Tuesday night brings Halloween, All Hallow’s Eve, one of my favorite holidays. Looking back over the years, I find it strange that it is a holiday I’ve written so little about over the course of the history of the Convivio Book of Days, but I think I know why: Each year, I write a ghostly tale for the Convivio Dispatch, which is something much older than this blog. The Convivio Dispatch is an occasional plain text email that goes out to the world, often late at night, and very often it is a story. It has been this way since 1998, when the first Dispatch went out. It was known back then as the Red Wagon Dispatch, a reflection of our former press name, Red Wagon Press. Those were simpler days. I remember being amazed that I could click “Send,” and my words could be delivered to all 35 people on my mailing list.
These days the numbers are higher, for which I am grateful, but the delivery gets muddled in a barrage of media shouting for our attention. And though I have tried once or twice to meld together the Convivio Book of Days blog and the Convivio Dispatch, when it comes right down to it, I find that I rather like having the Dispatch as it is: a story that arrives in your inbox, and that is that. No pictures, no video links, just words that you can read if you want.
And so for weeks now, off and on, I’ve been writing this year’s Halloween Dispatch. This has become a bit of a tradition, this full immersion in writing a story, and I realize this is why I’ve yet to write extensively about Halloween on the blog. Perhaps writing extensively about Halloween will have to wait for the real book version of the Convivio Book of Days. Meanwhile, if you’d like this year’s Halloween Dispatch, which so far seems to be about two of my great-grandmothers, the great jazz-age Florida architect Addison Mizner, and the old Lake Worth pioneers whose graves are beneath a trap door under the stage at the Norton Museum of Art, then please, subscribe to the Convivio Dispatch email list now. And if you’d prefer to just get this one story and no other Dispatches, then just send me an email and I’ll send it to you when it’s finished. You can reach me to ask for the story at email@example.com (I think you’ll have to copy and paste that into the address field).
Have a fine Halloween.
Image: That’s John & Millie, my dad and mom, at a neighborhood Halloween party, sometime in the 1960s.