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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Entry 9: Grant Town Halloween Roundup, 1974

March 25, 2014

Re:  Entry 9

Dear Friends:

 (Note:  Some names, places and various facts have been changed to protect me, mostly)

5-6 pm:   Parade from Grade School to town hall led by fire truck. Main Street closed to traffic.
Coal Company gives out bags of candy from the back of the 1946 Dodge Power Wagon
Mayor awarded prizes for best costume, by age group. As I am dressed in a Green Lantern costume that was my brother Mike’s in 1969, I lose. Again.  Town gave bags of candy to all attendees

6-8 pm:  Fire whistle blows.  Linda Lou, being right across the street, gives out candy to first wave, provides double Reese Cups to insiders/family.  Proceed up Straight Street, Gorman’s give out homemade popcorn balls.  Go around the loop, Fairview Street back to Straight.  Avoid Pig Alley, name notwithstanding, go out Church Street to Kupranik’s pond. Too far to Tarney Run houses, with too much space between houses to waste the time.  Back down Church to Floyd, up and around to Hilltop and then back down past the church. Priest giving out palms and Jordan almonds in a little bag. We save them for the slingshots.  Back to Meline’s house, he’s sitting on a lawn chair, then up Main to the Garage, Johnny giving out candy.  Go up View all the way to Fisher’s, who are giving apples.  Throw apples over the hill by Tucker’s house.  Back to Main Street and up Grant, all the way to Verge’s who give out the best candy because it’s so far to the edge of town, no one goes there.  Go back up Grant to Main, Vasil’s sister Magdalena’s light is out, so is Willie’s. Head past the Dodge Garage and up Ballah.

8-10 pm:  Fire Whistle blows at 8 pm, right as I get to Vasil’s other sister’s house.  Stop at every house on Ballah anyway, and neighbors proceed to give me the rest of their candy.  Vasil turns out light but gives me one pack of Smarties as he is headed back down the sidewalk.  Arrive home, where I find out that Jackie Martin and Sonny Harvey have been arrested for setting a burning bag of cow manure on Mr. Neebler’s porch. Tony the cop has taken them to the town hall where Pee Wee is letting them sit, making them think they’re going to Pruntytown.  Discussion at home centers around whether my brother Pat was involved. My father using his “trust but verify” approach (later adopted by Reagan), with significant metaphorical references to his miner’s belt. I still don’t know if Pat was involved.  Proceed out to Main Street where I put an old purse on fishing line and attract several cars to stop before pulling it away. Tony the cop is still holding Jackie and Sonny, which is like the arrest of the decade, so there is no police presence to speak of.  Find the Shenlosky boys walking up Ballah, along with Beckish and Stiles. Stiles, being older, had a great idea.  Take the fishing line, throw the purse in the creek since it isn’t needed, attach piece of tape to the end, tie small threaded nut about a foot from the end. Tape line to Vasil’s window and extend line about 50 yards.  Tap on window until light comes on, pull string and run back down the alley.  Upon arrival home, because of telephonic communication between Vasil and my father, I now become the focus of the discussion thereby relieving my brother Pat of the third degree.  Meanwhile, my brother Mike has evaluated and confiscated the desirable parts of my Halloween candy leading to conflict, resolved somehow by me getting paddled and sent to bed (I think the Vasil thing contributed to this, but no one took time to explain it to me).

10 pm:  Johantz the dachshund came into my room smelling like Reese Cups.  Thus ended Halloween, 1974.

I remain,