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October 1999

Menacing Editor

Germans have yet to adopt Halloween, but if Lisa has her way, they'll be carving out jackolanterns soon enough.

During my first October in Munich, I had the idea to make a life-size scarecrow and hang it by a noose from the front walkway of our third-floor apartment entrance on October 31. I was disappointed to learn that no one would “get it,” and that instead, I would probably be the cause of a flurry of panic-stricken calls to the local police station. The following year I was met by curious neighborhood children who asked me to explain the Halloween tradition in America. I was surprised at and delighted in their interest, and even more thrilled when they came trick-or-treating, outfitted with homemade costumes, a jack-o’-lantern and creepy music playing from a hand-held tape recorder. It made my day to experience a little bit of home in the suburbs of Munich. Germans’ growing desire to celebrate Halloween is heartily welcomed by expats. Fellow American and Munich Found writer Lisa Hock is just as sentimental about Halloween as I am. She writes about the gloriously ghoulish day in the Last Word this month. Another autumn theme is harvest. Staff writer Liz Vannah profiles two extraordinary Bavarian farms in the October feature: Herrmannsdorfer, the king of organic farming in southern Germany, and Höhenberg, a self-sufficient organic farm that offers not only a healthy bounty but a also an enriching experience for some very special people. Of course, one must give thanks for all that reaping of crops. Kathleen Saal provides us with some useful idioms for the season of harvest festivals in her Idiomatics column. The electricity market is opening up in Germany, translating to savings for consumers. Ian McMaster unravels the red tape of new alternatives in power sources in his column. Brush up on local history and art with a visit to the Münchner Stadtmuseum. Sheila Scott gives us a tour of Munich’s unique city museum in the Arts. This year, I think the grounds are fertile for a real Halloween surprise. With childlike zeal I will set about the tedious task of peeling grapes to be used as eyeballs, dress my boyfriend as a hunchback and practice my best witches’ cackle. I don’t think the neighborhood is ready for a mock hanging yet, but the American-style haunted house in our living room will surely be the scariest ticket on the block. <<< Editor’s note: Daylight savings time ends in October. Don’t forget to turn your clocks back one hour on October 31.

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