Since I didn’t have enough to do already, I let my buddy Jodey Cale Smith talk me into taking on another duty a couple of months ago. Jodey is a guy that sort of wandered into my life a few years ago and started offereing to help me out, just for the joy of being of service, near as I can tell.
He will never know how much help he has been to me. He does all the things to my website that I could never do and encourages me and holds my feet to the fire when I’d just as soon take to the rocking chair and withdraw. I think I have actually been in Jodey’s physical presence a total of three times. Possibly four.
Bread was broken on each occasion. I know that. At one of our meetings — a couple of months ago — Jodey set a box on the table and informed me that he had brought me a gift. It was a very nice table mount microphone. He informed me that we were going to start a podcast — which is like a little talk radio session that can be accessed on the internet.
Three days later I was sitting at my kitchen table chatting with Jodey over some imposiible kind of technological miracle called Skype. Remember when teenage boys used to fanstasize that their would be a day when you could see the person you were talking to on the phone. That day is here. In the 1960s we were hoping we could make a phone call and catch our friends sisters running through the house in a towel or something. Jodey and I made a pact to keep our clothes on while we are Skyping.
At any rate, it’s really been a pretty cool deal. He calls me on the computer and we talk about whatever happens to be on my mind that week — we usually run about half-an-hour, give or take a rant here or a rave there — and then he someone puts it all on the world wide web. And apparently people listen.
I don’t know how he knows but Jodey, who is really good at this stuff, tells me that we have a couple thousand regular listeners in 30 states and five or six foreign nations. Folks are sitting down in the United Kingdom and Norway listening to me talk about how things used to be in the American South. It’s a great country, isn’t it. Who’d a thunk it?
Now I told you that to tell you this.
Jodey and I had a couple of items on our agenda this week, but one was Halloween, and when I got to waxing nostalgic over how much fun Halloween used to be, when I was a kid growing up in Porterdale, I just talked about that ‘til our time was slap up.
Think about it. When is the last time you saw a group of folks bobbing for apples? We used to do it every year. We’d all be slobbering in the same water and trying to bite the same apples and we were swapping so many germs that it’s a wonder any of us survived childhood. But we did.
How about popcorn balls? I mean the homemade ones. I haven’t had one since my mama died and wouldn’t know where to begin to make a batch myself. I know she used white Karo syrup and a double boiler and put them out on Cutrite wax paper to set. Other than that, it is all a big mystery.
We little linthead children would plan for weeks what we intended to “be” for Halloween. We would look at the store-bought costumes in the Sears-Roebuck catlogue and pretend that we were going to be a fireman or Florence Nightingale or Superman — in the end we were all just hobos and ghosts, because were the easiest costumes to make at the last minute. In a good year we might get a door-face from the dime store in town and get to go out as some non-descript ghost or goblin.
Halloween night was magical. We had the run of the village. There was no such thing as meanness in Porterdale and virtually every child made it to every front door, collecting Tootsie Rolls and bubble gum and little candy bars and suckers. Once in a great while someone would drop an apple in our bag or a couple of unwrapped cookies — but not often.
The only tricks we were allowed to do if someone didn’t fork over a treat was to scatter a handful of acorns on the porch — and if were an old person who might slip on the acorns we knew not to do that.
One year a couple invited each child to come inside and watch their color televison — the first one in town — for five minutes apiece. Try that this week and the sheriff will be paying you a visit.
Now Halloween is more a holiday for adults. I talked on my show about the party I witnessed at the Jacksonville Landing a couple of years ago. Every young woman I saw go through the door was a slutty-something in a short skirt and revealing blouse. There were slutty nurses and slutty teachers and slutty witches and devils and kittens and such.
But that was this week. I don’t know what we’ll be talking about on next week’s Huck-Cast, but if you like reminiscing as much as I do — it will be worth doing whatever it is you have to do to listen.
Darrell Huckaby is a local author. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. For archived columns, go to www.gwinnettdailypost.com/darrellhuckaby.