Before moving to Yorktown Heights many years ago, we lived in a five-story apartment building in White Plains. On Halloween there was a bustle of activity getting them ready for the big night. The kids didn’t have to go outside to get their goodies; this was a prime location with built-in customers—and a safe and secure one! Carrying old pillow cases the boys and their buddies started on the fifth floor and thundered their way down the stairs to the first floor—elevators were too slow--loaded with all kinds of good stuff.
One or two parents would stand guard on each floor to keep some semblance of order and nip any mischief-making in the bud.
When they got home, the merry trick-or-treaters rushed into the living room and emptied their pillow cases. There was a flurry of activity sorting out these delectable sweets, and some were quickly devoured before I could play interference.
“Don’t forget, Mom gets the Baby Ruths and Good & Plentys,” one would always yell!
They knew how much I loved these candies. They also remembered that their grandfather had told me as a youngster that the candy bar was named after me! We knew that wasn’t so, but it was fun to hear and part of Dad’s/Grandpa’s legacy. So, there was my pile of Baby Ruths waiting for my tasting pleasure; thrown in were Good & Plentys because licorice was not a favorite with my guys. I’d sit on the floor with them, dole out a few candies to each, and listen to their Halloween stories while together we enjoyed these lip-smacking delights.
Several years ago, I went trick or treating with my three young grandchildren. Maybe you remember that Halloween night? It was after the sudden blizzard which left most neighborhoods without power, and it was cold and damp. We bundled up in coats, scarves and gloves and carried flashlights. My three-year old granddaughter—she will soon be 11--refused to wear a coat or sweater over her princess costume; she insisted on wearing her plastic princess high heels and carrying her scepter. After a “pit stop” with mommy, she returned nice and cozy in a warm jacket, boots and gloves. I marveled at her tenacity and bravery. Me? I was frozen!
A couple of dads and their kids had joined us on our tour. I told one who wore a Batman mask and cape the Baby Ruth story. He especially liked the part about my father telling me the candy bar was named after me. As we were heading home, this young man came over and gave me a Baby Ruth.
“I want your Halloween to be complete, just like your father would,” he said as he hugged me. I was touched by his thoughtfulness and sensitivity.
For the happy memories of my boys and grandchildren and the smiling little faces of kids at my door, Halloween will always be special. And Baby Ruth will reign.