Who you gonna call?
Not us, apparently, if you need a ghost.
This was year two of Wiscasset Area Chamber of Commerce’s scarecrow contest for businesses and organizations. The Wiscasset Newspaper signed up again, in community and seasonal spirit.
The smiley-faced, dapper Wiscasset Newspaper paper boy scarecrow of 2016, my mother Sally Hinckley’s creation that greeted Route 1 motorists at Ames Supply, snagged no prizes but was a fun hit that had us looking forward to next year.
This time, my mother’s idea was for a ghost pulling a wagon loaded with copies of the Wiscasset Newspaper. Still fun, but more of a Halloween theme. I ran it by our editorial and sales staff and it was a go.
Cotton sheets for a ghost with a sheer white curtain over-layer for effect, empty beverage jugs and an upside down pink bucket for the body and head shape under the fabrics, baling twine and white duct tape to keep it all together, cute facial features with a cut-out smile and eyes looking to the ghost’s left, toward the newspapers ... What could go wrong?
My mother is an incredible homemade costume-maker. She doesn’t sew, nor do I, but sewing has nothing on Velcro.
At Newell School in Bath, in the ’70s when elementary schools still had nighttime Halloween parties, one year my sister Joanne was a land shark and I, Mickey Mouse – although my mother forgot to add the pants, so Mickey was all mouse. On our way to the party, she realized this and drove back home for his red shorts.
When my grandmother was about 90, my mother and I worked together on making her a turtle costume, complete with a tote bag for her to carry, reading “U.S. Mail,” for a Halloween event at the Senior Citizens Center in Bath. The pictures of her in it, smiling in green face paint, now are more links to memories of Nana.
So there we were, my mother and I, on the grass along Route 1 at Ames Supply again this year, working around the green metal post the Chamber put in the ground for the Wiscasset Newspaper’s entry. The wind reminded us to secure everything well, for the winds were forecast to build in the days to come. Velcro’s cousin in versatility, the duct tape, went tightly around portions of sheet and the post; and their country cousin, the green baling twine, helped with that and on tying the beverage jugs together ahead of time.
We also put out the black trough substituting for a red wagon we’d planned to get but had no luck – just missing a free one at the Wiscasset Transfer Station by an hour, as Bob Wolfe informed me. The new plan was to add a makeshift handle and wheels to complete the wagon, so when we left the display Saturday, it was a work in progress. On Monday, the ghost was all apart from the windy weekend – the sheets on the grass near the underpinnings, which remained well-attached to the post.
Chamber Chairman Monique McRae, from The First, later gave us the good and surprising news, our entry took “Most Scary.” She said it was an adorable ghost, but also the only goblin.
In 1953, my mother, then 10 and dressed as, you’ve got it, a ghost, won a box of chocolate-covered cherries for taking “Scariest” in a city Halloween costume contest in Bath. She was very pleased at this year’s win.
If you drove by at any point and thought it was a sailboat, as we have heard, or something else, hopefully this has cleared up the mystery.
However, another one, fit for Halloween, remains. At a time undetermined, the ghost came back together. Someone, also undetermined, but determined to help, apparently, reassembled him, a little worse for wear, but he was back. I have asked McRae and others, and the trail has run cold. If it was you, thank you, and my mother thanks you.
Congratulations to this year’s fellow entrants and winners, and to the Chamber for helping add again to Wiscasset’s scarecrow row. McRae said BIRCH won “Most Creative,” Wiscasset Ford “Most Unusual” and Edecomb Green, “Honorable Mention.”