November 4, 1964
Jocie Brooke here reporting from Hollyhill, Kentucky. Things have been sort of crazy in Holly County this week, but then things are supposed to be sort of crazy on Halloween, aren’t they?
I’m way too old for trick-or-treating. I never did that anyway. Dad didn’t think it was all that good to go around knocking on doors and pretending you were some kind of monster or witch. Better to want to be an angel, he said. That’s what he told the church people too. But they’ve had a party on Halloween since forever. Way before Dad was the preacher there. When Dad said he wasn’t sure about celebrating Halloween, Mr. Majors stood up and said they weren’t celebrating anything. They were just getting together for some chili and fun for the kids. It was hard to argue with that and after some heated discussions in the church yard and lots of phone calls to Dad, everybody decided it would be okay to have a Fall party with chili and costumes as long as the costumes were something you wouldn’t mind having on if Jesus were to come back to get us all that night.
The most surprising thing about the church party was that Aunt Love said she didn’t see the first thing wrong with church people getting together on Halloween. Lots better than them being out playing tricks on people. I guess she remembered some of the things the boys did when she was young. I overhead some of the older members talking about the tricks they used to pull and I could hardly believe they weren’t just making it all up.
But one man said that when he was a boy, they had an old farmer in the neighborhood who was always cranky and never had a good word for anybody. Well, naturally the boys decided to do something really crazy to him and so they took his wagon apart, piece by piece and hauled it up on top of his barn and put it back together up there on the roof. Don’t ask me how, but they said they did it. And should have heard how they laughed when they talked about remembering the look on the old farmer’s face the next morning when he went out to milk and there was his wagon up on the roof. When I asked how he got it down, they said they helped him without letting him know it was them who did the trick. Did you ever hear of a trick that was so much work?
There was that year when we got to school the day after Halloween and some tricksters had put poor Mr. Whitaker’s gate across the school door. So Dad said maybe it would be good to try to keep those tricksters at church eating chili instead of taking gates off and letting cows out on the road. He told Aunt Love he was going to have to figure out some new sermons to make those older guys not think their tricks back when they were kids were so funny. But I noticed he was smiling too. And Aunt Love said kids just didn’t play tricks the way they used to on Halloween. Now all they did was hold out their hand for candy. But what about that old ad that Dad found in the newspaper? I don’t know anybody who would ever give out cereal for treats on Halloween. That would be some trick I wouldn’t like.