The cool fall air, leaves and acorns crunching beneath your feet, children laughing and squealing, and smiling Jack O' Lanterns brightly lighting the porches of the salt box houses — as I got ready for work this morning, the Halloweens of my childhood came to me. The costumes I remember were a witch, a hobo, a gypsy, and a black cat.
One year we all got store bought costumes - the kind that were plastic coverings with the matching mask. My sister was Barbie and my little brother Dennis was Tweety Bird. He had a minor speech impediment and every time he said, "I tawt I taw a puttytat," we would all howl with laughter. I don't remember my costume that year. And my brother Randall was once again overlooked because of his cute, auburn haired little brother.
If it was cold, Mama always made us cover up our costumes with a coat. What was the point? There were several fights about that. Of course she always won, no coat, no trick or treating. It was so unfair. Of course later when I became a mother, I had a better understanding. One year I bought long underwear for my kids so they wouldn't have to cover up their costumes.
Our neighborhood was a mill village, cotton was the industry, but in the 70s, most of those were closing. Halloween treats were usually Tootsie Rolls, Sweettarts, peanut butter kisses, bubble gum, and starlight mints. We would count and divvy up the chocolate, swapping with our neighbors to get our favorites. And then of course we would stash our goodies so that nobody, especially our parents could find them.
Apples were always cut up before we ate them, even though we knew everyone in the neighborhood. Unwrapped candy was discarded. And of course there was always some story about a kid in the emergency room because he or she had been tricked rather than treated.
This past Sunday my sister-in-law posted on Facebook:
We're getting ready for Halloween! Thriller is playing, Dennis and Elizabeth are caring 2 huge pumpkins and the kids' costumes are ready.
It is wonderful to see our Mom's legacy continuing through us.
This year will be my grandson's first Halloween. He is too little for candy, but not too little to dress up and go trick or treating. I can't wait to see him. I'll post his picture later.