Those nights were more treat than trick

Published 7:19 pm Monday, October 29, 2018

Halloween Night brings back many good memories growing up on Tenth Street. It was the night of candy, chewing gum and if lucky, good brownies! Rose Ann and I would cover the neighborhood with our bags then return home to dump our bags on the floor to sort out goods. Most of the time we would go with Mike and Wayne Renn, who lived next door, and this assured us of more treats.

Some of the best goods received were Butterfingers, Snickers, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, Three Musketeer Bars and Bazooka chewing gum. These were all in a miniature size and easy to carry to school and not get caught. It always seemed after dumping our loot and hiding it, that some would be missing the next morning. Our hiding place was the closet in Rose Ann’s room where somehow Mom and Dad would always find it after we went to sleep

Every neighborhood would participate and parents never worried about their children or the treats their child brought home. It was a safe and friendly environment, and some parents would even hide in the bushes to scare us as we approached their home. My Dad was good for this and always seemed to enjoy being a kid again. I cannot remember leaving our neighborhood and going to another. It seemed like we took from our friends if we did that. After we got through collecting our loot, we were off to the Halloween Carnival!

This event was originally held at John Small School and every room on the first floor was a booth. The classes would decorate each room for this event and took great pride in having had the scariest room. The PTA would sponsor the carnival, and we could fish, pick up ducks and walk through the haunted house and cake walk in the auditorium. Parents would serve hotdogs and the best French fries, all for a quarter. This would be mine and Rose Ann’s supper for the night, and we had our dessert waiting when we got home, before it was hidden. My favorite event was the cake walk, and winning a cake was the best. We took it home and ate it along with the candy we had hidden. Sometimes, you had to walk three or four times to win, but parents always saw that a kid won.

This event soon out grew John Small and the PTA moved it to Sermon’s Warehouse, where there was plenty of room. The booths were lined up against the wall, and there was plenty of room for a big cake walk and a nice haunted house. The firemen would have a fire truck with its siren going for kids to ride, and the siren always seemed to be a little scary. Like always, there was food to be bought and the smell of tobacco was always prevalent. Still, fun was had by us all!

Halloween was a fun day and night but not the production that it is today. Yes, we had costumes and trick or treat, more treats than tricks. We did sometimes, and I will tell you now, want to trick some neighbors, who were always cranky and did not seem to like the kids in the neighborhood. This was planned in advance, but like everything else, canceled after our parents warned us against doing any damage to neighbors. Parents always had insight and knew in advance what might happen.

These were the best of times with the best of friends and in the best of places, Washington, NC!

— Harold Jr.

Harold Robinson Jr. is a native of Washington.