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Adele Elliott: Gallivanting ghosts

 

Adele Elliott

 

Every season has its charm. I love the clothes of cold weather -- boots and berets and fuzzy scarves. And I adore those endless evenings of summertime''s daylight saving hours, the dusk pierced by fireflies. However, I am always pleased to see the end of deep cold and early darkness. I would be quite content if summer lasted only about a week or two. 

 

But, I never tire of autumn. October is truly the best month. Now, we finally experience some relief from triple digit temps and get to wear clothes that we haven''t seen since before Spring Pilgrimage. 

 

There is a mystery about this month. Shadows seem animated, alive. Sometimes the bushes appear to be breathing. Tendrils of smoke from burning leaves snake around tree trunks and coil into branches. These mornings, an ethereal mist hovers inches above the roadsides and fields. 

 

Even the fallen leaves scurry, purposefully, along the sidewalks and streets. Their desiccated edges graze the ground, producing whispery sounds. "We are not finished, yet," they seem to say. "We are bound for extraordinary adventures." 

 

But, there is another reason to love October -- Halloween. This is the greatest (in my opinion) holiday of the year. You don''t have to shop for the perfect gift for an endless list of people. Overindulging in candy corn and tiny chocolate bars is easily overlooked. And everyone, even adults, is allowed to don a costume. Blame it on my New Orleans origins, so deeply rooted in the tradition of masking at Mardi Gras. I never pass up an opportunity to dress in costume. 

 

You may have missed this weekend''s Ghosts and Legends Tour. That one is a sell-out every year. But, Halloween is still a week away, which leaves plenty of time to carve pumpkins and plan costumes. 

 

The Ghostly Gallivant will meet Saturday, Oct. 30. Yes, I know that is not officially Halloween night, but goblins and witches have power over such mundane things as the calendar. They can distort time. 

 

This is the third annual costumed procession through downtown Columbus. There are only two rules -- costumes are de rigueur and over age 21, please. (This is basically a pub crawl.) 

 

The Ghostly Gallivant will meet at the very elegant J. Broussard''s Restaurant at 6 p.m. Saturday night. 

 

One year, Chris was a very believable zombie. He walked stiffly; arms stretched awkwardly in front of him, and carried a huge cow bone. So scary! 

 

Last Halloween he was a "cereal" killer. We glued tiny boxes of corn flakes and Coco Puffs all over a raggedy shirt. Toy knives and cleavers pierced the boxes, all dripping with theatrical blood. 

 

I haven''t decided on my costume this year. Suggestions are welcome. I lean toward themes with a bit of glamour, like a dead movie star. Bo Jarrett is lending the Gallivant in a golf cart to move my old bones around. I hope a designated driver steps forward to transport me from place to place. 

 

This week promises to be a lot of fun. I plan to carve a pumpkin or two and stuff my face with candy. Chris and I will probably spend some time on the porch with our furry children, enjoying the autumn weather. This a special time for me, sort of like the week before Christmas for most people. 

 

Hope you can join us for the Ghostly Gallivant Saturday. I promise that no one will turn you into a toad. 

 

 

Adele Elliott, a New Orleans native, moved to Columbus after Hurricane Katrina.

 

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