When I was a really young kid, my town didn’t even have it. Mom said it was because you couldn’t trust people not to put stuff in candy. Then I think my town realized that half of us didn’t even lock our doors (sometimes even when we left the house empty!), and finally figured the town of Bellville, Ohio could handle it. Population, under 2,000.
So I’m guessing it wasn’t until around the age of 10 or so until I got to go for the first time. I probably barely said thank you. My costumes were always lame (budget and the fact that I don’t like having a bunch of stuff on me), but man did we cover some blocks. One year my friend Eric and I went with my little brother and Eric wanted to visit his old neighbors. He had long since moved from Bellville, but missed the old man he grew up next to. It was almost the end of the allotted time, so in order to get over to Ogle Street we had to cut through the cemetery. It was a full moon, but extremely dark and my brother started crying about halfway through. It wasn’t far, but we all survived. It’s funny how you get scared or don’t get scared when you’re little based on who you’re with. There’s no way I could’ve made it through there alone, but Eric and I laughed the whole time.
I think we even went our freshman year. Once my friend Jim (aka Dr. Gatton) brought two costumes in case there was time to do a second lap around town. There wasn’t, but good thinking.
Once we got home, we’d empty our brown grocery bags on our bedroom floor and make any trades that we needed to. Then I’d eat a piece after school (in descending order) every day until it was all gone.
When I went to Ohio State, kids came and trick or treated at our dorm. Obviously I wasn’t going to go out and buy a bag of candy for kids, so I offered them leftovers from our ala care cafeteria because I had a meal plan. That was fun until my RA called out, “Durham, did you just give this kid a baked potato?”
College Halloween becomes very, umm, party-oriented. You’ve seen the costumes. Joel and I went to Ohio University (the little brother of Ohio State down in southeast nowhere, Ohio…aka Athens, Ohio) because they have one of the top Halloweens in the country (According to Playboy magazine in the 90s). We worked at a store called Meijer (kinda like Target) and got a giant toothbrush from a display. I wore a sheet that said “tooth” on it, and Joel wore scrubs and was the mad dentist. Surprisingly it went over very well. The next year we stayed up at Ohio State and some guy approached me and asked, “Were you at OU last year? I saw your photo hanging in the Photo-mart down in Athens all last year.” (I gotta dig that one up. I still have an album somewhere.)
Yep, found it!
No idea who those girls were, but Joel on the right is the guy who got married in Detroit in August when I had to give my best man’s speech. He just used that thing to brush me all night and girls came up for pictures.
I may leave this album out and post a few more over the coming days. College is fun–nothing to fear!
My wife and I went to the Lemp Mansion party before we were even married and it was a waste. My costume was Eurotrash and my wife went as a fairy.
(Looking for pics on Facebook–aaaand found’em.)
Anyway, we paid $50 to stand in a crowded mansion where the music was so loud we could barely think. I think since then we’ve been to one other Halloween party (hosted by a fellow language arts teacher and it was a murder mystery), and that’s it. Usually I have shows or anything else to do. We don’t turn our lights on for kids now. (Not because of the kids, we just don’t want to socialized with most of our neighbors.)
Halloween had its fun in my youth. It peaked in college for different reasons, but now it just means that everything comes in a pumpkin flavor. October is one of the hardest teacher months because of conferences and everything going on (though this year wasn’t too bad outside of my travels). November and December are cake as far as getting through the weeks. (Speaking of, I have confirmed December 6 at 7:00 at the Wolf.)
Enjoy it while you’re young. College Halloween can yield some great times, and I’m sure it’s not too shabby when you’re 17 either.