Willie's
                           Place

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We are at the beginning of the Most Wonderful Time Of The Year. Your things to do will rapidly fill with events and shopping. Daylight Savings, gives us an extra hour daily for that shopping. Election Day, Veterans Day and Pearl Harbor Day to remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice. We have the two holidays that have become a family tradition, Thanksgiving and Christmas and, personally, I have three family birthdays to celebrate.

I can’t forget Halloween, it has always been one of my favorite holiday. There is something about all the black and orange, the ghosts, the costumes, and the weather turning cold that makes me think that Christmas is not far behind. There is no American holiday that has changed as much as Halloween in the last century.

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In the 1950’s, when I celebrated Halloween, it was a far different holiday than today, no Walmart's or Targets, just the five and dime and Woolworth’s. Very few kids had ever been in a store that sold costumes let alone owned one. The Trick part of Halloween was soaping windows, ringing door bells, stealing pumpkins off of a porch. You would go with your friends, pillow cases were the treat bag of choice and parents never went with us.

Decorations were carved pumpkins and sheets hanging from trees. The pumpkins had homemade faces and to see a real sculpture of any kind was rare. There were no moving monsters and skeletons which screeched when you walked by. There was just the occasional dad or teen hiding in the bushes to jump out and scare the hell out of you.

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Children trick or treating were able to acquire free candy in their pillow cases. Treats consisted of apples, pop corn balls, wrapped homemade cookies and cupcakes, taffy bites, tootsie rolls, lots of suckers, and an occasional much sought after candy bar. Occasional a home would give out pennies, and the word spread quickly that was the house to hit during your trick or treating. Our costumes would be ghosts, bums, witches, gypsies, brides, princesses, scarecrows, and Dracula. I was a fabulous Bum with shoe polish to make it look like a beard on my face. Trust me, our costumes were pretty simple compared to even today’s home made. Costumes today are more than likely bought at a store. The children today dress up with cartoon characters and super-heroes, now instead of the home made decorations on the lawns they are pre-made again bought at a store.

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As an adult I LOVED Halloween. I have such fond memories from my childhood. I ask myself what it was about Halloween that I loved so much. It was the night, the freedom, the friends and of course the candy, it was pretending to be somebody or something special and different and get lots of candy. I reflect on how lucky I was to have grown up in the 50’s. I have many cherished memories of fun Halloweeners. Those were much simpler times!

However the fun of Halloween has significantly changed the way Halloween was celebrated when I was a kid and today. Have you ever thought how different Halloween was in the 50’s compared to how it is now? The change came in the 1970s when there were widely publicized scares about razor blades in apples and doctored treats. Most parents of today would never think of letting their kids go out trick or treating alone.

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Kids these days know they can just go to the store and buy a bunch of candy, I'm guessing many kids these days simply have a lot more safer options when it comes to celebrating Halloween than I did growing up. Many parents are extremely paranoid when it comes to their kids nowadays and there is a disappearing sense of community in lots of areas.
Todays Youth asks the question, why Trick or Treat when they came go to Walmart and buy as much candy as they want (with their parent Money), and spend Halloween night playing scary play station games. So from a dinosaur of the past the only thing I can say is.

BOO !!!