Sunday, October 30, 2011
This is Halloween
Some memories from childhood aren't so grand, but then there are those I cherish, like Halloween on Reimche Drive. My mom wasn't a big fan. She told me annually they weren't having Halloween this year.
Regardless of her lack of enthusiasm, I loved this particular holiday. Walking into my classroom in grammar school on October 1 was always thrilling for me because the teachers at Turner Elementary went all out when decorating their rooms. After school, I would get on my bike and ride around the block to see who had put up there Halloween fare in the windows.
Then there was the night itself. Had to eat dinner before going trick or treating, but I was too excited to be hungry (unless the menu included items such as little Snickers bars and the like). Speaking of Halloween candy, I always took umbrage at the label they stamped on the wrappers that indicated the product was the "fun size." Those tiny little offerings weren't the "fun size." Full size candy bars, even king size would be the fun size!
Our neighborhood was perfect for trick or treating. My house was surrounded by neighbors with kids my age. We would gather with a designated parent and hit the streets. I'll never forget certain houses. There was the lady in the court who would grab a handful of candy and drop it in our pillow cases (pillow cases, to haul the most booty). Loved her. Then, on the corner the house that hosted a ghost that would come shooting out of the garage when we rang the doorbell. Took me a couple years to work up the courage to call on that home, but eventually, the want for candy became greater than the fear of the flying specter.
I loved our bravado. Once we went around the block and hit both sides of the street, we would go around again. Yeah, we were met with the occasional "Weren't you here before?" but that never kept anyone from giving up the goods.
Then there was the Great Halloween Debacle of '78. On one particular porch, my pillow case split open and my candy spilled out like a pinata's innards. Kids starting grabbing my loot and stuffing it in their bags until my brother yelled at them to knock it off. The gang moved on while I was left picking up the pieces. I believe I trick or treated alone for the rest of that night.
As a dad, I enjoy Halloween with my kids. I don't tell them "they're not having it this year." We start talking about costumes in May! Every year I say I'm dressing up like my kids' dad, and I wouldn't dream of not walking around with them through the neighborhood. A posse' will gather here on October 31, a group of school friends that will make our house home base, and after we've converged, we'll show no mercy! My kids have their favorite houses, too. The nice elderly lady with the laughing witch on her porch, and the "Pumpkin House" down the street that hands out goody bags with FULL SIZE candy bars! Redemption.