When I was a kid, I looked forward to Halloween. When it came to holidays, Halloween was right up there with Christmas.
It seems it’s still quite popular. I saw a picture on Facebook this week of a little boy and his dad dressed up in matching super hero costumes.
I thought that was cool, but thinking back to my dad, that’s not something he would have done.
My dad would have sooner doused his head in a bucket of kerosene and set his hair on fire with his Zippo lighter than suit up in a full-bodied man’s leotard and walk around the community with me asking neighbors for candy.
But times have changed, and Halloween is a big deal. Some of the popular costumes this year will be Zombie Shirley Temples, Princess Darth Vaders, along with the old favorites: Batman, Spiderman, and Ninjas.
It’s been years since Jilda and I have gone to a Halloween party, but we’ve seen some very creative costumes.
Once a woman came wearing one of those big signs (The End Is Near) that hang in front and back. On the sign she’d painted a huge “P.” Her right eye was painted black.
I was puzzled trying to figure out what she was, but Jilda jumped right on it. “She’s a black-eyed P”.
One party goer was dressed in a green toe sack. He’d go over to the corner of the room and plug himself in and you immediately knew he was a Christmas tree. I should have realized that, when I saw he was wearing gift boxes with bows, for shoes.
Even though we haven’t gone to any parties in a while, we always prepare for Halloween in hopes that we’ll get a few trick-or-treaters.
In all the years we’ve lived here, we’ve had very few kids come to our door. We load up with bags of treats, but at the end of the night, we’re left with enough sugar to throw Walker County into a diabetic coma.
I understand that people gravitate to communities where the houses are closer together and have smaller dogs.
When we were kids, Red Star Hill was Mecca for trick-or-treaters. Those people over there knew how to treat kids. If a kid left that neighborhood without enough candy to lay waste to all his teeth, it was his or her own fault.
Then there was Granny Cora Bell Thomas, who dressed up like a witch every Halloween and scared the dickens out of every kid that crossed the railroad tracks.
She was Asa Faith Bobo’s grandmother and she had long dark straight hair and a laugh that sent involuntary chills up your arm if you came within hearing distance on Halloween.
This Halloween we’ll stock up on goodies, leave the front-porch light on and hope that a few kids come our way.
Tonight (Sunday) Dale Short will do a Halloween special on his Music from Home on Oldies 101.5 FM. beginning at 6 p.m.
Rick Watson is a freelance writer from Empire, Alabama. You can pick up a copy of his latest book Life Happens at Deb’s & Co. at Jasper Mall. Jeans on the River, Robinson’s Cleaners and Green Top in Sumiton.