News From Terre Haute, Indiana


October 26, 2013

Ronn Mott: Navigating that kooky, spooky time of year

TERRE HAUTE — It’s that time of year when ghosts and goblins come out and children are coming to your front door in force during “trick or treat” nights. I enjoy seeing the little ones all dressed up in their disguises and holding their treat bags or plastic pumpkins hoping you reward them with goodies.

During the past few years we have watched as vans of people come to our neighborhood and dozens of teenagers and older people we have never seen before run up to our house and all but demand candy. Most of them don’t even bother to dress for the occasion. They put a few marks on their faces and call it good. (You’ve got to be kidding!)

I know, I know, I’m an old curmudgeon losing his sense of humor, but what happened to the good ol’ days when people brought their kids to homes where they knew the families and everyone had fun guessing who was behind the cute and creative costumes? And I honestly don’t mind seeing youngsters I don’t know very well come to my door if they live in the neighborhood. It’s the bus loads of total strangers looking for a sugar high I object to. Sorry, I guess I don’t get it.

One of the things I do like about Halloween is the decorations. I have long been in awe of the amount of money spent on Halloween. I have heard it is second only to Christmas. There are many small children in our neighborhood and one night recently, after a family had decorated their yard in fun stuff, someone stole most of their decorations.

The parents of these kids work hard and try to make holidays fun. All three of the children are under 10 years old. How disappointing to wake up and discover the theft of their ghosts, tombstones and other things. The parents removed what was left (what the thieves couldn’t carry) and kept only a few, simple things outside. What are these people going to do with the stuff they stole … sell it, or put it in their yards and boast to friends they didn’t have to pay for any of it? Talk about a cheap trick … there’s nothing worse than a liar or a thief.

My wife and I haven’t decided whether we will turn on our porch light this year, and that probably makes us sound like the Grinch. However, we just might get into the spirit of the Great Pumpkin, transform ourselves into something more frightening than the reality of old age, grab a couple of grocery bags and go trick or treating.   

Maybe we’ll even scare some folks we don’t know.  

Ronn Mott, a longtime radio personality in Terre Haute, writes commentaries for the Tribune-Star. His pieces are published online Tuesday and Thursday on, and in the print and online editions on Saturday.

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