WEST: Keep Halloween fun
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By MIKE WEST

Let's celebrate Halloween.

Is "celebrate" the wrong word? Let’s see …  Perhaps “experience” is better? After all, Halloween isn’t a holiday like Thanksgiving or the Fourth of July.


My interpretation of Halloween puts the emphasis on the old-fashioned idea of trick-or-treating with kids in costumes going door-to-door collecting candy.


Back in my day, most of the costumes were homemade. Oh, there were a few scary masks but most of the time we would dress up like a cowboy or cowgirl or maybe even Davy Crockett.


That didn’t stop us from walking across half the town collecting candy, apples and popcorn. And we were too chicken to pull many tricks other than a little soap on a window or tipping over a jack-o-lantern. Heck, collecting candy was our thing.


Now my father’s generation was different when it came to Halloween.


First of all, there were no costumes … period except for stuffing a pillow down the front of your overalls.  We are talking Bluewing community back before most of the roads were paved.


The West family was lucky cause they lived on the paved highway running from Woodbury to McMinnville. When the weather was hot, you could pull up a chunk of melted asphalt and chew it like gum.
But not on Halloween.


All the nearby children would gather together and walk up and down the roads yelling and screaming and trying to be scary.


Oh yes, there would be some mischief like turning over the outhouses at Leoni School which was surrounded by towering white and red oak trees. Yep the little two-room school was the heart of the community especially after the WPA improved things.

The basketball court was outside and made of hard, hard dirt. The gym at Woodbury was a marvel almost too sophisticated for country folk.


But back to Halloween. It was a time for merriment. Older boys would pull some real stunts like disassembling a farm wagon or buggy and putting it back together on the roof of a shed or even barn.
Some houses they would hurry by like the man who would watch for them and shoot his shotgun up straight in the air to scare them off.


But mostly it was all innocent fun just like my daughter’s form of Halloween.


Her version was more high-toned. She had to have a costume. Uh, make that a nice costume usually ordered from some online store like Disney. Most years she was a princess. She might be Pocahontas or a maiden from the queen’s court.


Her favorite costume was a lion, complete with a furry mane and a long, fur-tipped tail. She grinned from ear-to-ear as we went from door-to-door in our subdivision.
But that was a few years ago.


Now days, Halloween parties or trunk-in-treating are more in vogue. Trunk-or-treating involves cars loaded with candy in the parking lot of usually a church. It’s nice, safe fun just like the Halloweens of yester year.


Now it’s your turn to have a nice, fun and safe Halloween.

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