Well, tomorrow is Halloween and time for the little trick or treaters to be out and about. It seems adults and kids both get in the act anymore. There are probably more adult Halloween parties than kid's. At the workplace, employees and bosses alike get in on the act. It wasn't that way when we were growing up.
When we were growing up we lived out in the country, there was no money for costumes. Heck, I don't even remember there being costumes. There may have been a few face masks but we never had any. However, we did have a lot of fun trick or treating.
We would find us some old "garb" to wear. We never had to buy anything - all our clothes were old. Maybe we would take a pair of my Dad's overalls and be a hillbilly (not that we weren't already) or tie a shirt around a stick or something and be a hobo. Sometimes we would find the biggest dress we could find (usually one of my aunt's hand me downs) and stuff it with pillows and be an old fat lady. We would unravel a couple piece of rope for hair..we never had wigs. A big fancy hat with flowers on it was a must with this outfit. We didn't have pumpkins or fancy sacks to carry our loot. We would take an old pillowcase and that was our trick or treat sack.
My favorite memory was the year all five of us decided to dress alike. We took some soot from the stovepipe on the kitchen stove and mixed it with some of my mother's cold cream. We then painted our faces and anything else that showed with the black "goop". My dad had several pair of old brown work gloves so we borrowed those. Dressed in our"garb" and our pillowcases for the loot we were off through the neighborhood.
There was this one neighbor lady who didn't have any kids but she made the most scrumptious popcorn balls. We always loved going there because she had lots of treats for us. We all go up to the door and knock on it. She opened it and then shut it real fast, then opened it again. She yelled to her husband, "OH!! Ben, you have to see this....Look at all the cute little "darkies". She made us come inside and parade around for him and then she gave us our treats.
We continued on our way and all the neighbors thought our costumes were great but they must have thought we were pretty poor because we ended up with more candy than usual.
By the time we got home our pillowcases were stuffed but we really had a chore ahead of us before bedtime. By this time the mixture of the soot and cold cream had hardened into a cement like finish and it had to be washed off before bedtime.
Washing it off with cold water didn't work. The more you washed the more it smeared. You would get one portion of your face clean and then wash another and it would smear the clean part. This really upset my mother. Now she had to build a fire in the cookstove and go to the creek in the dark to get water and and heat it and all five of us had to have a bath and our hair washed. What a chore!! It was midnight before we ever got to bed.
You can bet that the next Halloween we did not get to dress like that. The soot never came out of her towels and washcloths and my mother never let us forget it either.
And that, my friends, is my Halloween story for today. I have another but it will have to wait until the grandkids are a little older.