H.o.p. as a Plague Doctor (2 views)

The Plague Doctor - H.o.p. Halloween 2011
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The Plague Doctor - H.o.p. Halloween 2011
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H.o.p. being now thirteen, we have passed the time of “The Child Experiments” series. But he still likes to costume.

H.o.p. has been planning for months to go as a plague doctor. Rather than making a plague doctor mask, he went with a Venetian raven mask but it worked well. I was surprised how many little kids were entranced by his costume, and adults as well. Kids stopped and stared at him. Adults exclaimed over his costume and filled his bucket with candy.

One elderly couple gave out plastic sealed bags of homemade popcorn and some kind of homemade cookie and I didn’t know whether that was kind of delusional, old-fashioned sweet or evil of them, considering that giving out homemade treats and popcorn went out in the 1960s, so being the age of H.o.p.’s grandparents didn’t excuse them. I can say that their front lawn was littered with those bags of popcorn. But not because of us, because we’re polite and H.o.p. is exceedingly polite.

Halloween has always been about the social aspect for H.o.p., going door to door and giving his little Halloween performance, hoping to engage people. As ever, he tipped his hat as he left, with a bow, wishing all a Happy Halloween. He loves it all for that, not the candy, and was saying to me that he was hoping, as he is thirteen, that this would not be the last year for him to trick-or-treat.

And he likes the performance aspect of the people decorating their houses for display as well, and where we go most of the people sit out on their porches (it’s an intimate urban neighborhood) with the candy to meet and greet and often are wearing costumes themselves.

Afterward, we joined up with his cousins to go out to eat Chinese and that was a treat as well. The restaurant was pretty much empty. We’re a large group and were able to be expansive. And the food was good. And the kids were exhausted. The adults as well. Two of H.o.p’s cousins, who are adopted, were recently to China on a two week trip hosted by the Chinese government, which took them across the country to a number of different sites, including their orphanage (which they’ve visited before and to which they’re pleased to return and reconnect with the people who cared for them when they were little). They pointed out paintings on the walls of the restaurant representing places they had been.

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Juli Kearns

Juli Kearns is the author of Thunderbird and the Ball of Twine and Unending Wonders of a Subatomic World (or) In Search of the Great Penguin. She is also an artist/photographer, and the person behind the web alter of "Idyllopus Press".

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