By Kevin Siembieda
Reaction to The Rifter® #75 has been strong, the Hell Followed™ sourcebook for Dead Reign® is about to go into layout, Rifts® CS Arsenal™ is in full swing production, and Halloween was fantastic. I hope yours was as well.
For Kathy Simmons and I, Halloween is as big as, or bigger than Thanksgiving and Christmas. We create a sprawling Halloween display complete with scenes and excruciating detail. There are more than 100 life-sized figures and we get lots and lots of people. Toss unseasonably warm and dry weather into the mix, a feature article in a digital newspaper and ever increasing word of mouth, and we had our biggest and best Halloween ever. From Friday through Halloween, we estimate 6,000+ people walked through our and the neighbor’s front yards (they have a very nice and large display too). Kathy and I sat out there every evening talking with the hundreds of people an hour and handing out candy.
It is a wonderful feeling to see the joy our displays bring to so many people. And not just kids, but teenagers, adults and grandparents. Awestruck and delighted by all the sights and sound, and subtle scares. It warms the heart and makes you feel proud and humbled to be the source of so much fun and happiness. Incredible. For me, the joy is not just the thrills and laughter we bring to thousands and thousands of children of all ages, but seeing the joy it brings Kathy. She puts her heart and soul into this display. She makes most of the figures, sets them up, lights them and makes sure there is candy every night of October. Her kindness and sweet nature is alive in that magnificent display born from her imagination and love. Sure, I help in a lot of ways, but Halloween is Kathy’s time, and she just beams like an autumn sunrise.
We got three compliments this year that were jaw dropping. The best of all, being the last. 1. A couple of people who used to work at one of Michigan’s best Haunted Houses told us our display was as good as any haunted house they had ever seen, and better than most. Wow. 2. The online newspaper listed 17 Things You Must Do Halloween Weekend. Our two displays (Kathy’s and our neighbor’s combined) were listed as Number Three! 3. A group of people told us that we not only captured the spirit of Halloween, but that as far as they were concerned, “This is Halloween.” Amazing. Just amazing. Even though I’m a part of this wonder, I send my love and congratulations to the two ladies of Halloween, Kathy and Alice. You inspire us all. Thank you for making the month of October magical and dazzling. I will never forget this Halloween.