"Ghosts and Goblins, Oh My"
By Capt. Fred Davis
Published: Friday, October 27, 2017

I talked about Mother Nature in such a yo-yo mood last week, and the fact that forecasters are rarely accurate.

We all need to hope they are wrong about the upcoming week because it’s here. The big day for the kids: Halloween.

People who study all kinds of things have determined that Halloween is now one of the best revenue producing holidays of the year.

It is projected we will spend $9.1 billion this year on candy, costumes, lawn decor and party supplies. The retailers are fully aware of the prospect of getting an early big boost to lead off the coming holiday spending events. Home improvement stores will offer life-size, scary decorations and the drug and grocery stores will devote aisles to all things Halloween.

I must point out, the holiday is also fondly looked forward to by seniors like myself. The kids just love to dress up in scary outfits or, for the girls, very attractive ones. They come to the door crying "trick or treat," and we always enjoy inviting them in because it is either raining or very cold. We hold out our giant bowl of candy and I challenge the little tykes to see how much they can grab with one hand. You’d be surprised how much a tiny hand can hold. I can’t do this with the older kids because they will clean out the bowl — and have done so.

As I see it, some of the parents work really hard to design and make their kids costumes. They love to paint their faces — which makes for a big job later getting it all off — which avoids using masks. The parents enjoy the whole dress up action every bit as much as the kids.

I’m always impressed by how careful parents are as they march along with the youngsters, never letting them out of sight — even though they try to dash ahead. Because the signal for the beggars are porch lights on, as they skip along they may dart into the street so vigilance is needed by anyone driving throughout the residential areas.

I’m sure parents who drive from place to place and let their kids jump out are very mindful that they don’t dash across a street where traffic could be approaching.

Many adults attend parties held for their entertainment on Halloween. If they are on the road after having a sip or two, they must be extra cautious to watch out for the little beggars.

I have a friend who told me an amusing story about her granddaughter’s adventure with a pre-Halloween event. It was one of those “trunk-and-treat” events that have become popular in recent years. Parents who are not fond of going door-to-door for hours with their kids jump at the chance to just visit one location. The grandmother remarked to me that there was a general feeling of safety among the participants. She said about 20 cars were lined up in a church parking lot where the event was held with trunks filled to overflow with candy choices. Adults were stationed at each end of the trunk to assist the youngsters with their selections. I laughed aloud when Grandma quoted her granddaughters comment after they returned home.

“This trick-or-treat gathering is very hard work and I’m tired,” she said.

She had used a pillowcase because there was so much candy to scoop up. Grandpa put it on the scale and it weighed out at 16 pounds. No wonder she was tired dragging that much weight around.

So get ready for the ghost, pirates, princesses and all manner of other strange looking small people to ring your bell and holler "trick or treat" on Tuesday.

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