Every fall the weather starts to change and the stores begin putting up all the Halloween displays and my granddaughter, Sienna, gets so excited. Halloween is one of her favorite holidays and she had already picked out her costume and had spent several hours putting it all together. This year she is going to be Joe Crow.
For those of you who’ve never had the privilege of meeting Joe Crow, let me give you a little history. I grew up in the Wood River Valley in the Bellevue, Hailey, Ketchum, Sun Valley area of Idaho. Sometime in the 70’s there was a Crow that someone had raised as a pet but had to release him because it is against the law to own a wild bird.
Jim Crow (Jim was his original name) had a mischievous side to him. He would take food form the local restaurants, shop at the local drugstore buy taking items off the counter and shelf. He became quite the celebrity, but as time went on his behavior began to change. He started terrorizing the children at bus stops and during recess at school by pulling their hair. One lady was at the library and when she retuned to her car Jim Crow was setting on the roof and would not move, so she threw her keys at him. He picked up her keys and flew to the top of the library. The fire department was called and the keys were retrieved and I guess Jim had quite the stash of items on the roof.
I was working at the local laundry mat and was with my son who, was about three. While we were outside Jim Crow swooped down and landed on his head and would not get off. My son was screaming and crying but Jim would not move, It took several adults to get Jim Crow off his head. I know, it sounds like a bad movie. Well, after all that I didn’t walk outside without looking up at the trees and listening to hear if I could hear him talking.
He went from the town celebrity to the town nuisance. So the decision was made that he would be better off (and the town would be better off) if he spent the rest of his days at the Zoo in Boise Idaho were his name was changed to Joe Crow.
I have told this story a few times and we have had many conversations about him, but I never knew that Sienna was really listening until she told me, “I’m going to be Joe Crow for Halloween and my costume is almost done”. I was so surprised and loved the idea. I made the head piece and replaced her paper feathers with real ones and she had a fabulous one-of-a-kind costume. Her dad took her trick or treating in his convict costume and when everyone saw them together they thought it was so cute and said, “Oh that is so clever, the jail birds”.
One of our traditions each year is that the Sunday before Halloween we all dress up in our costumes and have a Halloween Dinner of creepy food. This year we had mummy dogs, pumpkin poop, pumpkin vomit, bones, ghoul brains, scabs, eye balls, graveyard desserts, vampire blood, and swamp juice. It is so much fun and Sienna loved helping make the food. She really got into craving the peppers for the ghoul brains, decorating the eye balls and grave yard desserts. I was so impressed at the job she did.
After dinner was over we had our usual dinner show where Sienna assigns each of us an act to perform. The flash light is the spot light and she announces each act. We all laughed and applauded. I love these times because I know they won’t last forever. All too soon she will be too grown-up for this and it will all be a memory. That’s what it is all about, creating memories that will last a life time!