From The Publisher

October 30, 2017 Edition

Halloween! One of the better holidays, made great by such traditions as getting gifts rather than giving them.

I have never been one for costume dress ups, and am still not, but you can’t just show up on someone’s front porch and holler out trick or treat! and expect the best stuff to fall into your sack.

So, each year, hoping for the best results, my brother and I would go as hobos by pulling out old clothes from what we called the rag barrel. In our family, there was no such tradition as giving old clothes to the poor, we were the poor and this was the end of the line for the clothes. Except for the rag barrel. Those clothes were in truly desperate shape.

My big brother and I would pull on the clothes, maybe even ripping them more, and set out as hobos as soon as it got sort of dark. We would work the houses until people would no longer answer to our banging on their door. There were no rules in our family other than my brother had by God better not come back without me or there would be hell to pay. See, I had value in our family. Just not so much value with my brother. Bob was two and a half years older than me and had sturdier legs, and he sure wasn’t going to let a weak in the legs little sister slow him down on the only day of the year he could obtain candy.

When I gave out, he would stash me in the bushes somewhere along his carefully planned route, (go to the rich neighborhoods, was always the plan), and tell me to by God stay put and there would be hell to pay if I wandered.

He would occasionally come back with a full sack, tell me to watch it for us, and set out with an empty sack he had brought. My brother was not an amateur; he usually brought a bunch of sacks because he felt that a large sack not only slowed him down, but would not look so much in need of filling as a small, polite sack.

Now that he’s dead I can tell you something I never told him: While I was waiting for him under the hedge, I would take the best candy bars out of his sacks and put that candy in my only sack. In such a way, even though I got only one sack full of candy, and he got four or five sacks, I got the best. Ha! I’m not an amateur either! He never figured this trade out because in his greedy haste, he didn’t even look at what he was getting. He would just snap his sack closed, always holler out a thank you, and scamper off to the next house.

Back home we would spread our loot on the kitchen table where we would sort, count, and trade. Course my trading was already done, ha ha!

I still like Halloween, and here in Cabo I enjoy giving out candy to the local kids who come downtown to snag as much candy from the Gringos as they can. They don’t trick or treat, they Halloween! I can never  get a kid to sing out trick or treat. They just come back to me with a cheery Halloween! and shake their sack at me again.

Many Mexicans do not like their kids to celebrate Halloween because they fear their own traditions are dying, especially the Day of the Dead, celebrated the next day. I can understand this concern and would probably feel the same way if I were Mexican. But I just can’t turn the little buggers down when they zoom up to me on the street and holler out Halloween! and shake their sack at me. I give generously of treats I have prepared for them.

What comes around, goes around, no?