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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Hinckley Halloweens

Every year when the leaves change colors and fall off the trees, I think about being a kid and how much I enjoyed Halloween. It is far from being my favorite holiday now but growing up in Hinckley, it was a great day and night to be a little kid.

At Hinckley Elementary we wore our costumes to school on Halloween. Those teachers knew how to make Halloween a cool day. Midmorning, the fifth/sixth grades class started a parade and went through the fifth/fourth grades classroom. These kids then joined the parade and went through the second/third classroom adding those children to the back of the pack. Next it picked up the first/second graders and then finally down to the kindergarten room. After every kid and teacher in the school (which would have been about 70 people) was in line, we traipsed in all our glory, down to Main Street and promenaded for the townsfolk who assembled by the church, post office and store. We waved at our parents and all the old farmers and housewives who would stand on the sidewalk and watch the procession of children dressed in every kind of costume.

I always wanted to be a princess or a fairy or someone beautiful…wishful thinking for the homeliest child in the school. My fifth grade year, my mom used some kind of heavy, old fabric and made me a long, flowing dress. The material was off-white and not very pretty, but she dyed it royal blue which made me very happy. She also made me a crown. I thought it was wonderful; in fact, I wore that same costume again the next year but with wings and a wand.

After our parade, we wound around the block and back to the school from another direction. Then we had a massive party in the gymnasium. The PTA set up ‘fishing’ booths, ring toss, beanbag throw, and darts-at-balloons type games. It was a carnival-type atmosphere and I looked forward to it every year.

THEN, there was the trick-or-treating in the evening. I would meet up with one or more of my school friends and we would go to the non-scary houses in town. We learned there were some houses you just didn’t go to. After a few years, we figured out which homes had the best treats and started planning our route in advance to hit the good ones and skip the places where old bachelors and ornery ladies lived.

The second year I wore my blue-dyed long dress, it snowed and I recall how cold it was as the snow encrusted the bottom six or seven inches of the dress and froze into a ring around my legs. My Mom had tried to convince me to wear my coat, but I figured my wings wouldn’t look right over my coat, so I went without it and regretted it by the time we were a few blocks from home. That was the year I was literally frozen blue. All that snow on my dress caused the dye to run and it colored my skin blue for a few days.

My Mom didn’t believe in kids dressing up or trick-or-treating once they were out of elementary school. Lucky for me, I had a baby brother born the summer after I turned 10 so when he was two or three years old, my Mom let me take him around town to trick or treat. Mom thought I was being such a great sister taking Mark in his adorable little costumes to get candy, but I was totally cashing in because he was so cute, everywhere we went I would get a piece of candy too.

Fun times! I bet Hinckley is still a great trick-or-treating town. I'm pretty sure the old Hinckley Elementary School is haunted; it sure looks it! I wonder if I could borrow someone's sweet little kid on Halloween this year to go visit my old hometown?

1 comment:

Dean and Sheri said...

As soon as I saw the title of this post I was so excited to read it.Seriously. What FUN Halloween memories you have growing up in that sweet small town, Hinckley. And how fortuitous for you to have that baby brother!I would have done the same thing. And just so ya know...I have a hard time buying into that "homeliest kid in school" deal. You are one of the lovliest ladies I know, so I just cannot accept that part of your story.
Happy Halloween to Hinckley's own "Little Faerie Princess".