The first Halloween costume I can recall wearing was a scarecrow. My mother worked hard on it, using some of my dad’s worn garments, an old broom stick, and hay she found on the cheap somewhere. The long sleeves and pant legs, drooped on my kindergarten-aged frame, but once the broom stick was inserted through the sleeves, capped with grandpa’s garden gloves and tied off with twine, the stuffing began. It wasn’t long before I was tufted in hay, wisps of it peeking out here and there. I vaguely remember the neighbor lending a straw hat. And mom’s rouge and black eye liner, applied lovingly by her hands, brought whimsical detail to my face for a complete look. The costume was itchy, and my arms tired from being raised by the stick running along the back of my shoulders, but I was the proudest kid, with the coolest costume in the Halloween parade at California Elementary School.
These days, costumes of convenience bought from the store seem to have prevalence over the homemade variety. I get it―it’s a sign of the times, rather a sign of not enough time to get it all done.
The same could be said for tricks-or-treats. Pre-packaged, individually wrapped candy reigns supreme over treats like a popcorn ball. Food Network magazine polled fans who gave a whopping 94% thumbs down to homemade ones. 83% said chocolate candy was preferred over fruity candy, and the favorite of them all was Snickers. Who doesn’t love a good Snickers bar? And those minis? They are a constant test for my self-control.
In the 60s, candy apples had their place in All Hallows Eve celebrations. I remember the bright red lacquer finish, and the crunch of the sweet candy as you bite through to the crisp apple below. And while the red candy globe on a stick may not be appropriate for doling out to trick-or treaters in these modern times, they sure are a hit at parties or small gatherings, adored by kids young and old―including this scarecrow.
On a personal note: Today marks our 26th year of matrimony… Happy Anniversary Mrs. W!