The air is crisp, the leaves are falling from the trees and in Montana we usually have snow on the ground by the time Halloween rolls around. Unfortunately, not all children will have the opportunity to go trick or treating around the neighborhood or in a neighboring town like my sisters and I got to do. We lived in a small town named Ledger. The population at the time was twelve people, there were six people in our family so that tells you there were only three houses we got to go trick or treating at, after we hit every house there, our folks would drive us twenty-five miles down the road to Conrad. Our Grandparents Egan lived there and of course we had to show Grandma our costumes and run the streets in Conrad filling up our pillow cases with all the candy we could score.
Our favorite place to go trick or treating in Ledger was Freda Hall’s store. Her store was one small room with shelves of can goods, bread and cigarettes. She also had milk and soda pop which she kept in the refrigerator in the back where her living quarters were. There was also a large long glass case with three shelves where all the candy was housed. The top self held candy that was priced a penny to five cents, the second shelf was a dime and the bottom shelf held the prized candy bars that sold for a whopping twenty-five cents.
Today most children attend Halloween parties put on by churches, schools or a group of people that are trusted. There has been an unfortunate turn in the tradition of trick or treating by a handful of people who put foreign objects into candy bars, or home made baked goods that could cause serious harm to those who consume those items. I remember when my girls were still of trick or treating age the hospitals would allow you to bring your bootee in and have it x-rayed to make sure that it was still eatable. I’m not sure that they still do that as things have changed vastly since my girls were little. One thing that hasn’t changed is too keep our children safe during this holiday that was designed as a way for the little beggars to get their sugar fix for the next few weeks or until Mom has had her fill of the sugar rushing and tosses it out. Here are a few suggestions from the Consumer Product and Safety Commission:
Halloween Safety In 3 Steps
• Prevent Fires & Burns
~Select flame-retardant materials when buying or making costumes and accessories.
~Choose battery operated candles and lights in-stead of open flame candles.
• See & Be Seen
~Trim costumes and outerwear in reflective tape.
~Carry flashlights or glow sticks when trick-or-treating after dusk.
• Fit for Safety
~Adjust costumes to ensure a good fit. Long skirts or capes can drag on the ground and cause falls.
~Secure hats, scarves and masks to ensure adequate visibility and ventilation