Again the hovering question appears - how were we seeded with identical programming? Signalled irretrevablely in shared choice of bed sheets (Crate & Barrel discounted blue & white lol) today's substack offers more signs:

This is at the top of the list - you've nailed the highlight of Hallowe'en for me too:

… being able to peer past people’s foyers to see the inside of their homes after they answered their front doors. For a Cancer kid, this stealth view into how people decorated their living rooms was thrilling.

Agree 100% with ...

- There was an exhilarating gap between parents and kids back then, a private space that maintained the sovereignty of both groups—something I no longer witness with my friends who have kids now.

Adding: to the absolute curtailing of maturation of both.

- How do kids extricate themselves successfully from the hovering presence of adults today?

- Kids should be left to their own devices (and imagination) on Halloween

- to familiarize themselves with life’s horrors and the frightening modes life might assume to show itself as something unpredictable and feral

- return to Halloween’s initiatory potency to wandering, untethered kids, allowing the subversive images that Halloween conjures to seep deep into their child-bones.

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Terrific description of passed and present way of parenting. I laughed so hard, great writing ;)

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Oct 31Liked by Frederick Woodruff

I love your mom!

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My mother used to tell me to go play on the freeway too😂 My childhood was mostly in 70s, but we still ran the neighborhood. 🎃

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Nov 2Liked by Frederick Woodruff

Mid-century childhoods, so very well observed in this piece. I'd like to say the world was more innocent then, but that's simply because I remember it through the eyes of innocence, as a boy who made out like a bandit on Halloween. And when Halloween fell on a weekend, I would work the houses for two days with my open bag and costume.

Later in my teen years, when we were too old to go begging and we had Halloween parties instead, I, of course, was always the beatnik, with a beret, a coal-drawn beard, and a cigarette holder that I now realize was more Auntie Mame than Maynard G. Krebbs.

The world was no more innocent than it is today, but we are more aware of the Norman Bates that may live next door. We no longer glaze with sugar the picture of American family life. We are shaken by 24/7 news. We live in Tabloid Times. So parents accompany their children on the Witches' Night, or have block parties where all the neighbors are known.

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Yes, exactly. Is this in part responsible for the mass narcissism of the age??

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