It was 1968. The world was protesting. Martin Luther King led the civil rights march on Washington and changed the world. The anti-war protest at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago cost the Democrats the White House. There was Flower Power and The Black Panthers.
And there was the injustice of the Riverside Estates Civic Association cut to Halloween Trick or Treat hours!
My three sisters and I had learned a lot by tagging along with our parents. My mom was way ahead of her time in the 1960’s. She was a campaign manager to elect the Justice of the Peace in Fairfax County. She worked on congressional and senator campaigns. In 1968 she had us kids stuffing envelopes at Democratic Party National Headquarters in Washington when Hubert Humphrey ran against Richard Nixon. Nixon wouldn’t debate Humphrey on T.V. so my mom came up with the idea to dress someone as Nixon in a chicken suit. She alerted the T.V. stations and the newspapers and we went over to Republican Headquarters with our chicken Nixon and had him lay an egg. It was a paper Mache balloon with the face of Spiro Agnew, Nixon’s running mate on it. That was great fun and an education for us kids.
What we learned was we could fight the power. This Civic Association rule limiting Trick or Treat time to 7 p.m. would not stand! We organized our friends who were more than happy to join the cause. We made protest signs. The plan was to hold a protest march at the entrance to the neighborhood right when the adults were getting home from work. Then we would march to the home of the civic association president.
Our signs were a mix from slogans we had seen over the years. Like “In your guts, you know he’s nuts.” That was from the opponents of presidential candidate Barry Goldwater. (Maybe this one should have been recycled for the 2016 campaign.) Other signs said “Fight the Power.” And “Learn Baby! Learn!” Each sign had the tag line DOWN WITH THE CIVIC ASS! We were kids running this revolution. But we didn’t know the correct way to abbreviate the word association.
So we marched to the home of the civic association president each with a sign that read DOWN WITH THE CIVIC ASS! We brought truth to power. We fought the man. And we won! Trick or Treat hours were extended to 9:30 p.m. Viva La revolution!