It wasn’t that many years ago that we Seniors experienced one of the great joys of the Fall season, that’s right Halloween.
I am sure that many of you have memories of your favorite Halloween of the past, you know, when you participated in the fun of going “Trick or Treating”.
Going back to a time when our lives were somewhat different living without the fears we experience today. Thinking back, it was always an impromptu event, because although you knew the date of October 31st was coming, aside from determining your costume (which many times consisted of borrowing some of your parents’ old clothes) and your facial appearance, there was minimal preparation. Remember some facial masks were available but they usually were of frightening characters, and non-political, although I do recall a Richard Nixon mask. However, the true players would hit their mom’s cosmetic bag and begin face painting with her makeup – the clown face was extremely popular.
And, remember the weather was always an important element to making it a sensational event or a bust. Although, I don’t believe rain was ever a deterrent for the true participants.
So, the plan was you waited until the sun dropped and the moon became the source that lit up the evening. You gathered your friends and planned your route around your neighborhood. You pretty much knew which doors would yield the biggest stash. You knew which house served up the best treats (usually some great candy and possibly some pennies).
Then there were the homes you knew to stay away from. These were the homes without any seasonal decorations and with doorways that always remained in darkness. Then there were the homes with the terrifying barking dogs where if these people would open the door, you felt that you would become the treat for their insanely barking and snarling dog.
However, the best part of trick or treating was you did this without a full military escort or a caravan of parents clogging the streets and walkways with their cameras and cell phones snapping photo after photo as is seen today. And, you knew not to stay out past nine or you could be greeted with some form of minimal punishment (which today would probably land a parent in court).
As I recall it was always an evening of fun with lots of friends, laughs and basically good times.
Following the actual trick or treating segment there were the “trading parties”, where the loot or collected goodies were either shared or exchanged. This was always fun, because someone would inevitably wind up with a bag full of Tootsie Rolls anxiously awaiting some trade-offs. Don’t forget there were those sensational small boxes of Cracker Jacks that were available and in very high demand (not to mention that candy corn, but I just did).
I even recall a follow-up post-Halloween party where I remember dunking for apples. This was always a fun event with parents providing cookies, jelly apples, pumpkin cupcakes and soda or apple cider, even milk for those timid drinkers.
I really cannot believe that past Halloween events were so memorable.
Today we see store bought full costumes of celebrities, politicians and sports figures that are purchased in huge rented Halloween mall brick & mortar specialty stores. And today kids don’t use flashlights that we used to ensure safe passage, now it’s light by iPhone. Sure, basic Trick and Treating 101 is as prevalent today as was when we were active participants, but to me it just isn’t the same.
As a senior just imagine the havoc that Tootsie Rolls or a Jelly Apple can create to your teeth today. I always thought that Halloween was created by Dentists as their treat. On that note, here’s a reminder for you to check and see if it’s time for your dental checkup, remember it’s an important part of your well-being.
Now, would someone please get me that jelly apple, and Happy Halloween!
Stephen Dick is the president of SDMC, a full-service creative marketing communications resource – www.sdmc-nj.com
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