The Star-Herald

Tricks, treats no more

Halloween has come and gone and for the first time in 16 years, there were no tricks or treats in our household this year. Sadly, our daughters have officially reached the “too cool for that sort of thing” stage in their lives.

It was bound to happen sooner or later, and I should probably be happy that we no longer have to walk what seems to be the distance of the Appalachian Trail in our pursuit of all things candy.  But it still felt like a kick to the gut.

It was just another sign that my “little” girls are not so little anymore and are actually much closer to “young women.” The fact that this is happening is both rewarding and terrifying at the same time, which I suppose plays perfectly with the theme of Halloween now that I think about it.

Halloween has always been a close second to Christmas on my list of favorite holidays. I love the decorations and feeling of nostalgia that it brings. Watching my children experience the holidays when they were little was an opportunity for me to feel young all over again.

Selecting just the right costume was the highlight of my younger days and half of the fun was trying to figure out who was who underneath all the outfits.

I can still vividly recall one of my very first costumes. I desperately wanted to be Spiderman because I was enamored with the animated show that was on the air back in the day. Besides what young boy of 5 or 6 years of age would not want to dress up as a superhero?

But back then, our choices were limited to whatever was available in local stores, which were Woolworth (later Ames), Brooks Pharmacy and LaVerdiere’s Super Drug Store in southern Aroostook County.

Today, I suppose it could be argued that it is even more difficult because a child (or adult for that matter) has a full array of costumes available at the click of a mouse online and a massive “popup” Halloween store in Bangor with every possible outfit in the world to choose from.

So what did I wind up with for a costume that fateful year? Fred Flintstone. Of course, it came complete with one of those lovely 1970s plastic masks that filled with sweat and condensation from breathing. And then there were those lovely vinyl outfits that smelled like a new swimming pool that you somehow had to finagle over your head. It proved tricky some years when we had to bundle up in snowsuits because of the weather.

I suppose it could have been worse. In hindsight I was thankful that my mother did not dress me up like a cute little lion or clown in a homemade costume. Besides, a few years later I did get that Spiderman costume, and I think I wore it for a couple of years until I discovered the epic awesomeness of Star Wars characters.

Joseph Cyr is the assistant editor/senior reporter for The Star-Herald, Aroostook Republican, Houlton Pioneer Times and St. John Valley Times, plus the websites TheCounty.ME and He can be reached at (207) 532-2281 or via email at

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