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Family Man 11-1
The best treat on Halloween
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As I watched the trick-or-treaters wandering the streets last night, their candy bags bulging with the bounty of sugary sweets that are sure to keep them hyper for the next month, I was reminded of my time as one of the little spooks.
Sure, I can still live vicariously through my son Henry when it comes to Halloween fun, but it just isn’t the same being able to put on an outfit and go door-to-door ringing doorbells. I suppose I could still do it but I’d certainly be getting some odd looks from people when I held out my bag and said “trick or treat.” I mean, we all, as hosts handing out candy, give that “big kid” of the bunch an odd look when he or she comes to the door.
Anyway, I think we all remember our carefree days, working the streets for goodies on Halloween. It seemed there was always that cool autumn wind that swept the recently fallen gold and orange leaves along the streets, giving the evening that slightly creepy feel that always had you peeking over your shoulder, looking for real ghouls and goblins.
It always took me a few houses to swallow my pride before I finally began actually saying “trick or treat.” The first few houses I’d just timidly knock on the door and hold out my bag like an entitled little ghoul once they answered.
Once I got home it was time to survey the loot. It’s like a mini-Christmas morning when you empty that trick-or-treat bag and see what you got.
I hated the ones who gave me fruit and other healthy treats. It was like they soiled my bag of sweet, sugary, tooth-rooting decadence with something that was good for me. Hey, if I wanted something good for me I would have eaten my broccoli. I’m not out there, sweating under a mask, risking life and limb, wandering the streets for an orange or pear. I want chocolate and other things that are bad for you. I say this four root canals later, of course.
While candy was the main aim of trick-or-treaters back in my day, there was a holy grail that I, for a long time, believed was only the stuff of legend. That is until one Halloween, over in the West-wood area I believe it was, I was pointed to a house on top of a hill.
“Go there!” a kid, peering out from the eyeholes he had cut out in a sheet, told me.
So, I wandered up to the door and rang the bell. A nice, elderly man stepped out and gave me a smile.
“What do we say?” he asked, holding something shiny in his hand.
Eating my pride, I relented. “Trick or treat.”
And then I saw it as he dropped it in the bag. IT WAS A QUARTER!
Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus and he lives in Westwood and gives out quarters on Halloween to trick-or-treaters.
Standard reporter Duane Sherrill can be reached at 473-2191.