See video at bit.ly/1026StreetTalk
Bernie Miles, Mendon
RH: Bernie, tell me about Halloween — where’s it come from, why do we celebrate it?
BERNIE MILES: In general, it’s All Hallow’s Eve, it started off as kind of a religious holiday from my understanding. But that said, for my part, I’m a big comic book guy, so I really get into the Rutland comic book origins with Halloween. It’s nice that Rutland’s city parade was featured in a lot of comic books in the ’60s and ’70s, and still is today, so I get a big kick out of that. I still dress up with my kids. I’m dressing up as the Riddler from the Batman series this year. My little girl’s being Harley Quinn, so it’ll be fun. And I completely support changing Halloween to the last Saturday of October instead of being Oct. 31st.
Edna Donohue, West Rutland
EDNA DONOHUE: I think the Catholic religion might have started it with All Hallow’s or whatever. It was started out as a religious holiday, I think, and it evolved into what it is today.
RH: So where did all that candy come from?
ED: I don’t know!
RH: You know, I think the dentists might have started that tradition of giving out candy to the kids, you know, to drum up business.
ED: Maybe. You never know.
RH: When you were a girl, when you were younger, did you dress up and go out trick or treating?
ED: Oh, yes, that was the thing. And then as a teenager we went out mostly tricking.
RH: What was your best costume?
ED: One year, when I was probably about 12, I went out as Josephine the Plumber, from those TV ads. She just always wore overhauls and she had an engineer’s cap, and she always had a pipe wrench, so I drug around a pipe wrench that was bigger than me almost.
Danielle Beebe, Whitehall, N.Y., & Debbie Randall, Dresden, N.Y.
DANIELLE BEEBE: For the kids! It’s all about the kids. The last couple of years we’ve been going as a family. This year we’re dressing up as Jessy from ”Toy Story 4” and my husband’s going to be Buzz Lightyear. And last year we took our daughter out, and we all dressed up as S’Mores. It’s fun, and it’s nice to be a kid again and enjoy it while they’re still young.
RH: Who has more fun, the kids or the adults?
DB, DR (in unison) The adults! Oh, most definitely, absolutely!
DB: My husband, he’s just a big goofball, and just enjoying our daughter and everything about it.
DEBBIE RANDALL: I love to decorate. I’m very decorative. I do my house and my outdoors. I live up in the woods so I don’t have too many trick or treaters. I’m the biggest trick or treater.
Gus Bloch, Rutland
GUS BLOCH: We do it for the candy. That’s the only reason I ever did it when I was a kid. We used to go out trick or treating — all around the neighborhood. But nowadays, folks come in their cars. They let their kids out in the neighborhood they think are the best ones, but back then we had to take what we got. You know, you had to be careful which house you went to, and sometimes the ladies scared the daylights out of you — they’d come dressed as a witch or something, oh man. But I loved those days. Now we come to the parade and that’s about it.
RH: What was you best costume?
GB: Maybe it was when my mom dressed me up as a pumpkin. But I never made it as a pumpkin queen.
Donah Smith, Rutland
DONAH SMITH: I am not sure of its origin, but I do know that Rutland has a great parade of the 26th, so everyone should come out and enjoy that.
RH: When you were young, as a kid, how did you celebrate Halloween?
DS: In the traditional ’60s way with one of those plastic costumes and plastic masks, trick or treating with your friends.
Nick Pryslak, Rutland
NICK PRYSLAK: The best I got, you know, I thought I got a quarter from this woman, and I got home, and I found out it was a nickel, and I was really disappointed.
RH: I can imagine. You should’ve gone back.
NP: I should’ve. Four more times.
RH: You should’ve said, “What’s this all about? You stiffed me!”
NP: We always had a good time, dressing up, going around to all the houses.
RH: Best costume?
NP: I made it myself — took these big shopping bags, and I put them on me, and I labeled it “The Old Bag.”
Tamara Musto, East Wallingford
TAMARA MUSTO: It’s new for us because we started celebrated Halloween not too long ago. We do bring the kids to do trick or treating now there, too, and they enjoy dressing … however they like. Yeah, they do house to house and they do also have big parties in, like, plazas — that’s how you say it? — where people will bring candies and share it.
Interviews, camera and production by RH Alcott