How fishing line might be the best ‘trick’ of Halloween
Growing up in a rural area of south Alabama, there was never the chance to really go trick-or-treating in our neighborhood. In fact, calling the area where I grew up a neighborhood is being a bit generous.
The space between the home I grew up in and our neighbors was best measured in tenths of a mile rather than a few feet.
That said, Halloween was always brought a bit of excitement to our little middle of nowhere.
With parents who spent more than 30-plus years teaching, student pranks were something that was at times expected. One such prank that came with great regularity was a group of students finding it hilarious to roll the tall pine trees that filled our front yard. This was not a prank pulled just on Halloween, but after a random Friday night football game, homecoming, the second Tuesday night of April, the first full moon of January, etc.
Rolling a yard never really needs a reason, having taken part in a few rolling parties myself.
That said, one particular Halloween my dad took matters into his own hands. He had enough of spending a Saturday morning or afternoon after school of picking up toilet paper and getting paper out of the trees. This time, he had a plan.
After school this particular Halloween, he and I — who was all of 10 at the time — spent precious hours winding small, filament fishing line in between one pine tree and the next. The line was about a foot or so off the ground and woven in a network through about a half-acre of prime target pine trees.
With the work finished, you could almost see the joy on his face as to what he had planned and implemented. All that was left was to sit back, turn off the lights and wait.
And, just like clockwork, after much of the Halloween festivities “in town” had wrapped up, a group of teenagers on a mission to roll the Reeves’ yard came skulking down the dirt road that led to our home. You could hear the truck roll past, headlights off, and then come to a stop just past our house.
In quiet fashion — or rather not so quiet fashion — you heard the group get out of the truck and begin their walk through the yard. And instead of hearing the giggles and snickers of young men pulling off a prank, you heard one after the other trip, fall and cuss. After a few of them lost their footing “for whatever reason,” you heard one of them say, “let’s get out of here.”
I have been around my father during some of his proudest moments. There was the birth of my sister, our graduation from high school and college, the birth of grandchildren and so on, but to this day, I am not sure there has ever been a bigger smile on his face than that evening.
Yes, the next morning was spent cutting down the fishing line, but it was a lot easier than picking up toilet paper.
Halloween is a fun occasion and my children thoroughly enjoy living in a neighborhood, going from one door to the next, saying “trick-0r-treat,” and then coming home to take account of their bounty. As parents, Stephanie and I are blessed to be able to provide them the childhood memories that come from heading out on Halloween.
We are so thankful for a safe community for them to scour and a community that takes every chance to put on events that cater to children. That said, something just doesn’t seem right. There’s something missing each Halloween.
Maybe a bit of fishing line around our lone pecan tree in the front yard is what’s missing.
Tim Reeves is editor of The Vicksburg Post. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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