With Halloween almost upon us & my daily rummage through my “Life in Two Butter Tins” pics (please see previous blogs) I came across this interesting photo of my Mother and Gumby. First, I have never seen my Mother dress for Halloween. Ever. And why a spider? When I asked her, she sternly replied “I was not just a spider I was a “Black Widow.” My last name is Black, and I’m a widow. Both my husbands are dead.” Eeeks! Hold on there Charlotte – I gotcha! I have no idea who’s inside that Gumby costume, but from the smile on the face, this Gumby doesn’t know my mother’s background on her black widow spider persona. My advice? Grab Pokey and run, Gumby, run!”
I cannot find one photo of me in any Halloween costume at all. But I do have memories. I loved deciding what I was going to be each year. There would be no store-bought costume for me. I was a cool kid & hated those costumes in boxes with the plastic masks. They really were pre-Halloween Michael Myers – the movie! Creepy. One year my friends and I decided to be “hippies.” Not sure why since that was what everyone else kinda looked like at that time. But we spent endless hours painting our bell-bottom pants with vertical strips, stringing love beads, making peace signs out of pipe cleaners, searching for white go-go boots, fringe vests, flowered headbands and to finish the ensemble, the pillowcase as our candy sac with the phrase “Summer of Love” painted across it. I’m going on memory here. We looked like a cross between Grace Slick, Janis Joplin, & Herman’s Hermits. I remember our Father’s walking us around our blue-collar neighborhood and trying to keep up with us as we frantically ran from house to house, pushing other kids out of the way (it was a kinda rough neighborhood) to get to the doors first before the candy ran out. Sorta like looting. Our game was to try and get more candy than the year before. Oh, I hated when that porch light went dark and the house shut down for the night. You know, like “last call” at the bar but without the “call” warning. Ohhh, so disappointing. Then there were the bigger kids who just were out to terrorize the neighborhood. Hanging from trees ready to pounce on you from above, or toss lit matches at your costumes (that was always a big hit when someone was actually on fire, and they didn’t know it) or come out of nowhere and swipe your candy sac. I might have been a kid, but I had eyes everywhere, am very street smart and I went to school with these degenerate kids. It was like the Halloween Wild West in Connecticut. I always knew which houses to go to and which ones not to go to. Especially the O’Reilly house. I hated going there, but my father always made me, pointing his finger telling me how nice she was to everyone. And I’m guessing by the 8 kids she had she was extra friendly to Mr. O’Reilly! Mrs. O’Reilly spent all day dipping apples in red syrup, wrapping them in wax paper topped off with a ribbon. I kinda felt bad for her because no one really wanted her treats. Or listen to her give us the story every year about this night being the night before All Saint’s Day. I mean really who wants to hear that as you’re dressed as a Ghoul trying to dodge lit matches. Plus her house was always grimy & sticky all year round, and we had visions of yuk on our treats. And her obnoxious boys were more filthy & smutty and we didn’t care if they were all Alter Boys and assistants in Mass at Saint Mary Parish. I wanted candy, wrapped and store bought!
After hitting about 25-30 houses, the evening was complete. Dragging the sack back home, tired and cold just ready to dig in and eat some of the senseless calories I got for free. I was always abruptly stopped at the door by my mother – the Gestapo, ordering me to take my muddy mukluks off and dump the candy into a big pile on the living room floor for her annual inspection for pins & needles that came along with this fun traditional night. She was relentless inspecting every single piece of candy. It always amazed me how detailed she was with this task, but could care less if I did my homework. She really wanted to find something I know she did. Oh, that would have been one hell of a memory and photo to make the find special. But nothing. Nope. Never. Just candy. And she still made me toss some of it. When she finally went through every single piece of candy the pile sank to about 20 pieces. A night’s work for 20 pieces of candy. Argh! And there on the floor lay lifeless as it did every year was Mrs. O’Reilly’s homemade candy apple. Now exhausted and pissed my Mother once again ruined the fun of Halloween. I just wanted a piece of candy. I caved. I grabbed the goody; unwrapped that yukky, sticky, dead piece of fruit and bit into the germ infested treat in defeat. And the Angels sang, ♫Hallelujah!♫
Happy All Hallow’s Eve people!
And that’s my time!
Happy to report:
- I let my child eat Halloween candy without a border check
- The Summer of Love is far gone, but I’m told most of the O’Reilly kids still live with Mr. & Mrs. O’Reilly
- I’m still trying to see if my Mother has a red hourglass mark on her abdomen
#Halloween #MichaelMyers #MrsOReilly #JanBlackWidowSpider #Candybordercheck #Halloweenisalmostover