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Carol Perkins: Volunteering for Trunk or Treat in Edmonton

An estimated 1,000 people came by her church's table. It was a far time from 50 years ago when there was so much "meanness" associated with Halloween. She doesn't miss that, but she does miss the neighborhood kids stopping by the house to get the candy Guy bought, just in case . . . and again this year, none did, which means she'll have to help him dispose of it.
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Next earlier column: Carol Perkins: I'm a victim of mass marketing

By Carol Perkins

For the first time, I volunteered to help with Trunk or Treat in Edmonton. My church gave water and blow pops to the sweet little kids in their precious costumes. Some looked at me slightly disappointed when I put water into their bags, but I told them they could go home and make Kool-Aid. What amazed me most about the night was the number of people in town.

We set up in front of Sharon Howard's law office across from the Justice Center, and as far as the eye could see down the street and up and beyond the Edmonton State Bank were Trick or Treaters. An estimated 1,000 people came by our table in the first hour and a half.

Honestly, this is a wonderful way to keep kids safe and provide them with treats and much easier on parents, but it seemed so mechanical. No knocking on the door and someone opening it with a surprised looked that thrilled the kids who yelled, "Trick or Treat."

No pretending NOT to know who was behind the mask and the residents jumping back in disbelief when the little ones lifted the cover to show their sweet faces. No reaching into a bowl for their treats with their parents reminding them not to take too much. Those were the days when my kids were little.

These kids won't know the difference. As I handed out water, I looked down the street at the tight, slow-moving line and thought about how safe I felt considering what happened in New York that day. Our police were visible and some standing in the middle of town directing traffic, which could have been a danger to them. No "loose" vehicle was going to mow anyone down. It is sad that I would even think of that possibility.

I'm not saying that Halloween has always been a safe time in Edmonton or our community. Fifty years ago, no youngster would be out after dark because so much "meanness." The antics back then were more of egg throwing, pumpkin tossing, and window soaping. No one set out to hurt anyone else; just give them a fright. Terrorizing people was putting their porch chairs on their roof or burning a sack of manure on their porch.

Again this year, Guy bought candy in hopes a child would knock on our door. Again this year, no one came. Again this year, he will eat the candy and justify buying it because if a child came we wouldn't want to be empty handed. We would give him/her a Snicker's bar and a package of M&M's. I guess I'll have to help him dispose of his Halloween candy...again this year.

This story was posted on 2017-11-02 15:44:56
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