Mt Pleasant News
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Neighbors Growing Together | Dec 7, 2016

A flamingo goes trick-or-treating

By Sally Y. Hayes

The witching hour is upon us; jack-o-lanterns will spill candlelight through their carved faces, porch lights will be left on, filled candy bowls will be next to front doors and costume-clad children will be collecting candy door-to-door. Monday night will be trick-or-treat night in Mt. Pleasant’s neighborhoods.

Super heroes, princesses, ghouls, cartoon characters, vampires, animals, athletes and many more creatures will be seen swinging buckets and ringing doorbells around town.

I, personally, cannot wait to see what creative costumes trek up the sidewalk Monday night.

Yes, there are some pretty impressive store-bought get-ups but those homemade costumes are the ones that stick out in my memory.

I remember the long process of deciding what I wanted to be and explaining it to my grandma, Bonnie Wilson, known as Ba for short.

Over the years Ba created many costumes for my sister, Maya, and me. Ba measured, sewed, sculpted and sequined mermaids, witches, an elf and many more costumes over the years. But the costume to rule all costumes, of my childhood at least, was a pink flamingo, complete with wings, feathers, a tail and a long neck. Looking back, I can’t imagine how many hours Ba put into those costumes.

Maya and I typically began discussing Halloween costumes in August or September. We would brainstorm ideas, then finally hone in on the one concept. That is when we would call Ba.

Ba would trek from Burlington over to Mt. Pleasant to measure us and draw the plans so that we were all on the same page.

I remember the long process to construct the exotic bird from the yards of fabric. The flamingo ended up being three pieces: the legs, the body and the head.

The tail was covered with feather boas and stuffed with batting so it would stick out. The arms had wings sewn on in such a way that they connected to the body, so when I lifted my arms it looked like I was flapping in an effort to fly away. And then the headpiece, it sat on top of my head and fastened under my chin – similar to a birthday hat. The neck was stuffed with batting as well, to keep it upright. The actual flamingo’s head with beak and eyes sat about a foot and a half above my face.

So, 10-year old me proudly wore the pink costume. Attempting to stand as a flamingo would in the Everglades, with its knee bent, whenever I stopped walking.

I remember having difficulty getting in and out of the car in a hurry as we went around town trick-or-treating that year.

Those homemade costumes seem to have a knack for sticking out in my mind, whether it be the entire creative process or the time spent with my grandma, or perhaps its the fact that I didn’t run into a flock of classmates in the same outfit.

I look forward seeing the various garbs kids have come up with this year on Monday evening as they proclaim, “trick-or-treat!”

Happy Halloween.