Halloween in a small town


Little Red River Journal, Pangburn, October 26, 1983



very year as Halloween gets closer the conversation everywhere you turn is what ol’ so-in-so did on Halloween one year.   I thought it would be funny to remember a few of these humorous things and write them down.  I do see a lot of changes that have come about; the one thing that everyone seems to tell is who stole whose toilet.   I was told it was J.T. Martin’s job for years to round up the toilets. Of course, all of the toilets are gone and a thing of the past.

         Ralph (Tom) Keever tells about the days when there was a schoolhouse at Hiram.  The first thing to happen was the girls’ outhouse would go over the cliff. Most of the toilets they stole, they hung over the cliff by cables.

         Ralph Totten tells about the Halloween night that they stole Oscar Wyatt’s goat and tied it to the school bell and it rung a long time loud and clear.  It was heard all over town.  And this brings up a question:  who moved the goat from the bell to the typewriting room. It seems the goat stayed in the room over a weekend and it tore up everything completely – including typewriters, papers, etc. What I understand, it really messed things up.

         The next year on Halloween they stole Oscar’s big ol’ Billy Goat.  He balked and they couldn’t get him to move so they turpentined him. He stood still and twitched his tail a few times, bellowed like something from outer space and took off.  Ralph said the last they heard about it he was going over Cut Hill. Oss Wyatt never saw his goat again.

         Dink Sharp tells about ol’ Bart Sims and a little ol’ mule that he hooked up to his little cart that he used to haul the mail from the Depot to the Post Office.  He really hated President Hoover.  Someone stole his mule on Halloween and took green paint and painted Hoover on both sides of the mule and it had to wear off. He never did find out who did it.

         John Hawley tells of the time after he was grown and married and what a big deal to steal all the toilets and bring them to town. So to keep anyone from stealing his new toilet, he dug him some holes and buried him some cedar posts and built his toilet on top of those.  Then one Halloween night Luther Chandler and some of the other boys came to drive it off.  When they wrapped their chains on it and tried to drive off they just buried up and had to go borrow Peck Baker’s tractor to pull them out.

         They deputized Wink Lowe on Halloween one year and he had as much fun as the kids. He would stand back and let the kids set fire to light poles. When they would run off, he’d put it out.  Needless to say, he never was deputized again.

         One year Butch Pearce and Jim Barger would hide in Jim’s Body Shop and when the cops would go by they would run out and block the road with hoods off old cars.   Then run and hide in the body shop and lock the door. They never could catch anyone and never did figure out who kept blocking the road.

         It pays to be short. Butch and Reed Williams had egged a cop and were running. Reed hung his head on a clothes line. Butch just kept going.

         Poor ol’ Golden McAdams was law when we were kids and we’d get into something and he’d load us all up in the back of his truck and take us home.  Before he’d get back up town we were all ahead of him and back into something else.

         I try to block my Halloween memories out because I’d hate for the kids to think I would get into anything. I really don’t think I did. But I guess I had as much fun as anyone and when my kids came along I spent years tagging along on trick or treat night.

         But now as much as I’d like to get out and look for ol’ toilets or throw water balloons, I guess I’ll be content to stay home and pass out goodies.