My Utica Halloween Memories
As one who has lived here all his life, I have some great memories of many Halloween’s in Utica. Some of those memories go back to when I was a kid to my career as a radio announcer. Here are just a few.
When I was a kid growing up in Utica, there used to be a Utica Halloween parade that went down to Oneida Square. Wow, that goes back to 19__, let’s just leave it at that. But, I do remember my parents taking my sister and me to that parade…and it took place at night (even spookier, and we got to stay up late)!
So, here are a few more personal Utica Halloween memories:
1. Dressing up at Miller School (later changed to Martin Luther King, Jr. School) and parading around the block in costume. In those days, most parents couldn’t get off from work to come down and watch their kids, so the school neighborhood folks were our cheering section.
2. Trick or Treating in our Cornhill neighborhood. When I was a kid, the people in our neighborhood actually made things for trick or treaters, liked caramel apples, pop corn balls, fudge and homemade chocolate chip cookies. Then there was that bachelor guy who lived alone and would give us money (that was OK by me).
3. High School Trick or Treating – During my first couple of high school years at UFA (Utica Free Academy), my buds and I would go out trick or treating (sort of) without costumes. Hey, we were too old for that. Actually, we didn’t trick or treat. We just went out, and usually ended up at the pool hall. Enough said.
4. Halloween, Brewery Style – As a Utica College student, my part-time job was tour guide at the F.X. Matt Brewery, a job no tour guide ever wanted to leave! I recall getting Halloween night duty a couple of years while working there. That meant, staying upstairs at the Brewery Tour Center in the 1888 Tavern, looking outside to make sure no trick or treaters soaped up the brewery tour center windows. Due to my (and my co-workers) diligence, no one ever soaped the second floor windows! And being in the 1888 Tavern for a few hours at night had its advantages. Cheers!
5. Count Spatula On The Radio – Way back when, I was a DJ on another Utica area radio station, WTLB. On Halloween day, I would come to the radio station dressed up as my version of Count Dracula, who I called “Count Spatula”. Along with a local actress who arrived at the studio dressed as “Broom Hilda The Witch”, we would answer live phone calls with kids on the air, as those spooky characters. The kids loved it, and after a few years, moms and dads would bring their kids to our studio to watch. Very scary!