31/10/10 1:50 AM

Happy Halloween, Blog-O-Sphere readers.  

Halloween falls somewhere right  up there between Christmas Eve and my birthday–and below  Arbor Day and Ground Hog Day.

Have pillowcase……….will Trick-or-Treat.

I miss Trick-or-Treating.  How about you????

Plastic pumpkins as Halloween collectors of candy? We didn’t go that direction.

A paper bag from an upscale grocery store? Snooty and would lead to years of therapy. No.

We ran with those Hallmark Halloween bags. Paper, not plastic. We were green back then–and had no clue what that meant. And, the paper bags were made in the American Heartland–not China—where their human rights record is scarier than any Nightmare on Elm Street Hollywood movie or CYO haunted house.

Ah….memories of Halloween. What drug was the city planner on when her/she was designing my childhood neighborhood?  The neighborhood is designed in a swirling pattern.  One could Trick-or-Treat about 43 houses without crossing a single street. Pretty safe. It was a simpler time. We were allowed to Trick-or-Treat with friends. No helicopters swilred above us.

When we would arrive home after Trick-or-Treating, we would get out the bathroom scale and weigh our bags of candy. Now people pay good money to stand on scales at diet workshops and weigh themselves–then bust into tears.

Next, we would divide our candy into distinct categories. On the Darwinian scale of higher order candy, there were Reeces Peanut Butter Cups, Hershey Chocolate Bars, Baby Ruth bars, Junior Mints, and Butterfingers. On the lower rungs of candydom were boxes of raisins.  Raisins? Say what? Raisins are not candy. That is a TRICK.  They are dried grapes,  people. Hello…..

Oh, and folks who gave out popcorn–that did not make the count—nor our Trick-or-Treat bags. We tossed bags of popcorn “to the wind” before ringing the doorbell of the NEXT house.

Another “does-not-cut-the-mustard” item—-Apples. Are you kidding? I am looking back to 1969. Are we not in a Great Depression.  I was history savvy at age 9. I would say to myself—-shouldn’t one be  selling apples–and pencils—on the streets of Manhattan, on Wall Street, across from the Stock Exchange building? Apples=dull. Healty, yes. Dull, another yes.

 The razor blade scare of the late 70s threw both a wet blanket and a monkey wrench on the bliss of Halloween Trick-or-Treating. The same was true of the public service announcement from our community hospital advertising they would x-ray one’s Halloween candy bag free of charge. What? no co-pay? How about tossing in a free tonsillectomy while standing between the X-Ray and Pediatric Surgical suites.

My new neighbors with young children and I were talking about our Halloween experiences. My friend  mentioned a dentist in his neighborhood gave out tooth brushes. Before exiting the dentist’s driveway, he and his Trick-or-Treat mates impaled the toothbrushes in the dentist’s pumpkins. Message to all dentists……..skip handing out toothbrushes. Go with floss. You cannot impale pumpkins with dental  floss.  I believe one of those cooking divas recommends stringing/tying up turkeys with dental floss. Candy, yes. Anything that remind y0u of the end results of candy–no.

I did go out tonight  with my camera equipment the night before Halloween on Cape Cod. I took a series of night photographs of a fine French bistro in Wellfleet, MA. I dined in a relaxed atmosphere.  Once I finished a delectable meal, chef/owner Phillipe invited me to photograph a roasted pig’s head.  The cooked-to-perfection pig’s head was placed on a classic French copper pan. It  was attractive to the eye in a macabre irresistible way; a great subject for fine art photography.  The motif was  tres Halloween’ish.

Share your memories of Trick-or-Treating. Relay a Halloween story. Write. I will reply. I’m listening………….Do I hear ghosts? No. It is just the heater kicking and sputtering for one of the first chilly New England nights. 


Brendan Ben Feeney

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