Small town fun

Halloween and Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving meant a major meal featuring turkey and all the trimmings. We started with a fruit cocktail which had lots of maraschino cherries in it. We always had creamed onions and an oyster casserole along with succotash, mashed potatoes , stuffing, gravy and deserts of pumpkin and mince pie with ice cream.

Relatives or neighbors were invited for dinner. The table was set with mother's good Lenox for this special occasion. We had most of our regular meals in the kitchen but special meals like thanksgiving were always in the dining room.

Halloween was a fun time for us. Living in a small community, we knew all our neighbors and visited them all for Trick or Treats. Unlike today, we did not have to worry about people putting pins or razor blades in the treats. Many mothers went to a lot of trouble to bake cookies especially for Halloween treats. The only costumes I remember are ones we have photos of. Both Roger dressed up as Charlie Chaplain with mustache, cane and big shoes.

I dressed up as Oliver Hardy and had a big pillow tied to my center to give me a big belly. As we got older, we did a few more tricks than treats. The only entrance to Yardville Heights was Highland Avenue. Several times on Halloween, we took advantage of the corn field with itís shocks of corn stalks that ran alongside Highland Avenue. We would "appropriate" some of the corn shocks to erect a barrier across the street. The headlights of cars werenít very strong in those days so a car would be almost upon this barrier of corn stalks before he saw it. We were amused by the frantic efforts to stop before plowing into the corn stalk barrier. We also put a long string with tin cans tied to each end and stetched across the road. It was elevated about 2 feet. above the street where it would catch on the car. A car would hit the string and end up dragging the cans behind it making a fearsome noise. One Halloween custom for several years when I was in high school was the painting of store windows. The merchants in downtown Trenton allowed groups of kids to paint elaborate Halloween scenes on their show windows. It was a competitive venture and some of the work was very impressive. It was a creative way to keep kids occupied.