Welcome to day four of our super fun launch celebration for Carole Gerber’s 10 BUSY BROOMS. This fun read-aloud got us all reminiscing about the Halloween costumes and candies that we each loved as children and as adults. Once you’ve popped into your favorite independent bookstore, or onto your favorite online book seller, come right back here and enjoy these blasts from the past. Go ahead, we’ll wait.
Got your copy of the book? Good for you! The young people in your life will thank you. They’ll probably ask for you to read it over and over and over. Now, back to our regularly scheduled Halloween flashbacks, beginning with our guest of honor.
Carole Gerber – My favorite costume was a (wholesome – complete with pom poms!) cheerleader outfit I wore to our murder mystery dinner party 20 years ago, which my husband’s out-of-town relatives attended. (These mystery dinner parties, which featured eight characters, were all the rage then.) My mother-in-law wore a fortune-teller sweater that she had decorated. My father-in-law (who turned out to be the murderer), dressed as an Arnold Palmer era golfer. My sister-in-law, who then lived in Arizona and had kept her pregnancy a secret so she could reveal it at the party, wore a sexy evening dress pinned to the front of her maternity clothes. Everyone stayed at our home
for three days. We had a great time teasing my “Minnesota nice” father-in-law – the sweetest and kindest man ever – about being the murderer.
Hayley Barrett – I once won second place ( and I still say was robbed!) at a Halloween costume party. I was a cavewoman. I ratted my waist-length hair and used a can of hairspray on it. Getting it untangled the next day was an ordeal. My favorite candy? Reeses. No contest.
Andrea Chan Wang. I was obsessed with fairies in the days before you could buy those beautiful gauzy fairy wings at every toy store. So for one Halloween, I made my own out of cardboard, covered it with gobs of glitter, and strapped the whole thing to my back with twine. It was heavy and uncomfortable, but I didn’t care — I had wings! Back then, my favorite candy was — what else — Pixy Stix!
Terry Pierce – My favorite Halloween costume was a full-body brown furry cat suit that my 3rd grade best friend loaned me. She knew I LOVED cats (even though I didn’t have any of my own). What was most memorable about it was that she dressed as a witch (complete with a broom), and even though we were in different classes, we convinced our teachers that we came as a “set” for the school Halloween costume parade. On parade day, our teachers let us “ride” her witch’s broom together. I remember feeling so incredibly special to get to ride with her class. It was a bit awkward managing to walk with us both straddling her broom, but it was so FUN! I can’t recall a specific candy I loved, although my favorite Halloween treat memory is of my mom’s homemade popcorn balls. SO YUMMY! And I didn’t (nor do I now) ever like candy corn, which happened to be my mom’s favorite so it was always in the house around Halloween.
Elly Swartz – Growing up in Pennsylvania, there were some cold Halloweens. So my favorite costume was one that didn’t require me to wear a heavy coat that would completely cover it up. As to favorite candy, Reese’s peanut butter cups – hands-down favorite!
Katie Slivensky – My friends and I liked to do group themed costumes. One year we went as the Scooby gang. I was Shaggy! I carried around a giant stuffed Scooby Doo, and got to say ZOINKS a lot. That was fun. And my favorite treat was always from my one neighbor who handed out king sized candy bars. Way to be awesome, neighbor.
Jason Gallaher – One of my favorite Halloween costumes was what I dressed up as last year. Anyone who knows me knows I love a good, cheesy pun. So I went as a Knotty Librarian. I dressed as a librarian in slacks and a button-up shirt, then tied my hair in a knot and draped myself in a rope full of knots. It was simple, cost effective, and I couldn’t help but chuckle each time I saw myself in a mirror. So knotty!
Donna Janell Bowman
My favorite childhood Halloween costume was one of Cinderella, complete with “gown” of mysterious fabric, and plastic face mask that was so fragile (read cheaply made) that it tore the moment I took it out of the package. The mask was held in place by a thin, stretchy string. Looking back, I realize how cheap and cheesy the costume was, but I also remember feeling like a little princess for that short time. Until I ditched the mask to get to my favorite candy, chocolate.
Thanks for joining us on EMUs Debuts today. Pop by tomorrow (Friday) for our launch week finale.
Donna Janell Bowman’s forthcoming STEP RIGHT UP: HOW DOC AND JIM TAUGHT THE WORLD ABOUT KINDNESS, illustrated by Daniel Minter, will release in October 2016, followed by EN GARDE! ABRAHAM LINCOLN’S DUELING WORDS (Peachtree, 2018), and KING OF THE TIGHTROPE: WHEN THE GREAT BLONDIN RULED NIAGARA (Peachtree, 2019).