The third grade class was all abuzz with the excitement of each student wearing their Halloween costume to school! It was cold…unseasonably cold for October the 31st. Also, there was 4 inches of snow on the ground! Snow on Halloween was not so unusual in the early 1960’s. What made the day, even, more special was that the teacher, Mrs. Molinarolo, who had lived in Japan, was dressed as a Japanese Geisha.
Carl, who had of late been referring to himself as, Chet, was dressed in his famous Lost in Space Robot costume, and with his perfect rendition of, ‘That does not compute,’ he was gathering crowds wherever he went!
Billy B. had arrived as Frankenstein…courtesy of his cousin, Gene, who had allowed him to borrow both the full head/mask and the Frankenstein hands. Frankenstein kept proclaiming, ‘smoke good,’ as he carried an unlit cigar that his dad…had left behind.
There was Blackbeard the pirate and Lady and the Tramp and…Snow White with a few of her dwarfs!
The little grade school had the kindest custodian, Mr. Watson, he was a quiet man but he had a lot of wisdom. The class had convinced him to be the King for a Day…and he wore a golden crown and a purple robe…and the third grade students did all of the cleaning at the school…under Mr. Watson’s benevolent supervision.
Mr. Watson was so proud of his son, Bernie, who went on a few years later to become a teacher at the school.
Soon school was dismissed and it was time to engage in Trick or Treating! Billy B. and Carl…or his alias….Chet…began their perusal of the neighborhood. Billy B. was especially proud of his plastic pumpkin collection receptacle! He gleefully announced that. ‘I will collect one millions popcorn balls…tonight,’…but that was simply hyperbole! Although, popcorn balls were a staple of Halloween treats in that day and time.
They knocked on the door of the Cooks home…that was on the corner of West street…where Billy B. lived. The Cooks were known to be the richest people on the block and their brick home belied the fact that they had money. Billy’s mom had told him that she had heard that their home cost 10 thousand dollars…and that was a lot of money in 1963! The door opened and there was the First Lady of the United States, Jaqueline Kennedy, and coming up behind her…was President Kennedy! Mrs. Kennedy was resplendent in a light blue suit and wearing a pill box hat and white gloves. JFK was wearing a dark suit and his wide Kennedy grin! Both were gracious as Billy B. stuttered and said…trick or treat….
The First Lady reached into a plastic pumpkin Halloween container…that was identical to Billy B.’s…and handed them, both, a full size Hershey’s chocolate bar…a Baby Ruth…and a Payday candy bar. As Chet and Billy’s mouths were open wide with astonishment….President Kennedy proclaimed….’Wait just a minute….I think that we have our giant popcorn balls…;and he handed each of the boys….two apiece! Then…Jackie said in a beautiful whisper to Frankenstein and the Lost in Space Robot…’Please do not tell anyone that you saw us…we are taking a min-vacation before a campaign trip to Dallas, Texas…next month………