October 24, 2009 8:21:00 PM
It seemed that the season would never change. The city tried to hurry summer along by decorating downtown with our traditional fall display of scarecrows resting on bales of hay. I''m sure those straw men were grateful for the floppy fedoras protecting them from the brutal sun.
One day, the limp figure in front of Bancorp South waved at me as I drove past -- or maybe he was just fanning himself from the heat.
Anyone who hasn''t seen the fall tableau on Main and Fifth Streets is really missing a treat. The brilliant pumpkins are fat and fiery in the sun. They, alone, are worth a trip downtown.
As always, the Ghosts and Legends Tour was a great success. Sponsored by the Columbus Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Columbus Cultural Heritage Foundation, it is one of the best events of the year.
This bus tour takes guests on an expedition into Columbus'' spooky past. Guides relate stories and explain their origins. Well-researched by historian Carolyn Burns, these are not myths, but narratives with real historical roots. Along the way, spirits "come alive" to tell their personal tale.
Those who accept the concept of reincarnation might have had that theory reinforced after taking the "Ghosts and Legends" tour. So many of the "specters" resembled inhabitants of Columbus, living today.
Mother Goose may have danced here in another life, because a lovely ghost on the porch of "White Arches" looked so much like her. In Friendship Cemetery, the apparitions resembled Brenda Caradine and Carol Carpenter. Who knew that Andrew Jackson and radio personality Scotty D looked so similar?
This is one excursion that I never miss. It is different every year, with new stories and new ghostly characters. Columbus is a city that does no psychic housecleaning. We love our haunts and oddities, keeping them "alive" with charming retellings of their corporeal lives.
But, Halloween is still almost a week away. That''s plenty of time to create your costume for the Ghostly Gallivant.
Warlocks and their "ghoul" friends will gather on All Hallows Eve at 7 p.m. at J. Broussard''s Restaurant, 210 Fifth St. S.
There is no fee to join the procession. But, make sure your costume is clever, because there will be a prize for the most fabulous of the evening. Mary Broussard and some of her staff are the judges. (Perhaps a chubby chef would win points.)
Last year, wizards and witches were joined by Dorothy, the Tin Man, Lion and Scarecrow. Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan skated along, and a zombie clutching a disgusting cow bone grunted ominously at passersby. A pig and a very strange automaton were part of the group. We all felt quite safe, however, because a Star Wars Storm Trouper was there to protect us.
RSVP to email@example.com. (Over age 21, please. The Gallivant will stop at establishments that serve alcoholic beverages.)
Finally, the temperature is beginning to agree with the calendar. Humidity is lower and (cross your fingers) the monsoons have abated for this year. Maybe Chris and I can resume holding court on the porch. It is the best place to chat about all the fun we''ve had and make more plans. We should probably invite that scarecrow who waved at me. He seems like a fun fellow.
Adele Elliott, a New Orleans native, moved to Columbus after Hurricane Katrina. E-mail reaches her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Adele Elliott, a New Orleans native, moved to Columbus after Hurricane Katrina.
5. A Stone's Throw: The veil COLUMNS