|That's me in the front as a witch (age 5).|
I'd like to think I grew into the role.
Behind me are my OLDER sister and brother.
She's a gypsy; he may be a pirate... He's been cured, however.
I’m old enough to remember that, although I had very protective parents who worried nearly to the point of phobia about all kinds of ills and harms that would never come to pass, Halloween was a time of real freedom. I could put my costume on, run up and down the street for hours on end, meet up with friends and neighbors, trade a yummy Hershey bar for a yucky Butterfingers (thank you Stevie Parks) and generally act like a so-called wild Indian. (No offense was ever meant to the Native Americans; it was just a politically-incorrect term, before we coined the term ‘politically-incorrect’, born of the ubiquitous Hollywood westerns of the day.)
When our parents flashed the porch lights off and on, that was our signal to come home. We’d arrive sweaty and dirt-streaked with a pillowcase full of loot. My sister, brother and I would unload our booty and the swapping would begin in earnest. I was the least likely to eat anything that contained nuts, being more of a chocolate purist. Still am. Give me simple, unadulterated chocolate and nobody gets hurt. Snickers? Mr. Goodbar? --no thanks. You can even have my Hershey bars that have been defiled by the inclusion of almonds. Ick.
There was always plenty of candy to last for a week or more, and that’s including whatever graft and corruption enabled our parents to skim their share after we went to sleep. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. They were underwriting our costumes, room and board, etc., after all.
So ever since I’ve had kids of my own, I’ve done a massive job of decorating with witches, pumpkins, goblins and monsters, eager to make the holiday as much fun for them as I remembered it from my youth. The kids are married and scattered across the country, so it’s just the Center of the Universe here with me, but I still decorate at full-tilt. Bring on the Indian corn, the mini-pumpkins and the gourds! Hang those witches, drape the spider webs, and mount that wreath on the front door—it’s almost Halloween, and the spirits are gathering for some serious trick-or-treating!
I’m turning on the porch lights, and awaiting the ringing of the doorbell!