Tuesday, October 30, 2007

What ever happened to Halloween?

I remember growing up in Venice, Florida, where our Halloweens consisted grabbing a bag for candy, grabbing some wax for writing, and one time on Halloween 1960 a boatload of "Nixon for President" bumper stickers.

I was 11 in 1960, the family being Republicans we were naturally for "Tricky Dick"...most of my friend's families were as well....so it began, with the election just a week or so away, we as individuals headed up to GOP Headquarters and collected as many Nixon Bumper Stickers as the workers would give us. The other crowd, the low life's(as we called them) from the other side of town, collected as many Kennedy bumper stickers as they could as well.....and the battle began.

Venice at that time was a town of maybe 3000 folks and just starting to grow...so you could walk the entire town in one Halloween night, not stopping at each place for "treats" mind you, but we did get our share....the main emphasis of the night however was bumper sticking as many cars and business windows as we could along the length of Venice Avenue and Highway 41(The Tamiami Trail).

From the Barber Shop on East Venice Avenue, all the way to the Myaka Lanes on 41....we did our dirty work....if we saw a car of store with a Kennedy sticker we would slap a Nixon one over it....problem was, the Kennedy guys did the same thing....some car windows(front, side, back, didn't matter)...had three or 4 layers of sticky glue slapped on them...that had to be a pain in the ass to get off, but such was fun 1960 style for a group of 11 year old 6th graders.

The fun ended in short time however, not because of the cops, we never saw them, but because when we reached the bowling alley...a group of "thugs"(13 and 14 year olds as I recall) had stepped up the action, while we were plastering bumper stickers on cars....they were taking bricks and large rocks and putting them through the windshields....that ended the "fun" for us....we hauled ass and headed back to the Edgewood Subdivision and back to hitting our neighbor's houses up for "treats".

Now I will admit that was taking the "Tricks" a step too far....what has happened to Halloween the past 15 years is just plain sad....instead of younger kids being walked by their parents, and older kids dressing up as Ronald Reagan, Jimmy Carter, or "Freddy", and having a little fun on the evening of October 30th at night when Halloween was meant to be celebrated, we now(and have for the past dozen years) been reduced to having "Beggars Night" on the Sunday before Halloween, from 2 to 6...a parade first, then a 2 hour hand out run.....gotta be off the street by dark though, wouldn't want anything bad to happen, can't have those 10 year olds soaping up windows.

This is in a small city mind you, 11,000 folks with little major crime......and the smaller towns in the county(populations from 1 to 3 thousand) have done the same thing.....

Just another case of fear from the public and media...and another sad case of our kids and grand kids "childhoods" being stolen from them....sad, sad, sad!
Here is a Halloween Video, a blast from the past: Bobby "Boris" Pickett with the "Monster Mash" complete with some great old movie clips:

{photos: The Houseworth Kids, Anissa, Sam, and Hal, a couple of Halloweens in the late 80s and early 90s, when you could actually go out and "Trick or Treat" at night....and a Jack O' Lantern giving his thoughts on what Halloween has become}


BRUNO said...

Indeed, what HAS happened to Halloween? What was once a way to "turn the badger loose" for many kids has gotten to be an excuse for the exhibition of whatever sick, perverted idea this cluster-flubbed world can come up with!

Guess you can't blame todays' parents. Hell, if I had kids, little-bitty or otherwise, I'd be on edge, too! It's bad enough keepin'-up with an ADULT wife! So I'll leave the child-rearin' to those of more sound mind...!

Buck Pennington said...

Yeah...it IS sad about Halloween. I blame two groups: the freaks and sick-os (as Bruno noted) and the Politically Correct, who over-react to the first group.

I missed out on the best of the "Halloween years," as my Dad was stationed overseas for five consecutive years when I was between the ages of eight and 13. The French and the Turks just didn't "do" Halloween...

~Fathairybastard~ said...

Damn, I've gotten WAY behind. Bare with.

Yea, those were the days. I think my generqation grew up at about the last time in history to be a kid. You guys had it better, fer sure.