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Reminiscing in 2024

It was my first Halloween. I was only five years old but I was eager with anticipation. Soon I would be tromping through my neighborhood extorting candy from neighbors while wearing a costume. My mom had dressed me up in a cowboy costume before, but now this was the real thing. Out in public. With other kids.

My costume consisted of a saloon vest, red cowboy boots, and a yellow bandana around my neck. With a sombrero on my head and a trusty spring-action plastic six shooter by my side, I was ready.

I went with my friend Hymie and his mom. My mother kissed me goodbye and out I went trick-or-treating! We accosted one house, then another, and then another. Loot!  M&Ms, Mr. Goodbars, tootsie rolls, lollipops, now-and-laters, fun dip, bubble yum, marathon bars, Oh Henrys, Baby Ruths, cracker jacks, Hershey bars, pop rocks, bottle caps, razzles, pixy stix, chicklets, freshen ups, butterfingers, pez pellets and dispensers, Mars, Reese’s, Almond Joys… I can feel the sugar rush now.

It was great as long as it lasted. Those cowboy boots started digging into my soft five-year-old skin. The back of my calves developed a red rashy area. You could see the straight line where these cheap plastic accessories dug in. They started burning. A little at first. And then more and more. I complained – no whined – being only five years old. My friend’s mom somehow seemed all too happy to send me home. My calves hurt so much I didn’t want to go back out. I didn’t care. I had my loot. And then my mom started confiscating it. Give me my candy! I whined, and whined again, and then whined some more. She finally relented – I made her relent – then gave me my candy. Then I stuffed my pie hole until I couldn’t stuff it any more.

It wasn’t fair, but I got sick the next day. But it was worth it. I began planning for next year, and the next. Each year with more drama than the last. But I’ll save those stories for another post.

If you like Halloween you may find the following facts interesting:

– Halloween is also known as Hallowe’en All Saint’s Eve, All Hallow’s Eve, and Allhalloween.

– Hallow means sacred and “een” or “e’en” means evening or eve.

– The earliest observances of Halloween go as far back as the 8th Century.

– Irish and Scottish immigrants brought Halloween celebrations to the United States, which were then modified and spread to many other countries throughout the 20th and 21st Centuries.

– Popular activities include trick-or-treating, hayrides, haunted houses and Halloween parties.

– The heaviest pumpkin of all time weighed 2749 pounds (1247 kilograms) and was grown by Travis Gienger of Anoka, Minnesota in 2023.

Learn more about this drama-filled holiday at the History Channel’s Halloween page.