4–Alice worked hard to give kids a little extra fun. Instead of having each one choose from a display of little stuffed animals and small toys, she tied a string to each and hid the them behind a table. Each child would choose a string and the pull up the toy like a fish. Some learned to pull hand-over-hand instead of just taking an end and walking back. Only about 25 kids showed up. I especially liked the one in a wolf’s head.
5–John’s story--Each October 31st, Halloween, over 1,000 kids descend on our Ravenswood Manor area in the Albany Park neighborhood, north side of Chicago. Their families are from the Mediterranean to Middle East to Mexico, Western Europe, Eastern Europe, Cambodia, Korea and elsewhere. Parents walk and drive in to Ravenswood Manor from the surrounding neighborhoods with kids anxious to trick-or-treat at the nearly 400 classic Bungalow and Four Square homes that comprise this National Historic District.
Neighbors decorate their houses (some elaborately) with orange lights, ghouls, goblins, and ghosts. There is very little doorbell-ringing, because each neighbor plops a chair at the end of the walkway in front of the house, and children queue from the sidewalk while their parents proudly and patiently watch and wait. There are witches, and devils, and Power Rangers, and Minions, and princesses, Cubs players, and Harry Potters, and rock stars, and…teenagers. Some of the Trick-Or-Treaters are wee and parents carry them up the walkway. Some get flustered and forget the Halloween protocol. Some are terribly shy. Some kids offer their “Trick-Or-Treat” in newly acquired English. All are terribly cute.
Each year I survey the scene at the peak hour, as Beth and I sit side-by-side with a huge bucket of candy between us. I hear none on the typical city noises – police sirens, cars and trucks– I hear only the sounds of excited kids running and playing and shouting, “I gotta Twix!” I see that no street parking spot is free and I see hundreds of parents and children strolling down our street visiting as many houses as possible. In the morning the neighborhood is again quiet. The Halloween decorations are damp and still. I’m already looking forward to next year. jpnugent 🙂