Sunday, November 9, 2008
"There was an old man called Patrick McGillicuddy.
He was an old crank an awful old fuddy-duddy.
He took a skid while chasing a kid,
and these are the remains of the old busy-body."
1) Eyes--peeled grapes
2) Hair--rope, unknotted
4) Leg bone--bone
5) Veins and arteries--macaroni
7) Hand--glove with jello
-- Florence Jessie Meredith Sproul, "Grandma Sproul," 1914-2004
When I was about 10 years old, in 1958, my mother, Grandma Sproul, had a Halloween party for me and my friends. We lived at 406 Clarendon Place, Orange, NJ. The house had a front to back hallway that was as wide as a room. At the back of the hallway, she had taken my brother Walter's Lincoln Log box and placed it on two saw horses, with Grandpa Sproul's help. Grandpa Meredith had made the box for Walter and it was the size of a small coffin. She arranged chairs, auditorium style, in front of the box. All of the lights were turned off and she had a candle placed at each end of the box. In the box were stored all of the items listed above. She invited us to attend the funeral of "Poor Mr. McGillicuddy." Slowly she removed each item, told us what it was "supposed" to be and had us pass the items up and down the aisles. Everyone screamed and yelled and finally laughed. With the noise and the eerie lighting, passers-by must have thought the house was haunted! The party was a huge success. -- Meredith Joy Sproul Friedman, 1948-