Halloween has to be one of my favorite holidays. The candy--especially the candy of my youth--the candy apples, the costumes, the kids and the decorated houses.
I look forward to seeing the terror in the eyes of the littlest kids, the confidence of the older kids and the proud arrogance of the teenagers who still want to be Halloweenies.
I really love that it is a kinda-really-based-on-a-religious–churchy-idea-but-really-pagan-kind-of-silly-all-American-holiday. Really a Pan-American thing, because of all the wonderful Dia de los Muertos traditions we have here in our corner of the world.
But it seems something has gone wrong with Halloweeners!
I have typical Halloween childhood memories, but really, my favorite ‘weenie things happened when I was no longer a little kid, decades ago. That's when I found that the odd people of the city descended on Hollywood Boulevard in the early evening, then over to West Hollywood later on at night. Monsters and curiosities of every kind--if you get my meaning.
Then the cities started paying attention and organizing and policing. Then, I had children of my own and Halloween returned again to the customs of kids. I did take a couple of my kids to Hollywood Boulevard when they were very young. The police had closed the boulevard to car traffic, and were ticketing and even arresting those who dared to step off the curb. I haven’t been back since.
When we first moved to Highland Park almost 20 years ago, there were some houses that were visitable by ‘weenies. There was also a family that put on a pretty good haunted house. But even then, there was a walk between houses that ‘weened.
Over the years my kids started want to go to other neighborhoods to trick-or-treat because our blocks were slim in the treats department.
I couldn’t argue.
When we'd go out, we'd leave a bowl of treats on our steps. We'd come back and see the bowl was never touched by human hands.
As the kid’s became older, they wanted to go to parties or go out with friends. Now Mrs. O’Roscoe and I are going to be without kids for the first time this year.
We would love to give out treats and occasional tricks to visitors, but something has happened in Highland Park over the last decade.
I’m very pleased to see those people who have the right spirit and dress up their homes to welcome the ‘weenies, but it seems there are fewer people doing that every year.
And as for our house, we haven’t had a’weener come to our door for years. We live on a well traveled street. We’ve had on the lights and carved the pumpkins, but no ‘weenies. And the last year they did ring our bell, there were only two groups hours apart.
We can’t blame the tainted candy paranoia because ther communities still have the proper attitude and have neighborhoods with wonderful fructose and ghostly participation.
Yes, there are many right thinking people in the Arroyo who dress up their houses and who give out the treats, and bless them for it! But it seems they have become fewer and farther between.
Whatever your age, check out the Halloweenish things going on in our community over the weekend.
And let me assure you that on Monday we will have carved pumpkins on our steps and a bowl of candy at the ready, and you should as well.
And if you have kids in your house, give Highland Park a chance to treat your Halloweenies before you try another neighborhood.