Top of the Morn

"The disappearance of the out house of yesterday did more to change the character of Halloween than anything else.The outhouse was the target of Halloweeners who centered their holiday effort in pushing over the old two-holer on nearly every lot in town and then to the country!We remember Carl Engle of Coupeville telling about a horse and buggy being lifted to the top of a barn in Ebey’s Prairie, And our doctor who had to climb through a two-holer to get into his office downtown. A gang of stealthy Halloweeners came to tip over our out house but fled in disarray over a blackberry hedge to get away when our husband fired his shotgun into the air!Trick-or-treat became the highlight of the day when our kids were small, and we always went with them to assure ourselves that they didn’t do much tricking.The big town water tank was put under the supervision by the police department — the tank at the top was the perfect place for a truck, or just an initial or two.Our early days on Halloween brought a pumpkin. Mother cut the top off and gave us a big sharp spoon with which we had to scrape the inside of the pumpkin. The scrapings Mother made into pumpkin pie and the thinner pumpkin was easier for a six-year-old to carry.Grandma brought tales of ghosts and ghoulies from Scotland. These haints wailed and shreiked and which probably kept the Scots behaving less dramatically. We often thought that all a Scot would have to do to end a ghoulie approach would be to play the bagpipe. No ghost could beat that! (Sorry, Alan Hancock).Halloween today has emerged from wild and impossible situations to more dignified approaches. Groups of little kiddies from schools and churches come by for a trick or treat and get a handful of candy or a cookie. And no tricks.The old out house era is gone. We recall taking our little kids to a Halloween party at the Methodist Church and Beanie our little dog went too. I was dressed as a witch, mask and all, and no one guessed who I was until Beanie came in and sat down at my feet.So time marches on, and we wonder what another half a century will bring. Pumpkins, ghosts, treats — and outhouses pushed over. All in the long ago.And my grandchildren’s grandchildren will be saying, “Halloween, what’s that?” "

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