Boo Ha Ha has always been one of my favorite Pioneer projects. I mean what’s not to like? Candy, Decorations, Dressing-up in Costumes and Adorable Kids whose faces just light up from all of the excitement (and the sugar). Fun!
Somehow it seems that I ended being the official decorator for the Comporium Pioneer's Boo Ha Ha booth for many years. The reason might be that I love, love, love to decorate and I love to dress up to get me in the spirit. For many years I dressed as a witch – mainly because I already had the costume. One of the first years, I was covered from head to toe in full witch’s attire with a long black wig, scarry makeup, the works. This grown man in a costume who was there with his small children, approached me and said “Are you Melinda?” Shocked and a little disappointed that someone recognized me adorned that way, I acknowledged that it was indeed me. He informed me that he was the “little lad” that used to come by after school every day (about 20 years earlier) to the insurance office where I was working at the time. He and I became good friends, and I looked forward to his visits. He had moved, and I left the job so we lost contact. Just goes to show you, be careful what you do while in costume, you might not be as anonymous as you think.
I’m not sure I should be surprised that I was recognized, because years later, after setting up the Pioneer booth, I stopped by Park Point Village skilled nursing where my Dad was a resident in my witch costume. My dad had some dementia by then, but he looked at me with a confused look for a few seconds, and then said “Hi Millie” (his nickname for me). Oh well, I guess “witch” must look natural on me.
Melinda Niday, Retired
1994 – 2019