It was my idea for Lindsay to go out on Halloween for one last trick-or-treat fest. Not that she wasn’t agreeable to it, having a ready-made cat costume at hand and the ambivalence a fifteen year old would have at going door to door. But she readily agreed that we could do one “final farewell tour” through the old historic district of Grand Junction where the big, stately homes and the tall trees created an appropriate ambience for the evening. So after dinner we drove down to 7th Street and parked, and started walking.
There were already some small groups of kids wandering around, and we could hear the laughter and shouting in the cool October night. Many of the houses were dark and seemingly uninhabited, while others were well-lit and welcoming. Nearly all of them greeted us with wide wooden porches and weathered steps, and flickering jack-o-lanterns along the walkways.
I hung back on the sidewalk while Lindsay went up to each door. But I paid close attention to the fine old details of the craftsman style homes with their broad open beamed front rooms, built-in bookcases, brick fireplaces and dark dormer windows. Often there would be a staircase leading up to the second floor, and amazing artifacts on shelves. Some of the homes still seemed locked in time with ancient hosts and hostesses come to the door. Others were obviously rentals with college kids and young families inside. But all of them together on those old broad streets created a kind of old-fashioned sense of community and caring. A small glimpse of Edwardian Americana come alive for one night.
I know that Lindsay tagged along primarily for my sake. She knew how much I savored those deep feelings of something nearly lost. And she could see me harkening back to my own childhood in California suburbia when the Halloween streets were rife with kids and costumes and a soon-to-be lost innocence. And she and I both knew that this might be the last time we would share in this fading fall ritual. So we soldiered on for several blocks in an unspoken alliance of magic and memory.