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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
DonD Folklore: Odd custom in 'Meet Me in St. Louis' (48) RE: Folklore: Odd custom in 'Meet Me in St. Louis' 17 Dec 07

You just brought back the memory of my childood in The Bronx. Halloween was rarely an occasion to Trick or Treat for candy. I can't remember going door-to-door. What we did do was 'molest' each other in the streets after dark; bedtime was later than usual that night with a corresponding permission to be out roving the neighborhood into the evening.

The weapons of choice were sticks of sidewalk chalk to mark each other's clothes, and better than that, a sock filled with flour and knotted, to be used as a flail. When swung and smacked against a friend or rival's coat it left a gratifying large white mark and a cloud of dust. Rather than costumes or disguises, the apparel of choice was the oldest coat or sweater one had, with the expectation that it would end up the worse for wear that night.

We were about ten to twelve back in the late 30's. The Depression was still affecting our lives, and I suspect the half cup of flour we begged from our mothers was a meaningful sacrifice.

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