Welcome to Week Twenty-Three of Flashback Fridays where the old and new collide on everything from books to movies to first loves to favorite vacations. This week I'm looking back on my favorite time of year: Fall
Whenever the air gets crisp and the leaves start to fall, I'm instantly transported back to Fall's Past. I love Fall because of the weather, the beauty of the changing leaves, the promise of holidays like Halloween, Thanksgiving, and my most favorite of all, Christmas. I love that Fall brings the smell of burning wood in neighbors fireplaces and bums me out because I have gas logs, lol. Sure, Fall is symbolic of death and decay as it moves towards the hardening winter, but for me, it's all about love with its promise of family get togethers and friends hanging out. It's also a blossoming of pumpkins and gourds.
Some of my favorite memories of childhood revolve around Fall. At the small elementary school I went to, we had a Halloween Carnival for many years until the political correctness got it changed to a "Fall Festival" instead. There were cake walks, a "haunted boiler room", bingo, grab bags full of cheap plastic fun, goodies for sale--it was wonderful. Since it was a small community, you could pretty much bet on hanging out with your best buds all day since our parents all took turns helping out. If I close my eyes, I can still smell the fresh popcorn from the concession stand and see myself running from booth to booth with my friends under a clear, cloudless sky.
One of my favorite books from childhood that dealt with Fall and Halloween was Popcorn by Frank Asch. I read this every time I went to my family doctor--he seemed to never get too many new books for kids, lol. The plot is Sam, the bear, is left alone when his parents go to a costume party. Sam then decides to throw a party of his own, and he dresses up in a costume and invites all of his bear friends over. Each friend has individually come up with the idea to bring a package of popcorn, and after having some fun at the party, someone gets the idea to pop all of the popcorn together in a big black kettle. The popcorn soon fills the house up to the ceiling, out the windows, etc, and the young bears spend the rest of the night eating popcorn in order to fix the problem. After Sam cleans up, his parents return home with a gift of....wait for for it....POPCORN! The final picture is awesome of Sam, with his distended little belly from eating too much popcorn, looking at the gift like, "I'm going to puke!"
My absolute favorite Baby-Sitters Club book deals with Fall. Sure, #2 Claudia and the Phantom Phone Calls was tre cool with it's October setting just before the Halloween Hop with Claudia being pranked with heavy breathing phone calls at baby-sitting jobs(I'm getting a When a Stranger Calls flashback here), but my favorite, favorite is #17 Mary Anne's Bad Luck Mystery. The plot centers around Mary Anne, who was my favorite BSC character by the way, receiving a chain letter, which she ignores. Shortly after, she receives a bad luck charm in the mail with scary as shit cut out lettering that reads, "Wear this bad luck charm or ELSE!" Then, things start getting batshit crazy not just for Mary Anne, but for all the BSC. Claudia gets a hella lot of millage out of her catch phrase "Oh Lord!" on some epically horrifying babysitting jobs. The girls head to the library to find ancient books to help ward off the evil of the Bad Luck Charm. And once again, the Halloween Hop makes an appearance. Of course, this year Mary Anne has her hunka hunka burning Kentucky love, Logan Bruno to take her. In the true fashion that Logan can only be a boyfriend formed in fiction, he and Mary Anne don black spandex costumes with furry headdresses to go as cats from the musical Cats. I have a feeling if Logan had really showed up like that, his buddies would have kindly handed him his balls back. The best comes at the end when Mary Anne realizes that Cokie Mason, who has a hella crush on Logan, mentioned her "bad luck" charm at the dance, and that no one outside the BSC knows about it. The BSC unite forces to come up with a way to get back at Cokie, Grace, and their other Mean Girl friends by turning the tables on them when Mary Anne receives a final note to meet at the cemetery at midnight on Halloween. Gah, it's awesome.
So what are some of your favorite Fall memories or Fall inspired books?