My sons are arguing over who thought up the idea of trick or treating as a couple of dead guys. My thoughts drift back to the Halloween of my youth.
Oct. 29, 1967: Mom takes me to Read's drugstore to buy a Halloween costume. Having waited until the last minute, our choices are limited to Wilma Flintstone or Ringo. Sensing the turmoil about to beset the Fab Four, I opt for the stability of Hanna-Barbera.
Oct. 31: The argument that corduroy slacks will ruin the prehistoric lines of the costume is dismissed. It doesn't really matter -- eventually the entire nylon costume is concealed by a winter coat, with only a plastic Wilma necklace peeking out above my fake fur collar.
Parental concerns about my safety inspire my mother to enlarge eye holes in the plastic face mask to the size of dinner plates. Even with the added ventilation, I begin to sweat profusely and mask ends up on top of my head, the elastic string pulling my hair out by the roots.
With no paper-or-plastic option, I hit the streets with my shopping bag in hand. Total strangers give me candy. I'm in heaven! The nasty man on the corner who throws rocks at my dog every morning gives me a box of Dots! Soon Milky Way bars, Ju-Ju-Bees and those hard, dusty little pieces of bumble gum overflow my sack.
Back to reality, 1993. I open my eyes. There on the counter are neat little packages of stickers and pencils I had intended to distribute to trick-or-treaters. Sighing, I retrieve my secret stash of Mounds bars and add them to the bags.
On Sunday afternoon, mid-town Glen Burnie will be swarming with witches, ghosts and skeletons for the annual Halloween Safety Party at 1 p.m. at the intersection of Crain Highway and Baltimore-Annapolis Boulevard. Every child attending will receive a trick-or-treat bag filled with candies and surprises.
Children ages 12 and younger are invited to participate in the costume parade and contest. Participants in the contest will be divided into four age groups: 2 and younger, 3 to 5, 6 to 8, and 9 to 12. Prizes will be awarded for the prettiest costume, the most original and the scariest/ugliest. Winners will be announced at 3:30 p.m. from the main stage.
Contestants can register this week at the Marley Station Mall customer service desk. Registration will also be accepted from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday at the party.
Entertainment has been scheduled throughout the afternoon on two stages. Clowns, stilt-walkers and jugglers will wander through the crowds, talking with children and posing for photos. Appearances are planned by McGruff the Crime Dog, Sparky the Fire Dog, the D.A.R.E. Bear, King Arthur, Smokey Bear and Country Dinos.
Sunday's party is sponsored by the Anne Arundel County Chamber of Commerce, Marley Station Mall and the Sun for Anne Arundel.
Junior high Sunday school students from Holy Trinity Catholic Church will spend five hours on Sunday earning money, food and personal necessities to be donated to the North County Emergency Outreach Network.
"Fun Fest for Food" is a pledge-a-thon of sorts, said Joy Wilburt, junior high administrator of religious education for Holy Trinity. Family members and friends of the students donate non-perishable food and personal products for each hour the students participate. The food will be used to stock the shelves of the community food bank.
Wilburt expects 100 to 120 students to be on hand.
Donations will be accepted from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. For additional information, call Holy Trinity's office, 768-3890.
Arundel Habitat for Humanity reached a milestone last Saturday when Jamie Ebert picked up a a hammer and became the 2,000th volunteer to participate in the program.
A nonprofit organization, Habitat works in partnership with selected families to help them become homeowners.
Jamie volunteered as part of a work commitment made by the junior-senior high youth group at her church, Harundale Presbyterian. An eighth-grader at Marley Middle School, she arrived at the Wendover Road building site in Marley with more enthusiasm than actual construction experience. She caught on fast and spent the day putting up vinyl siding.
"I've never sided a house," Jamie admitted. "But I like helping people. I don't like the thought of people living on the streets."
Construction on the Wendover Road house is expected to continue every Saturday through December. Volunteers interested in assisting with the project can call 267-8430 for additional information.
Children in the Parke West community can enjoy a Halloween Party from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday at Recreation Area I on Parkland Drive.
Activities include a parade, games, costume judging, prizes and refreshments, courtesy of the Parke West Homeowner's Association.
A general meeting of the PWHA is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Nov. 3 at Quarterfield Elementary School. Nominations and elections of officers are on the agenda. The proposed special tax district for Parke West will also be addressed. The special designation would allow annual membership dues to be included in homeowners' property tax bills.
For information, call 969-5220.
The Greater Glen Burnie Chapter of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women will note its first anniversary with a celebration at 4 p.m. Saturday at the Guest Quarters Suite Hotel in Linthicum.
Carol Parham, acting superintendent for Anne Arundel County Schools, will be the guest speaker.
Distinguished Services Awards will be presented to Sarah Carter, the first black member of the County Council, and Nancy Gist, the first black president of the county school board.
The coalition works to promote the principles of equality and an awareness of African-American culture.
Tickets for the event are $25 a person. For ticket information, call 551-6844 or 761-5763.
A patient's rights under Medicare will be addressed at a slide presentation at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday at the North County library. Nicki Shugart, a nurse with the Delmarva Foundation for Medical Care, will answer questions.
Information on Medicare's method of determining payment for treatments and how patient care is monitored will be included in the slide presentation. Viewers will also be provided with information to direct them to the proper procedures to assure continued care under the system.