Note to readers: Sauk Valley Media presents the SVM Editorial Board Roundtable. Several members of the Editorial Board offer their responses to a question of the week. Some questions will be of a serious nature, and some won’t be. Members might agree on an issue one week, but not the next week. Regardless, we certainly encourage public feedback.
Jim Dunn, BCR editor and general manager
What I remember from trick-or-treating in the 1960s are some of the tasty homemade treats that used to be handed out.
One elderly lady in town was famous for giving out popcorn balls to trick-or-treaters. The kids just loved them. The word would spread from group to group that Mrs. So-and-So had made popcorn balls again, and the young ghosts and goblins would make a beeline for her door.
At another house, homemade taffy apples were distributed to the youngsters. If I remember correctly, they were thoughtfully wrapped in waxed paper so as not to make a mess in your bag or plastic pumpkin as you continued on your way to other houses.
Unfortunately, homemade treats became a thing of the past when a few kooks started putting sharp pins and razor blades in the treats, which threw a real scare into families across the country and ruined a fun Halloween tradition.
Regarding treats that can’t be tampered with, one fellow used to give out cans of RC Cola to trick-or-treaters. Kids liked that almost as much as the popcorn balls.
Here’s hoping everyone has a safe and happy Halloween!
Kathleen Schultz, SVM news editor
It was a point of pride in the Schultz-Haugen family: We didn't do expensive, store-bought costumes. Also a point of pride, I let my three kids choose whatever they wanted to be and I made it happen. No matter what.
Pride aside, I don't sew.
It was about 20 years ago. Christie wanted to be a witch – easy-peasy. Flouncy black dress, itty-bitty broom, striped tights and an oversized pointy hat from the dollar store. Done.
Adam, my oldest – and the palest, blondest, most likely to be mistaken for a Nordic god-child you ever did see – wanted to be Michael Jackson. Red jacket with gold trim, which I actually owned, little black fedora, which I also owned. (I developed my fashion sense in the '80s, don't judge).
The glove was a challenge, but it turns out, little girls who take dance lessons have sequins sewn onto everything they own. I snagged one sparkly white glove from one such little girl.
Done and done.
Joey, my middle child, Mr. Specific, threw me a huge curve.
"Whatcha want to be this year, Joey?"
"A 7UP delivery man." With a patch. And a matching hat.
Sheer panic on my part. What the, where the, how the ...? We were a Pepsi family, for crying out loud. Where was this insanity coming from?
I broke protocol, begged, pleaded, please, please, PLEASE be something else, anything else. How about a viking? I had a fur vest (see parenthetical notation above), how hard could horns be? We were living in Montana, you practically tripped over them.
Joey remained steadfast. "A 7UP delivery man." With a patch. And a matching hat.
In sheer desperation, I took him to a thrift store. Figured he'd see a million other cool possibilities, and his little 7UP fever-dream would go up in a mist of bubbles.
What's the first thing he spotted at the Sally? Lime-green polyester leisure suit, size small, 7UP patch over the left breast, I kid you not, and a matching hat (from Subway, but yellow and green, so close enough).
Proof Halloween is magical. Or at least, Joey is.
Jennifer Heintzelman, SVM general manager
I love fall – the colors in the trees, the crisp air, cornstalks and scarecrows, pumpkins and mums. I can't say that I dislike Halloween because I love the candy that the kids bring home. I would love to be able to dress my dogs in the cute costumes I see online, like the hotdog or spider costumes. Their dad has put his foot down and forbidden me to get costumes for the dogs.
This will be our first year not sending kids out with their costumes and bringing back bags of goodies. They are getting older and each has different plans that don't include ringing bells for chocolate.
What I hate about this time of year is scary movies. It never fails this time of year that I will catch one out of the corner of my eye that the kids have on or it will be on in the background somewhere outside my house. I have horrible nightmares this time of year. I'm pretty sure I woke up my husband last night because of one. I know why I had it – we were at a business earlier this week and the movie, "Halloween," was playing in the background. Now, I don't watch these movies but somehow the screams must have gotten into my subconscious, and whammo, here comes a nightmare.
I'm sure it comes from the years of torture I received from my older brother and sister. They made me watch horror flicks like "Amityville Horror" and "The Exorcist", and then would taunt me. I'm even scared this time of year to take the dogs out at night. I only have a few more weeks to get through and then the Christmas movies will begin and all of this will be another year behind me.