My “Best-est” Halloween
By Don Taylor
I got to thinking about Halloween and tried to remember what my “best-est” Halloween ever was when I was a kid. Of course, memories from that long ago are often forgotten unless something, usually a photo, keeps the memory alive. Thanks to a 1959 photo taken outside our house in Fridley, MN, I remember the Halloween of ’59 reasonably well. It is the best Halloween I can remember. That year, for Halloween, my mom and I carved a Jack-O’-lantern and put it in the window (we did that most years). The pumpkin was nothing fancy, be we always had fun doing it. We didn’t have all the fancy carving tools that folks have nowadays. A simple knife was it. But it wasn’t a bad looking pumpkin.
The photo I have is of my friend Patty Hopkins and me dressed for Halloween, and that pumpkin is in the window. Both Patty’s and my family were pretty poor at the time. Patty and I were the only children around with single mothers, so fancy costumes were out. Simple masks were about all we could afford. That year, my mom splurged for a “Captain Kidd” mask for me. It was a big deal – Aaaarrrrggghh! Patty had a simple Morris mask, but it was enough. Neither of us had costumes; we wore regular clothes. Patty had a couple red scarves she waived around to be exotic. I remember that Patty and I went around our neighborhood for a while, then we had a great idea, the 12-plexes on the other side of Highway 100 (I-694 now). It was only about a mile away, and if my mom would drive us, we could really clean up with the candy. Sure enough, we convinced her, so she took us down to 53rd & 3rd, to what is now called the “Northeast Villas.” It was a complex of apartments with almost a 100 units within about a block and a half covering both sides of the street. Trick-or-Treating there was a great experience and made for the “Best-est” Halloween ever.