The Halloweens I remember

Halloween is just around the corner, and it is a fun time for many. Of course, we must remember that it is also a time that creates opportunities for some seedy folks who have less than respectable motives.


As a child, I was not allowed to go Trick or Treating. My parents said it was only begging our neighbors to give us candy. However, we were allowed to dress up in costumes and go to the community Halloween parade, which had floats of all kinds. The kids in costumes walked in the parade at the end. It ended at the Civic Center Park for a community carnival. We looked forward to that every year. It was loads of fun.


After I was a teenager, my brother, who was 5 years younger, was allowed to go Trick or Treating. I accompanied him, dressed in costume. I remember that first year that he was able to trick or treat, he was dressed as a cowboy. I was dressed as a cannibal, with a dog bone in my hair.


Halloween has changed quite a bit since those days. Sometime during the 1970s, some people with distorted minds ruined the fun by putting razor blades and poisons in candy. I never could imagine why anyone would want to harm children in that way. The kids were just having fun, and I guess some people just got kicks out of ruining something good. Parents then became much more cautious about their children going out and around the neighborhoods.


Over the many years I have worn costumes for Halloween, most of the times I created my own look by purchasing items from thrift stores, or combining items from home. I’ve dressed as a clown, a bum, as Elvis, as Mickey Mouse, as a geek, and as a witch, among many other identities. The year I dressed as Mickey, my husband made a tail for me out of heavy electrical wire. I had made a pair of red shorts and sewed the tail into the seam. That tail was so heavy, it was pretty destructive that day, hitting against desks and a few folks right in the head. When that day was done, I decided I would not use that costume again.


There is a lot of fun to be had during October. Right here in good old Madera, we have activities for kids of all ages. The kickoff is generally the Halloween Ball, put on by Madera Rotary. This is for kids of higher age groups. Last Saturday (October 22) was the 2022 Halloween Ball. Most of the attending adults wore costumes. It is hilarious to see some of our most distinguished and sophisticated citizens dressed in outrageous attire. I remember seeing folks dressed as nurses and doctors, vampires, jesters, cartoon characters, witches, pirates, and many other funky characters.


For the kids of lower age groups, many parents accompany their children for Trick or Treat. The safer Halloween evening is for the families to attend the more organized activities for the children, most of which have been put on hold the past couple of years. Some of the churches are offering Trunk or Treat, in which people decorate their cars or trucks and serve candy from the trunks. It’s lots of fun, and many of the kids of all ages wear costumes. I know for sure Madera United Methodist Church and First Christian Church will have Trunk or Treat on Halloween Day. The Madera County Library will also open up for a fun time in the afternoon of Halloween. Yvette, the children’s librarian, will have candy and a costume contest for the children.


Don’t miss the Interact Haunted House, which opened on October 27. There have been ads running for them in Hot Dates in The Madera Tribune, and also some pictures of the rooms. It is always a fun (and creepy) time. The Interact kids do an awesome job of making that enjoyable and memorable. On Saturday at Fossil Discovery Center, there is another great opportunity to have a great time. It’s called “Haunted Night at the Museum.” They also have an ad in Hot Dates.


Enjoy your October. It is the beginning of my favorite time of the year, when the fall colors are vibrant, and the weather is cooler. It also reminds us to be thankful for all we have in life. Make the best of it!


— My love to all,


Nancy


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Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.


— Psalm 37:3