When I was a young innocent boy in the first grade, my family lived in the desert hole of Battle Mountain, Nevada. This was probably ’61 or ’62, when the state was in the rough era of whiskey, women and gold mines, which makes sense in my mind that they should go together.
I strongly remember the Halloween of that year, when three of us went on the “Trick or Treat” campaign. I remember my older sister was there, and either an older brother or a younger sister. I distinctly remembering seeing a house, that although did not have the porch light on (to tell kids we have candy for you), it did have a light in the window with noise from a TV or radio inside. So, common sense would be, there is someone in that house, thus candy.
I remember knocking on the door and standing back to wait. No one answered. Stepped forward again and knocked harder, then stepped back. Still nothing. Tried once more, and the door creaked opened.
We gleefully announced, “trick’er treat!”
Standing before us was the silhouette of a man that filled the doorway, and by the words he spoke, he was not happy.
Here is what he said. Read it the way he spoke. Slowly, one word at a time.
“You woke me up. I ought’a switchboard yo’ ears.”
We really did not know what to say, other than to repeat, “Trick’er treat.”
There was a moment of silence, then the silhouette moved his hand into his pocket, withdrew it, and reached out and dropped a silver dollar in my sister’s hand. The door closed and we turned away. I don’t remember if we continued to add to our collection of candy, or if we made a direct line back home, because we were now filthy rich.
Once home, it seemed there was a delay of several days trying to decide how to divide 1 silver dollar evenly between the three of us. I knew, even at my young age, that each would get 33 cents, but somebody would get one extra. To this day, every Halloween, I wonder what happened to that extra penny. Did it go to my oldest sister? Did my mother keep it as a service fee? My worry is the penny went to one of my older brothers who didn’t deserve it, because none suffered through the harrowing ordeal.
I realize it is one of those things I will find out upon my demise and entrance into Heaven. Whichever of you guys got it, I will find out.