DEL MAR — When today’s boy seniors were juvies, Halloween was more than a night of dressing up in store-bought costumes and knocking on doors, lugging a decorated candy bag, and shouting “trick or treat.”
It required advance planning and effort. The challenge was to evade Constable Joe Sage who most of the time sat in his Model A Ford sedan that he used for a squad car and parked on 15th Street.
But on Halloween night he seemed to be everywhere, chasing Halloweeners who were up to no good tipping over garbage cans and wrapping toilet paper around outdoor plants. While Constable Sage was on the hillside east of Highway 101, kids were smearing bar soap on store windows. Not a bad deal for the store keepers, however, since the next day the kids were back and offered to wash the windows for four-bits.
Joyce Evans who lived on Stratford Court turned her manse into a haunted house sort of like a mini-Scream Zone but without the bells and whistles. Across the street Ruth Niemann, who was the school principal, had a party and the kids bobbed for apples that were in a wash tub filled with water. They played games and the highlight was “spin the bottle” when some of the boys got to kiss their favorite girl. It was all on the up and up as was expected in the principal’s house.
Most houses had a jack o’ lantern in the window with a lighted candle. That was OK by the fire department.
The first sign of commercialism began when the PTA had a costume parade
with a Halloween carnival. Butterfingers, Milky Ways and Three Musketeers were given as prizes. Thus began the era of commercial costumes and candy.
The great unsolved mystery of the decade happened the year pranksters managed to put an abandoned outhouse on the roof at the entrance to the San Dieguito High School. Where was school security? Asleep? In cahoots with those responsible?
Filed Under: EyeWitness