A Very Hyde Park Halloween

I had forgotten how much fun trick-or-treat is. For the past fifteen Halloweens, I've handed out candy, or I've gotten dressed to the nines and gone to a party, or, on a couple of occasions, we've hosted a party at our house, staying indoors and ignoring the sounds of wee revelers on the street.

Yesterday was a crappy day (more on this later in the week). When I headed home, shortly after 5, Hyde Park's streets were already beginning to fill with chitlins in costume and, though we had agreed not to take S this year (it would be late, and chilly, and she'd been to two Halloween parties, eaten through one costume (not a joke), and seemed, quite generally, to not get it), I found myself stepping (carefully) on the gas, having changed my mind when faced with the sheer fun of it all.

I slipped her into her costume and changed my own clothes, strapped her in a carrier and we went out to join our neighbors. B was a Blackhawk. S was a cat and I a burglar. Thus, a cat burglar. (I love a joke...a friend put a silly hat on her 3-month-old, strapped lion slippers to her feet and called her a Dandy-lion. Bwahahaha!)

We trick-or-treated along our block and then high-tailed it to Harper, where I'd heard it can get so crowded it's difficult to walk. And lo and behold! Difficult to walk! We saw tons of our Hyde Park friends and neighbors, got oodles of candy (only from the houses without lines), and wondered at the giant chicken blocking the street (if anyone can explain this to me, I will be eternally grateful...I'd like to be on the inside of this joke!). It was a blast. Monsters, lots of bees, several Alices and Raggedy Anns (I had no idea Raggedy Ann was back!), zillions of chitlins and their happy, dazed parents.

S's eyes were big under her kitty hood, and she sucked for a minute on a Butterfinger mini. By the time we made it home at half past 7, she was ready to conk out, her first trick-or-treat a resounding success. I repeat: it was a blast. It's easy to get overwhelmed, or distracted at the very least, by the harder parts of parenting. Last night was a good reminder, though, that at the end of the day, it is FUN to be a mom.

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  • A real Hyde Park Halloween would be if Big Ed and Julian Levy arose from the dead and haunted the 5800 block of S. University Avenue, and then their ethereal forms floated down the Midway to the Lab School, where they battled the remnants of the SDS force of ghoulies.

    For that matter, weren't Milton Friedman masks on sale? I forgot, there is no such thing as a free granola bar.

  • Wow, Jack. Hyde Park in the 60's -- love the references.
    And Friedman masks? On SALE? I'm no economist (just a lowly blogger), but I suspect demand would far exceed supply in this neighborhood...I can't imagine Milt would have supported a sale under the circumstances.

  • In reply to Dani Brzozowski:

    No, mid 70s (except maybe SDS, late 60s).

    And Milton, being an economist, of course would have sold them, if there were a demand for them. After all, he was the lead proponent of the free market economy, as well as the negative income tax (the latter of which finally was enacted as the Earned Income Credit). I would assume, though, that many Hyde Parkers would not have bought them in fear of being egged.

    Also, I can testify, based on personal observation, that while there was no such thing as a free lunch, Milton would eat a free dinner (1970 for that one).

  • I like candy.

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