Do any of you remember the days when the Tallapoosa Halloween carnival was in the gym and we had so much fun? Popcorn balls, caramel apples and other autumn treats were scarfed down, and the “haunted house” scared us kids.
The haunted house was actually a dressing room in the ground floor of the gym. It was dark, and it had Billy Wayne Kilgore, Ralph Hughes and Timmy Cole dressed up like ghosts and seeing just how high pitched our screams could get.
The Halloween carnival was an annual event that kids loved. They don’t call them Halloween carnivals much anymore. “Fall Festivals” I think is what they’re called now.
How many of you remember John Moore of years gone by at WSB radio? I got to visit with him last Saturday during the annual Georgia Radio Hall of Fame. John Moore is a graduate of Georgia Tech, and by listening to him in the wee small hours of the morning I learned how to do an interview. One night, he’d talk to Ray Conniff, who’s Christmas albums were quite popular in the 60s and 70s. John Moore is now the owner of a company that develops computer software out in Gwinnett County. The Georgia Radio Hall of Fame is an organization that promotes the legacy and value of radio in the state. If you’d like to know more go to www.grhof.com.
Halloween is Wednesday night, and I am getting ready for it. Halloween was always a big deal for me. I couldn’t believe that I could get candy just by dressing up in a costume and ringing a door bell. I went one year as a fat country boy and had a pillow stuffed in a pair of overalls. I might go as that this year, but I won’t need the pillow this time.
Back in those days, kids lined up to get to a household over on Kiker Street and get a bonanza of treats courtesy of Willie Cook. He gave away candy bars so big you could lay down on them. I remember back then going to some of the older citizens’ houses in town, and they’d put pennies in your bag. Mama explained that it was probably from the era of the Great Depression when a penny would buy something. What CAN you get for a penny these days? Not much. Back then people would put apples in your bag. That stopped when razor blades inside the fruit started harming children.
Did any of you have a Halloween curfew? I had to be home by 8:30 for a 9 p.m. – bed time. We also didn’t have to go to a medical facility and have our Halloween treats x-rayed. What ever happened to that era? Being a parent, I look through my children’s Halloween candy before I allow them to eat any of it. I hope moms and dads will accompany their kids and always have your children carry a flash light and wear a mask that will not hinder seeing vehicles that may be out Wednesday night.
I am told Angry Birds and Sponge Bob are popular costumes for the kids. Do any of you understand the popularity of the Angry Birds video game? The guy who created it is from Finland, where they don’t have much to do in the winter time and he invented a phenomenon that has made him zillions of dollars world wide.
Do any of you remember the first video game you ever played? In 1974, I got a pong game console. I was never good at ping pong, but I was pretty good at the video control of the pong game. Do you remember Atari? When was the first time you played Pac-Man in an arcade? Were you hooked on Centipede or Donkey Kong? Many owners of arcades retired to Florida or Hawaii and have had off-shore bank accounts since about 1983.
Here’s something you might not know: kids considered heavy video game users actually read more then children that don’t play video games at all. Research also says that violent video games have nothing to do with aggression or violent tendencies in children. Mommas and Daddys, don’t shoot me, I’m just the messenger.
The Rhubarb tip of the week is don’t loose your car keys and not have a spare set. Two of Tallapoosa’s finest came out to try to get me into my locked car, but didn’t have the right instrument to open my Kia. I called about every locksmith within a 30 mile radius and finally found Katie Williams from Buchanan. She opened the car in about 20 seconds with the help of some contraption. I lost mine, paid $151.13 to get a new one and then found the ones I lost two days later.
Rhubarb Jones is a Tallapoosa native and a member of the Country Music Disc Jockey Hall of Fame in Nashville and the Georgia Radio Hall of Fame. Comments are welcome at P.O. Box 6, Tallapoosa, GA 30176 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Previous columns can be found at www.tallapoosa-journal.com.