What I thought was going to be an amusing Top 10 article about what our local Greatest Generation dressed as or what their favorite candy was ended up being an adventure in discovering the different approaches of girls and boys to Halloween.
It began with the innocent question, “Did you Trick or Treat when you were little?”
Until I was 12, I began planning my Halloween costume in August, always a princess or sparkly fairy. My mother, my Halloween nemesis, allowed me to fantasize and create the perfect confections of fabric combined with my dead Aunt Edith’s jewelry. Then, at the very last minute, she would force me with the promise of no Milk Duds, to wear a coat underneath my costume. Not only did my burgundy wool coat not match my french rose organza sequined fairy skirt or lavender satin princess dress, but it made me look like the Pillsbury Dough Pillow and the Purple Michelin Tire Toad.
I still can’t believe she made me wear a coat when it was a balmy 21 degrees.
I queried the Foxy Ladies table first.
“What?” said Mae Boughan, “We didn’t have money to do any of that stuff. It was the Depression. We ate oatmeal for dinner.”
Mary Lou Maehr added, “We didn’t even get to eat dinner, let alone have money for anything else. You better go ask someone else.”
I thought I had it tough.
The Stitching Ladies were next. They didn’t trick or treat either, for the same reasons. The Dancing Ladies did, though. They loved the costume drama and visiting the neighbors’ houses.
Norma Jean Foust overheard us and excitedly recounted, “Oh Jodi, I went to the best Halloween parties as a girl. We would play musical chairs and the girl left standing would have to kiss the boys.”
Encouraged, I moved to the next two tables, the Dog Pound Table and the Artist’s Table. These two tables are mainly comprised of men.
“Did you Trick or Treat when you were little?” I asked sweetly.
You bet they did. They focused on the trick side of the equation.
“We tied trashcans to people’s bumpers.” “Unrolled hay bails down Main Street.” “Pushed over outhouses.” “Rolled Co-op gas tanks down the street.” “Dumped trashcans on peoples porches.” “Ran from the police.” “Soaped windows.” “Set cow manure on fire.” “Put a wagon on top of the general store.” “Threw eggs on cars.” “Put pigs in the school.” “Toilet papered houses” and “Burned tires.”
I did not attribute the quotes to their owners to protect the guilty.
“What were the girls doing while you all were out breaking the law?” I inquired.
“Oh,” said a grinning Wild Dave Jeffries, “We always saw them peeking at us through the curtains.”
My favorite tale came from Ernie Garcia who knew how to both trick and treat. “First we would dump over trash cans. Then we would trick or treat, but we didn’t dress up — we just wore our clothes, but we wanted the candy. After that we picked up the girls and took them to the cemetery and scared them good. Then we would spend a long time kissing them (the girls). They liked that.”
With my hands on my hips I brought my findings back to the Foxy Ladies table and tattled on the boys.
“My Dad used to hate it when the boys would knock over the outhouse,” complained Mae.
“Well boys are just stupid,” commented one sweet lady whose name I won’t print. The other six women at the table nodded in agreement and rolled their eyes.
Mae smiled slyly. “They are good for some things, though,”
I think that kissing is probably one of them.
Tinnie Lattin turned 90 years old last month, and has lived here in Pagosa Springs since she was born. Her brother, sister, mother and she lived in town. Her father, Frank, lived in Chromo during the week and came home on the weekends. He was the teacher in the Chromo School House across the highway from the general store.
Once it rained so hard that the river washed out the bridge to the school. Frank was driving up to the school in his Model T Ford when he spotted his students readying to forge the river. He stopped them, drove around and gave them all a ride so their shoes wouldn’t get muddy. Her father died when she was five years old and it is a joy to Tinnie that people remembered him as a fun-loving man when he was not teaching.
Growing up without her father gave her family “hard times.” She recalled how she and her brother would do odd jobs and yard work for pennies to help feed the family, while her mother worked as a housekeeper. She left school in the 10th grade and earned her GED shortly after.
Of her mother she says, “Mother taught us to learn everything we could so we could make a living. And to love one another, help one another and our friends.”
Tinnie had many jobs throughout her life beginning with working as a telephone operator and a ticket taker at the movie theatre. Her favorite job began when she was elected as the Archuleta County Treasurer. Tinnie loved every aspect of being an elected official, from running her campaign, to serving her people. She remembers the campaign trail fondly, telling tales of knocking on doors, politely asking for votes and being invited in for dinner. Back in 1976, she was chosen as the State of Colorado Treasurer of the Year.
“Sweetheart, I loved every minute of my time there.”
Tinnie’s interests have varied through the years. In her 20s, she loved dancing at the dance hall up the street from the Catholic Church or up at the “Fairfield.” She has enjoyed embroidery, attending club meetings and her church. Her favorite pastime was gardening. She would wake up at 5 a.m. and begin gardening in the dark until it was time to go to work.
She loves her family, who showed up for her 90th birthday party given by her friends. She loves her friends, too, who made her more than three birthday cakes.
In fact, when you ask Tinnie what the most important thing you can do in your life is, she says, “Oh Sweetheart, the most important thing is to love.”
We are having a Halloween/birthday celebration Friday, Oct. 29, at lunch.
You can come dressed in your best costume or just attend as you are. The winner of the costume contest receives a free lunch. John Graves will play spooky music. The party menu is Dead Fish, Maggots, Scum with Fungus, Guts, and Rocks. (Translation: Lemon Baked Fish, Rice Pilaf, Green Beans with Mushrooms, Fruit Salad, and a Roll.) Woo hoo! I know what I am going to be for Halloween, do you?
Thank you, Det. George Barter, for your enthralling presentation on your cold cases. We are a very lucky community to have you looking out for us.
Thank you, Marty Borges, for your beloved stories.
Thank you, San Juan Basin Health, for coming to our place and knocking yourselves out to give us flu shots.
On Friday, Nov. 5, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Archuleta Seniors, Inc. is hosting a Chili and Bean Dinner Fund-raiser in the Senior Center dining room at the Ross Aragon Community Center at 451 Hot Springs Blvd. For $6.50, the dinner includes chili, a drink and a dessert. There will also be a dessert auction.
All proceeds are used to assist low income seniors with medical expenses.
Nov. 15 marks the beginning of the open enrollment period for Medicare for prescription drug programs. We have Medicare counselors available here at the Senior Center by appointment only to assist you with your Medicare needs. We will begin taking appointments Nov. 1 for the open enrollment prescription drug program. Please call Jodi at 264-2167.
Once again the United Way of Southwest Colorado is offering $25 Dining Certificates. They work like this: Purchase a Dining Certificate from our office. Take it to a participating business. The participating business gives $5 to the United Way to fund programs in Pagosa Springs, including ours. Why not eat out and have $5 donated at the same time?
Participating businesses are the Alley House Grille, Bacci Italian Restaurant, Bear Creek Saloon and Grill, Boss Hogg’s Restaurant and Saloon, Buffalo Inn Restaurant and Bar, Cafe Colorado, Chimney Rock Restaurant and Tavern, D.J.’s Italian Grill, Dogwood Cafe, Elkhorn Cafe, Farrago Market Cafe, Higher Grounds Coffee Company, JJ’s Riverwalk Restaurant and Pub, Kip’s Grill and Cantina, Nello’s Bistro, Ole Miner’s Steakhouse, Pablo’s Diner, Pagosa Baking Company, Pagosa Brewing Company, Plaza Grille, Ramon’s Mexican Restaurant, Shang Hai Chinese Restaurant, The Rose Restaurant and Victoria’s Cafe, Saloon and Grill.
These certificates make great holiday gifts! Stop by our office and purchase some. Questions? Call me, Jodi, at 264-2167.
Just for fun, we are having a “Predict the First Inch of Snow” contest. Stop by or call in (264-2167) with your name, phone number and the date of the first official inch of snow fall at the Senior Center. In the case of a tie, the winner will be the first person who called in. What is the prize? A free lunch with us, of course.
Friday, Oct. 29 — Geezers 9 a.m.; Stitchin’ in the Kitchen 10 a.m.; Tai Chi 11 a.m.; Halloween Birthday Celebration; Gym Walk 12:30 p.m.
Monday, Nov. 1 — Gym Walk 12:30 p.m.; Scrabble 1 p.m.
Tuesday, Nov. 2 — Yoga 10 a.m.; Gym Walk 12:30 p.m.; Meditation for Healing 1 p.m.
Wednesday, Nov. 3 — Dance for Health 10 a.m.; Writing for Generations 1 p.m.; Envelope Making with Jodi (sign ups required) 1 p.m.
Thursday, Nov. 4 — No lunch, administrative day.
Friday, Nov. 5 - Geezers 9 a.m.; Stitchin’ in the Kitchen 10 a.m.; Tai Chi 11 a.m.; Gym Walk 12:30 p.m; ASI Chili Fund-raising Dinner 5:30 p.m.–7:30 p.m.
This week’s menu
Suggested donation for older adults age 60-plus is $3, kids 12 and under and guests $6. Our meal program is partially funded through the Older Americans Act, United Way, and Archuleta County, Town of Pagosa Springs and other contributions and grants. These funds help support the cost of the meal which is approximately $9.75. Please note our menu is subject to change. The salad bar opens at 11:30 a.m., with lunch served from noon to 12:30 p.m.
Friday, Oct. 29 — Dead fish, maggots, scum with fungus, guts, and rocks. (Translation: lemon baked fish, rice pilaf, green beans with mushrooms, fruit salad, and a roll.)
Monday, Nov. 1 — Stuffed bell pepper, spinach, corn, sliced apples with raisins, bread.
Tuesday, Nov. 2 — Teriyaki chicken, brown rice, fresh spinach, mandarin salad, tropical fruit, bread.
Wednesday, Nov. 3 — Chicken cacciatore, rotini pasta, Italian veggies, foccacia bread, lemon Jell-O.
Thursday, Nov. 4 — No lunch, administrative day.
Friday, Nov. 5 — Crunchy fish, french fries, corn, pineapple and orange mix bread.