Frazzled Marc, half way through my 40s!

Frazzled Marc, half way through my 40s!
Frazzled Marc, half way through my 40s!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween Memories

Growing up 70's and 80's, Halloween was always fun in my house. As I have stated in previous blogs, my family didn't have that much disposable income when I was young, so alot of costumes were homemade. We kids didn't complain too much, it was just how it was. I knew I wanted to be something else, but when the end result was still getting candy, I was still happy. Therefore, in the Haynes household, Sheryl, Adam, and I were often hobos, bums, or clowns! 

I do remember one year, when I was 6 or 7, that I pleaded for Mom to buy me a skull mask. I wanted it SO bad! She gave in and bought it for me. We had no idea what I was going to do for the skeleton body though. Never thought once about that. Halloween crept closer, and I started asking with urgency, "What about my skeleton body!"  Mom suggested ratty clothes and I stated that I just couldn't been seen in ratty clothes and a skull!  Didn't she know that wasn't a skeleton! I need a skeleton body and if I didn't have, everything would be ruined! I was full of drama even at such a young age.



I actually found the mask being sold online at a vintage store. It is the one in the top right corner! Not too scary today, but back then to a little kid, it was scary enough for me.  Dad came to the rescue and spray painted a skeleton on a sheet and cut out holes for my head and arms and I became the "scary" skeleton that I wanted to be!

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Money was tight for my family back then, so as I stated we were either clowns, hobos, or bums. What's the difference between a hobo and a bum? Not sure, ha ha, but I know I went as either for several years. It was an easy costume.  Dirty clothes, an empty bottle, a plastic cigar, and a dirty face. I remember Adam and I tied the pile of clothes on the end of stick to indicate we were "traveling" hobos.  I think Mom got it stuck in her head that these were easy cheap costumes. Years later, I would be shown pictures of her as a young girl, dressed up as a hobo and a clown! 

Mom and Dad splurged one year and bought Adam and I these cool rubber hobo masks. They had a huge comic nose, beard and chin but your eye are was open. So we went as updated hobos with exaggerated features. Half of the people thought we were Groucho Marx or Jimmy Durante. No one at school knew who I was. I remember loving the anonymity of it all

Dad would walk Sheryl, Adam, and I around the Wenonah neighborhood going trick-or-treating. When Sheryl got older, she would then take us. We didn't have fancy bags, a good old supermarket paperbag worked just as well. Mom and Dad would wait at home for us to see what we collected in our trick-or-treat bags. Back then, you didn't have to worry about razor blades or pins in candy, apples or homemade treats. They were all safe. There was a sweet old woman with a thick European accent on the corner of Clinton and Maple who used to give out Ziploc bags of homemade cookies. They were the best!  For the life of me I cannot remember her name. She was so sweet though. I used to also rake leaves for her in the Fall. 

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Anyway, when we arrived back home, Mom would have hot chocolate waiting. We three kids would sit in the breakfast room and go through our spoils!  Trading and counting candy would commence! Mom would then store the rest in our own personal Tupperware containers but way up high in the top cabinets of the kitchen.  No sneaking candy!

One of the last years trick-or-treating,  Mom had hung a fabric sewn pumpkin that she made in the front door window. My sister Sheryl still hangs it up in her front doorway as Mom did. I smile each year I see it. Dad created a huge spider web on the porch. He constructed the web out of rope and then fashioned a spider out of Styrofoam balls.  Ever the artist, his art skills came through! The entire neighborhood was talking about the spider web at 205 East Maple Street! Now, you see them all over the place, but I swear my Dad created one of the first back in the early 80's!  With a scary music record (yes record!) playing, my sister dressed up as a witch and scared kids left and right who wandered up the stairs to our house. 

Mischief night, the night before Halloween, was also fun, but nervous fun. Adam, Sheryl, and I guarded our house from egg throwing, toilet paper hanging hooligans. Only one year did our block get egged. Another year we came home to smashed pumpkins and tossed mums. Mom was so angry that year swearing what she would do to those kids! Dad eventually calmed her down.

My last memory of Halloween I want to share is my allergy to chocolate. What a horrible thing for a kid to endure on one of the best holidays for kids! I would break out in itchy hives.  In the year that I started having allergic reactions, I broke out in hives so bad, that my back actually became one big hive. After that, Mom and Dad would allow me one or two pieces of chocolate and watch me for break outs.

What fun memories, but I still vow never to be a clown, hobo, or bum again.  And thankfully, I outgrew my allergy to chocolate!

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