Kathy's Corner

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Are there pictures of you in your earliest Halloween costumes? I have pictures of some of the kids in my life in their earliest costumes. I have a picture of Jack the crying cowboy, although the crying part wasn’t planned. I have pictures of Ian and Gwyn as Superman and Rainbow Princess. I have pictures of Philip as Darth Vader! But I have no pictures of me in any Halloween costumes as a kid. What I do have is great memories of Halloween.

I won the first grade costume contest at Lincoln School for a fairy costume that I only remember because there was a picture in the local newspaper. The whole costume was white, and really looked more like a bridal outfit than a fairy costume. That was the year my mother used vegetables to decorate our pumpkin instead of carving a jack-o-lantern. This pumpkin had green pepper halves for ears. She brought it into school, and Mr. Marlowe the principal took us around to several classes to show other grades my mother’s work.

After that memorable Halloween, I remember several costume choices around being a flapper. A flapper was an image of a young woman in the 1920’s. My flapper costumes were based on an actress named Dorothy Provine on a TV show called “The Roaring 20’s.” Most flapper costumes had long fringe sewn to a basic sleeveless dress, but instead of fringe my costume used strips of leftover hat trim from my Grangree’s hat factory sewn to a sleeveless dress. They had little balls hanging at the end of the strips. It was an unusual choice, but it me gave the image of a flapper that I was going for.

My most memorable Halloween costume was one I still talk about on the radio because nobody got it. It was a time when “My Fair Lady” was a very popular movie. It’s the story of a poor flower seller who is taught to be a proper lady by a very mean professor who can’t sing. I thought dressing as Eliza Doolittle (the flower seller, played by Julie Andrews on Broadway and Audrey Hepburn in the movie) would be a well-regarded choice that Halloween. I was wrong. Despite sewing patches on my skirt and carrying a basket of flowers and smudging dirt on my face like Eliza had in the movie, nobody knew who I was! A couple of people even asked if I needed to wash the smudges off my face!

For this Halloween, I will make sure I have lots of candy to hand out to lots of kids. My neighborhood has a big Halloween parade for little kids and families. My favorite is when families go out together in a themed costume. I may not always know what a costume is supposed to be, but I always make sure to say “good job!” to kids in costume on Halloween because I know what kind of effort went into it.

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Summer Vacations

Every summer as far back as I can remember, my family went on a car trip to Florida the last week in June and the first week in July. My grandmother (Grangree)’s hat factory closed for those two weeks, and as soon as her work day ended that Friday, we were off on the long ride from Huntington, Long Island (NY) to Florida.

Grangree always took a little velvet purse with her. It was full of change that she had saved all year long, and the money in that purse to paid for gas for the trip. Imagine how much would have to be in that purse today! I have so many wonderful memories tied to those trips. Many of those memories involve being squished and hot in the backseat of the car, but they also involve the summer magic of long family trips. I remember lying in the backseat with my head on Grangree’s lap as she told me stories about her childhood. I remember the first time I saw my favorite movie: “Meet Me in St. Louis.” It was the first night of our trip, and we stopped in Havre de Grace, Maryland. Since the whole family stayed in the same motel room together, I watched the movie with the sound turned way down on the black and white TV. I still remember how wonderful it was to discover that movie.

I also remember being scared, and I regret not talking to the adults about it. In those years, the news was full of stories about a revolution in Cuba and how close it was to Florida. Instead of talking with adults about my concerns, I kept them to myself, and I let my unspoken fears scare me. I even started the habit of sleeping with the head covered in case Cuban soldiers broke into our motel room. It sounds silly now, but it was very real and scary to a little kid like me. That is why I am a big fan of asking grownups to turn off the TV if kids are scared by news stories.

One year Grangree and I flew to Florida alone. I was just 3 years old. I remember how wonderful it was not sharing Grangree with my little brother. I remember screaming on the beach because I saw a monster, and Grangree hurrying to reassure me that wasn’t a monster, but a crab on the beach.

This summer you and your family are going to make memories together. Maybe you’ll go away. Maybe you’ll stay close to home. Whatever you do during these wonderful summer days, stay safe and have a great time!

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The Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape People (also known as Nanticoke Lenape Indians) are a tribal confederation of the core families of the Nanticoke and Lenni-Lenape whose homelands have been in Southern New Jersey and the Delmarva Peninsula from ancient times. They are the northernmost of three well studied and documented, closely interrelated tribal communities, including the Nanticoke and the Lenape of Sussex and Kent Counties in Delaware.

Their Tribe is a sovereign American Indian Nation made up of the enrolled tribal citizens who have met the mandatory documented descent and blood quantum requirements from the historic core tribal families as set by our tribal law. Their tribal sovereignty was granted by the almighty Creator to their ancestors and was never surrendered by our tribal leadership to any other authority. Their tribal citizens freely submit to the jurisdiction of, and pledge allegiance to, the Tribal government of the Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape Indian Tribe and agree to abide by any and all laws and rules of the Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape and will respect and comply with the decisions of the duly elected tribal leaders.

Listen above as Kathy welcomes Trinity Norwood of the Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape People into the Kids Corner studio to talk all about her own family history!

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