Joey loved Halloween. When we were kids in the ’50s, my little brother could not wait to get home, sort his candy into piles and eat all his favorites first.
When he was 8, he had to miss trick-or-treating because of a high fever. He pleaded with our mom for hours until he gave her a headache and was sent to his room in tears.
I went around the neighborhood with two bags, asking for treats for my brother who was home sick. The neighbors were very generous. But he didn’t feel well enough to do his sorting and eating routine until the following weekend.
The next year Joey had two costumes ready: the pirate with an eye patch and a plastic sword he was supposed to have worn the year before, and the new cowboy costume complete with boots and Lone Ranger six-guns he’d gotten for his birthday. He was counting the days. But he came down with the flu and couldn’t stand, never mind dress up and go out into the frigid New York night.
I went around with his sack and mine, and everyone said, “Not again!” They poured goodies and change into Joey’s bag, telling me, “He can buy what he likes when he gets better.”
He had a sack full of candy and two dollars in change, but Joey wasn’t happy.
When October came around again, Joey was ready. He had three unused costumes waiting to be worn and he was a boy on a mission. My parents had already decided they had to let him go trick-or-treating no matter what.
Halloween fell on a Saturday that year, which gave Joey the chance to rest up so he could stay out late. He was the first one out and the last one home. When his bag got heavy he came home, changed his costume and started over again and again. Joey was determined to make up for lost time. That night he was having the Halloween of his life.
When Joey, in his new Superman outfit, finally trudged in for the last time and saw his three bags of goodies waiting for the sorting, he hugged them and burst into tears of joy.
Joey had won his battle with Halloween.