Thoughts on Halloween & My Cool Brothers

Of all the holidays, Halloween conjures up the most specific memories of that day because of so many ways we’ve celebrated.  Some years we’ve gone all-out (i.e. a skeleton sitting at our player-piano “performing”) … This year was the opposite. While the boys were at a marching band competition, Judy and I put a bowl of candy out on our porch, turned our indoor lights out, and sneakily watched an appropriate movie — Stonehearst Asylum.

But Halloween also gave me one of my first loves of sound. My first Halloweens were rather uneventful — I was shy enough that I never went trick-or-treating! I’d sit upstairs in my brother’s bedroom and spy on the trick-or-treaters coming to the door. One year Mark, my oldest brother (12 years older), suggested we have some fun with them. He proceeded to set up his portable state-of-the-art reel-to-reel tape recorder. It had its own microphones and speakers. With the speakers facing out the windows, he proceeded to show me how to create feedback with the mics that made eery sounds. It was the coolest! Ever since, holidays like Halloween and Christmas revolve around music and sounds.

In one day, my brother demonstrated three things to me that I still appreciate —

  1. I wasn’t made to feel like an an outsider for not doing the norm of trick-or-treating
  2. He thought out-of-the-box in a way that made it feel perfectly normal.
  3. He showed a cool way to use sound to influence people’s emotions.

Not to leave, my other brother, Paul, out … One year my carved pumpkin, sitting on the porch, was smashed by some hoodlums! Paul (10 years older than me) took it upon himself to literally glue my pumpkin back together!

Thanks, Mark and Paul!