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Halloweens past and present

Well, we got rid of Halloween for another year. The arrival of the little darlings on the doorstep brought back some memories of days gone past when little Parksie made the rounds demanding goodies.

Well, we got rid of Halloween for another year. The arrival of the little darlings on the doorstep brought back some memories of days gone past when little Parksie made the rounds demanding goodies. I think I just asked for cash in lieu of calories, not quite sure though.

One thing I do recall clearly was that in our town, the trickers and treat gatherers came to both the front and back doors. The front streets and back lanes were clogged with kids and if you were in the house, both the back and front doors had to be staffed with personnel and candy because the onslaught was coming from both sides.

One thing I miss is the homemade sweets that used to dominate the Halloween event. The households used to go all out in the baking department in preparation for the trick and treat teams. There were the favourite brownies or fudge suppliers, others who complied with the Halloween apples shout out and of course the ever popular popcorn balls.

I always got a big laugh when I visited my godfather's house Arne Eylofson (ya, ya, he was Icelandic) because he always had something going on that was different. One year he had the clothesline rigged up on his sloping lawn so that the visiting goblins could "ride the hook" on the clothesline right from his back stoop all the way back to the lane and never have to set foot on the ground. Another year he gave away ice cream cold Halloween Arne was handing out big scoops of ice cream. Clumsy, messy, silly exactly what we wanted and what our parents didn't want. Arne didn't care, he had more fun than the kids.

And nobody ever worried about poisoned fudge. By the way, those stories about razor blades in apples pure urban myth. No police agency anywhere in North America ever received an authentic report of razors in apples. But you know that one about the flying cows? Well, that really happened my friend's friend told me it was true.

As we got older and some of us were eligible to drive, we'd strike out on Halloween evening, complete with costumes, to pay visits to our rural friends and create a little havoc in their yards knowing full well their parents would be making them clean it up the next morning before they left for school. Served them right for having crappy friends like us!

I rode my first steer on a clear crisp Halloween evening at the age of 15, and I obviously lived to relate the story to you, sans details of course. Let's just say the final score was Steer 3 Parksie 0. And I still don't wear a helmet and have a healthy respect for any member of the bovine family.

In some houses, when you were around seven or eight you had to earn your candy by singing a song or reciting a poem. It got a little tedious, but Fijola's brownies were worth the effort. Icelandic ladies know how to bake. Their Norwegian near counterparts around here give them a good run for their money though. Lefse or Icelandic brown bread, couldn't tell ya what's better for the palate. Call it a draw.

Some kids who come to the door on Hallween now are hard pressed to say thanks in some instances and others will put in their orders as to what they want from the Halloween bowl of plenty. Different times, different attitudes I guess.

I imagine if you asked them to sing, dance or recite now you'd probably get a blank stare or the finger with a comment like "I don't need none of yer stinkin' candy," accompanied by a quick departure. Mind you, the real little ones would probably get a big charge out of providing an impromptu performance in return for a two-bite O'Henry. Who knows? Mind you all the little urchins who arrived on our door were wonderfully polite, quite excited and filled with the spirit of the spooky day, so no complaints.

Be in touch with your inner witch.

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