Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Halloween in the 'hood

Everything is not about poverty and wealth.

But where I live, almost everything is.

Tonight we welcomed almost 300 tricker-treaters at our front door.

Most were young children. Some were teens. Lots of parents accompanied their children on the neighborhood rounds to collect the special "treats" offered at most of the doors in our community.

There were all sorts of costumes. And, there were children with no costumes.

It was a joyous night. For most of the kids who came to our door, the treats were special. These children came for the special occasion of free candy. Most were from low-income, working families.

Trick or treat here is not like the experiences we had when we lived in suburban Richardson. Tonight we passed out lots of candy to children for whom it was a very special night.

They were all beautiful.


Janet said...

A group of teenagers came down my street last night trick or treating. It was dark and I couldn't see very well, but none of them had on costumes. I asked one of the girls I knew what was on her face, thinking it was some kind of face paint in some design. "Lipstick," she said.

Lipstick. That was the improvisation and their alternative to buying Halloween costumes that would only be used once.

On the other hand, my friend in Missouri showed me pictures of the kids who trick or treated in her neighborhood. Every last one of them had costumes that had obviously been purchased...and not the $7 plastic ones we used to buy when I was a kid.

It's always interesting to me to live with a foot in both worlds. I like to think it keeps me a little more grounded than if I lived only in the world I grew up in (which would be the costume world).

Karen Shafer said...

My neighborhood is like yours, Larry, (I live a few blocks from low-income apartments, on all sides) and I know what you mean... I wouldn't miss being home for my Trick-or-Treaters for anything in the world. It is one of my favorite nights. A few kids come from my block of middle class homes, but most are from the apartments.

My daughters invited me to be at their house, in a more affluent area close by, but there's no way I'd miss seeing my local kids on Halloween.

I put the basket of candy in front of the kids and said, "Take as much as you want," and their superb manners and unwillingness to be greedy or grabby is lovely to observe. Oftentimes, I'd have to say, "Take more if you like." Only one child out of maybe fifty that came by grabbed even a handful.

Boy, do we middle-class folks have some misconceptions about people living in poverty. We really need to know them 'up close and personal.'