Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween 2012!

Vintage sepia photo where someone added
 black glitter to the hats
And put it in a black frame.
One of my favorite Halloween Decorations
Especially for my Genealogy Friends!

In the olden days Halloween was different than it is today. Although I am not a big fan of the scary parts of Halloween, both the imagined and the real, there are things I do like about it. For one, it seems that most kids are pretty crazy about the costumes and the trick or treating. Because kids love it, they tend to remember it when they grow up. I think that any holiday that bookmarks childhood memories can be a good thing.

When I think back to my growing up years a lot of it is just a fog. The repetition of daily life seems to all blend into a happy feeling inside of me but not a lot of real specific things are there unless I search the archives of my memory with real intent. Things like Halloween seem to stand out pretty well.

It seems that the costumes were mostly homemade and I can remember a lot of ghosts and hobos. There were also a lot of gypsies and little girls in lots of mom's make-up and fancy fake jewelry and boys with blackened faces done by lighting a match to a cork and then rubbing it on your face. Lots of kids just wore their own clothes and a mask of some kind. I don't remember adults in costumes unless they were going to a grown-up party or wanted to really scare kids at their doors.

The tricks that I remember were soaping windows. It was something the bigger kids did that really made people mad as it was hard to get off the cars and houses. Heaven knows we never did it, mom and dad would never allow anything like that thankfully. In my Dad's day it was turning over outhouses and he was known to have participated in a few of those events! One time he and a bunch of kids put a guy's buckboard up on his barn roof. They got in some major trouble from their parents for that. We on the other hand, were perfect little angels. Sure we were!

We had some fun school activities with costumes and bobbing for apples and old-fashioned things like that. I remember "going fishing" for prizes, eating popcorn balls and frosted cookies. These events were the precursor to the school carnivals of today I think.

Halloween was always a bench mark for the beginning of the colder and rainier weather and staying warm outside under your costume was essential. It seems that it would be dark so early and was usually the first week of daylight savings time. And no one was interested in eating dinner, that's for sure! We just wanted to go, go go! The thing about candy in those days was it was a rare treat which made the pay dirt all the sweeter. (Is there a lesson for another day here?)

Jen's pumpkin art
Our Daughter is so artistic!

We would always pray for no rain in Sacramento where I grew up. Rain always put such a damper on the blocks and blocks of door to door trick or treating. We lived in a housing tract and going out was so much fun.

You didn't have to be afraid of weirdos that liked to poison kids and things like that. Kids were out in mass and parents just didn't have to worry about the safety of their kids like we did in our kids' day and especially now that we have grandkids. Fortunately, most people now just take their kids to homes of people they know and still every year you read of unfortunate events involving little kids. Not so in our care free days of growing up.

We all used large paper bags to collect our loot. One of our parents would always go with us until we were about 10. Then we could go alone if we took our little brother with us. One time I remember that I was 10, Steve was 8 and our baby brother, Gary, was 5. Out we went with Gary in tow and we hit every house for about five blocks. We had a ton of candy and were pretty excited. The few rich people even gave out 5 cent candy bars!! When we arrived home exhausted and happy we ran to our rooms to empty our bags on to the floor and count and sort the stuff. Steve and I ran into the bedroom and then we heard our little brother crying in the kitchen.

 I took the still life photos last night
 at the Oakland Family Search Library. 
 One of our staff members, John, 
does these lovely arrangements for the Library.

The next thing I knew my Dad was standing over Steve and me saying that we needed to share our candy with Gary!  " What? Are you kidding us?"  (How could we be so selfish and bratty I wonder now?)

I guess we weren't doing the best job of watching him as he ran to keep up with us that night. It seems little Gar, was not quite tall enough and he was dragging his paper bag in the wet grass. He arrived home with nothing but a big bag with a big hole in the bottom. Poor little guy! He was heart broken and we begrudgingly shared our candy. To this day I call him and remind him not to drag his bag in the wet grass every Halloween!

Faux Calories! 


Sister Susie said...

My earliest memory of Halloween was when I was 6 years old and we lived in Virginia Beach, VA. We lived in a neighborhood of about 300 people. The difference of now and then for me was we used to dress up as joyful storybook characters. The neighborhood was like what we call today a "Fall Festival." One house had kids bobbing for apples, another had cake walks, still others had candied and caramel apples as well as popcorn coming out of the popcorn machine that was a glass enclosed cart, and games of all kinds. Each home had their own specialty. However in today's society our children wouldn't be safe in neighborhoods which have gangs, child abusers and pediphiles, etc. I'm concerned today of the desenitizing to things like ghosts (demons), witches, Freddie Crugers; blood, guts, and gore. That doesn't sound like an "All Saints Day." I'm thankful for our churches that have these "old" kinds of activities from long time past.
Enjoy your Halloween, Susan.