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Happy Halloween memories

October 31, 2012
By Michael Tidemann - Staff Writer , Estherville Daily News

Let's face it. Halloween is for kids.

And whenever the subject of Halloween come up, out comes the kid in all of us.

Rosewood Manor residents Eunice Wee and Rev. Virgil Anderson recalled Halloweens past Wednesday at the Rosewood Manor Halloween party, a gala that made spooks and witches and goblins of everyone.

The first Halloween memory for Eunice was in Minnesota. She was six and her family had gone visiting the neighbors - that was what people did in the days before television, of course. Now getting to the neighbor's wasn't a problem. Getting home, now . . . that was something else.

There was machinery all over their driveway, and a lawnmower on the barn lean-to - to boot.

"I don't even know how they got it up there and I don't know how they got it down," said Eunice.

Of course, at six, Eunice didn't have to worry about that.

So did Eunice play any Halloween tricks of her own?

"I wasn't that kind," Eunice said, guiltless as a smiling jack-o'-lantern. "And I never went around with anyone that did."

Virgil recalls when the Wallingford kids - gang might be a better way to put it - gathered up all the farm implements they could find from around the country and lined them up on Main Street.

Funny. Very funny.

And who can talk about Halloween without talking about one of the biggest pranks of all - outhouses.

Eunice said after their family biffy was relocated her dad did some detective work and discovered the culprits - they tipped it back up, of course.

"It just never occurred to me to do that," Virgil said of outhouse relocation. He did hear the story though of one farmer who moved his outhouse three feet then camouflaged it so the would-be vandals fell into the hole.

"I think you'd just do that once," Virgil observed.

Another trick Virgil heard of occurred at Dana College in Blair, Neb. where students put a professor's Volkswagen inside the building - right in front of his office.

That was just a story Virgil had heard about, of course. But had he ever dared pull anything himself?

"We were all real nice when I was in college," said Virgil. "And what I just told you was a big lie."

One of the milder pursuits in which Eunice participated was pumpkin carving.

"We carved on pumpkins," said Eunice. "That was a big deal. And then we saved the seeds and roasted them and ate them."

Eunice remembers too the Halloween parties with apple bobbing, pinning the tail on the donkey or 'Gossip', a game in which everyone would pass on a story that ended up being nothing like the original version.

There was another game in which they would get a slip of paper telling them they were supposed to do something. One time hers was to yawn. "You'd be surprised how many other people would yawn," Eunice recalled.

Whether their tricks were naughty or nice, everyone had fun back then. No vandalism, of course - just machinery in driveways and along streets and on top of barns. Cars inside office buildings. Outhouses tipped over. That sort of thing.

Just a few minor inconveniences.



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