Amblin' Alameda: Trick or treat

Amblin' Alameda: Trick or treat

Morton Chalfy

Halloween fell on the San Francisco Giants' World Series Celebration Day this year and is scheduled to do so again in 2016, according to the San Francisco Bay Area Calendar of Events. For once, the Gods of Rain took care of the little guys - that is, the wet stuff fell on the parade, to nobody's dismay since the heat of celebration evaporated the water almost as it fell. They held off on the trick or treaters - at least in our area, though the kids in the valley seem to have been affected.

We live on a quiet street with a house at the corner that goes all-out for Halloween with ghosts, goblins, gravestones, skeletons, creaky noises and huge spiders and webs. This display naturally draws crowds of families, kids in costumes and makeup and parents carrying toddlers who wore out after the first few blocks. Some of the kids are so full of energy they run up and down stairs and sing out "trick or treat: as they scamper.

We especially like the littlest ones who are just getting the idea with some prompting from mom, "What do you say?" being the most usual cue. "Thank you" then floats up from the departing youngster. In general, the kids have better manners than today's semi-grown ups, using "thank you" instead of "no problem" and "please" instead of "What'll you guys have?"

Armed with the knowledge painfully gained during Halloweens past, we gave out only items that we wouldn't ourselves eat: bubble gum mainly. At the last minute we bought and distributed chocolates, not wanting to give the littlest ones gum. Often we would ask the parents if they would like some gum and invariably, they would.

Cuteness abounds on Halloween, but my favorite was the little girl, perhaps just four years old, who, in reply to "Oh look, Batman," said, "No, I'm Cat Woman" with such charm and gentle admonishment that we could feel no rancor. She introduced her little sister, who was riding in her mother's arms: "She's Captain America." And so she was, and in a tutu at that. Very fitting for the Bay Area.

There are yearly grumblings about "those people (unspecified) who bring their kids here from Oakland or wherever," by whatever the proper name for a Halloween Grinch is. To them I say that all children are our children wherever they come from, and if your heart is too small to welcome them in you can feel free to place a checkpoint before your door and look at IDs before giving out candy. At least that would identify the Waste of Time houses on the route and let the kids get on with having fun with those who appreciate them.

Halloween is a particularly American holiday and a family oriented one at that. The streets were alive for a few hours after dusk with the young families of our area, and at least on our block, a good time was had by all.


Submitted by luczai (not verified) on Tue, Nov 4, 2014

I think the checkpoint houses are all on Harbor Bay. Not only do you need an ID, you need to know the security code ;).