By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Halloween and the great American hot dog
SWORDFISH THATCHER was a big hit up and down the Kickapoo Valley on Halloween. Here he is shown making his way through LaFarge accompanied by his grandpa and grandma – Mark and Janet.

GAYS MILLS - Happy Halloween dear readers! Since this issue is published on the actual date of Halloween, you’ll have to wait to hear how our trick or treating adventure goes for the Schendel-Dremsa family. But, luckily for my kid, Halloween has turned into one of those holidays that gets stretched out for the whole month of October. 

We are already swimming in candy, and our costumes have been gazed upon by many cooing onlookers already. Thatcher and Waylon participated in Southwest Tech’s Fright Night last week. The college kids put on a little trick or treating moment, complete with face painting, a movie, fire trucks, tractors and the great pumpkin drop.  

Thatcher and I found ourselves oogling all of the other kiddos who dressed up this year, admiring their creativity and fun costumes. We saw a lion, several spider men, a unicorn and even the Grinch and Cindy Loo Who. 

Being the busy and not so crafty mom that I am, I’ve kind of fallen behind on making Thatcher’s requested costume, a swordfish. We are fortunate that Thatcher is flexible and has agreed to temporarily be Daniel Tiger, the little tiger puppet from Mister Rogers.  We already had the tiger suit and little red jacket so it fell together perfectly. Thatcher, being the young lad who never forgets, continually reminds me “that everyone expects him to be a swordfish.” So, hopefully, I manage to put something like that together-we’ll see! 

The swordfish has been a long time coming, as Thatcher has been pretty excited for Halloween for awhile. Some other suggested costumes he’s had included a Mudskipper, A Trout (and mom and dad were to be ‘ordinary rocks’), a Pink Sugar Glider with No Stripe, and chicken like last year. 


Waylon’s costume has also evolved quite a bit from my original ideas that floated around my head. I’ve had this fantasy myself of dressing my kids up as some comical, legendary duo.  Lietenant Dan and Forest Gump? The guys from Dumb and Dumber? Macho Man Randy Savage and Hulk Hogan? The list is kind of endless for possibilities. But for now, little Bopster has been a cute little monkey for most of iahi Halloweening up to the big moment. If all goes well though, he and I will be a pair of burly, lumberjacks for the official day. Not to be forgotten is dear old dad. Who, after some begging and pleading, agreed to dress up for Halloween this year. Chasca will be a giant hot dog, the likes of which the world has never seen. 

I’m glad Chasca has finally given in to the glory of dressing up for Halloween. Like with the boys, I’m full of hilarious (at least to me) ideas for couples’ costumes for us. Chasca is about a foot taller than I am, which also adds to the potential comedy of our duo.   Dog the Bounty Hunter and his wife Beth, A giant gorilla and a little banana, me as Popeye the Sailor man, and Chasca as his beloved Olive Oil, a tiny gnome and giant mushroom? How can this hilarity be denied! But alas, Chasca, being the understated somewhat shy kind of guy has not agreed to all of this Halloween madness. 

Lucky for me though, Thatcher has his daddy wrapped around his finger. So when we were browsing the racks at the Bethel Buttikk one day and found the giant Hotdog Costume for a mere dollar, I knew my dreams of a costumed Chasca would come true. It took little convincing when Thatcher came home and squealed with delight “DAD YOU GET TO BE A HOT DOG FOR HALLOWEEN!” The orders were set in stone. 

 As a kid, my dad was always the one to take us trick or treating, making quite the trip for the night. He would load us up in his vehicle and drive us around to several neighborhoods in our hometown of Beloit–ensuring we made the most of our few hours to gather the goods. 

Once back home, my brother and  I would dump all of our loot out on the floor for the great inspection. My mom would come through and eyeball each piece for some type of potential razor blade, needle mark or other contamination to the candy. Once deemed safe, we would commence to separating, trading and arguing over who gets what. 

I’m glad to have a little more time before Waylon discovers the world of sweet treats, because once he does, there is no going back. For now, he is totally happy tipping over his brother’s candy bucket and squealing with delight at the brightly colored wrappers. Subsequently, the delighted squealing turns to crying, when a pair of clamoring adults and one frantic brother swoop in and steal the candy right from his sweet little sticky baby hands.