A new-fangled, old-time Halloween

Published 12:00 am Saturday, November 3, 2007

For people of a certain age, Halloween trick-or-treating was a simple act: Kids dressed in costumes and walked door to door to houses in the neighborhood, where familiar faces would drop goodies into a bag of some kind.

Those kids would return home to inventory the bag’s contents. How many crappy treats were in the bag? Trade you this for that. How much change did you get?

The “trick” in the trick-or-treat rarely came into play.

But then “trick-or-treaters” got older and tricks increased. And then some neighbors got meaner and unpredictable, slipping dangerous items in the trick-or-treat bags.

It became unsafe to go door-to-door of people we didn’t know.

Still is.

So we adapted.

Communities became the host of controlled territories of treat-or-treat parties, where the neighbors were known and could be trusted.

Wednesday provided another community-minded trick-or-treat opportunity. It was held in downtown Franklin. Streets on Wednesday evening were blocked of incoming traffic (except for the CSX train that still had the right-of-way at the south end of town).

Kids and their parents and/or guardians walked a circle of the downtown area collecting a bounty of goodies from store-owners or their candy-dealers.

Either way, kids dressed as their favorite super heroes, storybook characters or goblins — and some parents did, too — arrived and collected their take.

It was safe, plentiful. A rite of passage.

It was, in a different sense of the word, another community Halloween night.