By Joan McNulty Pulver
My mother came from a family of eight sisters and three brothers. Of the remaining family living in Brooklyn, only my Aunt Betty and Uncle Joe lived in a house. It was an old two-story brick building. They rented out the top floor apartment and inhabited the ground floor. The front of the house sported a small stoop and lush green grass in the summer. She planted a small bed of tulips every year. I loved those tulips. To me they seemed so exotic to me, especially after Aunt Betty told me they were from Holland, the country where they wore wooden shoes.
The basement of the house was dark and scary in the best of times. My older cousin Bobby would hide down there and jump out at his sister Carol and I just to make us jump. At Christmas time Uncle Joe set up Bobby’s Lionel train set on a piece of plywood laid over the ping pong table. When I was about seven years old, Aunt Betty decided to have a Halloween party for us kids. I will never forget that night.
We all gathered together, cousins, friends and neighborhood kids. We bobbed for apples and played Snap the Apple (Without using your hands try to bite a dime from the apple hanging on a string from the rafters.), have a costume contest and eat lots of goodies. Unbeknownst to most of the other kids, my mother planned to put on an old sheet with eyes cut out and come downstairs in the dark carrying a candle.
The basement was ornamented with pumpkins, and pictures of witches, black cats, and other assorted cardboard and paper decorations. About half way through the party the lights went out and down the stairs came my mother. One boy, who was in my class at school, started yelling and crying like a little baby. He was terrified. His older brother tried to quiet him to no avail. I walked over, put my arm around his shoulder and whispered, Don’t be afraid. It is only my Mom.
He quickly stopped when he realized who was talking. Later I heard him tell his brother that he just knew I would go to school on Monday and tell everyone he was a sissy and a crybaby. At first, I didn’t say anything. My feelings were hurt. How could he think I’d be that cruel? Later on I went over to him when he lost at bobbing for apples and told him I had overheard what he told his brother. I convinced him that I would never tell anyone at school what happened and assured him that if I hadn’t known that it was my Mom, I would have been just as scared.
I never told anyone in school about it and he and I stayed friends through the whole eight years of grammar school. I have no idea what happened to him after that, as we moved to a new neighborhood and we went to different high schools but I will never forget the Halloween we became friends.
To find out more about Joan, visit her website The Writers Life at www.thewriterslife-online.com Joan McNulty Pulver is a freelance writer from Brandon, Florida. She is also a monthly columnist for T-zero Xpanizine, writing Recognitions, where she celebrates the writing successes of her peers.
She has written several short stories, which were published in the same magazine plus she wrote an article titled Pearl Harbor Remembered that was published in the April 2005 issue of U.S. Legacies magazine.
Taking another path in her career Joan applied for and was hired as the Acquisitions Coordinator/Editor for epress-online.com.
She is also a partner in Team Spirit Critique and Editing, LLC.
U S Legacies Magazine October 2005
Joan McNulty-Pulver Obituary
McNULTY-PULVER, Joan 67, of Brandon, passed away March 7, 2011. She is survived by her children, Raymond Vidal, Alicia A. Savoie, Rodney V. McNulty, Marjorie Pulver and Frank Pulver; seven grandchildren; and an extended loving family and friends. Services will be private. Stowers Funeral Home-Brandon
Published by Tampa Bay Times on Mar. 9, 2011.