The senior citizens of Three Springs opened a thrift shop in 1982 in what was once a little town grocery store. The wooden building with faded white paint was absent of large refrigerators that often broke down but was cool to cousins Stephen and Chuck. They decided to make their own Halloween costumes that year and went shopping to support the old ladies of town.
It was Stephen’s idea to dress like girls when he learned the thrift shop had its first ‘big brown bag’ sale. For only a dollar the kissing cousins were permitted to fill their sacks to the top with used clothing.
Nobody stopped them or told them it was wrong. Their parents saw it coming years ago. The two held hands as children and never could get over that habit as they approached their teens. Eventually, Stephen’s father ordered the boys to stop holding hands and grow up.
Preparing for Halloween together that year was like holding hands again. Even the old ladies with strict moral values egged them on.
“Here honey. Go ahead and put some of these clip- on earrings in the bag. The sign at the front does say ‘Brown Bag Sale’.
The wigs lining the wall at the back of the store sat atop Styrofoam manikin heads and called to the boys like their mothers rounding them up for supper.
They did it. They walked from door to door in that small town and collected their candy and got to be ladies for the night.
They both were blondes.
Stephen’s grandfather knew who was hiding under the costumes right away.
“I know Horton eyes anywhere. You are a Horton. Is that you under there Stephen? Yes it is. But who is that with you?”
Chuck batted his eyelashes at him, winked and giggled.
“I know who that is. Here have a Snickers!”
The real fun in town didn’t start until much later, when all the little kids were inside counting up their candy.
It was a tradition in Three Springs to corn cars on Halloween. Teenagers hid under the bridge at the top of town and waited for cars heading towards Huntingdon to pass. Stephen and Chuck wouldn’t miss all that fun for the world. The hard corn, shucked from cobs that grew in abundance in nearby fields assured plenty of ammunition and all the teenagers in town spent weeks in mid-October preparing for the big Halloween attack on cars. It was much more exciting than the costumes or candy.
What made corning cars so fun was that some of the drivers would stop their car and get out and chase the kids. If caught, a good ass-whipping was in order.
Chuck didn’t think about those high heels he was wearing and how the pointy stilettos would sink deep into the mud when trying to run. Stephen wore cheerleader boots and could still run fast.
When Brad Boyer jumped out of his pick-up truck with his shot gun, everyone but Chuck ran deep into the forest. The blonde had no choice but to remain very still under that bridge.
Chuck quickly removed one of his clip- on earrings and tossed it towards the far side of the bridge to try and fool the angry driver.
The driver had a flashlight and shined the bright light into Chuck’s face. Only one ear sparkled in the night.
It was Brad Boyer– the quarterback from the football team. He smiled at Chuck and put his gun down.
“Nice costume,” he said while smiling widely.
“Thanks! Want some candy?”