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Trick or treat? This is being written during the morning of Halloween Day when Mom Nature ended another of her summer and autumn wringing-wet surprises. After scraping the ice off the car windows this morning, I happily welcomed the sun that began a day of autumn glory. But ... the trick is for later this Halloween evening when the north winds are going to blast the costumes of kiddies strolling the streets, freezing their little noses and, if hands are not enclosed, those fingers will tingle as they knock on doors or ring bells. This evening is supposed to be as cold as kraut. That description has been around forever. Who doesn't know how cold kraut is?

That kraut description brought back memories of trick or treating when I was a spoiled brat. What? I guess (no guessing allowed) I was spoiled and there's no doubt during this second, or third/fourth childhood, there's still a bit of brat left. Your move.

As the cold evening probably won't faze these doorbell ringers just as those toters of a past era didn't seem to be bothered, some things never seem to change. Yep ... we had trick or treating during those good old days even though it was usually limited to a small neighborhood for door knocking. There were always homemade popcorn balls and sometimes homemade candy. (Then it wasn't dangerous to eat and enjoy.) There were often little Life Savers and bubble gum and sometimes a sucker on a flexible looped handle wrapped in cellophane. It lasted longer than those of today. Once in awhile the house owner would foil the tricks by handing out a nickel or a dime. Hmmm. Shouldn't a dime be bigger than a nickel since it's worth more? A dime would buy two candy bars or a coke and a bag of peanuts or even a double-dip ice cream cone which was always good even if it was cold as blue blazes the day after Halloween. It was a fun evening then. And today? Is it a memory-making experience that will be enjoyed and remembered many years down the road? Do you remember those Halloweens?

I never really got into the tricking part of the evening, except ... yes, here it comes ... one time when I was seven, I ran a hard bar of Ivory soap across the screen door of a neighbor lady's house. Honestly, I never joined the group of big (I think) boys whose artistry decorated the windows downtown. They needed washing anyway, windows, that is. But back to my experience: I spent a couple of hours the next day with a brush and a little bucket of water scrubbing on that metal (not like today's plastic) screen, making it shine. I also learned I wasn't supposed to have tricked her even if she didn't answer her door.

When it was all over, she gave me a big hug for cleaning her screen and, with a big smile, handed me a Baby Ruth candy bar. And everyone was smiling. Baby Ruths were a nickel and, though I haven't had one in years, in that day they seemed bigger. So, that's all for Halloween, which I'm sure was safely enjoyed by many this year.

Just as an aside, that incident above was during an early year of World War II. Traffic was skimpy. Rationed gas and then fast-wearing tires were rationed and were hard to get. There were many shortages during those trying old days. But we, as a nation, were millions of people pulling together to protect our homes, our then-constitutional government and, most of all, a family-oriented society.

Just one other little tidbit for this brief 'cuff since I've confessed to too much already. This will be a little bit about weather. Just bear with me; it's not that bad. I just want to print part of the final paragraph of the September 11 'cuff which described our rainy summer and early autumn. It asked the question, "What can we expect for the last four months of the year? Will there be a skiff of snow on Halloween? Will there be a white Thanksgiving for a white turkey? Or will sleigh bells be ringing on a white Christmas Eve?" This was followed by the last paragraph from the October 9 'cuff which mentioned the coldest temp ever registered in Arkansas occurred in Gravette when it dipped to twenty-nine below zero on Feb. 5, 1905. It was followed by this prediction: "'till next time, get ready for a skiff of snow on Halloween and a white landscape on Thanksgiving Day."

Did you see the snowflakes that floated around Westside Eagle Observer country during the Halloween eve and early morning Halloween Day? I didn't! At least there were none floating around when I glanced out about 10:30. Must have happened later? I guess the 'cuff guess was just a little off (as usual?), or time will tell (another old saying) if your trick or treaters enjoyed(?) snowflakes on Halloween. I hope everything about treaters was good and happy and that the recent "winter" was short and autumn continues along the lines we've enjoyed the past several years: None or very few zero-days, no deep snow, no ice ... and, especially, a healthy and happy four months ... or at least two months 'till 2020 arrives. Then let politics return with dignity and decorum. And next 'cuff? Who knows? I sure don't.

Dodie Evans is the former owner and long-time editor of the "Gravette News Herald." Opinions expressed are those of the author.

Editorial on 11/06/2019

Print Headline: Halloween dreaming? With snowflakes?

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