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Life as performance art

Life as performance art


By Fr. G. Corwin Stoppel

I was reminded Halloween is fast upon us the other day at the post office. The Halloween decorations catalogues have dwindled to near an end; in their place are the ones for Christmas.

Before you get wild ideas that you ought to start decorating the outside of your home while the weather is still good, forget it. It’s too early. It doesn’t bother me that retailers are ahead of us by a season or two. That’s their job. “The business of America is business,” as former President Calvin Coolidge said.

Later that day I stopped by Grace of Douglas to see a couple old friends. At the front door was a collection basin with a label to explain its purpose: It’s a drop off point for any and all of us to leave candy for the residents to distribute when they have their Halloween trick-or-treating party. It’s their invitation to us to be part of the show.

Those who remember when Grace was still called The Harbors may also recall when we, as children, went out trick or treating. With simple instructions from our parents such as don’t go into a stranger’s house or start eating candy until we have checked it first, off we went.

For a few hours we’d troop through the neighborhoods in our costumes and collected our loot. We had fun, trusting the older generation was safe at home, doling out candy to other youngsters.

Now parents are more cautious, maybe for good reason or out of a heightened sense of paranoia. Some churches and other organizations have “Trunk or Treat” nights in which adults park cars in the lots, open their trunks and kids go from vehicle to vehicle. It’s a group activity.

That’s what Grace of Douglas has done for the past few years. Staff and residents open their facility and parking lot for trick or treating.

For residents who may have outlived their friends or don’t have family members in the immediate area, this is a big deal. There is activity and they get to experience children having fun. Having those human connections with the wider community is important for them — and for us.

To lend a hand with this big deal night. pick up wrapped candy at the store, take it to Grace at 243 Wiley Road and add it to the collection. You can get started now because early donations will boost morale and encouragement.

Let’s have a bit of fun by providing others ingredients to have fun.