When we moved into our house 14 years ago, the neighbor came over just before Halloween and broke it to us gently that most likely our house would be covered in TP during the night. The neighborhood kids liked to “welcome” the newcomers with a little extra Halloween decorating. I told her not to worry about us, I had a Halloween Insurance policy that would see us safely through the night, and she looked at me like I was nuts.
But what she didn’t know is that I went to the Rhody Burrows School of Halloween. Rhody, bless his heart, was a dear family friend when I was growing up. I even dedicated Something About Emmaline to his memory. He would have loved that con artist heroine of mine, just about as much as he loved Halloween. Long before everyone else started decorating for this hallowed holiday like it was Christmas, Rhody did it up right. He had a full-sized witch that would swoop across his front yard, an ancient axe (brought across the country by one of his pioneer forebears) that would sit in an old stump with “blood” dripping from it and a terrorized carved pumpkin lying at the base. He had bats and spooky music, and dry ice that filled his yard with a ghoulish vapor.
And he had one other thing that made his house unique beyond any other: he always gave out full-sized candy bars. No fun-sized, penny candy for Rhody, no sirree. He gave out the good stuff.
So when my well-meaning neighbor warned me about the neighborhood hoods, I just smiled. I’d already been to Costco and had my own little insurance policy ready. Full-sized candy bars. And when the little ghouls came to our door, the ones I knew were the TP kings, I insisted they take two. “Real candy bars,” they exclaimed, looking at each other in awe.
If I could have read their minds, I think it would have gone like this: Hey, man, I’m not wrecking a good thing by TP’ing this house. And in 14 years, we’ve never been hit. But my well-meaning neighbor has. Twice.
Thanks, Rhody. I miss you like the devil. Especially this time of year.
Speaking of Halloween tricks. When I was a teen I had to take my two youngers sisters out for trick or treating. We went to this one house and the lady looked a list of registered democrats or republicans (I can’t remember which) and she would ask the name of the kids parents. If the parents were not on her list she didn’t give the kid candy. Some poor little kid just cried — I made my little sisters give her a piece of their candy. Apparently my parents names were on the list. Strangest Halloween I’ve seen.
I want to come trick or treating at your house!
Great post, Elizabeth! I’m sure old Rhody is still enjoying Halloween, even more now that he’s in spirit form! So, are you dressing up to hand out candy?
Oh yeah! Full-Sized – good – candy bars are the best Halloween insurance.
I really miss living in a neighborhood that was active on Halloween, maybe I will again someday. Thanks for sharing!
eight years after seing for the first time, with my own eyes, the size of your candies, I’m still under the shock! they are so HUGE oO. The regular size in mt country is half of that… And i’m allways wondering of to finish it… -_-“