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They will eventually get used to Halloween

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By W.B. Evans

It’s almost Halloween and it seems I’m the only one in the family who is excited about it.

Sometimes, my offspring can be a bunch of fuddy-duddies. But that’s OK. I’ll take up the slack for their indifference by setting the mood, just as I did last year.

With great-grandkids running around under foot and nobody else showing much interest, I figured it was up to me to teach them the intricacies of trickin’ and treatin.’

Now, don’t get me wrong; their Halloween attire might not take the top spot in the Literary Review Club’s Kiddie Parade (remember those?), but I figured Walmart or Kmart still had a spooky-lookin’ costume or two left on the racks.

They can’t wear them to the Midway Theatre on Halloween Day to see “The Sombrero Kid” and “The Perils of Nyoka – Chapter 9,” but we can have a  good time just like I did in one of the costumes that came from the counter at Mr. Bucklelew’s dime store.

The Walmart parking lot was pretty crowded for a Monday afternoon. I managed to find a parking space that didn’t have a buggy left in it by some rude shopper. 

I walked inside and found the Halloween stuff. After combing the racks, I was in luck and found two little outfits. 

My only delay was waiting in the check-out line.

When I got home, it was getting a little dark and time was short.  The two great-grands had to be held down as we dressed them (this Halloween business was something new). 

After a little explaining and they were dressed, I strapped them in the back seat and we headed off to a local church carnival. 

I have to admit, my great grand-ghouls were a little unsure about this fall festival stuff, even though it was a church. 

They huddled close by as an assorted mob of hobgoblins came near.

After a few words of encouragement, I pushed them toward a table of free snacks, which they fully understood.

I didn’t let them linger there, woofing down cookies and soda, though. 

Now, I was the one gettin’ scared. I pulled them away, fearing some folks may feel my little boogers weren’t getting enough to eat at home. 

Not wanting to wear out our welcome among these church folks, we left and headed home via Chesterfield Avenue.

Although it usually generates much more than vacant stares, I figured I could rekindle my thoughts of past spooky stories like the big dog with the red eyes that caused a stir in our neighborhood one Halloween. I decided to keep that story to myself for now, not wanting to frighten them too much.

Oh well, might as well hit Springs Street and Laurel Court where my daughter once lived.

As I rode through, I recalled how local mommas used to bus their kids to that neighborhood on Halloween for a trick or treat goody run.

But, all seemed quiet, so we headed back up the Charlotte Highway to home.

The little ones settled on the den floor, and dove into their treats while  watching Professor Laslow Ostwald trying to outsmart Scooby Do with his “High-Tech House of Horrors.”

With my mission accomplished, I retreated to my bedroom recliner, kicked off my shoes and relaxed into the overstuffed folds of the chair. 

In no time, I found myself back on Chesterfield Avenue in front of my old home.

My goodness, the neighborhood had returned to its appearance of yesteryear. Mr. Ben Williams’ ivory-painted house sporting red shutters and roof looked so natural.

Glancing closer  – someone or something – walked slowly down the driveway toward me. Rubbing my eyes, it was a blond haired little boy and he shouted, “Hey Junie, Trick or Treat!” 

To tell the truth, I was sorta scared, but shucks, it was my boyhood friend, Little Ben. I wasn’t worried, though. Little Ben never harmed me. 

He died young, but for some unknown reason, he reappears to me ever so often.

As I reached out to touch him, everything started to shake. 

When I opened my eyes, two children hyped up on Halloween chocolate were jumping on me.

You know, I wished that dream could’ve lasted a bit longer, I had so many good times to relive with Little Ben. Maybe he’s still wandering our childhood haunts is search of an old friend to keep him company. 

But for now, Little Ben will have to wait. I’m not quite ready to join him. Besides, I still have to tell my great-grands the one about the red-eyed dog.