trick or treat

REMEMBERING HALLOWEEN PAST – AND ALZHEIMER’S

October 26, 2012 –

Carved Halloween Jack O'Lantern

Halloween:  I wonder if it’s the candy or the make-believe that kids like most. 

My parents moved to San Francisco when I was six and we celebrated Halloween, but it was very different from the costumes and candy of today.

WHAT — NO TRICK OR TREAT?

Our family occupied the 3rd floor flat in one of the twin buildings which had sunny bay windows and a very long flight of stairs.  The flats were located on 17th Street just a half block off Mission Street in San Francisco. It was Mission Street, after dark, where my sisters and I, as children, celebrated Halloween at the tail end of a parade.

We didn’t wear our costumes to school.  Nor were there any room-mothers to furnish us with frosted cupcakes covered with orange and black sprinkles and a decorated holiday cup filled with apple cider.  It was just another day without any fanfare, but every kid in the neighborhood could hardly wait for the Mission Street parade. 

With one of our parents (usually moms) we lined the sidewalks as marching bands led by a strutting drum major tossed his baton high into the air, a limited number of police officers and firemen in full uniforms walked behind young dancers and acrobats wearing tutus or leotards; all representing their respective studios.  My sisters and I were downright envious of their glitter, glamor and shine as they danced and cartwheeled up the street.  A few cars advertising local furniture stores drove by while the owners handed out all-day suckers and balloons.  Much to everyone’s delight a group of colorful Gypsies was also a part of the parade.  Their music and dance collected circles of admirers while the parade marked time for the special show.  

The evening was pretty well spent, and we knew the end was in sight when the last school traffic patrol dressed in crisp, white trousers, shirt and kerchief, and topped off with a campaign hat boasting their school colors marched past the lingering observers.  That’s when we who were left fell in behind and became the tail-end of the parade. Continue reading

Originally posted 2012-10-28 04:25:22.

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