When I was a kid, Halloween was a big deal. Sorta like I guess it is for kids these days, but life was simpler in the 70's and 80's. I mean, the closest I ever got to a haunted house was at the fair, sitting in a little motorized car with my dad. I kept my eyes closed the entire time and held my breath until those last doors flung open to reveal the world as I knew it.
Let's see, I was Casper the friendly ghost, Wonder Woman two years in a row, a gypsy, a hobo, and an old woman, but for the majority of my Halloweens, I dressed up as a witch. Never a princess, which is really hard for me to believe now that I think about it. I'm not quite sure what my obsession was with being a witch, but one year, Mama made my costume and I thought I was so cool because my mama didn't sew. I'm not sure what possessed her to make my costume that year, but it was a black two piece outfit and the cape had tassels along the edges. I thought I was the best looking witch in the neighborhood. I actually got two or three years out of that costume. One year, Mama even painted my face and neck green, too.
That's me as Casper about 1976 or 1977!
I was so excited when Alise wanted to be Wonder Woman one year! The first picture is my brother, Michael and I. You can see the Casper costume got handed down! HA!
We lived in a nice neighborhood that wasn't too big but I learned the proper "Halloween etiquette." If the carport light wasn't on, then there was no sense in going to the door because those cheapos weren't passing out any candy! We could walk around our entire neighborhood in about an hour and fifteen minutes. I think my parents played rock, paper, scissors to determine who would take us around the hood because of course, someone had to stay home and pass out candy because we weren't cheapos! My mom had this big Tupperware cake topper that she would dump all the candy in for us to pass out. Candy that she bought, of course. And Michael and I may have dumped the candy that we didn't want from our stash into the Tupperware topper to "re-gift." We weren't allowed to open the door, though, unless Mama was nearby. I guess she was afraid someone would reach and grab us and take off running.
The first time I ever heard anything "bad" about Halloween was the year the news broad casted that someone had tried to kill a kid by sticking a knife in an apple. As a kid, I remember thinking that was so stupid because DUH! Who has time for that? My mom replied, "Somebody who really wants to kill kids would do that, Laura." Good grief. That was when all the, "go through your kids' candy after they trick-or-treat" started and I vaguely remember hospitals offering to x-ray kids' candy if you would bring it to them. I kept my mouth shut on that one. And we never had our candy x-rayed.
One year, my mom invited one of her co-workers over the night before Halloween to make popcorn balls for her office the next day. That was the biggest fiasco with her and Sandy that I've ever seen. They had crap everywhere and my mom may have had a few choice words that night as she stirred that popcorn and Karo. Michael and I just hung out in the den adjoining the kitchen and watched, "The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown" and a Bugs Bunny Halloween special back to back. Kids these days don't even know who Bugs Bunny is.
We didn't have reflectors and glow sticks and all that fine stuff in the 80s. We were lucky if one of our parents remembered to bring the flashlight! There were street lights ever so often and that was enough. The weird thing was that Mama bought me and Michael Halloween bells. Like bells that you shake and they ring. Weird. We were proud of those bells, though, and we used them every year!
I'm ashamed to admit that I've egged a house before, but it wasn't on Halloween. It was in February and I remember the incident quite well. Let's just say it wasn't one of my finer moments.
My mama also made me another Halloween costume when I was in college. I was a 1920's flapper in a hot pink dress with black swishing fringe and fish net hose. I had the garter, the cigarette holder and I made my own headpiece. That was a fun party! Ahem! Alise wore that costume for a pep rally last year! Now THAT was weird!