Are you ready? It is coming, you know. Halloween, that is.
May I say that I have always enjoyed Halloween? I know not everyone is in favor of the “holiday” as they think it encourages bad things and bad behavior. But I’m not talking about that. I’m just talking about kids having fun. That’s what Halloween was for me as a kid.
On the farm in Iowa, it was, obviously, impossible to walk from farm to farm to get candy from our wonderful Iowa country neighbors, so one of our parents would load us up in the car and drive us from farmhouse to farmhouse where we’d go to the door, knock (I don’t recall any door bells in those days, but of course, the farm dog had already announced our presence), and friendly faces appeared and gave us an apple or some kind of candy. What helped to make it extra special in my memory was the autumn chill in the air and the bright orange harvest moon that glided silently over the fields of harvested corn where the broken off stalks bore testimony to the harvest.
The costume I recall the most was when I’d put on those funny glasses with fuzzy eyebrows, big nose and mustache, put on a pair of my dad’s overalls, stuff a pillow under my small t-shirt and pretend to be a fat farmer. I don’t remember any other costumes, ever.
When I got older and we lived in southern California, my friends and I would go out trick-or-treating, but we seldom dressed up and we usually carried an empty pillow case to hold our treasure trove of goodies.
I never had troubles with other kids, nor did they ever both us. It wasn’t about demons or the like, but about gettin’ and eatin’ a lot of candy! It was just a fun time.
Today’s photos was shot Saturday at Del Osso family farm between Tracy and Stockton. It reminded me of something from a Tim Burton movie, but the “claws” on the right hand looked like a mix of Wolverine and Edward Scissorhands. Wouldn’t want to meet him in a dark alley!
Ten months earlier, on January 17, the small fishing village of Sudavik had suffered a devastating avalanche in which 16 residents lost their lives. The incident illuminated the dangers of living in historically avalanche-prone areas. As winter began the following October, high winds in the West Fjords prompted evacuations across the region. Hundreds of electric poles were snapped by the winds and on October 26, an avalanche of snow, ice and rocks crushed and killed a herd of 18 horses in Langidalur. Later, another slide destroyed a storage building in Sugandafjor.
Residents remained on high alert on the evening of October 27. At 4 a.m., a deafening roar was heard above Flateyri as a huge avalanche crashed down the mountain above the town. Snow and rocks buried 17 homes, only one of which had been thought to lie in an avalanche danger zone. Local residents immediately attempted a rescue effort, which proved extremely difficult in the darkness with all landmarks erased. The would-be rescuers had trouble remembering where each buried home was actually located.
In the meantime, several victims were able to dig themselves out from under the snow. United States military helicopters and the Icelandic Coast Guard arrived with 600 rescuers and dogs specially trained to locate buried people. Eventually, 20 people were pulled out alive. One woman was saved after being stuck completely motionless for eight hours. The last survivor to be found, an 11-year-old girl, was rescued 11 hours after the avalanche. It took two days to locate all the bodies.
TRIVIA FOR TODAY: Albert Einstein’s younger son was a schizophrenic.