Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween Memories...

Happy Halloween Y'all!

Sorry, no projects to show you.... just fond memories to share.

I may be writing this so that I will have some record of past memories to refer back to, who knows.  Things that I thought I would never forget, seem now to be inevitably lost to time and age.

I guess I'm feeling a bit sentimental this afternoon.  I drove to my Mom's to drop off some Halloween treats for her.  Mom still lives in the house I grew up in, in Austin, Texas so driving past the houses I had seen so many times before made me think of Halloweens past....

As a kidlet, Halloween was all about the candy.  Trick or Treating and the candy.  It wasn't slasher movies, devil worship, or whatever...simply getting all decked out in a costume and going from house to house and snagging all the candy we could.

I had two older sisters Kathy and Kim.  Of course I was the baby and only boy, so I always followed orders from my sisters.  WELL KINDA....They had done the Halloween thing before and knew how to score the treats!  We would by this time have adorned the dining room window with our die cut full color witch, that lived in the hall closet during the rest of the year.  Other artistic creations that were made by my sister's and I in school were also plastered on the dining room windows with Scotch Tape.  Thinking back, I'm sure all the teachers didn't know what to do with us excited kids on Halloween, hence the need to have us make things Halloweenie to keep us quiet!  LOL!  All we wanted was to hear that school bell ring so we could done the costume and wait for dark.

Our costumes and paper trick-or treat bags came from a wonderful-wonderful store that is no longer around, Winn's Five and Dime.  Sure miss that store.  Toys, school supplies, trinkets, objects, cloth, medicine...you name it, it could be found at Winn's.  I cannot tell you a single costumed character I was.  I just remember the costume being some kind of silky material that went over your clothes and it came with a plastic molded full face mask that was held in place by elastic cording.

Dad was the one who walked with us, so we had to wait for dad to get home.  I remember waiting for those EXCRUCIATINGLY LONG hours to pass until his arrival home from work!  We would run out and grab his hand and literally drag him into the house so we could get going.  I'm sure there was dinner in there somewhere, but for the life of me cannot remember eating dinner on Halloween.

Finally, we were off.  There were three rules.  You could only go to houses with the lights on, you had to say Trick-or-Treat and last, you had to say, Thank you after you received your treat.  Now that the trick or treat bags were loaded with the mother lode of all candy and we were exhausted from the walk, the real fun came....Sorting!  LOL

First off, let me say there is an unforgettable smell to a bag of Halloween candy, scents of bazooka gum mixed with aromas of sugar, mint and chocolate....Ahhhh those were the days!  OK, back to the tale....Once home, the three of us would sit in totally glee on the den floor, dump out our bag of goodies and sort them into types.  Each type had their own pile.  Hershey bars, Mr. Goodbars, Dubble Bubble Gum, Milk Duds, Sweet Tarts, peppermints, Cracker Jacks, butterscotch, little Life Saver rolls, homemade popcorn balls, lollipops and my all time favorite mentioned above, Bazooka bubble gum.  Not only was this the most delicious gum, but you got a little comic strip inside the wrapper...Remember that?  For a kid, Willy Wonka had nothing on us!  We were in heaven!  I have no idea why we sorted the candy, to be totally honest, we just did.  We filled our mouths full of candy, popping one after the other until bedtime.  I have no idea again, with such a sugar high, how we even went to bed.   That folks is how I remember Halloween.    A candy filled fun holiday with my sisters.

I hope you have a wonderful Halloween and an awesome safe night filled with sweet memories.

Jim
The Gentleman Crafter


77 comments:

  1. Great memories! They are VERY similar to my memories of Halloween - I'm the baby in my family, too, and we also sorted our candy! Did you and your sisters trade candy so everyone got the most of their favorite thing? We did that. Happy Halloween!

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    1. My brothers, sister & I also did the "candy sort" and as I recall some how my parents got involved in it also and always ended up with some of the really good candy! LOL

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  2. What a lovely picture you paint Jim. I have never been trick or treating as it just wasn't done in the UK when I was little. Recently it has gained in popularity and my daughter used to enjoy dressing up for halloween (although she's 19 now and too old for all that)! It's been raining here tonight and we only had one tiny witch with a scary clown come calling! Over here the 5th November is celebrated more with bonfires and fireworks to remember Guy Fawkes trying to blow up the Houses of Parliament. We won't be celebrating bonfire night this year though as I shall be in London next week with my daughter, where we are going to check out four Universities ready for her for next year. Hope you didn't eat too many sweets tonight!

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    1. How cool Lynn! That is so neat! I wish I could go to London with you! I would give anything to spend a week at the British Museum!

      Thanks Love! Hope Married Life is suiting you!

      Hugs,
      J.

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  3. Lovely post, Jim. My memories are much like yours. It was a more innocent, safer time back then..we had so much fun with so little. Thank you for reminding us. Happy Halloween!

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    1. Here's to a more innocent safer time! May it one day show it's face again.....

      Hugs,
      J.

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  4. I feel like I relived MY childhood halloweens through your story. We must be close to the same age as it all seems so familiar, even WINN's. TYFS

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    1. Olive did you live in Texas? I loved Winn's! We also had a toy store tha,t when I talked to Mom tonight, she said we also got our costumes.....Kiddy City! OH How I loved this store....A mecca of Toy Goodness! What wonderful memories tonight!

      Hugs,
      J.

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    2. Jim, I live in Georgetown. Kiddy City sounds familiar, was it at 51st and I-35, by Capital Plaza. We shopped Capital Plaza,Hancock Center,Green Stamp Center on Airport and a Kmart. In Georgetown we shopped Gelman's and Golds, only because they let you shop on "credit" which was nothing more that a piece of paper in a file box.Did you ever shop in Taylor? We would go there for Perry's five and dime and Bill's dollar store. Great memories.

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  5. Oh those were the days weren't they? We sorted our candy and then traded for what we each wanted. Mom always got her fav first (she loved mallow cups ~ never one of mine so it was all good lol) Bazooka Joe was good and so were the cracker jacks with "real" toy prizes in the box, not the paper jobs they have today. The homemade treats were the most awesome as they were usually very plentyful, candy apples, carmel corn, and popcorn balls wtih special treats in them (like M&M's and or candy corn) just loads of gooey goodness :) Thanks for those reminders of treasured memories. Hope you have a wonderful evening!

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    1. Cindy! I forgot about the candy apples! OMG! Love them! LOL!

      J.

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  6. I just love reading your story! Thanks for sharing.

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  7. Jim, thanks for sharing your Halloween memories with us. I also remember decorating the windows with homemade figures and scotch tape. My mom was a wonderful seamstress and always sewed our costumes. I too was the youngest of 3 I have an older brother and sister. We would get our pillowcase to put our candy in and walked from house to house for hours. I loved SORTING when we got home, I was so particular about how I sorted, I would put it all in a flat tupperware container by brand. We used to get enough candy for months!
    The kids still trick-or-treat around our area but it's nothing like it used to be. Happy Halloween to you!

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    1. I know Shari....I had no trick-or-treaters living out in the country. I sure miss them...

      Thanks!

      J.

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  8. Thanks I just relived my own childhood halloween reading your post! Same costumes! Same memory can't recall a single one LOL Same rules, same sorting! My favourites were Sugar Babies and Milk Duds and oh yes those Sour Tarts? Not sure that is the name. Thanks for the memories!

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    1. LOVE SUGAR BABIES! Another one I missed! Thanks Sandi!

      J.

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  9. Thanks for sharing, Jim....helped me think about halloween in my childhood!

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  10. I so remember those costumes. I remember my Casper the ghost. I loved that costume. When we got older, we had to create our own. We were such smart kids... we would go around the neighborhood, run home change costumes and hit all the houses again. The grocery bag was full of candy. I always loved the tootsie rolls best. Thanks for sharing, Jim. I too wish it could be the way it was again!

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    1. Kim,

      I bet you didn't fool anyone with your second round! LOL!

      J.

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  11. That's funny about the sorting of candy. I just watched my nine yr old granddaughter do that. I asked her why and she said "I don't know". Too funny.

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    1. Sorting was the best part! All that lovely candy needed to be sorted! :)

      Thanks KK!

      J.

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  12. Thanks for bringing up such wonderful memories, not only for you but also for me. It was a time when it was safe to get homemade treats not only at the class Halloween party (that was the day we got to wear our costumes ALL DAY in school) but also when we went trick or treating. My favorite was going to the egg lady's home (I am sure she had a real name but to all of us kids she was the "egg lady") - she made homemade giant popcorn balls and she knew each of us by name (there were only 9 kids in the neighborhood-no tract housing around yet) . . . thanks for making me smile :-)

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    1. CLASS HALLOWEEN PARTY! From the home room mothers...It's coming back to me now. How cool!

      Thanks Yaya!

      J.

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  13. Memories are great... seeing how much I remember is amazing! So enjoyed your walk down memory lane. Yes, it's funny ... I remember the sorting of the candy ... must be some unwritten rule ... you MUST sort... maybe it makes it taste better hehehe ! Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Yep sorting was very important! Thanks Rea!

      J.

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  14. Wow what great memories to put down.

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  15. Love your memories! Yes, it is all about the candy, until you reach a certain age and then it becomes all about the costumes!! I love making costumes and used to outfit my youngest brother during his college days. He actually won first prize with the first costume I made him. Isn't it fun when a "younger" brother thinks an older sister can do no wrong!! Of course this is the same brother I tried to outfit as a ghost when he was about 4 or 5; I accidentally stapled his ear while trying to secure the costume! I was not so much the favorite that night!!

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    1. Your brothers costume sounds GREAT Katina! You are so handy!


      Hugs,
      J.

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  16. Thanks for sharing the memories! I remember them so well! I love Halloween to this day...still decorating even tho no one sees the decorations....no trick or treaters way out here in the country!!!

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  17. What a wonderful memory. Yes, candy was king for us too. That all sounds familiar., except the Winns. Sounds like a neat store. Thanks for the story and smiles.

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    1. Oh Sharon it was a neat store! I miss 5 and 10 cent stores!

      J.

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  18. What a lovely story Jim. We don't celebrate Halloween much here in the UK but somehow it has not such fun connotations here. In your childhood it sounded a wonderful child friendly fun filled night.

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    1. I was fun in my childhood. Such wonderful memories.

      Thanks Gill!

      Jim

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  19. Just saw on Dyan's blog that you are now on her design team - Congrats!

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    1. Thanks Tons Seline! I'm looking forward to it!

      Have an awesome night!

      J.

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  20. Ahhhh the simple times. It is so sad how peoples opinions & ideas have changed this holiday for our kids. I too had the same memories and I didn't grow up to worship the devil.(Okay I will get off my soapbox.) We were fortunate that my son's elementary school still lets them celebrate it. My favorite Halloween treat(besides candy) was a nickel we got from Kruegers Restaurant. Now if that isn't dating myself!

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    1. YAY Halloween! How cool about the nickle!

      Thanks,
      J.

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  21. Lisa N Roxy WoodhartNovember 1, 2012 at 9:39 AM

    I had to giggle when I read your post this morning - I have three older sisters - the oldest is Lynn then twins - Kim and Kathy! then me - the baby as well. I totally remember following their lead - the smell of the trick or treat bag and the SORTING!! and trading!! I laugh because we sorted it all out - made the trades - had our piles - then put it all back in the bag to hide from the other sisters...only to sort again the next day. I remember the hard plastic masks - Caspar the friendly Ghost comes to mind with the elastic string behind your head. Bazooka Joe adn the cartoon bits wrapped around the pink bubble gum adn the indented line right through the middle - like anyone was going to split it in half and share! Wow - thanks for the great memories - I need to stop and reminisce a little more often! It is a great feeling - isn't it?

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    1. How about that Lisa! So you have a Kathy and Kim! I loved casper...I had forgotten about the indented line on the gum. You are so right! Thank you for the mind jog!

      J.

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  22. This is one of the nicest of your many blog posts I've read! When I was a kid, Halloween was practically unheard of in the UK, but I've come round to being very interested in it and have watched it evolve here in Europe. Your description was a fairy tale, and I loved it. Just the way it should be! Thanks so much for a very sentimental read.
    Greetings from France -- Sally (British, but lives in France!)

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  23. Oh my gosh...almost in tears here! Your memories are identical to my own, without sisters or a father, make it brothers. We always sorted our candy. And the smell...yum! Almost every neighbor had their light on. Now with my own 3, we all go together, including dad, and we all sift through everything and make piles and then put each pile into it's own dish. Somehow the choicest chocolates end up in my own stash...lol! We are fortunate to live in Midland, where Halloween is still very much like it was when I was a kid, but now there are tons of Trunk or Treats at Churches. Those are fun too! Thank you for spurring in me wonderful memories of yesteryear!

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    1. Anita,

      That's exactly where my mom went last night was at the church giving out candy. I think that's a really cool way for the kidlets to get some candy and have an awesome evening.

      J.

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  24. Jim, I grew up in NY as the oldest of 6- we had the same routine! I especially remember the elastic masks :-) Thanks for your post...

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    1. Thanks Eileen. If you are still in NY, I hope all is well with you and yours....

      Jim

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  25. What fun reading you're memories of Halloween. I grew up in a little town of 500 and we'd Trick or Treat then ENTIRE town the night before Halloween. We had a lot of homemade treats as well as candy. The town had a Halloween Parade and party on the 31st...it was fun. There was also an unwritten rule...no child over 6th grade went Trick or Treating...it just was.

    No one ever thought about harming the kids with tainted treats...a much gentler time. I think now I'd be afraid to let my kids go out except to the neighbors.

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    1. It really is too sad Barb. But I'm sure there are probably more good folks than bad, or that's what I want to believe. 500 huh? My gosh. Wonder how many are there now....

      Hugs sweet one!

      J.

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  26. Your memories are the same as mine. I am the oldest of 4. I am 13 yrs older than the youngest, which I think is the same age as you. I remember the silk-like costumes and the plastic masks with the rubber bands, most of which didn't hold thru the night. I too can't remember one charater that I dressed up as. I still have a devil mask, elastic still in tact, that I believe was my sisters. It is tiny, so she must have been really young. I remember mom taking us to Rose's Five & Dime to pick out out costumes every year. We sorted out our candy and traded the ones we didn't like for things we did. I also remember the wax lips & harmonicas they sold around that time of year. I don't know the flavor of those things, but I loved the smell. And it was bubble gum when you decided to eat them. YUM!!! I remember having a harmonica in an old purse for almost a year, that I would take a bite out of and chew for a while. LOL Oh...Bazooka was my favorite bubble gum too. Loved the comics!!! I had a wooden box full of them. Thanks for the memories!!!

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    1. Donna!

      Once again totally forgot about the wax lips! And some kind of wax bottles with liquid inside. How cool! Thanks Donna for sharing your memories!

      J.

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  27. Jim you did a great job rekindling my memories of Halloween, costumes and all. Sometimes my mom made a costume but mostly we had the dime store variety. I hate to see how Halloween has changed: kids taller than I am trick or treating (come on, it's for the little ones), cars coming by and dropping off loads of kids who are neither polite nor grateful, costumes so elaborate it must have taken a year to sew. It's just not the same. Too commercial. But I do have my memories, as do you, that my kids find hilarious but to me that was Halloween. Thanks for bringing that back.

    Mary

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  28. Oh, the memories your story brought back. I hadn't thought about that time in my life for a long long time. Even though my daughter sent me pics of her and her hubby and the kids all dressed up for Halloween. Your story is what took me back to that time in my life. It must be that you have a gift for story telling. I also remember the sorting. That was a time when it was just innocent and happy fun. Thanks for the memories Jim.

    kdnkdd

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    1. Oh Thanks Karen. I'm so glad we could all add to this post with out memories. So amazing how all of us being from different part of the country did the exact same thing.

      Thanks again!

      Jim

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  29. Wow that is how I remember Halloween. We were not escorted by parents, we just gathered together with our friends and went in groups. I also remember the houses that required you to show them a trick and they would give you a treat. The houses that had apples in big metal tubs and you had to "bob for apples" and that was your treat. Then there was always the house that had the porch light on, no lights inside only music and you had to walk the full length of the porch to get to the treats sitting on the chair at the other end with a sign that said please take one, and of course you only took one. Thanks for the stroll Jim.

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    1. Wanda, How cool was that! I remember the neighbors that went all out with the scary music. I even remember someone doing their front window up with a rigged setup when you rang the bell it would do something. So cool about the apples.

      Thanks Wanda for sharing!

      J.

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  30. What a lovely memory, Jim! Most of my Trick-or-Treating years were during WWII (the Big One), when candy was really hard to get, and so we got fruit or silly toys...not much Double Bubble, either, but I do remember those comics with their silliness. I wore braces, so I couldn't have the gum, but I could read those comics! Thanks for the memories....

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    1. How cool Nan! Would love to hear more about it....I love those kinds of stories!

      Thanks Nan!

      J.

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  31. Oh Jim, I have the same memories too! I have five siblings (2 older brothers, 2 younger brothers and my sis the baby). My dad would buy us our masks at the 5-and-dime. My brothers use to come home with their grocery shopping bags spilling over...lol...then the sorting and trading would begin. I didn't get as much candy as they would, but they would share with me and the lil sis after they took out their faves...I had to do a lot of begging..lol. Thanks for the trip down memory lane.

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    1. You know Maggie,

      I honestly don't remember the trading part. I don't know whether or not I was just selfish or I have completely forgotten that! I need to put a call in to my sister and find out. You have me curious now. I loved your story! So cool of the boys to share with their sisters! Neat!

      J.

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  32. Lovely post Jim and so nice to read. As with another UK reply I saw, we didn't celebrate when I was a kid. Great to see all the kids out last night so excited and all dressed up. Lovely to remember times gone, maybe we should make a mini album just for memories, even if we don't have photo's we could write them down and make the pages with images that remind us.
    Lynne :)

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  33. Sounds like my T or T days and how it has been for my kids. I grew up way out in the country, where everyone knew everyone, so getting hand made treats was normal - popcorn balls, candy apples, cupcakes, apples, etc. We lived near an apple orchard, owned by my grandparents once, and in my time by a cousin. They gave out drinks of apple cider and apples. One elderly lady used to give out one stick of gum with a nickle taped to it! This was early 1970s. Too funny! My dad always gave each child an apple, a LARGE hershey bar, and a pencil. LOL

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    1. Oh Gloria! That is the coolest story! How neat to be raised near apples! I love love love apple cider! To cool! Thanks tons for sharing!

      Hugs,
      J.

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  34. Wow...brings back such good memories. Such fun reliving them with your blog. One thing I remember with those full face masks...you had to be careful with talking or you would get a face full of sweat and slobber and the mask would stick to your face!!

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    1. Hahahahahaha Spricetp! Nothing worse than a slobbery mask on Halloween noght! LOL!

      Thanks!
      J.

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  35. Loved your post of Halloween memories as it closely parallels my memories of trick or treating with my four siblings and it was fun to remember. Homemade treats were generously sprinkled in our hauls. One neighbor always made the best candied apples. Amazingly it was actually safe to eat those homemade treats....ahhhh a gentler, kinder time! I had totally forgotten Bazooka gum. Thanks for bringing it back on my radar.

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  36. Cool story… what I remember was that my mother being a little paranoid about us eating the candy… about that time, the rumors were flying about tainted candy.. and stuff jabbed in apples and such… so, one rule for us was.. no eating candy until we got home.. so, once we got home, we would sort the candy with mom.. we had all the different piles but one pile was called Mom’s pile”. And it was always the biggest one… it was like more than ½ of what we had in the bags.. it was all the “suspicious” candy and homemade treats… I remember the 1st time she did that, she grab that pile and through it all in the trash.. me, my brother and sister almost started to cry… then we followed mom as she walked to a cabinet.. opened it.. reached up as high as she could… pulled down two huge bags of candy… I remember the bags being bigger than my head.. and I had a big head for a child… our eyes were just fixated on those bags.. she walked back.. tossed the bags on the table… smiled and said something like.. eat them all if you want… then walked back to the TV room… I think we were like in candy haven… my favorite were slowpokes

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  37. I so remember Winns AND Kiddy City (I'm from San Antonio and we had both). My mom always made my costumes (she was a talented seamstress and very crafty). I remember carrying my brown paper grocery bag from Piggly Wiggly to collect my treats. I also remember one year when the bottom of the Piggly Wiggly bag fell out b/c I was dragging it along the wet grass by the end of the evening! Good times, simple times.
    Thanks for sharing your story,
    Donna Mc

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  38. I loved reading your memories of Halloween past. So much of what you said is my memory also. It connects a lot of us together. I remember making the candy last until Easter. You could hardly chew what was by then nearly aged to stones, but it was awesome to go from one over sugared day to the next with a stash of goodies. I live so far out in the country now, we don't even have one child at our door. I miss it terribly. I hope similar memories are being made for the children now; no hidden agendas--just unbelievable fun.

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  39. What a great read Jim - thanks for sharing your memories. Halloween was not celebrated when I was growing up - instead we celebrated November 5th - Bonfire Night, commemorating Guy Fawkes attempt to blow up our Houses of Parliament in the 17th century (I think!! my memory of history class is not goodthese days.!)We had a huge Bonfire - and all the street joined in - with a wonderful supper - Hot pot or Hash, Jacket spuds roasted in the embers of the fire - the skins were blackened, sooty - but we ate them anyway!! Black peas with vinegar & pepper, treacle toffee - usually home made, toffee apples, parkin!! And Fireworks! Such an exciting night in the year for us as children. These days I live on a very small island that does celebrte Halloween - though here it is known as Hop-Tu-Naa - our children carve faces in turnips rather than pumpkins to make Jack o Lanterns though they do dress up and go round the village singing the Hop-tu-Naa song for their treats!

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  40. What wonderful memories us "older" children have. My Aunt took my cousins, myself and siblings out when we were younger. What great times we had with our pillow cases. When we couldn't carry our bags ourselves then we went home and sorted. First my uncle would get his pick then we traded what we didn't like. It's funny how the candy seemed to disappear without the kids eating it. We must of had a candy monster hiding. Jim , do you remember how hot those mask got? In most of our pictures the mask were on top of our heads. Thanks for sharing your memories.

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  41. I have a very vivid memory of the smell of those plastic molded masks we used to wear. It was sort of paint mixed with plastic smell. I also remember sweating under those plastic masks on Halloween in Texas. Loved all your childhood memories. Thanks for sharing.

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