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Halloween Memories In the Home of the First Stampede
hadn’t given everything up — she’d hidden part of her stash and was sneaking pieces of it! In addition to the candy, Christine also enjoyed a few more cavities than her brothers that year. My kids certainly had a different experience than I did trick-or-treating. They didn’t carry clubs, and homemade treats were off-limits since they posed a greater risk of containing harmful ingredients. The exception to that rule, of course, was Grandma’s homemade candy. My mother-in-law made the best chocolates; they had nougat centers and nuts and were crafted from scratch, beginning to end. It was a surprise if there were any chocolates left over at the end. Today, you don’t see those kinds of homemade treats very often.
who egged or toilet-papered people’s houses. It wasn’t as easy to clean off these pranks as it was to create them. We lived on Main Street, and that made us a target of would-be Halloween tricksters. One Halloween, a group of teenagers drove by and threw eggs at our house. My mother, who was fed up with tricks at this point and had identified the egg throwers’ car, wasn’t going to let them get away with their shenanigans. “Jim,” she said to me, “You need to go get the ladder, climb up on the roof, take a dozen eggs, and when that car comes back around, you throw eggs back at them!” I’d always said I would never be like the kids who threw eggs, but then, I couldn’t disobey my mother. Let’s just say we didn’t have any eggs for breakfast in the morning. Shenanigans aside, Halloween was a fun time as a kid. When you become a parent, there are a lot more rules you’re aware of. You want to let your kids enjoy the fun, but you also worry about them eating too many sweets. Back when the kids were young, they would bring home their candy stashes on Halloween, and Jeanelle and I would give out instructions that they could eat as much as they wanted, but they had to eat it in one week. Our daughter, Christine, and her brothers would dutifully hand us their remaining pieces at the end of the week. But once, we came to find out that Christine
I grew up in a little community in Alberta, Canada, called Raymond. There are two things Raymond is known for: being home to the first Canadian stampede in 1902, and having a very wide main street, wide enough that you can have angled parking on both sides and still have enough room for three lanes of traffic. Raymond is a small farming community, and these are its claims to fame. My graduating class had 67 students. A few memories stand out about Halloween in our town. There were always certain houses you were sure to stop at because they had homemade popcorn balls and candy. But it was often quite the challenge to safely carry it home. We quickly learned that to make it back from trick-or-treating with our candy stashes intact, we needed some kind of defense against the older kids who tried to take our treats. In grades one through six, we made papier-mache creations. So when Halloweentime came, we crafted papier-mache clubs for ourselves and brought them trick-or- treating. They looked intimidating, even if they were mostly harmless. Unfortunately, vandalism was part of Halloween. The police actually deputized a handful of fathers each Halloween to serve as temporary policemen. They had the right to arrest people, including the teenagers
Have a safe and fun Halloween — and when the eggs come flying, duck!
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