Putting the 'A' in Huntington: The Spirit of Hauntington A sunny Saturday morning in April, planes soaring overhead from the nearby municipal airport. People gather under a broad pavilion, music, food, festivities. Some carry shovels and the saplings of trees. Trees are planted in Evergreen Park, once Evergreen Manor, and very long ago, the Poor Farm. An infirmary dating back to the mid-1800s, housing wards of the state.
One such ward, known only as A, feels a stirring in the dirt. Mayor Strick is planting a tree above his unmarked grave. What year is this? 2023? He hears voices, the music, the dogs with their families and children walking on the trails above. How many years, then, has it been since Huntington became the city that it is? 175.
That must be why he keeps hearing "demisemiseptcentennial" all the time. Echoes of laughter filter through the past. He remembers laughter, but he was often the object of others' jokes, jeering, tomfoolery. He has always lingered in the dark, dapper but sinister, forever misunderstood. Perhaps after 175 years it is time to emerge, to come out into the light.
He works his way out of the ground and roams the park grounds. He wanders out toward the city, marveling at what the industrial revolution has brought to Huntington. The engines of the cars, the structure of the buildings, the business, the people, their fashions, their customs. It is like a dream.
A keeps hearing this "demisemiseptcentennial" term, sees the number 175 and the various celebrations to commemorate the anniversary. 175…1 plus 7 plus 5 equals 13, A’s favorite (and lucky) number.
It is a special city, Huntington, his city. But surely Huntington has missed him, this A. He then sees they are putting the A in Huntington: Hauntington! A time of year for all the friendly spirits to reconvene, when the autumn air is crisp, when the leaves fall, when the pumpkins grin and glow. A whole month of events, all to celebrate his 175-year-old haunt.
A is Alophus: all of us, and our love for the spooky, creepy, but frightfully fun time of year!