This morning after sending all the critters to the freezing outside elements, (where they seem happy) I zipped back into the house to work out the problems of our websites and recovering the ISP data needed to do uploading to the internet. AND sip nice hot coffee in the process. It is not exactly cold outside…just the coolness of the fall chill we love. It defines the autumn season when we see pumpkins, goblins and ghosts, and ripe apples, apple cider, hayrides, colored leaves and the smell of wood smoke.
I think it is my favorite time of the year because it reminds me and transforms me back to a young teenager walking the street with an old girlfriend as we watched kids torment “Big Bob” Treaster, the local elementary school principal on Halloween Eve. Oh how they waxed and soaped his windows and oh how he scared the bejesus out us all when he came out and ripped of a shot from his shotgun…… and how we were further scared when we heard the bb’s falling all around us as they bounced off of our heads! (I later recollected that he probably shot straight up in the air for bb’s to bounce off of the tops of our heads, but who thinks that clearly right after a gun blast and you‘re 15 or so?) I remember him getting into trouble for shooting at kids (either that night or a later incident) I remember the little kids passing us as they hurried from house to house trying to get as many stops in as they could before the allotted time elapsed in that one evening of Halloweening back then. Everyone halloweened on the same night in those years…… Halloween Eve only…… never more than that and you usually only had time to terrorize your own neighborhood before it was over for the year.
I remember one year when I was 12 years old and a bunch of us kids were harassing old man Crownover by sneaking under his garden fence to get tomatoes to throw at passing cars. He would hear us giggling and rummaging through the rotted tomatoes and come out with a long stick and chase us out almost catching us as we slid under the fence. We would wait a little while and try again only to be met with another capture attempt. Well, we knew of a neighbor that had a dummy in his garden, so we “Borrowed” it and stuck it in the opening under the fence and then made a ruckus beside the fence, then ran a short distance to hunker down and watch the fun. Old man Crownover came sneaking around the corner of the house as usual, and we started yelling “come on Tim hurry he’s coming……COME ON!”. Old man Crownover saw the “boy” under the fence and he started hollering and running. He grabbed the dummy and yanked it out from under the fence, shook it and laid it over his need and proceeded to whip the tar out of the dummy with a stick. This of course was immediately met with our uncontrollable laughter and the “everlasting chant” that was probably verbally cast out by all the kids as they rode past old Man Crownover’s house….
"WHO cuffed the dummy, who cuffed the dummy, nah nah na nah nah?" I suppose this was an embarrassment he bore until the time of his passing, but undoubtedly very funny and an affectionate memory of the gruff old man who probably was only doing what was expected of an elementary principle. I was told some time later that he was a very nice old fellow, but acted this way because everyone expected that from him. Even more affectionate was the memory after that.
Oh to be young again! You know what? We can all be young again if we just close our eyes and allow our memories to revert back to a time in our youth that we enjoyed……… and then open our eyes when we’ve had enough and remember that we don’t have to go through all of the undesirable crap we had to endure back then by doing it this way. This is exactly why I love fall so much…… because it brings back all these memories that transport me back to enjoyable times in my life.