Back when I was trick or treating there weren’t any of the warnings like there are today about what people put in little kids’ bags. So what we got was a much more interesting variety. We usually got some homemade stuff, like cookies and popcorn balls. It surprises me now to say that I don’t remember being particularly thrilled with those — I wanted candy! And most of the candy we got was small individual pieces, some not even wrapped. We were thrilled at the houses where we actually got a candy bar. And there were only full-sized candy bars then, which each cost a nickel. The candy bars were definitely the “cadillac’s” of treats received.
But having said that, I have to admit that the treat I remember most fondly wasn’t candy.
In 1956 I was 10 years old so toward the end of my trick or treating years. My friend Cheryl and I were going through an apartment complex a few blocks from home. It was mostly young families with kids of their own, so they were really into the Halloween thing too. But we came to one door behind which was a guy with a different take on what a treat should be (or, more likely, what was most convenient for him), and consequently his door will always be remembered as my all-time favorite trick or treat door.
We could hear a bunch of people inside obviously having a party, but that didn’t stop us from knocking (we considered any house with lights on fair game). At our knock, a very jovial, obviously drunk older man came to the door. After we said the obligatory “Trick or Treat!”, he reached over to a table next to the door, picked up a roll of dimes and put one in each of our bags. We were thrilled. Of course, a dime was alot more money in the 50’s than it is today. But also, neither one of us had, in “all” our years of trick or treating, ever been given money before!
As we walked on to other doors, we kept talking about our unexpected windfall, and an idea gradually formulated in our opportunistic little minds, “He was really drunk. He probably couldn’t even see us very well. So if we happened to go to his door again, he probably wouldn’t even notice!” So, an hour or so later we made another swing by the door of the “golden goose”. And the exact same thing happened again — another dime! Wahoo!
Let me just say here that “greed has no age restrictions”. We were on a roll. Common sense not being the strong suit of 10 year olds, we decided to go back just one more time. Well, as the old saying goes, “All good things must come to an end.” When we returned to that man’s door again, his house was now quiet and dark. His roll of dimes must have been used up and he was probably now sleeping the sleep of the dead (or rather the drunk).
It’s a little embarrassing to tell you that we were such opportunists when we discovered the “golden goose”, but he was definitely my most memorable Halloween “donor”. And he usually comes to mind when the subject arises of what people give out for Halloween.
May your Halloween be safe and fun. And may all our candy be given out so that Hubby and I won’t be tempted by it!