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Did you know... that in West Plains Missouri Bruce Hershenson is known as "the man who gives out full-size candy bars at Halloween"?

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Added: 11/04/2019

As you may or may not know, I (Bruce Hershenson) had several different "careers" early in my life. First I sold and published comic books in the late 1960s to mid 1970s, including 3 comic books by Steve Ditko, and the very first full-color EC comic book reprints. I next shifted gears completely and played poker professionally in Las Vegas for ten years, and then had another major shift when I traded options on the floor of the Philadelphia Stock Exchange for 7 years.

In 1989 I went in yet another direction and started buying and selling movie posters (I had collected them in my comic book days, but never sold any), and as you almost surely know, since that time I ran movie poster auctions for Christie's for 7 years, held 330,000 auctions on eBay for 7 years, published 43 movie poster books over a dozen years, and have run 1.3 MILLION movie poster auctions on my own site,!

But there is something else I have done for many years that you likely know nothing about, unless you are my personal "friend" on Facebook! As a child, I LOVED candy. So naturally, Halloween was my favorite holiday. The worst feeling ever was when people gave you something "healthy" like an apple or a little box of cereal or raisins! And there was a house in my hometown that gave out full-size candy bars, and of course all us kids made sure to go there every year.

So because of that, every year for the past 24 or so years I have given out from my house in West Plains Missouri (population around 12,000) FULL-SIZE candy bars to every child who comes to our door between 4 and 8 PM on Halloween. Two years ago, thanks to the power of the Internet, we set our all-time record, giving out over 1,300 of them. Last year (because it was bad weather, cold and rainy), I decided to also give out candy to the parents, but ONLY if they had on a true costume, and we gave out a total of 1,350 candy bars.

THIS YEAR, it was just 42 degrees at 4 PM (and pretty windy) and it started out somewhat slow, with just a few people at 4:00 PM (and I again gave candy to the parents if they had on a costume). But in around 15 minutes a line formed to the road, and the line stayed all the way to 7:42! At that point it was around 37 degrees and still windy, but people were still coming (some with little kids), and I did not have the heart to close up until 8:15!

I figured it up afterwards, and the total number of full-sized candy bars given out was 1,487 (not including 62 giant size ones to my close friends', relatives', and employees' kids), so we broke the old record of 1,350 by a goodly number! A big factor in the record total (asides from incredible Facebook sharing) was no doubt the fact that the local newspaper, the West Plains Daily Quill, had a front page story on it (see an image of it below)!

Also below is visual proof that we really gave out that many full-sized candy bars, plus two images of our house at around 6 PM (from both directions). What you CAN'T see is that so many cars pull over to the side of the road on both sides that it is really hard to drive by for those 4 hours! Some people ask why I do it. The look on kids faces when they see the full-sized candy bars (especially the young ones) is often priceless, and THAT makes it all worthwhile. Plus, I have been doing it so long that we now have lots of parents who came themselves as kids, so it is often a real family tradition!

Some people have asked why I don't contact candy companies, to see if they would be interested in "sponsoring" this annual event in any way, and in fact I DID do that early this year, and NEVER got a reply from any of them! I thought one or more of them might like to send a customized inflatable for their company for us to display, or ANYTHING, but apparently these days those mega-corporations are run by "suits" who don't see any value to something so "small", and that seems sad to me.

And in spite of all my other accomplishments over my life, I strongly suspect that, in my current home town of West Plains Missouri, where I have lived for over 26 years, most of the people here know me as "The Man Who Gives Out Full-Size Candy Bars at Halloween"!


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