Revivng a fun Halloween tradition in Troy

Published 12:00 am Sunday, October 28, 2001


Once a reporter, always a reporter

And because of that, the little white "reporter’s notebook" is never far away. I find myself jotting notes and thoughts, odds and ends, that often fill that notebook. And, every once in a while, it’s time to empty that notebook and share those notes with others.

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The faces stared up from the news pages as a small crowd gathered around to ooh and ahh. "Look, she was just a baby then," one person said, pointing to a bright-eyed cowgirl’s picture.

It was one of more than 130 on the pages of The Messenger’s 1996 Halloween scrapbook. Hundreds of costumed youngsters ­ from monsters to cheerleaders ­ were pictured in that publication, their young faces shining with pride and excitement at their costumes and the thrill of Halloween. Five years later, that scrapbook is a treasure trove of images and personalities, a true keepsake for those who are pictured in its pages. The Messenger’s traditional Halloween picture section will be revived this year, to the delight of the staff as much as the parents and children, I suspect.

Again this year we’ll open our doors from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. to community children in costume. We invite you to trick-or-treat and have your picture taken for publication in our special edition, which will be in the Sunday, Nov. 4, newspaper. In addition, Moms and Dads can purchase color copy of the individual portraits to keep with the scrapbook.

But, I suspect, the event will be just as much fun for the paper’s staff members, who still share the excitement of Halloween and the delight of seeing all those creative and, yes, even scary costumes.

Alumni of Leadership Pike, the Chamber of Commerce’s leadership development program, already know how valuable participation in those sessions can be. For a newcomer, that program can be invaluable. That’s even easier to say after a recent session on Pike County history. Led by the venerable Bill Rice, the day was filled with sightseeing and lore, from family histories to, as he said, real life "crime and punishment." The session was a fascinating introduction to the rich and varied history of Pike County. And although I won’t remember all the roads we traveled or the names and histories he shared in that day, I have mastered the proper pronunciation of Orion and Clio

and that’s a good start.

Troy State University, its fans and its alumni have reason to brag about the community spirit and support for the football team. After attending our second Troy State game this weekend (and braving that chilling wind), I know two young guys who are new Trojan fans. So don’t be surprised if you see us driving down South Brundidge one morning and here my son’s adaptation of the new rallying cry, "Go Trojans. Get ’em, get ’em," which he’s fond of yelling out the windows.

With Halloween only days away, the holiday season is fast approaching. And, I’m excited about the Downtown Promenade, which is planned for Nov. 18. The traditional Christmas season kick-off for downtown and area merchants will have a new twist this year, thanks to the creative efforts of local artisans. The event will combine shows and performances from area visual and performance artists ­ from painters to jazz musicians ­ with business open houses and, of course, great sales to early Christmas shoppers. Planners are hard at work lining up dozens of artists, whose works or talents will be on display at the various participating business and around the square on that Sunday afternoon. Children’s activities are being planned, as well, to offer entertainment for youngsters while Mom or Dad shops And merchants will be open from 1 to 5 p.m. that day, offer bargains for early shoppers and that warm and welcoming Troy hospitality. Although I never need an excuse to go shopping, this is one invitation too irresistible to miss.

And, speaking of that Troy hospitality, I can attest that Mississippi has nothing on Troy when it comes to hospitality and friendliness. Thanks to the dozens of folks who’ve gone out of their way to welcome me and my family to Troy, from co-workers to business and civic leaders to the clerks at the grocery store. As I’ve told them all, we’re excited to be here and feel blessed to be able to become a part of the Pike County community.

Stacy Graning is publisher of The Messenger. She can be reached at 670-6308 or via e-mail,


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