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Weston County Gazette of Upton, Wyoming

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The Day After Halloween

It was the day after the second favorite day for the Ewing Street Gang. Halloween, that one day of the year when begging was not only allowed, but encouraged. Most young people our age, we were in the early days of junior high, like 5th grade, would simply take a bag and go house to house, getting whatever candy was offered. But not the Ewing Street Gang. No, we had a system and it worked pretty darned good. The President, Nancy, would call a meeting. We used the old fashion system of communication: we talked to each other and let the word out that a meeting was taking place in Nancy's basement. For Bob Mitchell, we had to use the telephone, since he was the only member of the gang that didn't live close to Ewing Street and it was a good half hour walk to his house.

Anyway, we all knew what the meeting was about. We would come up with the strategy to get all the best goodies in town. Surprisingly, we were more interested in the finer treats rather than just candy. We preferred to get our sugar overdose through cookies and such. I must admit that we were profilers. A rather dirty word these days, but we meant no harm and only used the tactic to help make a clear plan to get the best on this special night.

First, we all made a list of people we needed to visit and what delectable offering they would have, based on past years. We did not forget such an important thing. We probably didn't know that we were actually picking on people based on marital status and religion.

Before you go all political on me, let me explain. The women who had moved into town from the farm were exceptional goodie-makers. Some were married, while others were widows, but all had a propensity to like young people. It was no accident that we loved going to the houses of Lutherans. Those women were mostly German, or Scandinavian, or such, and they knew about as much about cooking as one could imagine. So there you have it, profiling, and it worked like a charm!

We planned to go to all the houses we had listed, but not at random. No, that would not do. You see, we had to go to Mrs. Ireland's house first because she always had warm chocolate chip cookies. Next, we would go to Mrs. Blincow's house because she would give us all a cup of hot chocolate. We could then sit on her porch and eat the cookies while we drank the hot chocolate. Smart? Yes! Then, we would go down the street and visit Mrs. Cowan, who made the greatest sugar cookies in the world. More than once when some of the Ewing Street Gang would clear her sidewalk of snow, we would end up in her warm kitchen for a glass of cold milk and a couple of warm sugar cookies. And they were big too! Mrs. Pettygrove was next and she would have snickerdoodles for us; at least two for each of us. Mrs. Baker, the Lutheran minister's wife, would wow us with lemon bars. Mrs. Askey was a master at making those warm apple turnovers. Mrs. Johnson, who was a Catholic, but a good baker anyway, would give us each a piece of chocolate cake. The cake would be wrapped in plastic wrap to preserve the frosting. How thoughtful of her and we would not forget it. Finally, Mrs. Sullivan would be our last visit. She would have warm, gooey, soft, covered with glaze, real homemade cinnamon rolls. Well, we ate as soon as our night was over, usually together for a short time, but the day after was spent individually, tasting the goodness of the night before in the privacy of our own homes. It was glorious, and that was how you spent Halloween. No wrapped candy, no gumballs or suckers, no candy bars, no bubblegum, just the homemade epicurean delights of some of the finest women God put on this earth.

Copyright 2015 Weston County Gazette, Upton, Wyoming. All Rights Reserved. This content, including derivations, may not be stored or distributed in any manner, disseminated, published, broadcast, rewritten or reproduced without express, written consent from SmallTownPapers, Inc.

Original Publication Date: November 5, 2015

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