Today, as if you didn't know, is Halloween, or All Hallows' Eve. Yeah, hate to suck all the fun out of the room by sounding like an advisory from the American Dental Association but this all got started as something other than a novena to Our Lady of the Popcorn Balls and Jawbreakers.
What I've never understood is how we managed to add the boxcars of candy to this (in the manner similar to Easter originally being the Resurrection of Christianity's Jesus and now it's about the Cadbury Bunny) and nearly as puzzling would have to be how it evolved into an excuse for adult masquerade balls.
I remember one year a lifetime ago when my father created a 'walking bomb-shelter' costume for me (I was born during the reign of Eisenhower the Wise and grew up in Camelot and old in Great Society) which looked very much like a cardboard outhouse because of my father's artistic ability bordering on disability.
I hated the thing but wore it in the costume parade that was staged for all the students of the Saint Peter's (sic) School in New Brunswick (all gone now) with spectators lining the sidewalks to watch and wave to us (and we waved back).
I can still see the silhouette of Sister Immaculata at her office window, lips pursed and visage darkening as I trooped on, turning the corner into the home stretch. She dropped into our basement classroom moments later to tell me in no uncertain terms, "your father must think he's very funny, Master Kenny."
And not knowing sardonic wit when I heard it, then or now, I replied eagerly, 'my dad knows he's very funny!' which somehow earned me an hour's detention after school and a very long walk home to ponder over what I had said or done. Many years later it struck me that the clue I had missed was the bubbling cauldron.