Games, candy and scary dads make great Halloween memories

Published 3:19 pm Monday, October 31, 2022

By the time you read this, Halloween will be over and the candy will be gone.  Rose Ann and I looked forward to that night each year because we could get all the candy we wanted, but not before we shared it with our dad.  Times were different back then and all we had to say was “Trick or Treat” and we got all the candy we wanted but when we got home, we had to dump our bag on the floor and share it with our dad. Favorite candies would include M&M’s, Reese Cups, Snickers and my all-time favorite, orange whistles made of wax that became chewing gum once you ate it.  Sometimes we shared it with one another but not often! We would check our neighborhood and see what parents had to give before we knocked on their door.

 We progressed to John Small School and the teachers had their rooms fixed up for the season.  They would open their rooms for parents to play games like duck float and gone fishing. We did not know that parents were in the room with a teacher and we would get prizes or goodies depending on the games.  We could even get supper and we had a hot dog or hamburger along with French fries that night.

 Remember the days of Sermons Warehouse?  The games were the same and Mr. Wayland would loan parents his warehouse.  He even arranged for the Fire Department to have a truck there (we did not know he was a member of the volunteer fire department like many of our fathers). The high light of the night was to get to ride on the fire truck with the siren blasting.  In the warehouse it sounded even louder than in the open.  The food was the same but even better than at John Small School, probably because we were bigger and we thought we were would get away with not doing our homework that night.  All of the games were conducted by parents and they also cooked the food.  Games were only a dime and food costs were low so that a family could have dinner together.

 Oh, I can remember when fathers would hide out in the bushes and scared Trick or Treaters when they knocked on their door.  My dad would always hide out in the azaleas beside our front door.  He would always have a piece of candy or gum for them after he scared them.

We never worried about getting candy that had poison and were never afraid to walk the streets at night in the dark.  Neighborhoods were a safe haven back then and every door had a light.  Parents looked after other children if not; a phone call would suffice to other parents if their child misbehaved.  Trust me; a phone call is not what you wanted back then!!

They were the best of times with the best of friends and in the best of places, Washington, N.C.! The Original Washington!

Harold Jr.