Sunday, October 31, 2010

A Country Halloween Scream

Halloween in Ojai has been a week-long affair, I guess because it fell on a Sunday this year. Our Country Halloween has been interesting to say the least. This little Shangrila poised between Los Angeles to the south and Santa Barbara to the north has been a respite for the rich and famous for decades.
This week it has also played host to the Ojai Film Festival, political hucksters and a multitude of kids dressed as the screamer from the Scream movies.
I kinda get a kick out of sitting on my porch watching two kids in the same costume running into one another.
You can see their long faces looking like they're screaming and you can imagine their real faces, tucked inside their costumes reflecting their dismay.
I asked my friend Clea, whose kids wore the most original outfits I've seen - a bumble bee (she's 18 months old) and a bear (he's two and a half) why so many kids are wearing the Scream costume.
She gave me a sad look.
"Because they're cheap," she said.
She's not wrong. We have all felt the tug of the tightening belt thanks to the economy. Some of my favorite stores have closed down and I've seen a really good friend sob on her doorstep when her house went into foreclosure.
The political hucksters are here stumping for votes but meanwhile, those of us who live in this still-blessed valley are putting a brave face on things.
I've watched the passing parade of kids and given them candy but I notice the pickings are slimmer this year. My favorite stores are doling out cheap candy and not particularly fun candy.
The belt tightens here.
l took a long walk this morning thinking of all the movie stars who've visited here and the ones who still do. I remember my mom talking about Rita Hayworth visiting and how my grandma had her photo taken with her.
We're still the playground of jetsetters and as I pointed out in a previous post, a few grifters, too.
For me, this is home. And I'm glad I can give the little screamers some halfway decent candy.

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