Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

October 21, 2012

Halloween memories

By Janet Jacobs
Corsicana Daily Sun

— Halloween is coming up and I can only look on the festivities and sigh. Halloween was never my family’s bag. We’re big on Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations. We’ve been known to throw the occasional Fourth of July barbecue. But Halloween was something my folks didn’t seem to get excited about.

We moved to rural Navarro County when I was in second grade, and there’s not much trick-or-treating happening when your closest neighbor is a mile away. For some mysterious reason, my parents weren’t interested in driving to town to take us door-to-door for cheap candy and the thrilling adventure of seeing the creepy guys handing out fun-sized Snickers bars in their underwear.

On the odd occasion when we could talk Dad into following us around neighborhoods in the station wagon I was always a ghost. Ghosts were easy. You take a sheet, cut holes in the middle for eyes and voila, you have a costume. The trick was getting the holes just right. You couldn’t cut the holes with the sheet on your head because coming at your eyes with scissors was something even we, with our tiny child brains, knew was a bad idea. However, if you didn’t cut the holes just right then you had to spend the evening trying to see out one eyehole. And good luck navigating strange, dark streets without tripping and tearing open your brown paper bag like a piñata and sending 10 pieces of penny bubble gum, four small bags of candy corn, a box of raisins and three supposedly poisoned apples tumbling across someone’s lawn.

This was during the dark ages, before VOICE and the churches would host safe “Fall Festivals.”

I have grown-up friends who dress up for Halloween. These are people in their 30s and 40s who spend half the year thinking up the right costume. I didn’t do that, but I used to dress up my dog and take her through the rich parts of Dallas. You’d be surprised how many treats people have for trick-or-treating dogs. One evening of taking around a cute dog dressed as Robin Hood and I didn’t have to go to Petsmart for six months. Katie the terrier finally balked the year that I used Elmer’s glue to paste horns on her head for a little devil costume. I’m not sure if it was the horns or the bath she knew was coming her way afterwards but she was sulky all night and I never did it again. She might have done it, though, if the treats had been fresh meat or pizza, her two favorites.

Maybe I could start a movement to have people give out pork chops or pepperoni slices instead of Milky Ways? We’d have to carry something other than a paper bag, though, otherwise there would be a Macy’s Day Thanksgiving Parade of stray dogs, cats and rabid raccoons following us everywhere.

Now that would give new meaning to the trick part of the trick-or-treat.

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Janet Jacobs is City Editor of the Corsicana Daily Sun. Her column appears on Saturdays. She may be reached via email at jjacobs@corsicanadailysun.com. Want to “soundoff” on this column? Email: soundoff@corsicanadailysun.com