Friday, November 3, 2017

Sepia Saturday: Tricks and Treats

Sepia Saturday challenges bloggers to share family history through old photographs.

This week’s Sepia Saturday photo celebrates Halloween. As much as I enjoyed dressing as a gypsy for Halloween as a child (year after year, I might add), there are no photos to remind me of the fun I had Trick-or-Treating. Soaping windows and pulling pranks were not part of my youth. The emphasis was always on the TREATS. A full evening of walking the streets and ringing doorbells was rewarded with a bag full of candy corn, Mary Janes, cheap lollipops, jawbreakers, and Tootsie Roll pops if we were lucky.

When I was too old to go Trick-or-Treating, I manned the front door and dispensed sugary goodness to the neighborhood ghosts, witches, and clowns. In the 1960s, teens were fairly obedient regarding the Halloween no-one-over-12 rule. Oh, a few might have squeaked by at 13, but those of us manning the doors were not often taken for fools by an over-aged ghoul or hobo. So I knew to be suspicious when these two came to the door.
Halloween about 1966 Lucille Rucker Davis and Barbara Davis Shifflett
Halloween 1966
Hmm, they are awfully tall, I thought to myself as I looked at them at eye-level. Must be their last year of trick-or-treating. But they lingered at the door much too long -- just long enough for me to notice the dress the girl on the right was wearing. 

I had seen that dress before.

It was my grandmother’s dress!
Lucille and Orvin Davis, Mary Jollette and Wendy Slade August 1959
My grandparents Lucille Rucker Davis and Orvin Davis
My baby sister Mary Jollette and me
August 1959

The trick-or-treaters were none other than my grandmother Lucille Rucker Davis and my cousin Bobbie who was living with her while attending college. The two of them were quite proud of themselves for fooling a few of our close neighbors before trying this stunt on me. I had to admit, those masks were really good!

(By the way, the trick-or-treaters left to right were my grandmother and my cousin wearing Grandma's dress.)

For more tricks and treats, please make your way to Sepia Saturday.

© 2017, Wendy Mathias.  All rights reserved.


  1. How fun that they tricked you -- for a while.

  2. Too bad you missed out on soaping windows and pranks -- the children in my neighborhood waited all year to misbehave for Halloween :-) One of our favorites was ringing the doorbell and running to hide. Of course the parents on our block were less than thrilled. Great photos of your Grandmother in and out of costume :-)

  3. How fun - your grandmother's cool trick! And I, too, remember the days when trick-or-treating was for those 12 and under. No longer, though. Not in our neighborhood, anyway. Teen trick-or-treaters are a normal sight here. Some of the parents with younger kidlets even dress up, but don't beg for candy. At least not from us. Maybe from their kids after they get home? :)

  4. Your grandmother sounds great fun!

  5. I was always cautious of teens who roamed in groups (little gangs?) and rang doorbells. We hid the trash can in the garage if we could, because taht was a favorite trick, tumping it upside down. Sometimes someone's tree would get "papered" with toilet paper. But I'd much prefer the teens doing these harmless pranks and being part of the community of fun than going off to do drugs or other dangerous things. Now nobody goes door to door, so anyone strolling along is suspicious!

  6. Pretty Scary! In our neighborhood this week there seemed to be just as many adults in costumes as there were children. Still we only got less than 20 kids and none with homemade costumes like your grandmother's.

  7. That's hysterical! My 11 year old grandson is about 5'6" (he towers over me) and tried desperately to trick-or-treat with his younger cousins but finally had to give up because he said he felt too old due to his height. Good thing they had lots of leftover candy at their house so he could fill up his bag!

  8. That is a great story! I was a gypsy for a few years as well as a kid; wearing a great skirt of my mothers, with her scarves and hoop earrings and sandals that she spray painted gold for me.