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Seven questions with Tolono's Susan Plackett

October 31 has come and gone, but the memories from this year's celebration in Tolono will live on thanks to the collection of photos shot by long time resident Susan Plackett at this year's Halloween parade.

Participants stretch for blocks as they make their way through town during the Tolono Halloween parade on October 31.
(Photo courtesy of Susan Plackett)

Born and raised in Tolono, Plackett enjoys making memories for those growing up in Tolono like many of the members of the community did for her during her childhood.

"There is nothing more uplifting in these times than seeing families and children having fun," she said.

The Halloween parade was a first for Tolono according Plackett and the third parade in the village this year. With the annual Tolono Fun Day festival canceled due to restriction on large public gatherings in Illinois to prevent the rapid spread of the Coronavirus, a 4th of July parade was put together at the last minute she said because "everyone was missing not having Fun Day the weekend before."

"The Tolono Fun Days committee is trying to give the community something to do during the pandemic," Plackett said. "We had 18 participate 4th of July and 20 participants at the September 4 golf cart parade. [For the] Halloween [parade] there were over 40 vehicles and I don’t know how many walkers."

She shared 146 photos from the parade on Facebook from the parade. Here's a look at some of her photos from three weeks ago and a little bit about her Halloween memories.

Susan Plackett photo
Susan Plackett photo
Susan Plackett photo
Photos courtesy of Susan Packett
Click on any photo view larger
Susan Plackett photo
Susan Plackett photo
Susan Plackett photo
Susan Plackett photo
Photos courtesy of Susan Packett
Click on any photo view larger
Looking back, what is your favorite trick-or-treat childhood memory?
"I am too old to remember my own but I do remember my daughter, Veronica’s Halloweens. My husband and I always made her costumes. Until one year she asked if she could please get a store costume. She still loves Halloween and I still take her picture in her costumes."
What is your favorite Halloween movie? How many times have you seen it?
"My brother (John Dodds) and I used to watch Creature Feature every Friday night in the 70’s. There was a different movie every week. Though we watched the movies in the dark our Dad would get upset because every light would be on in the house after the movie. My brother is a chicken. LOL..."
Describe the best costume you wore as an adult?
"My husband and I usually build floats for parades, but we did make a two man cow from an old white blanket and a Papier-mache’ head for a party we were invited to."
You probably saw hundreds of costumes on Saturday at the parade. What was your favorite costume of the day and why?
"I loved all the costumes. This little guy spooked me when he peeked out while I was taking pictures. I think next year there needs to be a pet costume contest The second link of a ketchup bottle costume with the dog as a hot dog. LOVED that one."
Earlier, we asked about your favorite trick-or-treat story. What year was your absolute worse Halloween and how did it end up like that?
"Oh, there is no such thing as a bad day or being bored in our house. My daughter was so disappointed when she was sick and missed the Halloween party and parade at school. Her whole class showed up all through the night to give her candy. The most trick-or-treaters we have ever had here on Daggy Street. LOL And just like that her gloom turned into joy!"
On Facebook, there were several people who said they did not have many trick-or-treaters. Did you have many stop by your house? Do you think the pandemic limited participation this year and why?
"The Pandemic may have had some to do with the low trick-or-treaters. We do not normally get trick-or-treaters because the location of our home and there are not many children in our neighborhood. Door to door trick or treating has declined for the past several years. I think parents take their kids to the newer subdivisions where there is better lighting and sidewalks and trunk or treat events."
Are you a professional photographer? When did you start taking pictures and what do you like about it?
"No, I am not a professional photographer. I have been taking photos since I was a little girl. My first camera was a pocket camera that I earned from selling things door to door.

I don’t normally take posed shots but at the request from a close friend several years ago I started to taking senior photos for family and friends. I just like taking action shots. I like catching the moment or a memory. "

According to Susan, this is the Plackett's all-time best Halloween costume. Photo provided.
I almost always have my camera around my neck during all special events I attend. I remember going to a high school play without my camera and caught myself several times reaching for it. Yes, photography withdraw is very real. LOL ... Can you believe I was restricted from having my camera at my daughters wedding. LOL ... I did capture a couple special moments behind the scene with my cell phone but I had to sneak it. Best thing ever when they put a camera in a cell phone.

I make memories beyond the camera by being involved in the school, my church and several organizations in town.

See the rest of Plackett's Halloween parade gallery on Facebook.

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