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Halloween memories

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"Halloween is my favorite holiday. I was Edgar Allen Poe a couple of years ago. I love taking on a character. I grew up on an isolated farm about 10 miles outside of Gainesville, Florida. There was no trick-or-treating out there at all. But I would show up in some room in the house, dressed as a pirate or something, and wait for my parents to notice my costume. There were a lot of unaccountable pieces of clothing from the '60s and from thrift stores lying around our house. I would just start picking up things and putting them together. Halloween was a kind of year-round thing for me." Durham musician Django Haskins, as told to Fred Wasser. Haskins' band The Old Ceremony plays at Cat's Cradle on Nov. 8.

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"I grew up in Minneapolis. I didn't like Halloween. In Minnesota it was always very cold and the costumes were always very flimsy. You couldn't show off the costume—not if you were a ballerina or the Fairy Queen—because you had layers of clothing on top. We were freezing. We were irritable. You've got to have your gloves. You've got to have your boots on because there probably was a little bit of snow. As far as candy? I got really smart. I lived in the 'hood. I had friends who lived in really wealthy neighborhoods. So where do you think I went trick-or-treating?" —Carrboro's Noel James, The ArtsCenter's interim director, as told to Fred Wasser.


"I grew up in Charleston, South Carolina. I was a big candy saver. I would limit myself to two pieces a day. I'd balance it out between the candy I didn't like and the good candy, so that I still had good candy at the end. But my mom also had a massive sweet tooth. She couldn't help herself from stealing candy. It was always a dilemma. Should I eat more candy quicker—so I would get more—or to try and make it last longer while running the risk that my mom would steal more of it? Some years I'd really get mad at her. She'd take the last of something really good that I was looking forward to finishing off. It was like a battle." —Durham's Ben Adams, chef and partner at The Piedmont Restaurant, as told to Fred Wasser.

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"I grew up in Lexington, North Carolina. I did love Halloween. I still love Halloween. We had a good neighborhood for trick-or-treating. It was a fairly quiet residential neighborhood, so not tons of traffic. I loved Mallo Cups, Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, Snickers bars. I just figured anybody giving away Snickers bars must be really rich. My mother speculated that Snickers was my favorite candy bar because she craved Snickers when she was pregnant with me. I hated candy corn. But I married a man who loves candy corn almost as much as he loves me." —Raleigh novelist Kim Church, author of Byrd, as told to Fred Wasser.


"I grew up on a farm in North Raleigh. My brother and I had very different candy approaches. I would ration it out and savor one piece at a time until Christmas. He would go through an entire bag in an evening and then fall into a sugar coma for three days. I was never as into the scary stuff as some of the other kids, but I really liked the dressing up. Now I often feel a little outsmarted on Halloween. There are so many creative people that come up with witty iterations of things. But a cowgirl costume is my standby these days." —Durham's Sadie Tillery, programming director at the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, as told to Fred Wasser.

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