Grand Marshals selected for West Union Fourth of July Parade Adams County, Maysville Vet team up to save injured dog Michael S Knauff Victor P Price Success builds from the bottom up Finalists named for 2017 Fair Queen Contest William Glenn DeWine, Reader Call For Tips in Rhoden Murder Investigation MHS principal to take superintendent post Peebles Skate Park now a reality 2017-18 Fur and Feather Ambassadors named Caley Grooms is Cattlemen’s Beef Ambassador Dr. Mueller leaving Health Department’s free clinic Hourglass Quilt Barn returning to Adams County Lung, Thornburg are First Team All-District selections North Adams hosts annual Boys Basketball Camps Walk-off winner Wanda Hill George D Johnson Life can be a juggling act My favorite thing to do on the farm Wolves in Adams County! Ronald L Wedmore Three lessons from Dad Donald D Morgan Wenstrup uninjured in Virginia shooting Portman staff to hold grant funding workshop Raymond E Applegate Keeping the Peebles tradition alive Back on the hardwood, local hoops squads compete in Monday Night League Seven county athletes recognized as All-SHAC Baseball honorees Stepping to the podium Lady Hounds host Youth Volleyball Camp Senior Profile: Bryan Young Junior Deputy Boot Camps kick off in Manchester Hayes pleads “not guilty” to 109 counts Six-year-old girl finds long-lost class ring Jefferson Alumni awards annual scholarships Paul Tate Jr Marcus I Cox Jewell Gill James M Hill Jr Jeffrey S Jones Samuel A Disher Jack Sterling BREAKING NEWS: Parents face charges after son overdoses on opiate License Hikes and Tall Turkey Tales Danger under every rock Reigning Miss Ohio USA will judge 2017 Adams County Fair Queen Pageant Gordley’s hoops career will continue at Mount St. Joseph Russell C Newman Kenneth C Thurman George Uebel Summer Reading Program underway Honor Flight carries local veteran to DC When rescuers become victims Passing the torch, West Union hosts week-long basketball camp for future Dragons SENIOR PROFILE: Sara Knechtly Terry L Powell Willie Shreffler James C Fitzpatrick Senior Profile: Austin Parks Six countians named to All-SHAC Softball squad Lady Indians get summer camp season underway Memorial Day services pay tribute to local veterans WUHS Steel Band will perform at Bogart’s SSCC announces Honors Lists for spring semester Peebles Elementary releases Honor Roll for final nine weeks West Union Elementary announces Honor Roll for fourth nine weeks Back to State! Mom calls daughter “living proof” seat belts save lives Rent-2-Own donation means new soccer scoreboard at WUHS NAHS student selected for Engineering Summer Camp Southern Hills Athletic Conferences honors Spring Sports athletes Senior Profile: Kailyn Boyd Madison Welch receives Riffle Scholarship Junior Achievement Volunteers visit county’s seventh graders Marcella J Abbott James Ratliff Gladys Davitz Harry G Shupert Memories on Memorial Day A soldier’s story, a family’s grief Thank You for your sacrifice Seaman community honors local veterans with special tribute Former PES teacher dies in tragic accident All County Senior Citizens Day celebrated Parks signs with SSCC Soccer Senior Profile: Lexie Bunn Jessie Rodgers Memorial Day services set for county Truly our greatest generation Bertha Lashley Maia Swartz Jessie Rodgers Errors spell the end of Devils’ baseball season Senior Profile: Carry Hayslip Lady Hounds’ season ends with tourney loss to Paint Valley North Adams hosts Youth Volleyball Camp Time to get “Stroke Savvy”

The Halloween Social thing to do

I was talking with some friends the other day and a term I hadn’t heard in a long time was mentioned. The term was Cake Walk. That is a game that was played at the Felicity PTA Halloween Socials back in the 60’s when I went to school there. The Social was always held as near to Halloween as possible and was really the first big event of a new school year held at the school. The ladies of the PTA worked themselves to the bone preparing for this the event of the year. Remember now this was back in the 60’s and I’m talking about a rural community where there was an event that offered something from the youngest to the oldest and all ages in between.

Here is Webster’s’ definition of social: ”relating to or involving activities in which people spend time talking to each other or doing enjoyable things with each other.” I didn’t make that up but if anyone ever attended a Halloween social they know Webster hit it right on the head. Since it was still a time of year that people could venture out and not have to be bundled up the majority of the community was there in attendance. The children came because they could wear costumes and win prizes and play games. The parents came in most cases because their children wanted to go and so they could visit with friends. The junior high and high school kids went so they could hang out with their friends and have fun.

Fun was varied at the social. There were booths that sold cookies and brownies. Some sold slices of pie or cake. There was apple cider and candy apples and popcorn balls, there were hot dogs and barbeque. (other than the hot dogs all other items were baked or cooked at home by the ladies of the PTA. Try finding that today.)

There were games such as the fish pond, make a basket, bobbing for apples and more than I can recall but the big game was the Cake Walk. People paid a quarter and got in a circle in the middle of the gym that had squares with numbers in them. When the music started all the participants walked the circle and when the music stopped they did also. When a number was called out the person standing on that numbered square won a home baked cake, a pretty good return on your investment. However, there always seemed to be one person who would be on the winning number constantly. (Who needed six cakes?)

There was a jail which made a large amount of money. They used four or five high school guys of good size as the jailers. The object was to go to a jailer and pay them to arrest a person. They would round them up and place them in the jail. That person got out by paying bail. That person would then find out who had him jailed and have him arrested in return. This really was a simple game of tag but the kids loved it.

A hallway that ran behind the stage in the gym was where the Haunted House was located. Many liked it but it wasn’t too scary. It was sponsored by the PTA and it is hard to be too scary when sponsored by a group with a G rating. I do recall a kissing booth for a dollar. There would be a very pretty girl seated in a booth where she could be seen but not reached. A boy paid his dollar and as he leaned in for a big kiss a hand came out and delivered some Hershey’s Kisses. This didn’t go well as fool me once shame on me fool me twice shame on you. It died from false advertising since there was no competition.

With the men going outside so they could talk and have a smoke without screaming kids and while all the games were getting their fair share of play and the foods consumed, the main event began. That was the costume judging. Each age group was brought up on stage and a panel of judges picked a first, second and third place winner. The master of ceremonies did all the talking.

One year for some reason there was just one little boy entered in one of the younger age groups and this was of little interest since there no competition but the announcer began asking the little boy questions that convinced him was a big part of judging the winner. He was so into all this that he became very serious and the crowd could see just how concerned he was becoming about if he was going to win or not. Finally Ron Louderback, the announcer, yelled in a loud and excited voice that the judges had picked him as the first place winner. The little boy jumped up in the air for joy and the entire crowd erupted in a deafening cheer for him. It was the highlight of that year’s social.

This was how the annual Halloween Social went each year at Felicity, There was a good evening and a grand time. The reason I’m telling this is that I don’t know about the city schools, but out in the country in every rural community there was then and there is today a Halloween Social . This may sound a little bit prejudiced but country people know how to enjoy themselves even with a glass of apple cider and a slice of pumpkin pie and a whole lot of being social.

Rick Houser grew up on a farm near Moscow in Clermont County and likes to share stories about his youth and other topics. He can be reached at houser734@yahoo.com.

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The Good Old Days

Rick Houser

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