Wednesday, October 29, 2008


Prints of selected paintings
by Judy Westergard

are available starting at $22
at Fine Art America.

Part of the fun of Halloween is the potential for fright. How well I recall my most frightening Halloween!
Sixth grade -- an invitation to my first girl-boy party at Kent’s house. “Wear a costume,” he said.
Wow! This was my opportunity to talk my mother into letting me buy a costume! No more of this home-made hobo thing that I and my friends had done for years. Nope...this year, I’d get to show off my 12-year-old sophistication with a ready-made from Kresge’s Five and Dime!
I knew what my choice would be even before I got to the store: Casper the Friendly Ghost®. Cute, but more importantly, a statement that I was in on the latest in Halloween costumes. After all, Casper comic books were all the rage in 6th grade that year!
The evening of the big event came. Gingerly, not wanting to trip on my ghostly costume (and unable to see much from behind the hood), I made my entrance. Candle-filled pumpkins glimmered. A cauldron of water stood in a corner, apples at the ready. Licorice and orange cupcakes and Coke® covered card tables draped in felt. But none of my classmates paid attention to their surroundings nor to me. For there, in the center of the room, surrounded by the boys, was Maggie. The first girl to get a perm, the first girl to get a bra, and now the first girl to forgo cute. Maggie was exotic. Maggie was enticing. Maggie was a Persian princess.
I knew I was scared of something, though I couldn’t identify it. But after years of teaching adolescents, I can name it with ease. I was scared of having to move on past childhood, into the scary world of “teenager.” Maggie was ready. It took me a lot longer.

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