Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Pogey Bait

As a kid growing up on a ranch in the wild mountains of Wyoming, we had all the things necessary for living, but few of the luxuries.  A family with seven kids, we were poor, but didn't know it, and were generally satisfied with life.  But at Halloween a difference was noticeable. 
Student body 1954-55 (I'm back row, 2nd from left; brother Bob
middle row 1st on left; sister Barbara 3rd from left middle row; brother David--
pogey bait lover--last on right front row)

Our little one room country school always had dress-up day on Halloween, and we invariably went as pirates, gypsies, or country bumpkins.  (That is so funny looking back, as we were the poster kids for country bumpkins.)  All the kids brought treats to share, and mom would make some cookies for us to take.  But we were so envious of the kids who brought lollipops, Tootsie Rolls, or candy bars, sigh!!
When we took our loot home, I remember showing it to *Daddy, and he scoffed and said in a disgusted voice, "Well, look at that, they gave you pogey bait."  We knew from his tone that he wasn't impressed, so I was glad we had yummy cookies from our mom's oven, however one of my brothers dreamed of the forbidden candy, and when we went to town he would spend his nickel on hard candy from the dime store.

*My dad was era World War I, and the military gave the soldiers candy which they used to barter for local items (some not so respectable) 


  1. When I was little we would dress up like gypsies and bums and whatever we could find from my parent's closets. One year we had store-bought costumes, but it was always more fun to wear my father's old suits or a bunch of my mom's jewelry. I think the cookies are more tempting now, but can understand your father's point! Hope you have a great day!

  2. We wore the plastic masks from the drugstore or raided our parents' closet too! lol My husband came from a family of seven. You just don't see many large families any more. So nice to meet you.

  3. We never had Halloween celebration in Russia until recent time. So interesting to read your story.
    Thank you very much for comment in Moscow photo blog.

  4. I went to a one room country school, too! But I just can't seem to remember what we did for Halloween! I remember having a Christmas program for all the parents to attend, tho. We sure had lots of fun at the school.