Story: Frances “Baby” Houseman is spending three weeks following her high school graduation in 1963 with her sister and parents at a resort in the Catskill Mountains. It’s her physician father’s first vacation in quite a while, and it’s Baby’s time to relax as well before heading off to college at Mount Holyoke, where she plans to get an education in economics before joining the Peace Corps and helping change the world.
So, Halloween is next week. Depending on your disposition, you are either stocking up on Fun-Sized Snickers or making sure you can override the timer on your exterior lights. Regardless of your penchant for spooky—or lack thereof--the season often calls for a costume. I have always prided myself on my ability to turn the most everyday, comfortable outfit into a costume. For three years, I was Alex from Flashdance (off-the-shoulder sweatshirt, leggings—piece of cake). I also revisited Mia Wallace from Pulp Fiction a couple of times (all-black with Cleopatra wig—I'd even do the dance).
Students sewing costumes, building sets and even filling the director’s chair are common occurrences at Visitation Academy. Its middle and upper schools’ theater program, led by drama and speech teacher Marty Strohmeyer, allows young women to take the reins in four annual productions. “We believe in entrusting them as leaders—if you trust them, they are going to trust it and go with it,” Strohmeyer says.
From classic costumes to new characters, this year’s Halloween Photo Gallery is full of hauntingly humorous, chillingly charming and all-around spook-tacular reader submissions. Happy Halloween!
Story: Don Pedro, Prince of Aragon, arrives in Messina following success in battle, accompanied by several of his men, including Benedick, Claudio and Don Pedro’s illegitimate brother, Don John. Don Pedro is invited to spend a month at the home of Leonato, whose daughter Hero is in love with Claudio.
Story: Theseus, Duke of Athens, prepares for his wedding to Hippolyta, Queen of the Amazons. He is approached in his court by a nobleman named Egeus, who complains that his daughter, Hermia, prefers to marry a young man named Lysander rather than Demetrius, the suitor selected by her father.
Story: Otto Frank, a German-Jewish businessman, moves his family to Amsterdam, The Netherlands in 1933 following Adolf Hitler’s ascendance to power in Germany. Otto, his wife Edith and daughters Margot and Anne remain there after the Nazis take control of most of Europe.
With fall’s cool breeze and colorful leaves come some of St. Louis’ most family-friendly adventures. LN recently spoke with Amanda Doyle, local mom and author of 100 Things to do in Saint Louis Before You Die, about packing up the kids and heading out for some fall fun.
Halloween is upon us. There's a chill in the air, wet leaves in the grass and an inexplicable credit-card receipt from something known only as the 'Halloween Super Store' on the table. For those of you not familiar, the Halloween Super Store is what I imagine as the modern-day equivalent of the gypsy caravan: It pops up overnight in a previously abandoned retail space, stays open for one month selling all things spooky, and then—more quickly than it appeared—it's gone. The HSS is not a new concept. The receipt, however, strikes me as odd, odd because it means the kids have already gone to the Halloween store—and they have gone without me.
Story: Eteocles and Polyneices, sons of the late King Oedipus of Thebes, each dies in battle on opposite sides of the civil war fought in Thebes. Their uncle Creon, now ruler of Thebes, declares that Eteocles shall be honored as a patriot and given a proper burial, but that Polyneices’ body will be left in the streets to be preyed upon by carrion birds and animals.
Story: Ten people arrive at a mansion on Soldier Island off the coast of Devon, England. Two of them are the newly hired domestic help of a mysterious “Mr. Owen,” who instructs them to prepare his home for a number of guests who are to arrive on the same day.
Story: At a carnival shooting gallery, the proprietor encourages a motley group of misfits to purchase guns and take aim on their frustrations by assassinating an American president. Historical eras overlap as disgruntled actor John Wilkes Booth commences the violence with the murder of President Abraham Lincoln to avenge the South’s loss in the Civil War.
Story: Bo lives a quiet but adventurous life with her parents in the middle of nowhere, somewhere in New Mexico. The “Land of Enchantment,” however, can be challenging for the home-schooled Bo, who yearns for amenities such as indoor plumbing and modern communication devices.
Story: Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker were two kids chafing to escape the cross-hairs of the Great Depression. Clyde’s father was an itinerant farmer, always beholden to someone else for the meager wages that fed his wife and two sons, while Bonnie was raised by her God-fearing widowed mother to work hard and respect the system.
In the coming weeks, as leaves and temperatures begin to drop, something amazing happens: Masks and bulk bags of candy begin to magically appear on store shelves. It’s an enchanting time of year for little ones, who begin dreaming of what otherworldly costumes they can don to collect the most sweets. Though it’s still a few weeks away, LN spoke with a handful of first- and second-graders at Rossman about their plans for Halloween.
Story: Six comic vignettes comprise two acts of humor. In Sure Thing, a man meets a woman in a coffee shop, where their dialogue is altered continually until they finally ‘click’ into a mutual attraction. Words, Words, Words focuses on a trio of chimpanzees placed before typewriters by a research scientist who is monitoring whether, given enough time, they can write Hamlet.
Need a lift to the North Pole this holiday season? For the first time ever, The Polar Express Train Ride is coming to town, departing from St. Louis Union Station beginning in late November.
Story: An article buried in the back pages of the New York Times on July 3, 1981 tells about an unknown disease that has taken the lives of several men in the New York City area who share the common trait of homosexuality. A physician named Dr. Emma Brookner has treated a number of them and believes that they may represent the tip of the iceberg of a horrible epidemic.
Story: Vagabond preacher Purlie Victorious Judson has returned home to rural Georgia. He has his heart set on buying Big Bethel, the local church, with money that he believes rightfully belongs to him. Trouble is, those funds are in the tight-fisted hands of bigoted plantation owner Ol’ Cap’n Cotchipee, who is none too eager to let go.
Story: Francis “Confidential” Henshall is hungry for work, literally. The erstwhile skiffle musician can’t think of anything but food as he wanders the streets of Brighton, England in 1963. As fate would have it, he finds employment working for a two-bit gangster named Roscoe Crabbe, who was thought to be dead but apparently is not. Soon, Roscoe and Francis are strong-arming Charlie “The Duck” Clench, another small-time hood.
Story: Life in Czarist Russia is harsh for the Jewish residents of Anatevka, but it is the life they know. Their story is seen through the lens of Tevye the dairyman, who with his wife Golda struggles to raise their five daughters according to the precepts of the “Good Book.” The world, however, is evolving rapidly, and those changes are reaching even into their small, inconspicuous community.
Story: Four musical vignettes peek at the private lives behind the public personae of several wives of American presidents, including Eleanor Roosevelt, Bess Truman, Mamie Eisenhower and Jackie Kennedy.
Story: Life is fine and dandy for the residents of Armadillo Acres, a tiny trailer park in Stark, Florida, a fur piece from any main drag in the Sunshine State. Of course, they have their problems, which Betty and her pals Lin and Pickles describe with a flair for a receptive audience.
Story: Mabry Hoffman has a Ph.D. in anthropology but no job to pay the bills to support her son and herself. Thus, she’s interested when she hears about a project operated by the United States Army called The Human Terrain, a proof-of-concept initiative established in 2006 to “improve the military’s ability to understand the highly complex local, socio-cultural environment in the areas where (it is) deployed.”
Story: Travis has a predicament. He’s invited Shawn back to his apartment, and there’s a strong mutual attraction between them. Just as the relationship is getting intimate, though, Alyse walks through the door with her boyfriend, Ryan. Travis tells Shawn not to worry, that Alyse is just his wife.