My introduction to Hallowe’en here in Albert County was not a pleasant one.
Many of you are old enough to remember the covered bridge that went to Harvey from Riverside-Albert. Yes, it used to be a long covered wooden bridge, but we all call it the Rainbow Bridge since it was rebuilt. We are not really sure why they made such a high arch above the river, but I've heard rumors that the architect who designed the bridge had used metric measurements and the engineer that was in charge of building the bridge misread the blueprints. So instead of centimeters and metres, he was reading it as inches and feet.
I can remember the old bridge because it was the first year we moved here from Ontario, our first Hallowe’en in the community. It started to rain that night and I felt sorry for all the children who were stopping at our store and collecting their candy treats in the rain, piling in and out of their parents’ cars and running in to get their treats. Some said that they had come up through Albert where a bunch of kids were throwing eggs at the cars.
I was thinking to myself that some older kids had come in earlier to buy eggs and I hoped they weren't the ones using those eggs to throw at the cars. After that, we removed the eggs from the fridge every Hallowe’en night. The next carload came in and told us that they were now piling up old tires on the road and setting them on fire just to get the firemen to come out and put out the fires. Later that night, we heard that the covered bridge to Harvey was on fire. That was the worst thing. The people who lived on the other side had to take the long winding road across the marsh at the dam and it took far longer to get back and forth.
Some of the ones who were responsible for setting the fire were caught and they were sent to jail for a while. They hadn't realized how many people in the whole community were upset by that prank or how dangerous it was.
Ever since that night, Hallowe’en has a whole different meaning to me. I am always wary on that night hoping nothing bad happens. I am glad that times have changed and things seem a lot quieter now. Last year, we didn't have a single person come to our door. It was disappointing in a way. We did go down to check out one car that seemed to be stopped in our yard in front of our old store building wondering why they were sitting there for so long. We found out it was a mother and father just waiting for their kids to make their way up the street, going from house to house, and the mum was talking to them on her cell phone as they were making their way up the street. How times have changed I thought. They were keeping track of their kids and knew exactly where they were.
Hallowe’en sure has changed. I hope there was a lesson learned from that terrible night. Maybe the ones that were involved with those bad pranks have grown up and now realize the danger that they had caused. Hallowe’en is supposed to be a fun time for the kids. I really hope that the ones that were involved in the pranks that night realize how dangerous it could have been. Maybe they learned their lesson, some learned the hard way.
Hallowe’en has really got a lot quieter here now and they have a curfew for a reason.