A Cowboy’s Faith: No outhouses on Main

buchmanheadHeading to church, we looked down Main Street, and no sign of mischievousness from the night before.

Quite the contrast from decades ago when morning after Halloween revealed youthful orneriness everywhere.

There’d be hay bales, squashed pumpkins, barrels, trash, an outhouse (when they were home essential), and one year even a junk car. Overturned backyard shanty was one of the most frequent aftermaths.

Such pranks are now atypical, but Halloween gets ample attention. Discount store was overcrowded with costumes, candy, stuff like we could never imagine.

There was a dress-up contest at the office, yet all agreed we didn’t need to participate, as we’re the oddball, anyway, dressing like we always have. Still, with the freeze, our duster came out, and that heavier coat strangely drew comment as though we were gaming for the day.

New company efforts prod “A Team” ethics from the force, so some sales staff mimicked that old television show. Comical how even bigger fools can be.

Of course, we remembered what it was like as a kid. Plan was for students to water-base-paint Halloween pictures on store windows, be in a parade and have a costume party with games and treats, so there would be “no tricks.”

That worked to a point in the county seat, but little burgs still experienced malice.

Outfits were more homegrown, however once we did get a store-bought, and still never got a prize. Some went trick-or-treating, generally not us. Dad always told those tykes knocking on our door: “Trick,” and bewilderedness showed through their little getups.

Aunt Lu would bring the biggest pumpkin back from vacation, and we carved it on the grocery store butcher block.

Not many came to the ranch this Halloween, but the singing neighbor dairy couple as Little Orphan Annie and Daddy Warbucks, with popcorn balls, justified late bedtime.

Halloween is a contraction of “All Hallows Eve,” designating vigil of All Hallows Day, or All Saints Day. Hallow as a noun means saint, while as a verb signifies holy.

So, we slept in Sunday, with the time change, and then recognized All Saints Day.

Reminds us of Deuteronomy 18:12: “Let no one engage in witchcraft, as that is detestable to the Lord.” Fittingly, Psalm 32.9: “Don’t be ornery like a horse requiring heavy handed bit to stay on track.”


030615-franksmug2Frank J. Buchman is a lifelong rancher from Alta Vista, a lifetime newspaper writer, syndicated national ag writer and a radio marketing consultant. He writes a weekly column to share A Cowboy’s Faith.


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