I remember Halloween of years past. As kids, my brother Tom and I would wear the costumes our mom decided we should wear. Grandma Bobell gave her a box of old costumes from her other three daughters. Whatever was in there was likely generic, angel, clown, a hobo who rode the rails, devil, or what have you. Chances are, it was sewn by Grandma.
Mom bought a costume for Tom. He was very small for a child and is now a slightly built man. My dad had a brother who was also slightly built. His costume for several years was a skeleton. It was perfect for him.
Mom took us out, and I think she let us go alone by the time my youngest brother was born. Too hard to herd two little ones and watch us. Of course, we knew all the neighbors, they knew us and our parents. Yes, times were different. It also helped that Our dad grew up in the area of St. Bridget’s Church/School and his father owned the local pharmacy/sundries store two blocks away. Our grandparents knew every kid in South Omaha. That hardly happens anymore.
I remember Grandma Jewell telling me how my family doctor, Dr. Michael Haller, worked driving a cab to pay for medical school at Creighton Medical School. He would come in to the store and get coffee and a snack if he could when he could afford both. She approved of him wholeheartedly as the doctor who cared for me and her first great grandchild.
I do not remember ever being bothered by anyone while collecting treats. The last year I went, eighth grade, a girl I went with had an egg smashed on her head. A boy she knew did it. I was unscathed.
I remember taking my three kids out after my divorce in the 80’s, a car pulled up on a dark street in our neighborhood. Some guy asked something rude, my daughter asked me what that meant, I said never mind. At the next house, I told the Mom about it. She called 911. They found drugs and knives in the car and arrested them all. Good job, Omaha Police Department.
It doesn’t hurt to teach your kids how to be aware. You do not have to scare them to death about the dangers lurking in the dark or the daylight. All we can do is do our best, and trust they will be able to act if confronted. More kids are safe than not. I really like the idea of shopping centers, churches, schools, and neighborhoods sponsoring their own Trick or Treat, Trunk or Treat, parties and Haunted Houses.
Favorite costumes ever?? Like my Grandma Bobell, I see. I loved making costumes for my kids. My middle child Nick had a mouse costume. It was perfect for him. He was a shy four old at the time. And his best one was the year he wanted to go as a carrot.
Yes, a carrot. I have no photos of them, my kids have been gifted all their baby/growing up photos. Frank’s were all destroyed by water in the fire. That makes me quite sad. But I remember a lot of them. Mom’s usually do.
And we had the parties at school and dressed up. Of course, being a Catholic school, the nuns wanted us to dress like saints. The brown nosers dressed like Mary, Joseph, and their patron saints. There was no St. Kathleen, so I’d go as a clown, angel, or gypsy.
And those unfortunates of us who wore glasses, who were just about blind with myopia, never could wear those dreaded plastic masks. Horrible. Hated it!
I still love the toddler’s costumes. Those little chickens with fluffy feathers, dinosaurs who roar at you, sixties kids with poodle skirts, firemen wanting to be like their Daddies or Mama’s, police officers who want to be like their favorite uncle’s, all are my favorites. It’s the innocence I love. May it stay that way for a very long time for all of them.
Check my friend Ritch Cassidy’s I Heart Radio FB page. As a PSA, he listed a nap of all of Omaha to help keep kids safe. Sadly, it’s from the Nebraska Sex Offenders Registry.
Knowledge and Awareness can help you have an innocence filled Halloween for your kiddos, and you can increase awareness of the bad folks around you.
Thank you for reading. Share if you’d like to, I appreciate every set of eyes and mind that settles on my writing. Comment, Share, and Like our pages. I deeply appreciate it.