For many of us, our earliest Halloween memories were filled with trick-or-treating in our neighborhoods. Those of us born in the 1970’s remember a better time for Halloween, one before stories of razor blades and evil tricksters. While our parents’ often accompanied us in our treks through the area, we went up to homes alone and often received homemade treats. Costumes were usually homemade, but occasionally we had a chance to be our heroes. For me, that was Princess Leia.
It was my first year of school, and we were to have a Halloween parade through the school grounds. I was thrilled at this; I was to be Princess Leia, the beautiful heroine of Star Wars. Of course, the costume was not that pretty. Those costumes of the 1970’s were plastic and rubber, heavy masks with an apron-type covering for the body. But when I put on that costume, I was Leia. I was powerful and wonderful. When the time came, I boldly donned my costume and took my place in the parade.
Indeed, that was perhaps the highlight of my Halloween experiences. At that time, the holiday was still an ideal experience, one in which I could become my favorite characters. For a few moments, I could shed my childhood life and create a better, more fanciful me. Despite the smell of rubber and the swish of plastic, I was Leia for a holiday, and it was great.