Saturday, October 31, 2009


We always dressed up. Usually as a bum or beatnik (I was going to say "hippy" but remembered they came later), or sometimes in a borrowed costume. Like for most of our growing up years, we depended on our own creativity and organizational skills. It was almost more than our parents could accomplish to have treats available for the neighborhood kids. I can remember many times when Dad would say, "Just give them apples." because in the Fall we always had a bushel of apples from an orchard.

El Vista was just o.k. for trick-or-treating. We preferred the cracker box line-up in Hamilton Park. I loved Hamilton Park--a post war housing development catering to VA loans. Most of my friends lived in Hamilton Park and it seemed upscale from our neighborhood of pre and post-war bungalows. The houses lined up in a row on the very long streets in Hamilton Park, so it was an efficient way to fill your treat bag. And, we ALWAYS knew which houses gave the full-sized 5¢ candy bars.

We usually carved pumpkins. I remember one year, I think I was only 7 or 8 years old. NC decided to take my jack-o-lantern to show-and-tell, but she had an accident and dropped it. Mrs. Doyle tried to stick it together again with toothpicks. I was very, very sad.

Later Aunt JZ married a pumpkin farmer and we would go to the farm each October. The only problem was that he farmed canning pumpkins, so they were mainly pale and oval and not dark orange and round... I think the general consensus from our parents was, "Tough luck. It's free and you take what you get. Don't forget to say thank you."

This year we did Halloween up right! The little girls carved a dark orange, round pumpkin and set it on our front porch, lighted by a fat white candle. A bunch of family gathered at our niece's condo in Chicago and everyone had a ball--the little ones trick-or-treating, the adults along for the fresh air and fun; sorting the candy, pizza, and a viewing of Young Frankenstein.

Just one more example of our functional family--the broken baton does not get passed on by this generation.

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