I remember when Halloween was a more or less of a children’s holiday, better suited to trick-or-treat, costumes and candy than adult activities.
In the 1950s and 1960s, costumes were limited to plastic and rubber bands, but the thrill for me was the candy, anything but a lot of marshmallow.
Costumes in those days could be as simple as Casper the Friendly Ghost, at a cost of about a dollar, or a cowboy hat with a pair of cap pistols and a kerchief.
The old South Boston Armory hosted a Halloween party for several years, and the highlight for me and my next-door-neighbor was winning third-place in the costume contest while posing as little old ladies, complete with powdered wigs, dresses and high heel shoes, courtesy of my mother, a career beautician.
Giant Snickers candy bars went a long ways back then, but I digress.
A steady diet of horror and science fiction movies gave me dozens of ideas as a teenager and college student, with me digging up some old sheets and tearing them into strips to recreate an all-time classic, the Mummy.
The ladies in the snack bar at Randolph-Macon College and my classmates at one costume party in particular could not guess my identity, but, as I discovered later neither could I, as I forgot to cut a hole in the pillow case I used to cover my head as a way to enjoy adult hydration.
But, the true fascination with Halloween for me began in 1966 with classic television specials such as “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown,” particularly its classic sound track with the piano lead-in.
Traditionalist that I am, the other holiday specials were not far behind, but for some reason, the Great Pumpkin resonates with me like none other, probably because of my early love for Halloween and all the dress up and junk food that comes with it.
One never knows, perhaps I’ll get the urge to truly celebrate again, and who knows what I’ll come up with as a last hurrah.
Until then, enjoy Halloween and all that comes with it.