Richard J Nugent, author of this blog, passed away very peacefully today, surrounded by family. He will be missed.
Father of 6, grandfather of 17, teacher, rabid liberal, Bears fan, Cubs fan, militant grammarian, blogger of enormous curiosity…
In his honor, an animal story that I think he would love.
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.
1–My sister Carol had a costume party in our basement when she was about 16. Hard to understand why Dad permitted that and why Mom (RN) permitted each guest be welcomed to a collapsing chair.
One kid, an uppity girl, came in a dress consisting entirely of little black beads which flew all over the basement when her uppity butt hit the concrete floor. As she was put back on her feet, she wailed, “Oh, you naughty children!”
2–When Joanne and I were married, we set up housekeeping in a third floor apartment in a court building in south Evanston, Illinois. She got very excited about our first Halloween there–bought lots of candy, devised costumes for both of us, decorated the front door of our apartment. And no one came!
We might have noticed there were few houses in the neighborhood, no kids in the park. In1956, the black kids who lived across the street had no idea how welcome they would be at our door.
3–Alice loves Halloween and sees usually about 60 kids. They don’t get candy here. They get to choose from a collection of little stuffed animals and other toys Alice has won on the arcade at the Circus, Circus casino in Las Vegas.
One year, Alice passed up Halloween at home for a complex trip focused on a total solar eclipse in the South Pacific. I took it on myself to cover hero trick or treat job.
I had a long, gray, hooded robe for my costume. I drew red lines on a pair of examination gloves, and bought a black face mask. I changed the porch lights to orange. And I prepared to give away a lot of little pieces of Vegas junk.
I enjoyed seeing all the kids and chatting with their parents.
Then came the headless butler, about 11 years old, alone except for an adult who tried to go unnoticed. From below the stairs, he said his “trick or treat”. I pointed at him and said slowly in a gruff voice, “You don’t have a mouth. You can’t eat candy.”
He said, “Oh yes I can” and started to pull off his costume. I shouted, “Don’t do that” and took him in to choose a toy.
Alice told me later that I might better have said, “What a wonderful costume! However can you eat candy?”