Pat Shingleton: "More Tricks, Fewer Treats..."
More than 50 years ago, cold, rain or snow never canceled our Halloween. It's a time-of-the-year when the leaves are coming down and gardens in the neighborhood found lingering corn stalks with an ear or two. These gravel-like kernels were twisted from the cob and separated into paper bags. When the shucking ended, the traditional Halloween prank was underway, for some. Another prank was "door knocking," that involved a hard rap on a door, or a ring of the door bell, then bolting down the street as the resident answered an empty porch. Adding to the door knocking was the "loaded paper bag," referenced in the movie, "Billy Madison," where Old Man Clemens "answered the bell." A nearby pasture often provided the ingredients. Me and my brothers Denis and Kevin did not participate in these activities. The Halloweener's that did included: the Sudano boys, Dangerous Doug Kelly, Pumpkin Head Hulick, Dumps Wiley, Skunk Tritt and our brother, Mike. In addition to completing our homework at the kitchen table, we assisted Mom with treat distribution that included cupcakes and popcorn balls. The rattle of the hard corn on the windows sounded like a machine gun.