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Hunker Down with Kes

Eating Good In The Neighborhood

By Kesley Colbert
kesley45@aol.com
Posted 10/30/19

It’s sad to be an adult at Halloween. You’d look a tad out of place knocking on doors with a sack in your hand and a Lone Ranger mask on your face yelling, “Trick or Treat!” …

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Hunker Down with Kes

Eating Good In The Neighborhood

Posted

It’s sad to be an adult at Halloween. You’d look a tad out of place knocking on doors with a sack in your hand and a Lone Ranger mask on your face yelling, “Trick or Treat!” But how do you get the Butterfingers and peanut M&M’s if you don’t?

I was never into ghouls, goblins and such. I scare pretty easily. I couldn’t hardly breathe underneath that white sheet thrown over my head. I don’t especially like orange and black. And to this day Elm Street is about my least favorite road in town.  

Mom wasn’t too keen on Halloween! She somehow associated the Devil with all the hype and shenanigans. She thought it had a definite underworld tone……so we had to listen to that “something is not scripturally correct here” speech every October. 

And I was never interested so much in the “tricking” side of the equation. Oh, gosh, I’ve poured a few pints of rubbing alcohol up Mrs. Boaz’s sidewalk and lit it just as Yogi knocked on her door. I’ve tossed a pack or two of flaming fire crackers underneath Ruth Ann Wiley.

We used to crawl up on the roof and drop water balloons and dead spiders on the unsuspecting trick or treaters that came to the front door. We’d put David Mark in the trunk of our old ’51 Chevrolet with his ketchup covered arm hanging strategically out the back while Leon drove slowly around town.

And it was fun to watch Leon pull his shirt up over his head, jump on ole Prince and ride that wild horse down Stonewall Street like he was thundering through Sleepy Hollow….. 

But my real goal each year was the candy. Come on now, in spite of what Mom might’a thought, you couldn’t turn this deal down. You walk up to a door, knock politely, hold out your sack and Miss Kennon would drop a handful of Peanut Butter Logs and Double Bubble gum right down the opening.

You cross the street and Mrs. Brooks would pile a 3 Musketeers and some Red Hots right on top. Mrs. Webb was always good for a Zag Nut and some Candy Corn. Aunt Jessie would know you no matter the costume and she’d tussle your hair as she piled on the homemade ginger snaps and oatmeal cookies.

We’d run back to the house, dump a load on the living room rug and take off again! We couldn’t quite cover the whole town before Dad called a halt around 8:30 or so. He allowed decent folks were getting ready for bed by then.

I’d tried to wolf down the Baby Ruths and Hershey Bars before Leon parceled them away from me!

He’d pile all the goodies on the rug as we eagerly gathered around. Like a king to the manor born he doled them out to us one piece at a time. It didn’t take two seconds to realize he was garnering all the chocolate…..while David and I got the jawbreakers, bubble gum, and “hard as brickbat” suckers. 

It was near ’bout impossible to go to sleep on Halloween night. We’d wrestle and pillow fight till way past midnight while Leon told us about a half brother we didn’t know we had named Freddy Krueger!

Nothing lasts forever. We, oh so quickly, outgrew those costumes and paper sacks. It’s one of those deals in life you can’t ever get back!

We replaced the free candy with the Halloween Carnival in the high school auditorium. It would cost a nickel or dime to throw darts at balloons, “fish” for a prize or bob for apples. The cake walk cost a quarter which was a little too expensive for my pocket book.

Most everyone in town always showed up. Laughter and music filled the room. You talk about simple and plain, but as the years go by—it doesn’t take the place of free candy, mind you—but it does become more special. It was kind’a like a Hallmark Movie…..except nobody got kissed at the end.

Just as soon as my two boys got old enough to walk I put a Lone Ranger outfit on them and sent them up and down Garrison Avenue with the largest sacks I could find. When Cathy declared it was too late to send them out anymore I poured their loot out on the living room floor.

“Josh, here’s a jawbreaker for you. Jess, you get the striped sucker. Daddy will take the Almond Joy…….”

              Respectfully,

                   Kes

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