Saturday, April 20, 2013
The first Halloween I can remember was in 1932 in Tunkhannock, Pennsylvania when I was about five-years-old. My great aunt had carved a pumpkin which had a candle in it and it sat in the living room window.
I was going to be able to dress up that evening and be someone else, different and grown up. I had decided (or was it my mother?) that I would be a gypsy. It was so exciting. I had my mother's scarf tied on my head, some earrings of hers in my ears, a little shawl, some sort of long skirt tied about my non- existent waist, some bracelets and beads and, best of all, rose-colored lipstick. Finally, I put on a half mask -- no one would know me!
I remember that it was dark and scary out and I saw other children going up and down the street. They were scary, too, in their costumes and fake faces.
My mother took me across Tioga Street to Mrs. Lott's house. She came to the door, exclaimed over my costume and gave me a piece of candy.
Back we went to Mrs. Skrynski's who lived next door to us. She came to her door and grinned. She gave me some candy and said: "Bye and bye come time for Santa Claus." I knew she was wrong. Christmas was a long time off.
We went to Mrs. Major's on the other side and then back on our porch where I took out my carved spool with a stick in it and string around it. I placed it on our front window and pulled the string. It made a spooky noise. Aunty, inside, pretended to be frightened.
Then I went in the house and told all about my Halloween adventure and showed my candy. Some other children came to the door and we gave them candy. If you didn't hand out candy, I reasoned, you would find pins in your doorbell or an egg thrown on the porch. Some people had their outhouses overturned. We were lucky because we had inside plumbing. In spite of everything, we had our windows soaped.
But it was all such fun.