special to 92131 Magazine

All the Ghoul Times

I was cleaning out my closet the other day and came across “memory books” from Dingeman Elementary – these large laminated scrapbooks that my teachers had put together each year for their students, a collection of all our pictures and class projects. In my first grade book, there were a few pages about Halloween. One for our field trip to Bates Nut Farm (from where I took home a dilapidated pumpkin and let it sit in our front yard until it turned white), one for my colored pencil masterpiece of a haunted graveyard, and another for its accompanying poem about friendly ghosts and eating candy to my heart’s desire.

Many of my fondest memories from elementary school are from Halloween. I remember annual class parties – a tradition that should really continue well into adulthood – a whole afternoon filled with spider cupcakes, mummy contests, apple bobbing, and many other sources of sugar and fun that consistently surpassed my childhood fantasies. My costume changed over the years, from witch to pirate to even an M&M, but no matter the masquerade, I’d always proudly wear it the entire night, from when I first began trick-or-treating to when I passed out from my sugar crash.

Although I’m now the one passing out candy at the door, the lead up to Oct. 31 never grows old. I wait impatiently every year for the freakishly hot days of September to subside into brisk mornings and pleasant winds, to drive home from school and see all the trees down Scripps Ranch Blvd. transform from their vivid summer green into a fiery multitude of orange – warm and burnt and beautiful.

CATHERINE PHAM is a senior at Scripps Ranch High School. She is participating in an internship program with 92131 Magazine.