I was not the only Rubik’s cube at Hygiene Elementary School in 1981, nor was my costume the best-made. I was quite proud of myself for my originality, and for the fact that I glued pieces of construction paper to the outside of the box all by myself.
That was the only year I didn’t Trick-or-Treat with my own parents in my own neighborhood. It was a special treat to go spend the night at Becky’s house after Trick-or-Treating with her.
Becky didn’t live in a neighborhood, she lived on a farm. Trick-or-Treating with her meant climbing into the back of her Dad’s pickup truck (Yes, we did that in those days) driving ten minutes or so to someone’s house, then socializing for a while and enjoying whatever that household had to offer. One friend of Becky’s family repaired pin-ball machines, and we got to play for a half hour or so before moving on. One elderly lady had a long table set out with homemade treats like cupcakes and candy, eager for us adorable costumed children to come so she could spoil us.
Late October in Colorado can be rather chilly, and this night was no exception. As the night wore on, every time we maneuvered my bulky costume into the back of the truck I ended up using it like my own little shelter, pulling in my head and limbs and huddling inside against the cold night air.
I didn’t think it would be my last time Trick-or-Treating, but the next year was the year of the Halloween candy scare when mean people were putting dangerous things into kids’ candy. My parents decided they didn’t want us to go door-to-door that year, and after that I was too old.
I didn’t know then that one of my fondest memories of childhood would be freezing my butt off, huddled in a cardboard box, in the back of a pickup truck.
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