Tuesday, October 22, 2013


My memories of Halloween go back to my first plastic mask.  I don't recall what I was, or even how old I was, all I can remember is that awful plastic mask. I had begged my mother for it, having worn the sheet over the head with the eyes cut out and I just couldn't do it ONE MORE YEAR! I suppose she saved her pennies for months so that my brother and I could have a costume, but I was ignorant and selfish. I wanted the mask! Then came the day, about a week before Halloween, when we had been in Hyannis with my mother and grandmother, to grocery shop, or clothes shop or something shop! We were in Zayre's Department Store, and there on the rack in front of me were the plastic masks.  I came home with a costume that day, and you would have thought that I had won tickets to Disney. My mother, being most wise and knowing how destructive  playful little children could be, refused to let my brother and I parade around in the costumes. It wasn't until just about time to walk out the door to go trick or treating that I got to try on my new mask.  Oh no! I couldn't breathe, it was hot, and the eye holes were made for someone who was cross-eyed. I hated it!  But I knew, by wearing it that I could get CANDY! Oh, glorious candy! And so, with my parents and brother in tow, I made my way up and down each side of the street, suffocating under that plastic mask, carrying my plastic halloween bag, begging our neighbors "Trick or Treat" not knowing that the worst Trick of ALL TIME was going to be played on me when I got home with that bag of delicious, mouth watering, chocolate, fruity, sugary coated loveliness! Yes, dear reader, my parents,  they were MONSTERS!!
"What do you mean I can only have two pieces!! Why do I have to save MY candy?" Ohhhh the humanity!
Somehow I survived those Halloweens, and as I got older, the plastic masks were left behind for the more popular face paint... and stuffed pillows under the old clothes. Then eventually, Halloween became something completely different for awhile. Parties with adult costumes and adult beverages and loud music.

Then something made it all become magical again. In 1994 when my daughter was four years old, we went on our first Halloween event at the local zoo.  She was too young to really understand, but the years that followed we would decorate the house in cobwebs, pumpkins and witches. We would stuff leaves into our spooky scarecrow.  On Halloween we'd meet up with my brother and his two boys and troll their neighborhood in search of candy; the kids in their costumes and to their utter embarassment, my brother and I in our costumes. In those years, the neighbors watched out for each other and went all out for Halloween. Decorations inside and out, rocking chairs on the front porch that rocked when you passed by them, recordings of howls and growls... much more sophisticated stuff than when I was a kid. There were life-like bats, monster masks made in the likeness of someone's horrifying nightmare! Costumes that could have come right off of a Hollywood movie set! My daughter suffered the indignity of her mother and uncle dressed in old clothes with pillows stuffed up in them and face paint for a mask! We were MONSTERS! Yes, daughter - only 4 pieces of candy. You must SAVE your candy!

We didn't put candy out at our house because our neighborhood was mostly summer homes, empty and without children nearby.  No one ventured down our dark street.  Our spooky scarecrow was left to guard our dark house, unappreciated for his toothy grin and scary milkman pants. When my daughter moved away, I didn't decorate as much.  A pumpkin maybe. 

The new neighborhood has children.

I may have to get those old clothes out of the closet and find a good pillow.

Have a safe and Happy Halloween folks.


  1. I have very vague memories o' Halloween as a child but GREAT, vivid ones o' adult Halloween parties. ;-)

    Not many kids trick or treat in my neighborhood.

    1. Up until last year I was always a bit uncomfortable dressed as Chinese take-out box... last year I went at the pink thingamajig you see in above pic!

  2. We get very few kids in our neighborhood (as a matter of fact, my next piece in The Herald - maybe this weekend; not sure - has to do with that.)

    I remember vividly the couple of Halloweens I wore a mask such as you speak of. Always a wetness inside of that mask because it was usually cold, you couldn't really breathe too well through the hole provided, so condensation would occur. Much better those years I made my own costume!

    1. Now that you mention it, I do remember the wetness... which of course gave my chin a chance to chap in the cold night air... such great memories! (I'll be looking forward to reading your version of Halloween in the Herald).

  3. Good stories, and glad to see you back! Putting the link back up!