I loved Halloween when I was a kid. I loved dressing up, running around after dark, carving the Jack-O-Lantern, watching The Great Pumpkin, and the candy. Not so much eating it, but the surprise of what you would get.
I was watching some old CHiPs reruns via Netflix, and their Halloween episode was on. Ponch was handing out candy to the kids, and it reminded me of an incident from when I was a child.
We were never allowed to go off of our street when we were Trick -0r- Treating, but this one year, a couple of the neighbor boys went with us. We went across Irving street and into the trailer park over there. A policeman stopped in his patrol car and said something to us-- I don't remember what. He gave us each a handful of candy and drove off.
I immediately began to unwrap a piece of the candy he'd given me, intending to eat it. The older of the two neighbor boys admonished me, saying I should wait until my mother could check my candy before I ate it.
"It's from a policeman," I said.
"He might not be a real cop," the neighbor boy replied. "He might just be pretending."
But I insisted he was a real cop. He was in a patrol car, after all. I ate my candy anyway, and lived through it.
We headed home after that, and another Halloween came to an end. Soon after, so did the carefree days of childhood. We don't celebrate Halloween any more. "It's a Satanic holiday born of devil worship," or so the claim goes. Nobody thought about that back then. Nobody believed that dressing up and going door to door for candy would lead to clandestine Satan worship. It was a day of fun and tradition.
Sometimes, I miss it.