With Halloween so near some may recall tales of early tricksters, such as those borough boys who loved the cows, the school and Perry Ferguson as targets. The township boys had a few tricks as well!
At Avonia the school there was a target. Imagine taking apart a loaded wagon, hoisting the pieces to the roof of the school, putting them back together, then hoisting up the load and putting it into the wagon… Well! It happened. What a feat, and perhaps the best feat of all the Halloween tricks.
The bell atop the Avonia School was taken from time to time also. It was an innocent time with indulging adults, although if caught, the boys had to right their tricks.
Such as, for example, on Van Camp Road when the boys piled the road – unpaved then – with cornstalks, which were intended to stop traffic. There was not too much traffic along that road in those years, anyway. But the Leopold farm was in that area and was known for the fine pumpkin crop each fall. One year, just about the time the boys were piling the cornstalks someone mentioned adding pumpkins to the mix.
“It wasn’t hard for the older people to figure out who did it,” said one of the boys all grown up and reminiscing, “and they always put the boys on clean-up duty the next day.”
One morning after Treat or Trick night a farmer with bees discovered his hives had been turned over. The guilty boys were soon found out and put to work weeding the farmer’s onion patch.
Where were the girls through all of this? Attending neighborhood parties. Longtime resident Edith Heidler Osterberg recalled in an article for the Cosmopolite back in 1983, that she remembered the first time she wore a costume and went trick or treating. The costume was a sheet. She and some friends rode the trolley into the borough and visited the stores there for treats. “All the stores,” she said, “about two then.”
Again, the outhouses were always a target, all over the township and borough. No wonder plumbing moved indoors!