Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

Columns

October 30, 2013

ROOT: Where have you gone, Charlie Brown?

Where have you gone, Charlie Brown?

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — Halloween has changed a lot and the Halloweens I knew are events that my kids and grandson will never understand.

When I was a wee lad, we used to really look forward to Halloween. We would dress up in costumes at school, and those school costumes were not usually the ones we wore when we went out trick-or-treating. We would map out our path and I never left my own neighborhood because I didn’t need to.

I think Halloween is another part of the American fabric that has started to unravel. Don’t get me wrong, I understand why there are so many precautions taken at Halloween these days. But Halloween is a victim of the times that we will never bring back. It’s still huge in some parts of the region, but in Lockport it’s a fading thing that may be gone for good by the time my grandson is able to hold open his own bag and beg for treats.

We went out and bought several bags of good candy this year, but I know that my family and I will wind up eating most of it. Last year, you could literally count the number of kids we had at our house on two hands. It was sad. People don’t trust each other anymore, so the kids are not out in the neighborhoods doing their Halloween thing. A community bonding experience has been lost.

When I was a kid, we knew who all of our neighbors were, up and down the entire street, and those were the houses we went to for treats. We were on our porches waiting for 4:30 p.m. to arrive so we could get out there. Leaving the neighborhood not only was not necessary, it felt strange.

When I moved out of the old neighborhood into a new one, there was still a pretty healthy trick-or-treating schtick going on. But by the time I was in my teens, it seemed like Halloween was losing momentum.

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