The Mummy’s Hand and….

Angie Cooper’s green hair and scream show how I felt during The Mummy’s Hand–my first and last horror movie. The curse, the potion, the spell and suspense have haunted me since 4th grade 4-H summer camp.

Jim’s mummyish hand, worn out from work and old age, is almost as scary as the 1940 version.

I still like to scream and yell, but since seeing The Mummy’s Hand, I’ve learned to be more tolerant, more curious about scary dreams and imaginative monsters. Strange beings and bizarre situations take me to an emotional edge–and they can also become portals for insight and rare beauty.

Jim and I had 4:30 a.m. 1st breakfast on the deck below the ringed full moon.

We earthlings experience the thin veil about this time of year.

Looking back through our years in the Cazadero hills and the Big Barn Halloween extravaganzas, nostalgia overcomes us. Please join in on these memories of the Ft. Ross Volunteer Fire Department fund raising events. You may have identification info or anecdotes you want to share.

Now, this very instant, make yourself

to Zoom back a few years and beyond. Time warps may occur willy nilly.

The Great Pumpkin and the Great Pumpkin Crone beckon–

Who knows what surprises will be illuminated by dim recollections?

The Big Barn’s spectacular bonfire warms us; the glow radiates as it helps us become reacquainted in spite of disguises.

Skeletons greet us at the Big Barn entrance.

Sylvia Murphy and the Thugz amplify the boisterous energy busting out of the barn.

We’re all dancing–

Judy Rosales leads the kids’ dancing parade.

Butterfly fairies are all the rage.

Chicken Big is awesome…

Alan Beckwith and Marcella Robinson

Artistic creativity abounds .

Pirate lady is pondering the Dark Side–but she goes forth undaunted.

Mary Pat Jacobs

John Howland usually greets folks with a friendly grin–he’s the last person we suspect would become cloaked with a villainous spirit.

As in days of yore, the bandido is armed with real bullets.

An assortment of characters enrich the festivities.

Timothy Osmer and a guest

Merlin Velasquez Greer

Jesus Velasquez and Patricia Greer

Marion Schoenfeld

Although we’re missing pics of many costumes, some remain vivid in our memories. Charles Hope, the backhoe operator famous for grading and repairing ranch roads, once disguised himself with a clean shave, slicked back hair and the scariest costume he could think of: a three-piece suit. Also, once Ken Genetti arrived as a Maypole and Peter Cooper came as a very clever tall pumpkin. There were vampires, dragons, green chickens, angels and frogs. One year Naomi Granoff and I went as the Calendar Girls (with decorated colanders on our heads.)

I wish we had photos of all the fabulous bands and the excellent t-shirts designed by Stephanie Endsley and others. Local crafts people contributed handsomely to the raffles.

As we wind down the Wild Art party reminiscing, here’s the white witch with her magic blessing on the camaraderie and abundant generosity.

The jester reminds us of the great fun we’ve had together.

The bartenders and dish washers should also have front-stage acknowlegment.

Michael Fels and J

Millions of thanks to the many folks who planned and organized these memorable events. I wish all your names could be listed here.

Untold numbers of volunteers set up, decorated, then took down and cleaned up–so many neighbors working and playing together.

Now the Great Pumpkin sends cheer far and near.

Rain Report:

Susan Zerwick, a Caz hills resident, is a citizen scientist reporting rainfall to the national collaborative data base ( She graciously visits us in her cloud costume to report this area’s total inches of rain since September 2021: 21.94 inches–as of 9:20 a.m. Oct. 25, 2021. She notes that the entire total from last year was 30.24 inches.

We also enjoy her sunshine smile:

13 thoughts on “The Mummy’s Hand and….

  1. Oh thank you for this clever and lovely journey. I was just waxing nostalgic over big barn Halloweens! I even spotted my beloved in a photo! We loved joining all the energy and creativity thet went into our fundraisers. Those parties showcase our eclectic and talented community.


  2. Wonderful to be able to share in your own memories. Where I live there are a handful of children and the costumes are worn by the youngest and sweetest among us. Door decorations are already popping up. The cold air and all this rain is so welcome for the land ….. even as it wreaks havoc with power-outages, lowlands too full of water already and more to come. The wind this morning caused a small branch from a favorite tree to come crashing onto my deck. Hello, spooks! xoxoxo


  3. Thank you gretchen. Brings warmth to my heart! Such wonderful memories captured in your words and photos. Alan Beckwith


    1. Gretchen, thank you so much for this! So wonderful especially since it has been a couple of years at least since we’ve been able to pull one of these bashes off. Nostalgic journey I so appreciated, it really had me time travelling to those fab parties, more to come in the future hopefully!
      Anne Hanson


  4. Looks like you all really know how to celebrate and have such fun! Thanks for sharing! Happy Halloween! diane

    “If you feel as though you don’t fit into this world……’s because you are here to help create a better one.”

    (Sent from my iPhone)



  5. Thank you for the wonderful walk down memory lane.
    So many good times at those Big Barn Halloween parties!
    Linda Hudson


  6. First horror flick: “Night of the Living Dead” I was 11 and it scared the beejeesus out of me! No more zombies for this gal!


  7. Thanks Gretchen. John Howland and I miss the Big Barn Bash. Last time there we were Donald and Hillary, so it was a long time ago! Two movies scarred my child brain: The Beast with Five Fingers, and the original Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Happy Halloween


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