Monday, October 1, 2018

Halloween 5: The Baggening

Welcome to Year 5 of my participation in the Countdown to Halloween. And let me be honest: I really questioned whether I would participate this year.

If you have kept up with this blog, I'm sure you've noted a dwindling of the number of posts this year. Only 15 so far this year compared to 87 by this same time in 2017. Aside from me losing that bloggin' feelin', there were medical issues in my family and general life dumps that just squashed the fun out of blogging. Not to mention, garage saling just ain't what it used to be. The treasures are few and far between these days. But enough about me, let's get to the first bag of the season.

While not terribly old, these grocery bags hearken back to the days before "paper or plastic" was an option.

"Dieberg's" is a local grocery store chain here in St. Louis.

I've seen this same witch used on other decorations.

This bag originally had a strip of masking tape covering the "Dierbergs" logo, obviously placed there by a young Trick or Treater mortified at using a freebie bag for his candy.

It seemed like a lot of stores did this when I was a kid and it always added to the excitement of the season when my mom would come home with our groceries packed in one.  The tradition continued beyond the advent of plastic bags as is evidenced by this bag from another local grocery store chain, "Schnucks".

I gleaned the following examples from the internet. I imagine stores chose their designs from clip art available from the bag manufacturer and the images probably appeared on the bags of many different stores.
 Schrafft's was a candy company in Boston. They commissioned a 60-second television commercial by Andy Warhol in 1968. The company went out of business in 1982.

A paper and plastic version of a Piggly Wiggly Trick or Treat bag

Piggly Wiggly opened its first location in 1916 and became the first serve-yourself grocery store in 1917.  They are still in business.

Mel-O-Cream Donut Trick or Treat bag

Mel-O-Cream is a central-Illinois based donut company. The have franchises as well as supply donuts to local grocery stores.

White's Trick or Treat Bag

White's Foodliner is a Kansas-based grocery store chain. I'm not absolutely sure that's where this bag comes from, but it's as good a guess as any.

Schwegmann Trick or Treat bag

Schwegmann's Supermarkets was a New Orlean's based grocer. It's owner, John Schwegmann, was a pioneer in the fight for allowing grocery stores to set their own prices.

Bond Bread is made by the General Baking Company, originally of Rochester, New York, but now located in Washington, D.C. They are still in business.

Holiday Service Stations are chain of gasoline and convenience stores located mostly in the northern United States.

Ah, Ben Franklin.  I could go on forever about them. It has strong ties to my Halloween memories because I would always peruse the Halloween aisle every October looking at all of the Ben Cooper costumes, rubber masks and Imagineering kits. Then there were the aisles of decorations including die cuts, straw scarecrows, and Autumn floral arrangements. And let's not forget the bags of cheap bulk candies like Smarties and the much-maligned Peanut Butter Kiss.  I actually like them ,thank you. If you had a little extra coin, you could always pick up wax fangs or even a Wowee Whistle. I sometimes think to be able to step back into Ben Franklin on an Autumn day in the 70's would be a thrill. I also sometimes think it might be a huge disappointment.  No. It would be a thrill.

The history of Gray Drugfair is a little...well...gray.  It appears they were Gray Drugs, then acquired Drug Fair drug stores and became Gray DrugFair and was ultimately bought out by RiteAid.

Red Owl Halloween Trick or Treat Bag

Red Owl seems like a natural for a Trick or Treat bag tie-in.  It started as a coal company in the 1920's and expanded into the grocery market in 1927.  It was bought out by Supervalu, Inc. in 1988 who phased out the Red Owl name (because Supervalu is such a better name than Red Owl).

Thanks to Mayor Todd over at Neatocoolville for the image

Mr. Quick is a local chain of hamburger fast food restaurants in Michigan. I'm not sure Woodsy Owl wearing an owl mask is really fooling anybody.

And there you have it. The first post of Halloween.  Check back daily and I'll try to keep them coming.

And while you're at it, check out the other blogs over at the Countdown to Halloween. Bring an extra large Trick or Treat bag. They have fun-sized treats waiting!


  1. "Pure"?? what a weird thing to put on a halloween candy bag. nice to see a new post, as always. hope life has calmed down for you.

    1. >Pure"?? what a weird thing to put on a halloween candy bag.
      Better than "Whole-Sum".
      >hope life has calmed down for you.
      I don't life will calm down until it's over. Is that morbid?

    2. not sure if it's exactly morbid, but it sure is dark. cheer up, man -- it's your favorite time of the year!

  2. Great post to kick it off! I am glad you decided to take part again. Always like seeing what you have to offer. Happy October!

    1. Thanks, Joe. I'll try to keep 'em coming.

  3. I had a bit of a blog hiatus for a while too....real life often gets crazy and somewhat depressing. But I do like the Countdowns as it gets me focused, is a bit of an escape and I really enjoy reading everyone else's blogs and revelling in Halloween....and it's always fun to see your stuff! So I for one hope you do keep 'em coming! 😉 Happy Countdown anyways! 😃

    1. Thanks, Ewen. I'm hoping Halloween is kickstart for me as well getting back into bloggin. Glad you enjoy and I'll be sure to peruse your blog this season as well! Good luck with Jury Duty!

  4. {tips hat} welcome back I know I missed you. Cheers to a great month.

    1. Thanks, Bob! Good to be back. Glad to know it's noticed.

  5. Great finds! I don't think I've heard of Schrafft's before and I've lived pretty close to Boston most of my life.

  6. Great collection! I have small trick r treat candy bags featuring the same witch art as the one on your Dierbergs bag

    1. I've seen that image on other items as well. Any idea when your treat bags were from?


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