The Odessa Record -

Halloween celebrated through the years in Odessa; other odds and ends


October 31, 2019

Archive photo

Kathy McDaniel and Joyce Beck, (McNeil), are bewitching at Odessa Foods.

100 years ago

The Odessa Record

November 2, 1919

News updates: Halloween activities included a public gathering at the English Congregational church with booths for fortune telling, apple bobbing, etc. The high school students celebrated at the Masonic hall. Mrs. Alamata Pitts and Mrs. L. L. Black entertained groups. A bunch of boys around town staged a special party for Marshal Durland, climaxed by putting the W. L. Michaelsen cow in the high school assembly room.

The "Laugh-a-lot" pinochle club has been organized.

Ralph Lowe, Fred Fleisch, Arthur Schatz and Will F. Weber returned from Wenatchee where they had picked apples.

Real estate has been changing hands. Jacob Walter Sr. bought the Otto Reich place south of town, J. B. Loeffelbein bought the Doering place from Ed. Richter, Tom Weber sold the old Pat Sullivan place to Duff Millhorn, W. L. Smith purchased the Brown ranch in the northwest area, and C. C. Dobson purchased the George Gettman Sr. place north of town as pasture land.

John Linn, who left here 14 years ago to raise fruit in Idaho, visited at the Jacob Walter Sr. home.

Mrs. Wilhelmina Lobe purchased the George J. Kissler home in the Macey addition and will move to town. Her son, Nath Lobe, will operate the ranch.

There has been little change in the fuel situation. There is enough coal at hand at last for some time, but not a stick of wood at any of the yards. Meanwhile the government thermometer keeps going down. The one recording the progress of the city hall drive is the only one mounting.

The sugar famine is on and merchants are selling only 25 cents worth to each customer. Last week a purchase of 50 cents was permissible.

Mr. and Mrs. Gottfried Gross have been visiting in Idaho and have returned to their home at Ralston, after stopping for a visit at the David Jeske home.

Jack Leedy has opened his bowling alleys and is preparing tournaments.

Conrad Lenhart, the Moody grain dealer, is seeking a home in Odessa so that his children will have benefit of town schools.

75 years ago

The Odessa Record

November 2, 1944

Halloween fun caused no harm: Halloween passed without a trace of damage in the community. School children held their parties in the afternoon at the school house, with extra treats furnished by the commercial club.

During the evening groups of children visited the homes with their "Trick or Treat" offer, returning home with pockets stuffed with goodies.

Not a trace of soap on downtown windows, no political headquarters moved into streets or tipped over, all gave evidence that young America was doing its part in conserving property.

Richard Haase buys hardware business: Richard Haase, rancher in the Moody section, has purchased the hardware business of the Ruff Hardware company at Marlin, including the home of the owners, A. E. "Doc" Carr.

Mr. Haase will enter the store at once and will take possession on the first of the year, after acquainting himself with the business. Mr. Carr has not announced future plans.

Gather clothing for European people: St. Joseph's Catholic church, in co-operation with the St. Francis church at Harrington collected 19 cartons of clothing for the liberated peoples of Europe. There were 364 articles of clothing, including much winter material and infant clothing. The drive was under the auspices of the St. Joseph's Altar society, Mrs. Mark Smith, president.

50 years ago

The Odessa Record

October 30, 1969

Cubs receive awards at pack meeting: New Cubs were received into the Odessa Pack at the pack meeting Monday evening at the school cafeteria, and were awarded their Bobcat pins. Bob Kent is a new cub, going into the Webelo Den. Mark Evans, Marty Johnson, Gary Nelson, and Randey Thompson are first-year cubs.

Other awards presented during the evening were a Bear badge to Kirk Fode, who was advanced to the Webelo den; Wolf badges to Jay Libsack, Marty Pfeifer, Greg Brown, Eddie Weber and Dale Winfrey; Gold arrow points to the Wolf badge, Libsack and Pfeifer; and Gold and Silver arrow points to the Wolf badge to Ronald Larson.

Webeloes who earned awards included David Mills, David Richardson, Wade Heimbigner, and Carlie Evans. Jay Winfrey was given the Webelo award, as he was advanced to the Boy Scout troop. Jay has earned all 15 Webelo badges available.

A skit by the Cub, entitled "All That's Gold Does Not Glitter," followed the presentation of awards. Donuts and cider were served by the cubs to parents and guests. Jerry Weber, Webelo leader, then showed movies he had taken of various scout activities during the past year.

Early-Day pioneer is buried here this week: One of Odessa's early pioneers, Charles Scrupps, passed away at the Odessa Memorial Hospital Oct. 23, Mr. Scrupps had lived in Odessa since 1902.

He was born in England on October 22, 1873, and came to the U. S. in 1900, first to Wisconsin and then to Odessa. He was married to Margaret Frawley, and worked for the Great Northern Railroad until he retired in 1937. His wife died in 1922.

Mr. Scrupps is survived by five sons and two daughters. His sons are William of Everett, Fred, Henry, John and James of Odessa. Daughters are Mrs. Frances Groh and Mrs. Sarah E. Walter, both of Odessa. He is also survived by 23 grandchildren, 59 great grandchildren, and 1 great great grandchild. One sister, Mrs. Tony Groh, preceded him in death. Another, Mrs. Clara Kunz, who is 88, lives in Wenatchee.

Pallbearers at the funeral service, which was held Monday, Oct. 27 at the English Congregational Church, were grandsons: William Scrupps, Jr., Clem Groh, Jr., Ray Schorzman, Frank Groh, Lorus Scrupps, Jay Scrupps, Jim Walter and Tony Groh Jr. Officiating at the services were Dr. John Birchard and Rev. A. Hausauer. Mrs. Claudine Lyons was organist and Mrs. Ione Zeiler and Mrs. Delores Cook sang. Strate's Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.

25 years ago

The Odessa Record

October 27, 1994

Halloween a time-honored holiday: By Donald E Walter

It was a cold and rainy October 31 on Tuesday, but that didn't deter hundreds of Odessa youngsters from taking to the streets for an annual tradition, Halloween trick-or-treating.

Some other towns reported the spook crowd was sparse. In Spokane, it was said very few were cut in some neighborhoods--but that's another story, which we'll come to later.

Halloween is a time-honored holiday in Odessa. Where else do you find home decorations up for the event nearly a month ahead of time?

In olden times, youths used to move outhouses from backyards and set them in the middle of downtown First Avenue in the middle of the night. In 1927, Halloween pranksters put a cow in the corridor inside Odessa High School. Soaping windows of downtown stores was taken for granted. As a matter of course, merchants would wipe the plate glass with kerosene as an anti-soap measure before the festivities began.

Halloween has calmed down in recent times, but Odessa still loves it.

Even though I should have been working to put out the paper, I went home Monday night to help my mother greet the trick-or-treaters who came to her door. The big surge was from 5:30 to 7:30 in the evening. We figured between 50 and 60 youths came knocking. One resident who kept a precise count said Wednesday he'd been visited by 118 youngsters.

Odessa's trick-or-treaters this year were attired as vampires, witches, space men, princesses and bats. An older kid showed up with a screen-like device over his head. He said he was a spent vampire, whatever that might have signified.

Out candy was gone by 8 o'clock, so we turned out the lights, and I went back to work.

Meanwhile, I'd called up to my house in Spokane, where my sister and brother-in-law, Carol and Don Evavold were looking after the situation. Carol and Don live on a busy street in Spokane which isn't so easy for trick-or-treaters to maneuver. They rarely have visitors on Halloween.

It's different at my place, thought, which is in the Comstock Park area. Tricksters come in droves. In fact, they're bussed in from other areas of Spokane County.

Normally, I'd make it a point to be in my house in Spokane for Halloween because there is just too much action in the neighborhood to feel comfortable about leaving the house dark. But Halloween this year came on a deadline night, so I couldn't leave the newspaper office for that long a time.

Kids-- and there are a disgusting number of older folks roaming through the neighborhood-- smash pumpkins in the street. They string colored toilet paper over the shrubs and aspen trees. One year a teenager waltzed up on a pair of skies and proceeded to slide down my front steps.

By 7:15 p.m., Carol and Don reported they'd treated 245 trick-or-treaters. I'd told Carol about giving out the candy: "Each one just gets one piece." Sometimes they get kind of choosy. One tot last year-- she couldn't have been more than 4-- stamped her foot and slapped my hand last year when I handed her a peppermint. I don't like that!" she cried out.

I called Carol again at 8 and she said the crowd was thinning out. Yes, the middle-aged crowd was back, with their pillow cases to be filled. Yes, there were the teenagers, probably the same little globules of greed I'd encountered last year, who asked: "Is that all ya got?" Or better yet: "Gee, thanks a lot!"

By 8 o'clock Carol and Don said the throngs were subsiding. The doorbell was ringing so often they lost count after 350, but judging from the amount of candy left, they were certain at least 400 tricksters had stopped by.

That's Spokane, which is a far cry from the innocent fun we have in Odessa. And it's even farther away from what I remember about Halloween when I was of an age when I might be going door to door. I never did, because there wasn't a door to approach within a half-mile. Growing up on an Odessa wheat farm, there wasn't much opportunity to scare the neighbors with a Halloween costume. And, anyway, 65 years ago, trick-or-treating hadn't reached the high state of perfection it has today. In fact, even within the town of Odessa, this type of observance of Halloween among children then was virtually unknown.

We had Halloween parties at the one-room country school-- the Janke School-- where I started the first grade. I remember the orange and black crepe-paper streamers our teacher, Miss Dow, put up for decorations. The only other thing I recall is that we put sheets over ourselves, portraying ghosts in a playlet which the teacher wrote and directed.

If Halloween was lonely on the farm, it was even more so during the 25 years I lived in Los Angeles. My house was at the end of a lane shared by two other homes in Mandeville Canyon, high above Santa Monica, overlooking the Pacific Ocean. More often than not, the forms of life in my backyard were coyotes, deer and an occasional lynx.

Archive photo

Deanna Nelson transforms herself with a nose job.

So it wasn't surprising that this secluded spot wasn't on the trick-or-treat trail. Only once in all those years did the door bell ring on Halloween.

I opened the door. There stood a little girl-- again, a 4-year-old-- in a Red Riding Hood outfit.

"Are you all alone, little girl?" I asked.

"No she's not all alone!" Out of the bushes jumped an excited and anxious father, who whisked the child into the darkness of the night.

I withdrew my candy dish and shut the door, feeling every bit that I'd been perceived to be the big bad wolf or the dirty old man.

I'm glad to be back in Odessa when Halloween rolls around. We've kept it basic. And that means it's fun for everyone.

For another perspective of Halloween, read on. Columnist Christina R. Scheller tells of the holiday during her youth in Prosser.


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