Friday, October 31, 2014

Trick and Treat

James, my FB avitar is reminiscent of the last time that crew, we've had fun recalling, went out trick or treating.  The crew's composition varied a little but, nearly always included Tate and Dillard who were also the chief instigators of whatever mischief we got into.

We’re out, probably Halloween 1959 or 1960, 15/16 years old, raising hell around the neighborhoods in Cooper’s old Chevy when Tate or Dillard spot some tykes crossing a lawn, their bags stuffed with their loot.  Don’t recall who yelled out the suggestion…but, the call to mischief went something like, “Let’s trick or treat those kids”

Coop locked the brakes and 5 or 6 pre-juvenile delinquents jumped out of the Chevy, arms waving, yelling, “Trick or Treat.”  Now, if you recall that crew, they were all large lads, by this time at or past 6’ tall, most of them football players.

Those poor little tykes didn’t hesitate an instant…they dropped their loot bags and ran for the hills!  Of course, that left a lot of loot on the ground and saved the trouble of having to find a sheet to throw over a 6’ frame and suffer the adults’ admonitions of our being too old for trick or treating.

I hope we left most of that loot where it fell, although it’s likely, given that crew’s composition, some of it was picked up and taken away.  Always felt kind of bad about that one on account of the kids’ reactions being so instantaneous and unexpected. 
But it was the girls’ fault, of course.  They hadn’t invited any of us to a Halloween party, thus taking us off the streets; nope, this was the year they discovered the enchantment of older men….Juniors and Seniors with drivers’ licenses that none of us, except Coop had.  I’ll deal with that phenomena in the next blog piece or two.

This piece generated a funny exchange in Facebook.....

A.B. - So let me get this straight. You're admitting to strong arm robbery for candy? 

Gus - Gee, I guess you could call it that...always thought of it as an instantaneous misunderstanding...I expected a little argument, not complete surrender and rapid retreat. Hope the statute of limitations has run out.

A.B. - I think you're safe. Murder is the only thing that I can think of that would extend to 50+ years on the statute of limitations.

L.C. - Ya'll are hysterical !!!!             I was one of those robbed & running...
            So not all the girls were at that Halloween party!!!
            You have to be kidding!... 6' tall bulked football players "afraid" of knocking on doors for their own candy for fear of being mistaken as adults?!!!
            Well ... On second thought maybe The Steal was The Thrill !!!             Happy Halloween!!! Now give my candy back!!!

A.B. - You're not likely to get the candy back and even if you did, you probably wouldn't want to eat it after all of this time. Tell me, was that your first mugging?

L.C. - Yes just one mugging...but it was back in the old days of less crime!!! Lol

J.F. - The group (or gang might be appropriate) Gus is talking about was an incredibly eccentric, intellectually brilliant, and funny bunch of teenagers. EHHS early '60's was a gold mine of such folks.

Gus - Now L.C., I'm pretty sure you're funnin' me were a larger kid by then than the ones Tate and Dillard mugged, thus acquiring a nice Trick or Treat haul without all the work. Besides, since none of this crew was disguised that night so, you would have recognized us and most likely not been inclined to take off running. This was also the evening of papering the trees at selected homes, egging, and whatever other miscellaneous mischief we could stir up. Usually a midnight tour of Rose Hill was on the schedule. So, you see there was a lot to do. Topping it all off were cokes and fries at the Lancaster St. drive-in where other unattached revelers tended to wind down. If we were lucky, some of the Poly Chain Gang remnants were there also...and, if we were really lucky, so was Brandon, Sam, and a few others who knew how to fight...something none of us really perfected. That probably goes to the relatively elevated intelligence James suggests; that being, we likely understood there was little upside to be enjoyed from a fight and there could be some significant downside such as unnecessary discomfort. Can you believe it...there were no alcoholic spirits involved in any of these tours and I don't recall any smoking, either. Of course for some of them, that would come later.

Gus - James,'s nice to have 3rd party confirmation of what I recall about that gang of semi-delinquents. Otherwise, I might feel odd recalling them and the times as fondly as I do.

J.F. - That was my thought, Gus. You do need backup confirmation when you tell some of the tales of this group. Unbelievable stuff to many people. For example, one time when on a river camping trip to the Brazos River that included a few females who had the b...well, you know, to be there, Guthrie comes back to campsite from the river barefooted and wearing only soaking wet jeans, no shirt. Everybody else is sitting around in a group talking. Then, it was slowly noticed by everybody that Guthrie's crotch is larger than usual and is jumping around in an odd looking way. He had caught some kind of fish and put it in his underwear just for the laugh. And, it was so funny to all of us. Of course, the gals were the first to notice and freaked out, calling him all kinds of names. Guthrie acted the whole time like he has no clue what they're talking about.

Gus - One of my old classmates figured me out on the basis of humor. It was down to a choice between me or Guthrie. The tie-breaker was that my humor in his memory tended to be subtle where Guthrie was laugh out loud funny. He and McCoy had been classmates apart from all the rest of that MJH gang as they matriculated through Poly Ele together since 1st grade. By the time they joined us at MJH, they had their duet finely honed over a period of 6-years or so...then, we stirred in Dillard and Tate and McCook, et al.


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