Pat Shingleton: "Halloween Pranks and Other Episodes..."
Cold, rain or snow never stopped our Halloween preparations during my younger years. Numerous neighborhood gardens had lingering stalks of corn still holding an ear or two. Once shucked the kernels were as hard as gravel, easily twisted from the cob. The kernels were separated into paper bags and that’s when the Halloween pranks began - for some. My brother Denis and I didn’t participate in these activities. The Halloweener’s did include the Sudano boys, Dangerous Doug Kelly, Johnny Cornelius, Dumps Wiley, Skunk Tritt and my brothers Kevin and Mike. As we did our homework at the kitchen table, assisting my mother in treat distribution, the rattle of hard corn on the windows sounded like a machine gun. Here's a few spooky weather items. On October 31, 1991, a camper in Queensland, Australia was reading Steven King's "The Dead Zone." The cover of the book depicted a man being struck by lightning. A bolt of lightning struck the woman as the rubber mattress she was on may have saved her life. A twelve foot wall-of-water surged through Central Ave. in Belton Texas on Halloween, 1974. A pickup truck was washed from Killeen to Belton ending up in the courthouse. As mentioned recently, the storm the National Weather Service called "perfect" was also known as the Halloween Storm in 1991. It was the basis for the novel, "The Perfect Storm", by Sebastian Junger depicting the sinking of the Andrea Gail claiming all on board. It was called perfect because of the perfect set of meteorological events that included remnants of Hurricane Grace turning east, an extratropical low and a cold front.