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Halloween is a special time for kids, it means dressing up in their favorite character and going from house to house collecting candy from friends and neighbors.

It has changed somewhat since I was a child growing up in Illinois. My mother, Nancy Gertrude Brumley Weik usually made our costumes each year. She would begin talking about it in late September or early October on what we wanted to be. My brothers and I would go to the fabric store with her to pick out a pattern that closely fit what we wanted to be for that year. She would get her sewing machine going and over the years created some of the best costumes I ever had for Halloween. 

We knew she loved sewing on those costumes and we always got compliments each year. It was the anticipation of what the end product would look like that kept us checking on the progress daily after we came home from school. She had gotten so good over the years sewing our costumes that we hardly had to try them on for a fitting before she was finished.

In Illinois back in the late 1950's and 1960's in our town we could go out trick or treating for more than one day. Usually it would be a couple of days before October 31st. My brothers and I would wear our newly sewn costumes and those masks that got so sweaty and head on out to case the neighborhood. We had a parent go with us when we were little and then later on "big sister" was the one who watched out for my little brothers. Each night we would collect a full bag of candy and trinkets.

I remember the homemade goodies that several elderly ladies would make every Halloween for kids in the neighborhood. The popcorn balls, Halloween cookies that were so good to eat along the way or we would swap with our friends and there were the houses we had to sing a song before we got our candy. We always knew which houses and either avoided it or just did a quick song and moved on. 

When returning home after Trick or Treating we came home and dumped the candy out on the floor or kitchen table to gloat over how much candy we had collected. It was a simpler time back then - I am sure there were the bad people lurking out there in the shadows or mean people to put awful things into the goodies they handed out, but for me - I never experienced any of it. I have good memories only. Have a safe Halloween everyone and make it safe one - now go out there and create some memories to blog about later in life!!!!


Sylvia Pearl Sells - Wedding Wednesday

Sylvia Pearl Sells
Sylvia Pear Sells and William Holmes Marriage Certificate

Sylvia Pearl Sells was my grandmother's (Nellie Opal Sells) younger sister. She was born to Columbus Sells and Gertrude W Nichols on February 9, 1902 in Fort Madison, Lee, Iowa.  As the 1910 Missouri Census shows they were in Union, Laclede, Missouri where Sylvia was six years old at the time. Her mother Gertrude W Nichols died in 1919. In the Missouri Census of 1920 it shows that the family now resided in Springfield, Greene, Missouri; Nellie was nineteen and Sylvia was seventeen.


Name: William A Holmes
Birth Date: 21 Dec 1898
Death Date: 22 Jul 1971
Service Start Date: 23 May 1918
Interment Date: 26 Jul 1971
Cemetery: Springfield National Cemetery
Cemetery Address: 1702 East Seminole Street Springfield, MO 65804
Buried At: Section 34 Site 265


Sylvia meant William “Billie” A Holmes after he had served in WW I while she was living in Springfield. Billie was born William Holmes on December 21, 1898 in Missouri. His parents were William A Holmes and Mary A Richards. William and Sylvia were married on March 9, 1920 in Springfield, Greene, Missouri.

In 1920 they started the lives together; William was a meat cutter at the J H Bridger Grocery Store in Springfield and that continued to be his profession at least through 1936.

In 1921 they had their first son, William “Billie” Holmes, Jr. in Springfield, Greene, Missouri and then on November 6, 1923 they welcomed a new daughter, Mary Helen Holmes.

Sylvia died on April 9, 1952 in Nevada, Vernon, Missouri at the young age of fifty years old and Billie died July 22, 1971 at the age of seventy-two years old. Billie is buried at the Springfield National Cemetery in Springfield, Greene, Missouri.

 Sylvia Pearl Sells

Gertrude W Nichols-Sells, Nellie Opal Sells-Brumley, Sylvia Pearl Sells-Holmes

My mother, Nancy Gertrude Brumley Weik never told me much about Sylvia except to say that they were always in competition with one another about various things over their lifetime.