Halloween Candy

October 28, 2012 at 11:13 am 1 comment

Halloween is upon us! When I was growing up, we always did Trick or Treating on Halloween night. In the Northwoods, it was generally cold and dark by the time we went out. the leaves were off the trees and as we tromped about with a slight breeze blowing, it sounded like skeletons were following us. As a result of the chilly fall weather, costumes were mostly something that would keep us warm, since we didn’t want to wear jackets to cover up our chosen look. It’s funny, because though I have a pretty good recall of my early life, I only remember a handful of costumes…a clown (because we have a photo), the tiger costume I wore in kindergarten, that was borrowed from a family friend (probably remember it, because someone in my class ripped off the tail and I was worried I’d get in trouble), and an Indian in the fifth grade, complete with a really cool headdress. I know I participated in Trick or Treating until I was in 8th grade, since my school didn’t have a junior high. In fact, there were only about 15 children in the whole town. A few parents brought their kids “into town” to get the candy, but in total, it was a small group. The nice part of getting candy was that back then, candy bars were full-sized!

Candy. As a child, I couldn’t get enough of the good stuff, but even back then, I was discerning. After a night of Trick or Treating, my siblings and I would dump our pillowcases of loot into individual piles on the dining room floor. Like Wall Street, the trading bell would sound and we’d try to ditch the stuff we didn’t like for more of what we did. Candy on my ditch list included taffy, Slo Poke suckers, Good ‘N Plenty (nasty licorice – there is good black licorice – Callard & Bowser), Sweet Tarts, Sweethearts (often tasted soapy), Bit O’ Honey, Jujubes, Tootsie Rolls, Tootsie Pops (never liked that chocolate center in a sucker and the sucker was too sweet for me), Chunky, and so on. I really didn’t care for the hard or chewy stuff. My siblings and I would sit ont he floor and say things like, “Two boxes of Jujubes and three Laffy Taffys for that PayDay.” Sometimes I’d get rid of the bad stuff and sometimes, I’d have no takers, so I’d have to up the ante or let it sit in my stash until I ran out of everything else and maybe would consume it out of candy withdrawal desperation.

What did I like? Kit Kat, Snickers, PayDay, Hershey’s chocolate bars, Mallow Cups, Babe Ruth, Butterfinger, Almond Joy, Mounds, Necco Wafers (especially the chocolate ones), gum, (especially bubble gum cigars in the banana flavor), wax bottles or wax lips, and another great option – hard, cold cash (mostly pennies and nickels, but back then an ice cream drumstick was 10 cents). As much as I liked chocolate, I did have limits. I was never a fan of Three Musketeers or Milky Way.

What was the worst part of Trick or Treating? Schlepping up to a door where the homeowners expected you to do something to get the treat. I was really shy, but too afraid to say, “I’ll pass,” so I’d end up trying to mumble out a song with my friend. And worse than that was the homeowner who tossed in a box of raisins or an apple (generally arrived home bruised and battered), but the absolute bottom of the barrel was when someone dropped a few cookies in your bag. Seriously? I hope I didn’t audibly groan back then, but knowing me, I probably did. That was the worst. When you’d dump your bag out, those cookies would be a jumble of crumbs that not only messed up Mom’s carpeting, but clung to the rest of your loot. What a mess! And the people handing them out were adults who should have known better (Put a bunch of crumbly things in a bag, dump hard stuff on top of them, sling the bag over your shoulder, and what exactly do you think will happen to the fragile treats?)

A pet peeve of mine – people who don’t hand out candy. My rule is that if you Trick or Treated as child, but no longer have children at home, you should still be handing out candy. Lots of people who no longer had children at home probably gave treats to you or your Trick or Treaters, albeit cookies and apples.

What were your favorite costumes and treats?

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Terri Van  |  October 30, 2012 at 9:17 pm

    As your sister I have to agree with your candy assessment. However, I do remember receiving a wonderful homemade caramel apple from a lady in Omro, WI. I remember very carefully carrying it home. Today it is no longer safe to give out homemade goodies…what a shame.

    Reply

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