open and shut windows and doors behind which were cotton ball cobwebs. My daughters arms were each covered with white socks – with a ghost face drawn on the top so ghost could come flying out of the side-windows at any time. One year, one of the ladies who lunched hosted a very nice family Halloween party. Both children and adults were to wear costumes. I went as the Bride of Frankenstein since it was easy and not much of a stretch during that time of my life.
I wore a long black dress, used green and black face paint, teased out my hair and used baby powder to turn it white. There was a little girl, Chiara, at the party who was a friend of my daughters. I think they were both about 8 years old. She was very interested in my make up so I told her about using baby powder and black eyeliner. It was a nice party and of course I went home and scrubbed my face and washed my hair. A few days later, Chiara came over to play with my daughter. I noticed she kept staring at me. Finally she said, “Mrs. Walls, you didn’t wash all the powder out of your hair.” Then she got closer and said, “And you still have black circles under your eyes!” That was the day that I bought my first box of hair color and tube concealer.

If you’re reading this on Facebook or Twitter, feel free to leave some virtual Monster Mash cookies in the comments for our digital ofrenda. Otherwise, send us your stories and comments at Happy Halloween, and Happy Día de Muertos.

Curated by Caitlin Cieri