It's almost here! Halloween 2020 is almost here! While it may be extremely different than it has been in the past, my wife and I are dedicated to making this a freakin' awesome and memorable day for our kids. There will be games, costumes, candy & spooky movies to make October 31st a night to remember. I just hope that we can give my kids some great Halloween memories, just like I have from when I grew up. Below are a few of those memories that I would like to share with you.
Oreo & The Cube
My family consisted of 5 kids, so I know my Mom had to be pretty frugal with the money so we could be fed, stay warm, get an education and have a roof over our heads. This led to her making some of the most memorable costumes I have ever worn! Every now & then my Mom would take it upon herself to make our Halloween costumes and I would say this was around 1985 when she made me an Oreo Cookie and my brother a Rubik's Cube. I remember my costume consisted of 2 pieces of cardboard cut from the box of a Kerosene Heater we had. I know this because the front of the cardboard was painted brown by my Mom, but the opposite side still had the image of a cat & dog nestled warmly around the heater on the inside. She attached the two pieces with string so it could easily sling over my head & shoulders and then she hot glued some stuffing to the inside to create the illusion that I was filled with creamy filling!
My brother was a cardboard box with cut outs for his head and arms. This was painted various colors to mimic a Rubik's cube. I really give my Mom credit for originality and giving us the opportunity to Trick or Treat, but getting in and out of vehicles in those costumes was a real pain in the butt and over the amount of time we were out getting goodies, the string and cardboard really started cutting into our skin. I'm sure we got a great haul that night and for that I thank my Mom!
It was 1987 and I was in the 2nd grade and I still loved the Thundercats. I had the toys, watched the cartoon after school and even read the comics. I remember having a sword of Omens of my own and even a claw shield and I would play with those all the time, pretending I was Lion-O saving my family on 3rd Earth from the menace of the evil Mutants and their leader Mumm-Ra. My Mom saw that I loved this show so much that she decided to make me a Lion-O costume for Halloween that year. I was excited at first when I heard about the idea, but I think I set my expectations too high.
I went to school at St. Joseph's Regional in Newton, NJ (me and my brother were sent there because my Mom said we "Needed discipline") and every year the school would have a party and parade around the block to celebrate this day of fun and adventure, but it just so happens that was the day my body decided to go against my best wishes and get sick. My Mom could see the disapointment on my face, so she said she would drive me to school so I could take part in the parade and I could wear my new Lion-O costume. Alright! I got up, got ready and after I put on my costume, I realized that this thing showed a lot of leg! It was like wearing one of those wrestling slingletts that A.C. Slater made popular on Saved By The Bell, but somehow even skimpier in the crotch!
I was embarassed, but still went with my Mom to the parade. I refused to get out of the car and the actual night of Halloween decided to re-use my Ghostbusters costume from the year before which was also made by my Mom, but covered up much more of my body! God bless her, she really did try and I greatly appreciate everything she has and continues to do for me, but I'm sorry Mom that Lion-O costume still gives me nightmares!
Mischief Night Mishap
I can't remember the year exactly, but I know it must have been the early 90s. The night before Halloween me and my buddies would go out and do a little "decorating" of our own in town. Traditionally this was called Mischief Night, Devil's Night or some of the old timers called it Goosey Night, anyway we would go out with our friends and our Dad always told us that it was our decision whether or not if we wanted to go out and if we did and got caught he would not bail us out. We went out! I don't want to give out too many details, but we had fun and didn't do anything destructive. We didn't key cars, smash eggs or break windows, but somewhere along the night one of my friends managed to set off the alarm at our local school which brought the cops out.
We were too young to drive and we were pretty far from home, so we did all that we could to dodge getting caught. We went through woods, headed down back alleys and hid behind dumpsters. It was almost like the movie "The Warriors", but in NJ. Finally we were almost in the clear and on our way home when my brother told us to duck down this street that he swore the cops would never go down...
We turned the corner and the cops were right there. In a panic we threw my buddy's Dallas Cowboys bag that was full of our supplies up a hill and as the cops were talking with us and we pleaded our innocence, the bag came rolling down the hill and into the street! We were busted! The cops took our names and numbers and called our parents. That weekend we spent some time cleaning up the town and it was a pretty crappy way to spend Halloween, but we did the crime, so we had to do the time. Lesson learned!
I know to some people these may seem like negative memories of Halloween, but honestly they were some of the best. There were many Halloweens in my life besides the ones I talked about above and the majority of them were AMAZING! I love the life I've lived, I love my childhood memories and I LOVE HALLOWEEN!!! Feel free to share your own Halloween memories in the comments below.