Friday, 31 October 2014


It is now 9:45 PM on Friday, October 31, 2014. I live in an apartment building where there are very few children so - during the 18 years that I have lived here - I have never had a 'Treat or Trickster' come to my door. However - my mind is full of memories of when I was young when Alda and I (accompanied by Mom or Dad) went around the neighborhood wearing costumes and masks, approaching doors, and calling out 'Trick or Treat!' and hoping for yummy items to be placed in the sacks which we carried.

Mom always had a cache of 'Hallowe'en candies' to give to the children who came to our door so - naturally - we expected the same to be given to us at the doors which we approached. I have only a vague memory of Hallowe'en in Ruskin but I believe that we visited a few houses when we lived on River Road across from the Ruskin Public School.

When we moved to Dawes Hill in Coquitlam we found ourselves in a more populous neighborhood and - therefore - a bigger 'haul'. Also - I remember a situation where we children were actually 'two-faced' in the fact we were rather disdainful of the Dolbec family but - because Mme Dolbec always made incredible fudge - we made sure that we stopped there.

The sacks which we carried were pillow cases and we always returned home with a nice haul of sweets and fruit like apples. As that was in a mild, wet climate our costumes, masks and 'gooddies sack' were quite damp by the time that we made it back home.

I do not recall what the  costumes were (that we wore) but it was always something that Mom could put together at home. However, the masks came from one of the '5 and 10 cent' stores in New Westminster and - by the time we returned home - mine was always damp around my lips, smelled strongly of the material that had gone into the manufacture and - sometimes - the coloring in the design had leached and stained our faces. We did not have a shower in the house in those days so that meant a good scrubbing by Mom as each of us leaned over the kitchen sink.

Not all the goodies which we received were candies/sweets but did sometimes include other 'practical' items. This was nearing the end of World War II and some of the neighbors purchased 'tickets' which we could exchange for small toys or candies at the special UNICEF gathering at the arena in town. Of all of the neighbors which we had only one lady bought these 'tickets' which became her donation to our sacks instead of candies or fruit. As an adult I appreciate the need for supporting this charity but - as a child - I (and most of my buddies) felt cheated by finding them in the sack instead of candy, fruit or coins!  

As an adult I do not recall having attended a costume party of any sort - in honor of Hallowe'en - while still a child. I am not sure if I would have enjoyed it anyway!

Of all the costume material around Hallowe'en I remember the masks best. As I said near the beginning of this blog, when I arrived back home my mask smelled of chemicals and whatever had been used in the coloring leached somewhat.

Hallowe'en was fun - except for the masks! Of course - this is my opinion and not necessarily the opinion of anybody else!

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