Strangers With Candy

Posted by: , October 31, 2008 in 10:08 am


Halloween is my absolute favorite holiday. I was four months old the first time I ever went trick-or-treating. I was dressed as a mouse.

As I got older my parents along with my Aunt Darlene and Uncle Barry, would craft ornate floats for the local Halloween parades. Once year they built a replica of the brownstone buildings lining Sesame Street and my cousins and I dressed as Big Bird, Cookie Monster and Ernie. The story goes, that during the parade…I fell asleep. My mom stuck her hand out of the prop brownstone building through the entire parade clutched onto me so I would not fall off the float.All in the name Halloween.

One year we paraded dressed as The Muppets. My dad pulled the float with his truck, the Muppets theme song blared from speakers, and we all (dressed as Scooter, Rowlf the Dog, Miss Piggy, Kermit, Fozie & the Swedish Chef) danced around in back. My mom even created a prop Statler and Waldorf (the old guys up in the theatre box).

We won 1st prize in basically every parade we entered.

Another year we trick-or-treated in an RV. Good times! In fact, more people should consider this option. We had a place to sit down, we could travel for miles and we didn’t have to worry about taking any potty breaks.

As I got older, the parading changed a bit. One year my mom and my aunt dressed as SNL’s The Coneheads—mind you, it was the 1970s. They wandered the parade route, clutching 6-packs of beer and muttering, “We are from France.” I, on the other hand, dressed as Little Orphan Annie that year. Go figure?

If not for parades my trick-or-treating might not have amounted to much. You see, I grew up on a main street. My neighborhood was sparse, mostly commercial. My best friend Jenny and I had the same yearly ritual. I would walk across the street and trick-or-treat her house. Together, we would trick-or-treat the three elderly ladies who lived next-door to Jenny and then, she’d cross over to my street and she’d trick-or-treat my house. Then, I would leave to go to my cousins’ house. I don’t think it ever occurred to us that this was peculiar. Or, that it was sad those three elderly ladies bought, instead of Miniatures, a full-sized Hershey bar for us—because we were their only trick-or-treaters.

Benjamin is an only child, as I was. He is not fortunate enough to have nearby cousins. But it doesn’t stop us from giving him Halloweens to remember. Although in no way do they compare to the ones my mom made, we do our best to make his costumes from scratch (no lame, store-bought vinyl frocks). He does not visit neighbors, but instead he is squired about to his grandparents’ houses. And, every year at Maw Maw’s house, he gets to have his own special Trick-or-Treat night party. I wouldn’t say he’s spoiled though.

Come to think of it…does anyone know where we could pick up a cheap RV?


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