After the blazing end to the summer of 2009, Have You Heard was determined to concentrate on cooler thoughts. And what's cooler than Halloween? Anyone can be kid, or remember being a kid, that day. So off we trundled, goodie — err — camera bag in hand to ask women, "What's your favorite Halloween memory?"
My first memory is of a scavenger hunt when I was pretty young. We went all over the neighborhood to find things. It's special because I was so young and wasn't usually allowed to do things like that.
I used to dress up as a black cat to accompany my older sister, who was always the witch. She's not that much older, just a little bossier. We were cute together. We did it pretty much every year, and it became a tradition.
I loved going to the Halloween carnivals at my elementary school, with the cake walk and bobbing for apples. They were good times. I lived in Alaska, and it was always freezing there. Moving here has made new memories: the golden sunlight, the fresh crisp air, the change of seasons.
On the Halloween we were in sixth grade, my parents would make a big haunted house for us and our whole class. Our church in Flagler, Colo., was an old mortuary, so it lent a spooky atmosphere. There were three kids in the family, and I was the oldest, so eventually I got to be the big helper and scare all their little friends.
West Seattle, Wash
My favorite memory was when my youngest grandson was about 9 months old, and they dressed him up as Elvis. He loved it. He did some little Elvis imitation movement, and it was a riot.
I was in seventh grade the first Halloween I got to dress up. I was a scarecrow and had a blast doing it and getting into the holiday festivities. I lived in Polson, Mont., and it was freezing at Halloween up there. It usually snows the next day. So being a scarecrow was good. Being stuffed with hay kept me warm.
I don't know if my favorite memory was going to school as a geisha girl in sixth grade or having no curfew and going wherever I wanted. Both are great memories. Especially because no one in my class recognized me.
Long Beach, Calif.
I remember the first time I ever got to carve a pumpkin with my daughter. She was only a year and a half old, and I have a clear memory of how excited she was at the way it felt and the slimy seeds. I can still see how she looked when we put the candle in it. It brought all the delight of Halloween back to me.