The Scary Magic of Halloween

Back when I was in grammer school, Halloween was a huge deal. On the week before Halloween, our teachers allowed us to come to school in our Halloween costumes. After lunch, the teachers would lead us out of school, and we would walk all the way downtown, showing off our costumes.

Not only was it a break from classes, but it was fun to see what all the other kids wore for Halloween. In those days, hardly anyone had any cash to spare to buy a costume. So most kids begged their moms to let them have a white sheet to be a ghost. Of course, the moms kept all the white sheets that were too worn to use anymore, so it was a win-win for moms and kids. All the kids needed to do was to cut two holes to see out of.

There were always kids dressed as hobos or fortune tellers; again cheap costumes. Plus it was it was a great excuse for girls to load up on their moms’ chains and brassy jewelry. But then there were the moms who really took Halloween seriously and made our Halloween costumes.

There were two Halloween costumes I just loved; one of them was a bear costume. Best of all, my best friend had one as well. Our moms had put their heads together, and decided that two little bear costumes would not only be cute, but keep us warm. They both made our costumes, and we loved them.

Then there was the Halloween when my mom and dad got together and made what had to have been the coolest Halloween costume ever. They made a huge cat head with paper mache, and cut out eye holes so I could see where I was going. I wore one of Mom’s black sweaters, and a pair of black pants and sneakers. Honestly, I got more raves about that cat head for years.

Now, when the Halloweening was over, it was the house rule to dump all of my candy into a bowl in the kitchen. (It never occured to me to sneak some of my loot in my pockets; besides, Mom would have frisked me anyway.) I put my candy into Mom’s big wooden salad bowl, and she and Dad would pick out what they wanted. I always got a small handful of candy myself, and then the bowl would be put up on top of the refrigerator. All during the week, it would be parceled out in small amounts. I always harbored some resentment about that; after all, I was the one who walked for hours collecting those goodies!

In these hectic days, I hope with all my heart that kids will still go trick or treating today. Of course we all need to be careful; masks on, washing our hands and so on. But please—let’s have a good Halloween this year. Things these days are scary enough, so I hope that for the kids’ sake, that this will be the Halloween to remember.


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