Monday, October 31, 2016


One of my favorite memories from childhood was when my family lived in Bremerhaven, Germany. All of the military families lived in military housing, or apartment buildings, with three floors with nine apartments in each. That situation was a dream to those of us children who wanted to go trick-or-treating! A group of friends and I went together, and of course every single door opened to us and showered us with Halloween goodies! 
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Back then, homemade cookies and cupcakes were acceptable, along with everyone's favorite chocolate candy: Hershey's kisses, regular candy bars, Almond Joys, or 3 Musketeers. We got plenty, let me tell you. I always brought home a huge shopping bag full of goodies, and took some to school the next day to share with friends. 

I have to share one memory that was less than stellar, however. Remember, this was the 1950s, so nobody was concerned about safety issues or bad intentions toward trick-or-treaters. I was going out with several of my cousins--a couple of parents drove us around town, let us off to go door to door on a block, then picked us up and took us to another neighborhood. We knocked on the door of one home (there were about six or seven of us), and when the lady came to the door to hand out candy, she took a particular interest in me. I though she really liked my costume, but after eyeing me for for a moment, she declared, "No candy for you! You've already been here once tonight, so that wouldn't be fair!" I was floored, said I'd not ever been to that house before in my life (we lived in another state, in fact), so I turned to my cousin Brenda, imploring her to tell the lady I hadn't been there before.

Brenda merely shrugged and said, "How do I know if you've ever been here before or not?" She knew I'd never gone trick-or-treating in her town!  I told my mom what she said when we got home, and she just chalked it up to youthful ignorance. We were only nine or ten years old, after all.

We often attended church Halloween parties with games, snacks, and lots of fun, too. There was always a costume contest, and although I don't ever remember winning, it was so much fun to dress up.

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Childhood should have its moments of unabandoned, wholesome FUN. As I look back, I'm so thankful my parents saw to it that my brother and I had lots of such moments.

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