Trick-or-treating vs. extortion, and other thoughts on Halloween

NEIGHBORS

November 03, 1993|By BONITA FORMWALT

The skeleton on the door is missing a limb, I've eaten the candy from the leftover trick-or-treat bags and the fake spider webs on my evergreens mixed with the rain and can only be removed with a chain saw.

Halloween is over.

Before the fruit flies start buzzing around my jack-o'-lantern, let me share a few thoughts:

* Older children who arrive on your doorstep, not wearing a costume and requesting candy are not trick-or-treaters. They are extortionists.

* After two frustrating hours of applying fake skin, blood gel and latex warts on my son, I am convinced the only way to look like the photo on the make-up package is to be really ugly to begin with.

* The pumpkin leaf bag craze appears to be on a decline, leaving me to believe legislation is not needed after all.

* People who dress up their pets in costumes for Halloween need to get out more.

Time to toss the pumpkins, Glen Burnie.

*

Even a deluge couldn't dampen Glen Burnie's spirits at Sunday's annual Halloween Safety Party. The estimated crowd of 2,500 found an afternoon of fun and activities under the dry cover of the municipal parking garage.

The highlight of the event was a parade and costume contest for the children. Prizes were awarded in four age groups for the cutest/prettiest, scariest and most original. Winners received savings bonds, gift certificates and movie passes.

And the winners are:

Cutest and prettiest: Amanda Hoover of Annapolis, 2 and younger; Alexa Kyle of Annapolis, 3 to 5; Jill Thompson of Linthicum, 6 to 8; and Brandy Lowe of Glen Burnie, 9 to 12.

Scariest: Michelle Offensbacker of Glen Burnie, 2 and younger; Brandy Weaver of Glen Burnie, 3 to 5; Casey Parris of Baltimore, 6 to 8; and Tiffany Green of Arnold, 9 to 12.

Most Original: Joseph Broussard of Baltimore, 2 and younger; Alexis Cabezas of Federalsburg, 3 to 5; Chauntay Green of Arnold, 6 to 8; and Marid Dajani of Baltimore, 9 to 12.

*

Middle and senior high school students in North County are invited to attend an Open House sponsored by the Center for Applied Technology North, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. today.

The center offers 25 programs that run the gamut from horticulture to food preparation, desk top publishing to cosmetology.

"When a student graduates from here they have entry level skills to enter a trade and go into an apprenticeship," said John Hammond, assistant principal at CATN.

Visitors can tour the building and watch students demonstrating their skills.

Nursing students will offer blood pressure screening. Plants, cut flowers, corsages and floral arrangements grown and designed by horticulture students will be sold in the center's greenhouse.

The food class will feature pizza, hot dogs and soup at the Almost Home Cafe. A deli will be open for sandwiches and the bakery will sell pies, cakes and cookies made by students.

Students in the construction classes recently raised the walls on a house being built in sections at the center. Eventually the house will be moved and assembled on a lot in Odenton.

The center is at 800 Stevenson Road in Severn. For additional information, call 969-3100.

*

The activities that are part of Corkran Middle School's new enrichment program will benefit from a craft fair planned for noon 5 p.m. on Nov. 21 in the cafeteria area.

Artisans can rent a space with a table for $20 by calling 222-6493.

Enrichment teacher Mary Ellen Ouslander coordinates the guest speakers, musical performances and field trips at Corkran. Visitors this term have included Glen Burnie cartoonist Lynn Cegelski and Lois Nickolson, author of "Cal Ripken Jr., the Quiet Hero." A concert of Caribbean music by "Mama Jama" brought new life to a sixth-grade social studies unit on Latin America.

Guests on the schedule include cartographer Lewis Hipp and the county police Mobile Crime Lab.

"It allows the kids to do something a little bit extra. To perhaps pique their interests a bit," explained Ouslander.

Ouslander also serves as a liaison between the students and the visitors.

"In general, students sign up to listen to a particular speaker," she said. "Later they get together with me to discuss whether they want to do an independent project on the subject. I'm there for guidance."

Corkran is one of 11 county middle schools that started the enrichment program this year. The remainder are expected to participate by next fall.

*

The curtain goes up at 7:30 p.m. Saturday in the Glen Burnie High School auditorium, when Ranch Productions presents "A Music and Dance Extravaganza" to benefit the Harundale Family and Youth Services.

Choreographed and directed by Annapolis' own Matt Gordon, the production includes a variety of dance styles performed by professional dancers.

"Everything from hip-hop to the sword dance. There's continuous dancing -- tap dancing, Irish jigs -- you name it and it will be there. A little bit of everything for everybody," said Elizabeth Hewitt, a family counselor at the center.

Admission to the musical program is $10. A portable CD player is one of several door prizes to be awarded patrons.

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