With plastic pumpkins lit and porch lights switched on, a cold, steady drizzle couldn’t dampen Nick DiNunzio’s spirit.
As darkness fell, an occasional costumed kid stopped by, bags open and at the ready.
“Trick or treat!”
About an hour in, the rain was still spitting and the wind had picked up. Though lights blazed on other porches along the street, only DiNunzio and neighbor, Charles Fuqua, watched from a porch.
About 15 trick-or-treaters having come and gone. DiNunzio was happy.
“This was already many, many more than we had last year. It’s a very good start, and it’s only 7 o’clock,” he said.
He and Fuqua, who does odd jobs as a handyman, talked about the neighborhood they’ve called home for years. Fuqua, too, had been disappointed that Halloween night had dwindled to a trickle of children.
“This is the best turnout we’ve had in a couple of years,” he said
Crime in DiNunzio’s east-side neighborhood had shrunk hordes of trick-or-treaters from years past at his red-brick bungalow on Alma. DiNunzio had had enough. He wanted Halloween back.
So DiNunzio, a senior citizen and part-time sign maker, went door-to-door in recent weeks, asking neighbors to flip on their lights tonight and put out bowls of candy. If they said they couldn’t afford it, he offered to buy the candy for them.
If their porch light was out, he replaced it for them.
He publicized on a sign outside his front door which local businesses were giving out candy, too.
Nearly 20 neighbors agreed to join in.
A couple of goblins stopped by DiNunzio’s house, as well as a 4-year-old doctor and Death, or something close to it, in a purple hoodie.
In fact, Death — really 13-year-old Angelica Ballestro — had seized the opportunity, making rounds several times to neighbors with friend, 11-year-old Zanaija McIntyre.
“We didn’t think we’d get any candy,” she said, giggling, “Look.”
Her bag was stuffed full of chips and chocolates and pretzels. “(It was a) good night,” she said.
Courtesy of the Detroit Free Press