"Fall traditions: Some stick around while others fade" by: Jessica Shepard

   The first official day of autumn was Monday this week.
   Sadly, there’s not much change in the temperatures or abundance of mosquitos.
   I even overheard mom whining for cooler temperatures last night and that’s a rarity coming from her.
   Oddly enough mom spent the first few years of her life in Minnesota before migrating quickly to Texas – or so she says!
   Still, there has to be some sort of happy medium where we can experience all four season somewhere?
   I’m all for drier heat instead of all this moisture that sticks to everything.
   Regardless, with autumn comes a lot of traditions – fall decorations, pumpkin-spiced everything, pecan harvests and a slew of local heritage.
   Homecoming is a big deal across all school districts, but, I have to admit that I wasn’t one to have a lot of school spirit when I was a student, much less now.
   Though, if we start talking music, I’ll vehemently argue to my last dying breath that the 1970s-90s were the best decades for music!
   Plus, it was what I heard most in my formative years, but, that’s neither here or there.
   I also fight for all of my nerdy interests more than football and school spirit-esque avenues.
   It’s always been like that and I’ve never understood the fascination, but, to each their own.     

Another local tradition that I’ve seen fall by the wayside in recent years involves a national pastime – Trick or Treating.
   Just a few weeks ago, I was informed at a Main Street meeting that local downtown merchants were tired of hosting “Trick or Treat around the Square,” because it didn’t directly benefit them.
   Also, they felt like they were losing money because no one bought anything or that they had to watch for shoplifters.
   I remember as a teen making several trips around the square visiting businesses and business owners and getting candy before heading a few blocks down to the First Baptist Church Fall Festival.
   It’s a tradition!
   And I get one of the concerns voiced was the safety of pedestrians on the street, but, why not ask the police to help out or shutting down 6th street and Avenue G for the duration of the events?
   It’s also disheartening to see that parents and children aren’t going door to door for candy and are opting for parking lot “trunk or treat” events.
   I don’t know if it’s a safety thing or it stems from parents being too busy, but, it’s a shame that those experiences are fading.
   Not to mention that neighborhoods were renowned for having the best or worst candy – Del Norte and McDonald Meadows were like the Holy Grail of candy handouts!
   Mom and I were talking about the importance of the parental candy tax and sorting our candy in the past.
   I mostly remember hoarding my Almond Joy favorites and gladly handing over every, single, Atomic Fireball to my sister.
   Which makes me wonder how many of my friends with kids do the same thing – or anyone for that matter?

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