Where you live makes a difference on Halloween

Dennis Warden

When Connie and I moved back to Owensville in 1987, we lived in an apartment for one year while we built our “dream house.” I don’t want you to get the wrong impression. We did not have enough money to build our dream house. So it took over 15 years to finish it.

Actually it’s not finished yet. When we drew up the plans for the house it included a built-in bookshelf. That’s still on our to do list. But then again, as any homeowner knows you are never really finished.

When we moved into the house, if you opened up the back door on the main level your first step would have been 15 feet to the ground. We also did without other small luxuries including interior doors, wood trim, carpeting and landscaping to name a few.

We love where we live. It’s in town with city water and sewer surrounded by beautiful oak and hickory trees on a little over 2.5 acres.

It also has it’s disadvantages, especially around Halloween. The problem is our house is 50 feet from the road and around 250 feet from the front doors on either side of us.

As anyone knows, who has small children of trick-or-treating age, it’s all about efficiency. You want to drive to a nice neighborhood with good front doors that are close together. Then you can walk to several homes with your kids, get lots of candy and return to your vehicle with a minimal amount of effort.

Years ago when Connie taught third grade we saw our fair share of visitors on Halloween, many being her students. Others were little ones of our friends.

Our friends’ kids are all grown up and of course Connie has not been in third grade since 2002.

So our door is seldom visited on Halloween.

Then a few years ago a new gig came to town called trunk-or-treating. Originally started by church groups, trunk-or-treating was a way of providing a safer environment for trick-or-treaters on Halloween.

Now instead of the kids coming to us, we go to them with a decorated trunk where we get to see dozens of different and imaginative costumes.

This year, trunk-or-treating season started on Oct. 19 at Memorial Park in Owensville. Connie and I set up one of the newspaper’s vans. She handed out candy, I took the photos.

This event, organized by the elementary parents and teachers organization included music, games, an antique hearse and of course a costume contest.  

We enjoyed watching one young man in a sumo wrestler costume dancing to the music. It was amazing how many had their costumes ready 12 days before Halloween.

When our own kids were of age, we were usually working frantically on costumes the night before the school’s Halloween party, let alone almost two weeks before Oct. 31.

We next set up our trunk in Gerald for their annual trunk-or-treat on Oct. 27. Theirs is possibly the oldest one in our area going back to 2013.

I almost forgot, on the way to Gerald we stopped for a wonderful fish sandwich at a trunk-or-treat in Rosebud and took a few pictures.

The Gerald event included a haunted hayride, barrel rides and more for kids all organized and run by the Gerald Chamber of Commerce. 

At that event a young boy from Bland had, what I thought, was the best costume of the year. He was dressed up as a kissing booth. Parents spend so much more time on their kids’ costumes. But I have an excuse. We didn’t have the internet or Pinterest to help us.

On Halloween night we had to split up to cover three different trunk events. Jacob was in Vienna, Connie in Linn, while I worked a trunk in Belle.

At Linn, Connie was impressed with the number of adults who took the time to coordinate costumes with their kids. Also there were several canines in costume. Some costumes that stood out were a mother and baby bird and one little girl dressed as a pineapple.

In Vienna, the owners of Checos dressed up as the Tin Man, the Lion and the Scarecrow from the Wizard of Oz. Jacob saw a herd of deer — the FFA — handing out candy and a dog dressed up as Wonder Woman.

The Belle event included music, free food and drinks. The costume duo that was my favorite in Belle were two little replicas of Mike Myers and Dana Carvey from the movie Wayne’s World. 

Five trunk-or-treat events: Cost for candy — $285. Time spent at trunk-or-treats — over 15 hours. Excitement seen in little kids’ eyes — priceless.