Wednesday Open Line

Beware — it’s Halloween or more properly, All Hallow’s Eve, the day before the Feast of All Saints. According to Celtic tradition, it’s a time when witches, ghosts, and other unsavory characters walk the Earth for a day. For years, Halloween was eagerly awaited by youngsters, who would dress up in whatever was handy and make the rounds of the neighborhood, begging for candy with the empty threat “trick or treat!” Now, more formal parties are being held, and grownups are just as apt to wear a costume as children. The Jack-o’-lantern, made from a real pumpkin, is coming back in popularity. U.S. farmers grow just over a billion pounds of pumpkins a year, worth $100 million. Illinois is the leading producer, followed by California, New York, and Ohio. You can find more facts about America from the U.S. Census Bureau, online at <>.