Sunday, October 06, 2013

A Halloween to Remember

Halloween was on a Friday, so we planned the big bash for Saturday.  Not all of our guests got the message as three revelers showed up for the party Friday night. Born on the day before Halloween, I seem forever destined to be connected to that holiday.

Anne and I married early in 1980 and decided to host a Halloween party that year.

Jakob, an Israeli expatriate that was doing stonework around our house for us, showed up as a cowboy.  He was soon followed by Nancy, a geologist, dressed, strangely enough, as an Indian princess.  John, another geologist, showed up a little later, his only costume a mask. 

Nonplussed, Anne and I broke out the alcohol.  There was a championship boxing match on television that night - Oklahoma City's own Sean O'Grady versus James Watt, a Scottish boxer.  The fight took place in Glasgow, Scotland and to say that there was a bit of home cooking going on is but a mild statement.  After a few rounds Watt head-butted Sean resulting in a horrible cut over his eye.  Watt should have been disqualified and O'Grady declared the winner.  Instead, the local judges ruled the cut caused by a punch rather than a head-butt. 

Those days there was no rule about excessive bleeding.  To say that there was a little blood strewn around the ring would be a true understatement.  The ring looked more like the inside of a working slaughter house, all the viewers, including myself, in shock and totally aghast.  The fight was soon called and Watt proclaimed the world champion. 

We went on to drink, carouse and to celebrate into the wee hours, neither Anne nor I in much shape for the real Halloween party that continued as planned the next day. 

A few years later I met Sean O'Grady at a Christmas Party in Oklahoma City.  The room was crowded and I was standing against a wall, sipping my whiskey.  When O'Grady spotted me, he pushed his way through the crowd, looked me straight in the eye and said, "You look just like "Little Red" Lopez." 

He wasn't smiling and I could tell from his expression and the clinch of his fists that he was getting ready to hit me.  Having seen his devastating punching power on more than one occasion, I immediately raised my right palm. 

"Believe me, I'm not "Little Red" Lopez.  I'm one of your biggest fans." 

Sean smiled and we proceeded to have a nice conversation.  Lopez, it seems, had beaten the teenaged O'Grady and he had never forgotten, or forgiven.  I have posted a picture of "Little Red" on my photo page so you can see for yourself that I look nothing like the former boxer. 

That was the first Halloween party that I hosted, eventful like everyone else that followed.  I have another Sean O'Grady story but I will save it for another day.
 

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