The time is here!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I have waited all !!!year!!! THE MOST wonderful time of year!!! Because Halloween is near!!!
Halloween! even the name sounds like fun, like being a kid again, or in my case still.
Scuffing through the leaves in my homemade costume, with a big paper shopping bag, often something we made in school, going to the Halloween parade.
The matinee at the old and slightly creepy theater, 25 Casper cartoons and a few Looney Tunes cartoons. After the show we all got some sort of prize, I can remember getting, a trick or treat bags with a owl and the moon on it one year. Another year it was a plastic full face mask of either a leopard or a witch. Still another a noisemaker that broke before we had walked more than a block of the nearly mile long walk home. I can't remember any of the cartoons we watched.
After getting our prize, we wandered out into the brilliant sunshine, stumbling along for a few moments until our eyes adjusted to the brightness. Giggling and generally acting silly or trying to be scary; the crowd broke into smaller groups and began walking home, or if they had some money descended on GC Murphys to buy candy, or a bottle of pop.
By now the excitement was really building, especially for the older kids, who could travel from one end of town filling the sturdy sack the Sinclair Gas station gave out. The guy that ran it always had a huge stack, enough for all the kids on Valley Street and then some, and we each stopped in for one, and if he knew you by name you got some hard candy. Hard candy, was good, apples and popcorn balls, were not, the houses that gave out apples from the trees in the lawn were just asking to get Tricked, homemade treats we OK, every kid knew who's Mom was a good baker.
Valley St. was a well lit street. but the side streets were not, in fact some of them were more like walking in the woods, many kids didn't feel brave enough to travel those side streets at night. As seasoned Trick or Treaters we knew that because there were few kids coming to the door the treats handed out by those folks were often much bigger and better.
Our parents knew we were pretty safe and seldom went along, the older kids would walk with us telling stories about dancing skeletons and witches and even vampires swooping down out of the trees, so we all grew up with a rich store of good stories to scare the bejeezus out of the younger kids we were expected to shepherd around in the coming years. Those were just about the best three nights of the year and we all hoped for good weather, no rain, parents would insist that we carried umbrellas, I don't think they realized that an umbrella was a dangerous object in the hands of candy crazed kids, who were also convinced that there was at least a walking, talking skeleton behind every tree.
But still we bolted our suppers, donned whatever we could find and a mask and off we went. Homemade costumes were the rule, often kid made, but the 29 cent wigs, also from GC Murphy. were a big bonus. My Mother noted for her frugality, would drape all sorts of things on us and tell us that we were, something or other, and we always felt super. Pretty much the same as all of the kids in our part of town. On the night of All Hallows Eve there was usually a Halloween parade, if it was raining, it was held in the High School Gym. Typically we only went when it was raining. There were the kids in their store bought costumes, all glittery and perfect and then there were the kids from Valley Street, wearing our fathers coats or our mothers dress, amazingly to us we were the ones who took the prizes.