Chad Koenen


I don’t know if there were more than a handful of times my family purchased an actual Halloween costume for me for Halloween. There were a few purchased costumes, like a football player with shoulder pads none-the-less and some ninja costume with a sword, but most of my costumes growing up were of the homemade kind (at least that’s the way I remember it). 

One particular costume I remember was when my parents dressed me up as Batman with a homemade costume. In order to achieve the look I wore all black with a black stocking hat with two ears on top (you know the bat look right, even though most people thought I was a bank robber). Back when I was younger, which seems like an eternity ago, homemade costumes were fairly common. When Halloween was done those homemade costumes could be broken down into sweatshirts for school or sticking hats with ears for the winter months. 

In fact, there were a lot of sideways looks when you showed up to the community Halloween party, or at school for your classroom party, with a store bought costume. You know the look, like where does your family get off paying all that money for a costume look. 

Of course when you make your own costume you typically had the 2-3 minute explanation of what the costume was suppose to look like—if you needed a longer explanation you knew your costume looked nothing like your intended purpose. 

A few weeks ago, given the supply chain concerns, we started looking at Halloween costumes for our kids. Today it is just easier, and in many ways less expensive, to simply buy a Halloween costume as opposed to taking the time to make your own. While Dani is pretty crafty I am not sure any costume I laid my hands on would make it out the door without falling apart, much less surviving a night of trick or treating. 

While the store bought costumes look like their intended purchase, it is sad to think that most kids won’t ever have a memory to share with their kids someday about their Halloween costume gone bad. After all, I still enjoy looking at old pictures of garbage bags that were utilized as a cape and ski masks that doubled as a Darth Vader costume.

Fall sports

Is it me or did the fall sports season just begin? Tournaments for sports like tennis are already underway and the volleyball, football and cross country teams will begin their section tournaments in less than two weeks.

I don’t think any of us really knew what was going to transpire when the fall sports season began in August. Would the athletes be required to wear masks? How long would fans actually be allowed to attend games? Would there even be a state tournament or would the season be canceled midway through the year like last year due to COVID-19?

I am scared I am about to jinx us all, but by all accounts things have went fairly well so far this year with limited interruptions to games due to COVID-19. Fans are still able to attend games and the athletes have been able to avoid wearing masks so far this year.

It’s nice to be able to see fans at the games again and I am no psychologist but it seems like the players and coaches are much more relaxed this season compared to last year. Even in the face of defeat they seem to have a bit of happiness surrounding them and I think we all appreciate getting back to a bit of normalcy, however that may be, has done wonders for everyone’s self esteem.

Hopefully things will continue to go well this fall and into winter as we get ready for another busy winter sports season in our region.