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Halloween and More Irish Village

“My favorite Halloween was the year I was dressed as a crayon. My costume was made of oaktag and I had to slide into the back seat of the car so I wouldn’t crease it.”
By Deborah Gibson

This remembrance by Deborah Gibson really makes me laugh. One time, I dressed like a pirate with the first pair of dungarees that I had ever bought. I had used them when we sang “Pirates of Penzance” in school. I can remember going out dressed up on Halloween with “Ma” Penney, my “elderly” neighbor, when I first moved to Pope’s Hill. (She must have been all of 50 years old.) We just visited the neighbors that we knew and had a few laughs.

Our kids loved Halloween. Most years, Hubby would be working at his part-time job at Supreme Market. To keep the kids busy, I would tie a string to a cabinet on one side of the kitchen to a cabinet on the other side and then would hang powdered-sugar mini donettes from the string. While the kids tried to take a bite out of their donut, I would shake the string so that the powdered sugar would get on their faces.

When I was a little kid, there was not so much trick-or-treating. My Aunt Ethel would have us kids out in a little room over a small barn that was attached to our house in Egleston Square where we had an apartment. We would first bob for apples in a big tub. It took a few years before we were old enough to realize that we had to push the apple to the side of the tub to corral it and then bite it. Auntie would insert one coin in each apple. We all hoped that we would get the one with the only quarter, the most expensive of the coins. After we did the apples, Ethel would turn out most of the lights and then would read ghost stories: “Mary, I’m on the first step”; “Mary, I’m on the second step”; “Mary, I’m going to get you!!!!!!” Then, she would tickle one of us to scare us. I will never forget those Halloweens.

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Here is more about our mini-vacation to the Irish Village. When we came to breakfast the following morning, we saw that some of the employees had decorated the dining hall for Halloween. There were huge eyeballs hanging from the ceiling. There was a large ghost hanging from one corner of the room. (Hubby actually lay down on the floor and took a terrific photo of her as she hung suspended over him.) There were little Draculas hanging from the ceiling. I was wondering, as I sat down at our table, why all my crowd was looking at me. One of the waitresses had one of the Draculas on a pulley at the bar and was in the process off lowering it onto my head. We discovered that the Irish Village was to have a big Halloween celebration that weekend. Sadly, our crowd was leaving by 11 a.m. on Friday, just hours before the weekend revelers were to arrive.

The food at the Irish Village is very good. I loved the hash with scrambled eggs and home fries for breakfast. Then I realized that if I ate the hash and home fries, I didn’t have room for eggs and toast. The hash was very good because it was “dry” and not greasy. Hubby stuck mostly to bacon and eggs, which he seldom eats unless we go out to Gerard’s. One evening, he had prime rib with a baked potato. It was very difficult for him to eat his meal with a big grin on his face. I would only let him eat that way just once during our stay. (His doctors would thank me.)

On the evening that Hubby had his prime rib dinner, daughter Sue came down the Cape in the late afternoon and picked up two of her Cape friends, Louise and Joanne, to join us at dinner. The gals even stayed for some of Norman Payne’s music. Because Hubby could only eat about half of his prime rib, Sue cut the remaining meat into tiny pieces. She asked the waitress for a “doggy bag” and took the rest of the beef home to our outdoor cat Louie. Sue said that she never saw Louie happier eating his food. He never had prime rib before, and probably never will again.

One very nice thing at the Irish Village is that we had our own car and could shop as we please. The first morning we headed toward the Dennisport Post Office. (The staff there is so pleasant.) I had brought down my Halloween cards and needed stamps so I splurged and bought a roll of “Forever” stamps. I figure with Thanksgiving and Christmas coming, I will need them. We then went to the Job Lot Store just down the street. We picked up a few things there. We then went to the Dollar Tree Store in the same shopping area and bought four bottles of Diet Coke, at $1 a piece. On the way back to the Irish Village, we stopped at Benny’s so that Hubby could get a couple of disposable flashlights for our suitcases. Then we decided we were hungry so we purchased ready-made sandwiches at Stop & Shop. We sat in our car and ate. We could listen to WBZ and find out what was going on in the world. There will be a little more about the “Irish Village in next week’s paper.

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Our family has been so excited about my cousin Steve Horgan, the Bullpen Cop. Just seeing him open the bullpen gate to let out the extra pitchers at the end of Game 6 was so exciting. We heard on the radio that Steve was to join the Red Sox players and staff on Parade Saturday. We did not know which Duck Boat he was in. Hubby and I watched the entire parade but did not see him. I should have gone on the internet earlier because son Paul wrote that he had seen Steve on the first Duck Boat, the one that carried Red Sox owner John Henry, President and CEO Larry Lucchino, and General Manager Ben Cherington. What a thrill!

On Saturday evening, Hubby and I watched all the news we could get on the Duck Parade. One of the channels had a piece about Steve. It showed him leading a huge group of Sox fans in a section of Fenway Park in doing “The Horgan,” raising their arms over their head, with one hand clenched and one hand with fingers open as he had his hands in that famous photo. Did we laugh! We were also amazed that there was a huge cutout of Steve, in his BPD uniform, on a tall pole. Red Sox players also had the same type of cutouts of their faces, which they carried on their Duck Boats. I hope that Steve got to keep his cutout.

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On Sunday afternoon, Hubby and I had a lovely function to attend, the annual Boston Teachers’ College Brunch at the Charles River Country Club. Daughter Sue had to attend a weekend-long course for school credit in Gloucester on Saturday and in Lowell on Sunday. While the three of us were gone, Steve’s Mom Grace called and left a message on Sue’s phone. (Ours was out of order for the second time in four months.) She told us that Steve, along with some Red Sox players, including DH David Ortiz and Hawaiian-born right fielder Shane Victorino, would be at the Gillette Headquarters in Southie on Monday to have their beards removed. The “Today Show” was going to capture the removals on their show. Because we wouldn’t be near a TV on Monday morning, Hubby put in a tape and pushed “record” before we left the house. We would get to see that “Today Show” segment when we arrived home. I think that some charity is going to raffle off some of the hair from the beards. Such excitement for our family!

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If you are a fan of “NCIS,” you will be happy to know that Michael Weatherly (“Tony DiNozo”) became a father on Oct. 29. Liam Weatherley weighed in at 10 pounds when wife Bojana delivered him. He joins 18-month-old Olivia. Michael has a 17-year-old named August Manning, by his first wife.

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The other day, Hubby, daughter Sue, and I just happened to watch “Batman.” We laughed at how hokey it was. Things were so sweet in those years. We, however, were impressed with Alfred, the butler on the program. His name was Alan Napier. Sue did some research on him. He was 6-feet-6 tall. His second wife, Aileen Dickens Hawksley, nicknamed “Gypsy,” was a great granddaughter of Charles Dickens.

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I laughed at this saying that I saw in a magazine: “You know you are getting older when ‘Happy Hour’ is a nap.”