Thursday, October 31, 2013

Halloween Memories

Halloween Memories
BA @ Kids Matter
Ah, Halloween….. 
How do I love thee… let me count the ways:
1.      The decorations,
2.      The costumes,
3.      The food,
4.      The magic, and mostly,
5.      The memories…
When I was growing up, Halloween was one of my favorite days of the year.  The week leading up to the big night, always meant a trip with my mom to the local 5&10 cent store, J.J. Newberry’s, on Main Street to pick out the perfect costume.  We would walk down the street, stop under the striped awning, enter through the big heavy swinging double doors and stroll across the wooden floors in search of the Halloween display.  There it was… a glass enclosed counter with the individual boxes of costumes stacked to the top.  Yes, costumes came in a cardboard box; nicely folded with the mask peeking through the cellophane window in the box top. 
You could be anyone you wanted to be; a clown, a witch, Howdy Doody, the Lone Ranger, Cinderella, a lion, or a scarecrow.  It was all so enticing to a six year old!  As well as I can remember, the costumes were some sort of satin material that slipped on or pulled up, over your clothes and had a plastic tie at the neck.  A picture, to represent who you were, was stamped on the front… Cinderella also had some glitter on the front.  The masks were lightweight plastic and covered your entire face. You could hardly breathe in them.  But who cared?  It was great fun!!
On Halloween afternoon, when my dad got home from work, he and I would head to the back yard. He would cut the top off our pumpkin with a big butcher knife and let me stick my hand in to pull out all of the slimy insides.  He would carve a scary face, put a candle inside, put the top back on, carry it to the front yard, and ceremoniously place it on the front porch steps.   Then, it would be time to finish homework and eat a special dinner.  My Mom always made chili and sandwiches on this occasion.   But who could eat? 
Evening was beginning and soon my best friend and I would be donning our costumes and meeting to go Trick or Treating!  As I was getting ready, I always pictured a witch flying in front of a big yellow moon with wolves howling below.   Strange creatures would be lurking behind every tree.  I couldn’t wait to get outside in the dark, cold, eerie night. 
We would go from house to house. Each neighbor would comment on how scary, funny or beautiful we were in our costumes.  They always pretended not to know who we were, even though my dad was waiting patiently on the sidewalk.  We could count on wonderful goodies like popcorn balls, homemade cookies, caramel apples, big suckers, and chocolate bars!  Oh, the magic and wonderful innocence of it all!
I can still feel the warm memories come flooding back every year about this time…..the sweet simplicity of the late fifties.  I wish it could still be like that, but it was a long, long time ago and times have surely changed.  Those times were not so bad.  It was the simple things in life that made us what we are today… big kids who still love Halloween.

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