As a child of the 70s, I have to giggle at my youngest daughter who began planning and creating her Halloween costume back in September. It’s one of the striking differences between her generation and mine. Back then, we asked, begged and cajoled our mom to take us to the grocery store to pick out our costume in a box. It consisted of a mask with two tiny air holes in the sort-of nose position and a cheap drape thing that we threw on over our normal clothes.
Our planning was null back then, except for coordinating costumes with the kids that would be trick-or-treating with us. Or maybe we were innovators, I don’t know. But, for two amazing years in a row, my brother and I went as the Peanuts gang with the Gurwell children. I was Lucy, for obvious reasons – bossy, mouth, and cruel to Charlie Brown, especially when it came to football. Then two people would go as Woodstock and Snoopy and my big brother would be either Charlie Brown (snicker) or Linus. To see a preview of the classic Peanuts’ Halloween special click here.
In subsequent years, our not so PC costumes included hobo with a runaway satchel and bum (similar to hobo – but no satchel and extra soot rubbed across the face). We didn’t have fancy schmancy treat buckets, either. Instead, we used the pillowcases from our beds. It was fortunate that my older brother had Peanuts sheets the years we went as the coordinated gang. He nailed the whole look. Dang.
The treats were not too much unlike today’s treats, except no one bothered trying to be healthy. Sure, you’d come across the occasional dentist’s home, and get a toothbrush. But, after the razor-blade-in-an-apple scares, even fruit went by the wayside. But, the one year that I will never forget, regretfully the last year I was allowed to trick-or-treat, I ended up with half a pillowcase full of Pal bubblegum. It was new on the market, and clearly sold at a low – low – low price, because every other house gave it away that year.
Pal bubblegum is in fact the ugly kid sister of Bazooka Gum. Pal, if you can work up enough saliva in your mouth, is good for three, maybe four chews TOPS and then it becomes a flavorless lump. Terrible. Terrible stuff. That year, my chocolate bars felt all the more important, and I was careful to make my haul last by eating only two pieces a day. I nearly got to Thanksgiving before I’d worked down to the Almond Joys.
So, tonight when I open the door for the kids, I plan to give them a handful of chocolate, not organic or nut free or gluten free, no. They’ll have tromped up and down rainy Seattle hills, and I intend on giving them a true treat when they knock on my door.
Speaking of treats, I’ve got one for all of you. Amazon is offering my first book for FREE this weekend to Kindle Unlimited users. For your Halloween treat, download Four Rubbings and start following the mysteries in real time.