My Halloween Memory Lane – Part I

Halloween used to be so much fun. Planning your costume, dressing up, going out with friends and getting tons of candy. Who could ask for anything more? As an adult, things have changed drastically, so I’m relegated to a walk down my Halloween memory lane.

Elementary School

All the great memories start when I was in elementary school. First of all, we got to wear our Halloween costumes to school each year. In about 4th grade, our school had an assembly in the gym and our class got to sing a spooky Halloween song about witches stirring their brew. We made our voices all witchy and cackled creepily as the words eked out of our mouths.

As far as trick-or-treating goes, my neighborhood was kinda lame. So, every year, I would take an overnight bag to school with me and at the end of the day, I’d go home with one of my friends. We would go trick-or-treating together near her house and have a blast. Our journey only ended when we were either too cold to go on, our bags were too heavy to carry, or we had already hit all viable houses. When we finally got back inside, we would sort out our treats by name and type: chocolate, licorice, candy corn, hard candy, and whatever other categories we deemed necessary.

The next day, we’d go to school together; her with only a book bag and me with my overnight bag stuffed to the rim with candy! The trading began as soon as we got on the bus and continued throughout the school day. I always had a small bag with the worst candies – you know the ones – waiting to be traded up. Of course, I had already eaten an inordinate amount of my candy stash even before I got back to my house to share with my brother. Hey, what he doesn’t know won’t hurt him!

Middle School

We still went out hunting for candy, but a couple of years we got to go to Halloween parties. I fondly remember one at our play-cousin’s house in the suburb-side of the city. We got to bob for apples, play pin the something on some Halloweeny thing, and eat Rice KrispieⓇ treats and cool candy concoctions. We even got to touch slimy, creepy things that turned out to be skinless grapes. What a great time we had!

High School

No more lame costumes with plastic masks or the i forgot to get a costume but my mom has bedsheets – ghost. We were old enough to hang out a little. At this point in our teen lives, it was all about roaming the neighborhood to see who was out and then acting silly and laughing a LOT!

We would wait until it was good and dark and most of the little daylight kids were already back home. Then our trek would begin. We’d walk for hours and miles to achieve our goals: neighborhood social engagement, aka flirting; and sugar accumulation, aka lots of candy.

Of course, there was always a competition to see who got the most candy – or more aptly, who had the heaviest bag.

When all was said and done, we toted home pounds of candy. Sometimes, we traded our loot with each other before making our way to our own homes. Once inside, it was that special time again: candy sorting time! No matter how old I got, sorting my candy into piles of sweet goodness never got old.

The next day at school, you were hard-pressed to find someone who didn’t have candy treats to share or trade. But within a few days, all the amateurs were fresh out. Then they’d come to me and a few others who knew how to ration our supplies. That’s when the bidding began: I’ll give you a dollar for that box of NerdsⓇ, candy bar, Blow PopⓇ … you fill in the blank. I’ll tell you what, a kid could make a killing!


At this point, I would only be caught outside with the trick-or-treaters when I had to take my little sister out. Of course, I would never turn down the loads of candy she would have at the end of her journey. Only us folks with kid siblings had access to the free mother lode. Of course, I had to teach her the art of candy sorting; it was my sisterly responsibility after all.

After that, I was on my way to a costume party, where the music was loud and the crowd was dancing! I remember one year I made myself a fitted pink iridescent party dress with a unique open back design. Lots of people were wearing distinct costumes and so the question I heard repeatedly that night was: who are you? – as in who are you dressed up as? Feeling proud that I had found a way to look fly within the confines of a Halloween costume, my confident response was: I’m a supermodel and a cover girl, if you must know. Couldn’t nobody tell me nothing that night. I knew I was looking fierce!

What fun we had back in the good ole’ days. Luckily, those days didn’t end, read more in Part II of My Halloween Memory Lane.


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