Posted tagged ‘Candy corn’

“Shadows of a thousand years rise again unseen, Voices whisper in the trees, ‘Tonight is Halloween!'”

October 31, 2016

I never understood why the nuns expected us to work and pay attention to lessons on Halloween. We were on a silent countdown to the trick or treat hour when our mothers would let us out so subtraction or English just didn’t matter. The challenge all day was to look interested without caring a whit.

We had chosen our costumes weeks ago. On the walks to and from school, my friends and I discussed the possibilities. The costumes would be homemade, and in those days they weren’t too sophisticated. We thought about being ghosts, but that was just too easy. A hobo was okay. We’d use make-up for a beard and carry a stick with a bucket at the end for our candy. Our mothers could sew patches on the pants and shirts. A scarecrow mostly just needed make-up and straw. With a few curlers and a robe, we could be our mothers or grandmothers. Paint a couple of pieces of cardboard, wear one in front and the other on the back, and you’re an ace or a two. Costumes just took imagination.

My mother would buy us masks, if we needed them, and trick or treat bags. Sometimes, though, we’d use pillow cases as bags hoping for a big haul. Halloween day was almost as long as Christmas Eve. We’d get dressed early and beg my mother to let us out. We’d keep watch hoping to see a trick or treater as proof it was time. Finally, my mother would let us out. We’d do the neighborhood first. It took a while as the neighbors oohed and ahhed and guessed who we were, as if it were difficult. After that, my brother and I would do the town. The 5 cent bar houses were our first stops. We hated the apple houses except the ones which put pennies or a nickle in their apples. I was never fond of candy corn or popcorn balls. We’d wander the town until the outside lights went dark. On the way home we’d go through our bags and eat a favorite candy bar or two. When we got home, my mother would give us each a big bowl for our candy. We’d sit on the floor and trade.

We could stay up late because the next day was a Holy Day, and we didn’t have school. We did have to go to church, but it was worth it to have the whole day.

“There is something haunting in the light of the moon.”

October 31, 2012

I know you didn’t expect this to be here today, it being Wednesday and all, but it’s Halloween so I just had to post. I figure I’ll take tomorrow off instead of today.

I never understood why we were forced to go to school on Halloween. It always seemed like some sort of a sacrilege. I’d be at my desk during silent reading, but the book was always the last thing on my mind. I’d be daydreaming instead. I’d be thinking about nighttime and trick or treating. During recess that’s all we talked about: what we’d be wearing, what houses gave the best candy and how late we could stay out. The clock seemed never to move that day.

At home, we wanted to get dressed, but my mother always made us wait. She’d tell us it was way too early. She’s even make us eat dinner. I remember it took forever to get dark. I’d look out the window hoping to see a trick or treater so I could say to my mother, “See, I told you so,” but finally she’d tell us to go put on our costumes. We’d run upstairs and be dressed in a heartbeat. Our costumes were usually homemade as we couldn’t afford the ones from Woolworth’s, but we never minded. My mother put together great costumes, and she always bought us new masks. We were hobos with black beards on our faces, ghosts in sheets or cowboys and cowgirls. My sisters tended toward ballerinas: they were far prissier than I. We’d start out in our own neighborhood then branch out to the nearby streets. Our bags would get heavier and heavier, but we didn’t stop. We’d head further afield. The house across from the First National gave out nickel candy bars. That was always an important stop. We hated apples except for the one or two with coins stuck in them. Back then, we’d get lots of small bags decorated with witches and pumpkins. The tops were twisted so the candy wouldn’t fall out. They’d be filled with candy corn or M&M’s. As the night got older, fewer kids were about and the outside lights were turned off so we knew when it was time to head home. I remember walking on sidewalks filled with leaves and how dark it was except under the street lights, but we were never scared. We just took our time and munched candy all the way home.