When we first moved into our house (1981) in the Homestead Addition, it was just far enough out of town that we never got trick or treaters. So, when the boys were small, they’d put on their costumes and we’d take our bags of candy up to McCausland so they could go trick or treating there...
Aunt Glad would get at least a hundred trick or treaters at her house. My sister Deena, who lived on a farm, did the same thing. We’d take turns handing out candy at Aunt Glad's house or trick or treating around town with our boys.
Here’s how it worked….
Deena and I would each bring four or five bags of those snack-size candy bars -- Snickers, Kit-Kats -- the REAL stuff. (We figured it was the price we had to pay for bringing our kids into town.)
Aunt Glad would provide one bag of little Dum-Dum suckers. Aunt Glad positioned her recliner so that when we opened the front door, she had a full view of the trick or treaters.
When the candy was gone, we’d turn out the lights.
Here’s how the night went…
At first, Aunt Glad was interested in the kid’s costumes, and she’d ask them to step into the living room so she could see them better.
If she knew the kids, she might ask about their family....
"did your Dad get a job yet?"
"Is your mother still going to the boat every night?"
If the parents were standing on the step, Aunt Glad liked to ask them questions, too.
"I've never seen you before. How long have you lived in McCausland?"
"Are you related to the Jerry Fisher who went to jail over in Cedar County?"
It soon became clear to Aunt Glad that some of the trick or treaters were more deserving than others….and she’d start telling us who should get a real candy bar, and who should get a Dum-Dum sucker…
When I opened the door….Aunt Glad would say,
“look at that big kid, honey. Ask him how old he is.” I’d try to ignore her…and hand out the candy…but she would be disturbed that the kid was too old or too tall to be trick or treating…so she’d talk louder -- so the kids could hear…
”HEY -- YOU -- THE BIG ONE -- How old are you?”
The more I tried to hurry the kids along, the more agitated she would become. She would push herself out of the recliner -- and, using her cane, point at the tall kid in question, yelling,
“GIVE HIM A DUM-DUM…HE’S TOO OLD TO BE TRICK OR TREATING!”
Sometimes, it was the costumes that annoyed her. For example, Hobo costumes or sheet/ghost outfits were not worthy...
"that's not a costume -- he's just begging for candy. If he can't do better than that, he should have stayed home. Give him/her a Dum Dum..."
Another one of her favorite lines of questioning (besides how old are you?) -- was
‘WHERE ARE YOU FROM?”
She had a firm belief that McCausland was a destination for cars full of non-resident trick-or-treaters (like me and Deena?) who drove here to take advantage of our snack sized candy bars.
There could be a group of adorable little kids standing on the stoop, I’d be putting candy in their bags…when she’d start her inquisition…”
“You there -- (pointing with her cane) -- you -- wearing that sheet over your head -- where are you from?”
I would be PRAYING for the child to say “McCausland”…but even if he gave the right answer, that wasn’t the end of it. Her next question was,
“Who are your parents?”
Again, if they hadn’t lived here long enough, or she didn’t have a good opinion of their family, she’d start to yell…
”GIVE THAT KID A SUCKER, RITA…’
Oh, yeah, I miss those days -- and my little boys -- and Aunt Glad.