"AROUND SUNOL" by BREE K. JAMES


November 4, 2002

HALLOWEEN IN SUNOL, like all else here, is unique unto itself. There isn't much traditional trick-or-treat activity, mostly because there isn't much in the way of sidewalks, and many of our homes are pretty inaccessible. Nonetheless, there is plenty of Halloween spirit here.

The Saturday before Halloween, Kilkare Woods resident Klay Kunkel and his girlfriend Tere Hurst put on an outstanding costume party at the KWA clubhouse. The decorations turned the rustic cabin into an All Hallow's Eve nightclub, with the dance floor defined by shimmering streamers revolving overhead. Klay's an engineer, so the guests were pretty confident whatever was holding the mechanism onto the ceiling would keep it there!

The costumed guests included a Grecian princess with an enviable tan, a bawdy monk who kept up a continuous banter, and a Girl Scout with some very questionable merit badges. There was even a paramecium, but I'm not even going to try and describe that one! And then there was the mummy. Part of one eye was all that was visible from within the endless, creepy wrapping. There was an opening where the living have mouths, and beverages and food did seem to find their way in, but it sure looked like there was nobody home!

Later, when continuous dancing began to unravel Mr. Mummy, a few of the ladies present, um, helped the process along, until KWA Pres Stephan Doyle was revealed. This is a family newspaper, so I'd better add that he was wearing white jean shorts under all those bandages, and took home the Best Male Costume prize for his efforts! A standing "O" for Klay and Tere, who really know how throw a Halloween party.

HILLSIDE HALLOWEEN: Another Sunolian who takes Halloween to heart in her own unique way is Rebecca Douglas. She and her husband Malcolm have lived here for about 25 years, and have carved an amazing environment out of their hillside property on Kilkare Road. There are countless paths and terraces winding up the hill, with rock walls defining some of the areas, steps climbing from level to level, four distinct patios, and plants absolutely everywhere. Several unusual gates stand guard over some of the flowers and greenery - and Becky claims fences may join them at some point!
I could easily write pages about the Douglas' property - the job Malcolm has done shaping it into a hillside marvel, Becky's estimable green thumb and artistic eye, and their countless charming and unique collectibles - but then I wouldn't have room to tell you about their Halloween extravaganza.

The place is Halloween Land, folks. There are lighted pumpkins everywhere - many expertly hand-carved by Becky, and all manner of ghosts, masks and statues. Trees are decorated with light strands in bearing pumpkins, ghosts, skeletons, and giant candy corns. Little twinkling lights glow in bushes, on trees, along walkways. Each patio is filled with Halloween ornamentation. Every turn of the head brings another fantastic scene into view. "I just love holidays," Becky reported, and she does Christmas all the way, too!

KID-SIZED FESTIVITIES: Sunol's younger set had a great Halloween, too. The annual school parade wove its way through town from Sunol Glen, with costumed students and teachers escorted by police cars and fire engines. Sunol is still a place where traffic comes to a halt for kids in super hero capes and sparkly angel wings. On Halloween night, Sunol 4-H held its yearly "Trunk or Treat" event, where parents fill the school basketball court with cars that look like Halloween floats, trunks filled with treats, and there are games and contests in the cafeteria.

Our new neighbors Alex and Marianne Vlacos and their children were abuzz with excitement preparing for their first visit to this unique Halloween party. Fourth-grader Aris was mighty scary in his Edvard Munch "Scream" costume, while first-grader Cade was a very spooky skeleton, and their sister, Tessa, three, was a perfectly adorable Scooby Doo. And though trick-or-treating may have its logistical challenges here, there was lots of candy given out neighbor-to-neighbor, and house-to-house where possible. All in all, it was another magical Sunol Halloween.

DEMOCRACY'S A PRIVILEGE: Tomorrow is Election Day, and I'll be working at the polls as usual, along with Pat Stillman, Steve Doyle and Cindy Frillman. Don't forget to vote, okay? And bring cookies.

Next week, the Freebo report - I promise!

The Mummy (Stephan Doyle) relaxes outside the Kilkare Woods club house in Sunol during a Halloween party there.
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