Everyone Is Entitled To My Opinion-On Halloween

Dear Friends,
      This week’s trip in “The Way Back Machine” will be a trip back to October 31st; the year will depend upon your age and memories of Halloween. How old were you when you went out knocking on neighborhood doors chanting “Trick or Treat give me something sweet to eat.” Honestly, I do not remember anyone I was with ever uttering this phrase. I remember that Halloween was a much looked forward to time in our young lives, in grade school we had a Halloween party at school, we got to wear costumes to school, had a classroom party in our rooms adorned with handmade decorations; Ghosts, witches, bats, Jack O Lanterns, and scarecrows.
Snacks consisted of cookies shaped like the above mentioned Halloween staples. Candy bars and drinks, usually fruit punch, rounded out the party goodies, we had music often provided by our teacher who brought in her (or his) turn table and 45 RPM Records, no one danced. One year our teacher actually helped us carve a few pumpkins into Jack O Lanterns and after cleaning up the seeds cooked them for us in the classroom, I remember them tasting good.
       Halloween was always preceded by Mischief Night, this night was a night of scandalous behavior such as; taking a bar of bath soap and soaping neighbor’s car windows, throwing handfuls of hard corn at houses (we often sat stripping these kernels off the cob with our thumbs often raising a blister in doing so), some also papered neighbors trees with toilet paper, let us not forget knocking on doors and running to hide and giggle as those living there opened their doors to find no one there and yelling “I’ll get you little hooligans” and some of us even tipped over an old outhouse.
         Finally it was Halloween night and as soon as it got dark children in varied costumes, some store bought, many home made, left their homes with their collection bags in hand, tonight we were out until we had visited every home in our neighborhood and filled our bags (often an old pillow case) with cookies, apples, and candy lots and lots of candy. We laughed, we traded candies, and we had fun.
         Today, Halloween has changed, no one soaps windows, I haven’t been able to open my door and yell in mock meanness “I’ll get you little hooligans” you see neighborhood children do not come knocking on doors to run away or in groups seeking something sweet to eat, most children are driven to select friends and families homes by their parents. Yes sadly Halloween has dwindled from the days I remember, and yet, as a nation we spend six billion dollars each year celebrating it, now I am no math scholar but I believe I have been cheated out of a lot of cookies and candy.