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Every year this time I get really nostalgic. Being the "normal challenged artist" that I am, Halloween was always my favorite holiday. I loved the chance to dress up and turn myself into someone or something different. I loved the smell of fall in the air, that light crispness that just hints at the cold to come. I loved the colors of the fall leaves and the ground covered in the warm colors of mustard, rust, burgundy, and shades of green giving way to warm yellows and browns. I loved jumping in the piles of those leaves. And I loved Trick or Treating and the free sacks of candy!

Yes, I said sacks! I was a little pig filled with a truck load of energy just itching to run door to door and I had parents who would drive me to the "rich" neighborhoods where the good treats were! We were given pillow cases to hold our goodies, not the cute little pumpkins or holiday themed buckets kids tote around today. I don't think it was because my parents expected us to fill them up, it was simply an inexpensive and durable method of dragging candy around for several hours. But I saw it as a challenge to fill that pillow case up to the top with every imaginable type of sugar! I never made my goal of a "pillow case overflowing", but I mostly came home with a respectable haul of half a pillow. I would then spend the next few days sorting through my booty, trading with my siblings and stuffing myself sick until my booty was taken away by my mother to be doled out in proper doses.

I have wonderful memories of many past Halloweens and at this time of year I would wish myself young again so I could recapture the magic of Trick or Treating in the late fifties. But even if I could go back in age there is no going back in time. The world has moved on and has become the big monster that I used to dress up as. It is not safe to allow children to run rampant in our own neighborhoods because there is the very real possibility of a true life boogyman lurking behind one of those spooky doors. There very well could be a scary clown waiting to grab an innocent Trick or Treater or a Freddy Kruger lurking behind the fence.

The sad fact is the children of this day and age will never experience the innocent thrills of Trick or Treating the way it was. They will never be able to run through the night pretending to be a fairy princess or a pirate or a ghost, scaring themselves silly at every shadow that looms over them or any stray sound that sounds like a Wolfman howling at the moon. They are limited to sedately walking through a mall going from store to store with their teeny little pumpkin baskets, or attending a party that is chaperoned by adults who are too far from their own childhood to even toss on a simple costume.

There are no more cries of "Trick or Treat" on All Hallow's Eve echoing through the darkness. There is no doorbell ringing and a group of goblins and ghoulies waiting to plunge their little hands into a bowl of ghostly delights. There aren't any tiny little fairy princesses too scared to come up on the doorstep and the brave, brash pirates of days gone by have sailed off into the ocean of nights past. For most of us now Halloween is just the last day of October and not the magical doorway to excitement and adventure of a safer era. It's just a crying shame.

Please join me with a "Devil's In the Details" martini to toast the days gone by of Tricks, Treats and Scary Creeps and Goblins all in a row. . . . . Cheers to you, Boo!