The Ole Halloween “destroying rampage” of 1954, and a good bit of advice…

There is no greater fun-making holiday than Hallowe’en with its colorful costumes, apple ducking parties and witchcraft spoofing. Country Club residents were delighted to see the Hallowe’en spirit so widely manifested in so many homes. Dozens of lighted pumpkins dotted the area at night providing a welcome respite to people returning home from their business problems. For this short season—Hallowe’en, Thanksgiving, Christmas—we all like to escape into a holiday world reminiscent of our own childhood.

But something is taking place now that may doom the holiday dress our community puts on. Groups of older boys, seeking an outlet for their restless energy, went on a destroying rampage. It is hard to believe that they would get a lift from smashing pumpkins . . . or from breaking street lights . . . but they did both, in considerable number. One man found his car defaced by a bottle of ink which had been spilled over it. The lantern post outside of someone else’s house was destroyed.

Is this considered fun? Did it make anyone laugh?

Many of us moved here to give our children the benefit of better living than city life offered. If we want to prevent hoodlums from gaining a foothold here, then there is only one solution—We must keep in closer touch with our children. By and large the youngsters in our community are a nice bunch of kids. There isn’t a bad apple in the lot but like all adolescents there is a tendency to run wild unless they are cautioned a bit and taught to avoid excesses. No one wants to spoil their fun but there is no reason for destroying things or hurting people. We are all kind of proud of this community of ours and we don’t want anything to happen to spoil its good name.

from The Rancher – November 1954

Danny Abby, 5½, and Joanne Dembro, 5, were two of the best dressed ragamuffins at the Halloween party given by Gladys and Milton Lansky for their children, Donnie and Steve. Although 35 children were invited, the Lanskys were lucky—only 32 came.