It’s the eve of All Hallow’s Eve. Brings back memories of trying to figure out what last minute costume my siblings and I could muster together before the big day because mom wasn’t going to buy us costumes, when we could
“just make one.”
There are four of us so I understand her point-now.
If you’re old enough to remember the Yogi Bear and Boo Boo costumes, then chances you were out trick or treating in the mid and late 1960’s. Most of the costumes were of T.V. characters. I may have seen this particular costume once, over on the North side of town, where the rich kids lived.
Those were the days of homemade costumes of witches, hobo’s, cowboys, clowns, and pirates who didn’t really look like pirates, but kids with a gauze patch on their eye, navy blue bandanna over their head and a goatee of black eyebrow pencil.
Somehow we girls mustered together a cowgirl, I Dream of Jeannie, or gypsy costume. My brother’s costume usually turned out to look like this:
Yes, those were the days when groups of kids piled in one station wagon to be dropped off across the tracks to the NorthSide with decorated grocery bags. Older kids took their pillowcases across town to trick or treat in the neighborhoods that gave out
caramel apples, sticky popcorn balls, and big nickle candies.
There was an elderly couple who sat in their rocking chairs on their porch who actually gave out homemade root beer.
We didn’t worry about germs or unpackaged items. We worried about who had more treats and hiding the good candy in our pockets so our mom or the big kids didn’t snatch them up.
Those were also the days when it wasn’t enough to do a sing song “trick or treat” at the door. A couple of the residents wanted to see a trick before the treat. Sometimes it involved telling a knock knock joke, a riddle or the boys did a handstand.
Once we visited a home where a young couple asked for a trick, for an extra nickle candy. My brother attempted a handstand, tumbled and rolled off the porch into a rosebush. We and the husband laughed our butts off while his kind wife scrambled down the porch and extracted our brother from the bush. She cleaned his hands and stuck bandages over his scratches. He got two nickle candies. He made us promise not to tell our mother, who waited at the end of the block. We didn’t tell, but everyone else in our group did.
It’s been five years since my youngest stopped trick or treating. My big kids go to Halloween parties, Halloween Happy Hours, or stay home with me and their grandma to hand out packaged candies to Princess fill in the blank, furry Elmo’s, Harry Potter’s, ghouls, and those god-awful Jason and zombies.
This year the boyfriend is coming over to hand out candy too. He asks:
“I have this great mask, I can scare the kids when they ring the doorbell…”
“Uh, no. This is the North Side, we have Homeowner’s Associations, they’ll send me letters…”
“No fun. Hey, remember the days when we ran the streets Halloween night, getting nickle candies…”
“Yeah, those were the days.”
And in the spirit of DIY costumes, that ghost one up there is from Holidash.
A cool Princess Lolly can be seen at Juan of Words.
And one of my favorites DIY, Buzz Feed, has 22 last minute costumes:
Rosie the Riveter and Where’s Waldo are easy to make and would have come in handy when I was a kid, except Where’s Waldo hadn’t been created yet.
Have a Happy Halloween!