Oct. 21st, 2016

terribleturnip: (Goat)
I organize a neighborhood event for Halloween -- we shut down the street to car traffic, decorate all of the houses on the block, host about 3,000 trick or treaters and people who just show up for the scene or to show off their own costumes. We collect some donations, which pay for some of the streetwide decorations/supplies, and have some stock decor that people can borrow, but really, each house funds its own display, buys its own candy, works really hard to set up something cool, so we can host a three hour party for 3,000 strangers.

It's a lot of work, but the looks on the faces of the kids and visitors usually makes it seem worth it. (I say usually, because by about 3pm on Halloween, having been up and decorating since 5am, I often have a crisis of conscience and think that I'm an idiot who should develop a hobby that involves more sitting around. But that passes. It always does.)

We've gotten a vanload of kids who live in an inner city neighborhood, who've never trick or treated because their own neighborhood isn't safe and think that our street must be what Disneyland is like. We've had foreign exchange students who reported at the end of their stay that this event was the thing that most represented the United States to them -- only here would people, on their own, with no government or social program, with their own money, just do something like this for the enjoyment of others. (I don't know that that's true, necessarily, but it's a nice compliment.)

People say to me all of the time, oh, I wish my neighborhood was that social and united. Look, I can't take credit for starting it -- the event was going on when I moved here, I just sort of got involved and then wandered into being in charge. (I've said in the past that like Tyrion Lannister "I drink and I know things"...which is true, but MORE true is "I drink and I make things happen") When I moved in, we had to buy 400 pieces of candy per house. We're now up to 2,000. I have a tendency to escalate things. And I'll take credit for keeping it alive through some rough patches when people wanted to cancel or bail -- 9/11, a local sniper attack, random rounds of apathy.

But here's the thing:
There is always a thing )
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