Sandy had blown in on Monday, but by Wednesday the day and night were perfect for Halloween. Thousands of children, many with their parents, made their way through the neighborhoods to threaten their tricks, but get their treats. They were not disappointed.
Every year, Halloween just seems to get better in our neighborhoods. We are not talking about the selection of candy being given away.
We are talking about the environment where children can walk the streets safely, just being kids and having fun. Many streets were closed to traffic, which enabled the trick or treaters to walk without concern. People even opened their homes to these little goblins, scary witches and eerie ghosts. These organized safety precautions necessary for a memorable urban Halloween environment do not happen mysteriously, despite the magical holiday. Instead, we owe a special thank you to the many organizations and individuals who gave of their time and talent to accomplish the street closings and to coordinate the evening’s efforts. Special thanks are also in order for the many residents who bought the candy, according to some reports as many as 1,800 pieces for a single home, and committed their evening to giving it away. We should provide kudos too to the young trick or treaters who enjoyed the candy, but were very respectful for many Pleases and Thank Yous were heard, while the candy was tucked quickly into their pumpkins, bags and pillowcases.
And as a parent who trailed a trick or treating child who will outgrow this experience in a couple of years, my memories of my past Halloweens were recalled when times were simpler and everything seemed better. For this very special night, one is reminded of Elizabeth Akers Allen’s classic lines:
“Backward turn backward
O time in thy flight
And make me a boy
Just for to-night!”