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Nothing says Happy Halloween like a Diamond

I grew up in changing times. I was innocent still when society began to lose it’s innocence. I often think about this around Halloween. I remember going trick-or-treating around my neighborhood trying not to trip in my costume. But as I grew older parents grew more afraid. First my candy was checked over. My Carmel apple was tossed without a thought. Any candy that showed signs of tampering was also nixed. But eventually parents became so worried about children getting candy from strangers times began to change.

My parents told my brother and I we were going to a party at my Aunt and Uncle’s company was throwing. “No trick-or-treating?” I whined in pure agony. When we arrived we dragged our feet. Upset at being forced to go to some stupid party my parents were excited about, it was probably going to be like some boring adult family get together. When we first entered the Roxy it was just as I feared, there were a ton of adults milling about and getting drinks from the bar. No kids. I resigned myself to a night of moping. My mom grabbed my little hand and dragged me out towards the back of the club, as we got nearer to a back door I heard fun. It was a blissful sound that could be heard over the disco of the club. There were children laughing and screaming and was that a horse... Did I hear a horse? We went out back and the first thing I saw was a Farris wheel, I looked around in amazement, there was an entire carnival behind the club. I wondered how I didn’t see or hear it when we came in the front door.

Normally when we would go to carnivals or such events I would love them despite the fact that I wouldn't get to do everything because the rides and games were so expensive. Imagine how insanely happy I was when I found out all the games and rides were free! I could throw darts at the balloons until I won a prize. I rolled the bowling ball over the humps until I finally learned the right amount of force to use to get it to rest in the middle hump, it took me a long time. I never was able to get the three balls in the milk bottle but they gave me the prize anyway.

I rode on all the rides and pet the animals, I didn’t want to ride on the Elephant. I had more fun than I could have imagined. Before we had got here I only imagined what a horrible time I was going to have. But now I had forgotten all about trick-or-treating. My parents were having fun too. At one point my dad totally abandoned me because he became too excited, so I had to content myself talking to the man in line in front of me. He was nice but I think I bothered him because he left line after a minute. When my dad returned he had my mom in tow, they were both excited. “Where did he go?” my dad asked me. “Do you know who that was?” I probably shrugged to answer both questions. “That was Neil Diamond, you know the singer you mom loves.”

It wasn’t until years latter I realized why my parents were having so much fun at the carnival, my aunt and uncle were sound engineers at A&M Records. They were having fun playing spot the celebrity and were having a very successful night of it.

Diamonds And Pearls - Prince - The Hits 1


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 31st, 2005 07:48 pm (UTC)
Wow. How cool.

I'm old enough that we didn't have the fear that parents do now. We would go out. No adults with us. Collecting all the candy we could. My mom would take our bags for safe keeping. But in all reality she was taking our bags to get the best candies for herself.

That kind of thing happened in our family a lot. The adults doing what was best.

My Great Aunt Edna would bring a watermelon to our house for us kids. She would slice it in quarters. Then slice the center out. You know. The part that was the sweetest and had no seeds. That was for her. We got the rind and seedy part. For years I though watermelon was greenish colored.

Oh, How we loved our Aunt.

She also use to bring us boxes of chocolates. What was inside were all the left overs. Meaning some were missing and what was there all had the bottoms pushed in. This was because she would check to see what was inside this way. If she liked what was inside. She ate it.
If not. She put the deformed chocolate back in the box. From above they looked fine. To us it didn't matter.

Good ole' Aunt Edna. You had to love her.


Oct. 31st, 2005 08:09 pm (UTC)
I think I did all my trick-or-treating in the 50s. Talk about innocence. Egads. Plus, ours was a really small town.
Oct. 31st, 2005 09:53 pm (UTC)
Before the first razor-blade
Yeah, me too. Early 50's. We lived on a quiet street in East L.A. and everyone went-trick-or-treating with giant bags for the goodies and few, if any, chaperones. Nearly everyone gave candy and treats (very few humbugs) and so the haul was gigantic.

One year stands out in my mind because my grandmother bought me a Lassie costume (gawd). It was a full-body flannel dog suit that zipped up in the back, and was topped off by a big collie mask. The "paws" had no fingers and it was bloody HOT inside that thing. I've hated masks ever since. I spent most of the time with the plastic mask up on my forehead and only pulled it down when I went up to someone's door to yell "trick-or-treat!"

The scariest thing I remember was this old woman everyone was afraid of (I was only 5-6 years old) about one block down from our house. One Halloween she got a bunch of mannequin parts and painted them up as gory and realistic-looking as she could. She piled up some "severed" arms and legs near the porch stairs in the front of her house (in those days everybody had a big porch). She had several full-sized heads and some baby-sized heads that were hollow inside, and she piled them all in a basket on her porch with bloody smears on them and empty eye sockets.

All of this scared the crap out of every kid in the neighborhood. Of course, we thought they were real heads and we spent an hour or more in front of her house daring each other to go up on the porch (past the arms and legs), and put our fingers in the eye sockets of one of the heads in the basket. I got so scared when I tried it I nearly barfed.

Must have been great for her. She was probably watching from the window, and she didn't have to give out any candy because we were all too terrified to knock on her door!
Nov. 2nd, 2005 04:54 pm (UTC)
Re: Before the first razor-blade
That's a great story! What an imagination she must have had.

I wonder if she thought she'd get more trick-or-treaters that way, or less?

Lassie. Heh.
Nov. 1st, 2005 12:26 am (UTC)
Sounds like an awesome time! I've never gone trick or teating myself. My mom was way too scared for that. We went to the mall for candy a few times, but eventually she just satrted to buy us our own candy and we would stay in on Halloweena and do our own things.
Nov. 2nd, 2005 04:51 pm (UTC)
It's good that in those times of loss of innocence, parents were looking for ways to let their kids enjoy themselves safely. In Ireland around the same time, Hallowe'en turned sour. It became my mother's dread night in the year, with all the eggings of houses, pets going missing, fires being started and kids getting preyed upon. Unfortunately, no one had such a cool idea for alternative entertainment as the organizers of the carnival you were at.

Awesome icon for a Neil Diamond-mentioning post. I love it.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )