After having grown up in the Indian Village in Ossining and moving to nearby Chilmark to raise my family, I have to give a huge hat tip to the old neighborhood. The worst October snowstorm in Westchester history knocked power out in my neighborhood for 2 days, sending the temparature plummeting in my home Sunday night and forcing us to "camp" by the fireplace, so my wife and I decided that we'd carpetbag the kids for Halloween.
"Carpetbagging" might be a strong term, but with the power out in Chilmark for so long, we weren't sure that we'd get much bang for our buck with 4 childen trudging through a half (if that) populated neighborhood in the cold. And across Pleasantville road the houses were closer together, power was never interrupted, and I had lots of experience as a child squeezing the most high fructose corn syrup I could from the neighbors. So off we went. And we weren't disappointed.
There is a special kind of wonderful a father experiences when the front door of a home opens and the folks doling out the candy were the same people who handed me candy 40 years ago. But that is exactly what happened in about half a dozen of the homes we haunted, and plenty of others knew us from when we lived there up until 2007. My oldest son, now 9, vaguely remembered his first Halloween walking around Osage Drive.
After two days of no heat or electric, cold nights and spartan living, it was a joy to regain power late in the day and to reconnect with familiar faces on one of the happiest nights of a child's life. When we returned home we found our home's heart beating once again and the furnace warm once more, but the warmth we shared with old neighbors in our old neighborhood this Halloween night was even better still.
It's too late to go trick or treating in the Indian Village now, but if you are in the area next year, take a walk by. And when December rolls around, just wait until I tell you what the neighborhood does for Christmas Eve. We've had our share of headaches in this town; but on a night like tonight, it is wonderful to see what makes ours such a great community.