October always brings back faded memories of the “Best Halloween that ever was”. I suspect it was sometime near 1952. The place was our old “stomping grounds”, the Roger Williams housing Projects in a small little known country called Providence, Rhode Island. My brother John said it wasn’t a country but he’s dead and not capable of correcting the inaccuracies in my recollections.
Halloween came on a Friday, we were ready. We had all got giant brown grocery bags and raggity outfits (everyday wear) and enough of Elsie’s (Mom’s) makeup to make us convincingly ghoulish. I figure we looked a little like Hobo-transvestites. But, it was raining heavy – Elise said, “You’ll catch your death”. John said we would make a killing (He was right as rain). Nobody went out trick or treating but us!! We went from building to building, apartment to apartment. We filled our bags and squished home. What a stash – candy everywhere! But it wasn’t done. Trick or Treat is always canceled with bad weather. Saturday was now the big day (Project rules).
The Rain Gods were not deterred. It rained heavy all day and night. We were going back to the “Willy Wonka outlets” to loot up again. We added a little white flower to our hair and became the dead Hobo-transvestite brothers (way before the blues brothers). Again, there was very little competition. The “scaredy cats” and the “sissies” (aka kids with common sense) had folded again. We hauled 2 more large bags of candy back to 135 Rugby Street. God is good, God is great, it would take years before this candy would be “ate”. But it wasn’t done yet. There must have been a typhoon off Nantucket or a monsoon stationed over Providence. It rained again. This was indeed the legendary best Halloween ever. Sunday night we again headed out. We would never have to steal candy again from the blind guy (link to blog).
Sunday night was a little different. We got a lot of “Hey weren’t you guys here before?….”, “We got nothing left…” “Halloween was three days ago…”, Go home or I’m calling the cops.” A few good souls emptied their candy bowls into our bags, we caught a few stragglers but it was over. We had mostly fruit, junk candy, a few pennies and lots of unidentified objects.
The next day, we looked over our stash. It covered up John’s entire bed. “I’ll never go hungry again as God is my witness”. Elsie set the limit on 5 pieces a day. John said that would last us approximately 3.14 years (minimum).
But evidently, we had angered the Halloween Candy Gods. On Day 4, the candy all disappeared – every Mary Jane, Tootsie Roll, Good-n-Plenty, Mike-N-Ike’s all gone without a trace. We went to Elsie to inform her that our apartment had been robbed. To our surprise, it was an inside job. Elsie said “I gave it to all to the poor kids.” “BUT MOM, we are the poor kids!” I was going to do a quick prayer but John said “Don’t bother, Elsie probably sold the candy.” Say it isn’t so…. That was the worst Halloween ending every Biblically recorded (Sucre 10-5). I was going to cry but John said, “Forget it. Let’s go break some windows in the old factory.” That always cheered me up…..
P.S Please feel free to trick or treat at your own discretion. Everyone has an unusual story of Halloween past. Hopefully you will share one of yours. As my friend Moriarity would say “It was the best of times, It was the worst of times, It was time to go to Jolly Cholly’s for a hamburger.”