MY FAVORITE HALLOWEEN MEMORY ... 1958
When Halloween arrived in 1958 I was a young bride living on West 75th St., in New York City. We had been in our "railroad" style apartment for two months and I couldn't remember seeing any young children there. We were on the 6th floor which we reached via a dark and rickety elevator. This was basically a building of small apartments occupied by singles, gay couples and the elderly.
With these thoughts in mind I didn't even consider the idea of providing for "trick and treaters". My husband agreed and even felt more strongly than I that it would be a bad idea. "No mother in her right mind would bring a kid up that elevator", he said, "and, besides, we can't afford to be spending money on a lot of junk food for a bunch of snotty-nosed tots that we don't even know and probably wouldn't care to."
"Well", I thought, "he's in a fine mood", and I went to the kitchen to start dinner. He was still in a foul humor at suppertime and it was apparent that his day had gone from bad to worse. When the doorbell rang he threw down his napkin in disgust. "I can't even get a few minutes of peace in my own house", he growled as he headed down our long hallway to the door. I heard it open and then... a profound silence. I waited a minute and then went to see if I could help.
I will never forget what I saw. There was my husband crouched down so that he was on eye level with a tiny imp dressed in a tiger costume. They were having a conversation and the little boy kept nodding his head and smiling. Then Dick reached in his pocket and I saw him put all his loose change into the Halloween bag that the child was carrying.
I quietly returned to the table and was sitting there when Dick came back. He was looking a little sheepish but he didn't give me an explanation. He said that he "had a little business to attend to" and that he'd be right back and he was out the door in a flash.
When he returned he had two bags filled with goodies. It was then that he told me about the conversation with the little boy. Dick had given him his change so that he could buy what he wanted, but he'd promised him that he would get some candy to have on hand for the rest of the "trick and treaters".
We found a bowl for the candy and then put it on a small end table near the front door. We even decorated the outside of the door to make it look friendly and then we sat back and waited.
Yes, you guessed it. Not a soul appeared. Our little Halloween tiger had been our only taker. "It's strange," said Dick, "I don't remember a grown up being with that little boy. You don't suppose........"