Crooked River Ranch Roundup

Whatever the consensus about its handle, “Trunk or Treat,” the Crooked River Ranch Publicity Committee’s new Halloween event, the event itself was an indisputable success.

The objective of the Halloween evening event was to provide a safe, convenient venue for Ranch children to participate in the time-honored practice of giving homeowners a choice of coughing up a treat of candy or other ransom in return for the little rascals not playing a trick on them.

The traditional ritual for this is for the kids to sally forth in Halloween costumes with a sack or other container to hold the goodies they receive by knocking on neighbors’ doors and announcing “Trick or treat.”

Webster’s dictionary has this to say about the ritual: “Halloween holiday is observed on Oct. 31, the eve of All Saints' Day. Its pagan origins can be traced to the Celtic festival of Samhain, celebrated in ancient England and Ireland to mark the beginning of the Celtic New Year. The souls of the dead were supposed to revisit their homes on Samhain eve, and witches, goblins, black cats, and ghosts were said to roam abroad. The pagan observances influenced the Christian festival of All Hallows' Eve, celebrated on the same date. The holiday was gradually secularized and was introduced into the U.S. by the late 19th century. Still associated with evil spirits and the supernatural, it is celebrated by children in costume who gather candy by ringing doorbells and calling out 'trick or treat,' 'trick' referring to the pranks and vandalism that are also part of the Halloween tradition."

At Crooked River Ranch, the local fire department for years hosted the community’s children to observe Halloween. That evidently got large enough to interfere with the fire department's mission of protecting the community and they had to curtail their participation, which the Publicity Committee assumed.

“Trunk or Treat” is simply a variation of the Halloween theme. The idea is for Ranchers to decorate their cars for the occasion in Halloween fashion, load their trunks with goodies and treats, drive them to the Ranch clubhouse parking lot, open the trunks and dispense their treats to costumed youngsters who approached them hollering “Trick or treat."

Close to 30 vehicles were on hand with trunks open and upwards of 100 children took advantage of their offerings.

In addition, the Juniper room was set up as a game and entertainment area for the kids to enjoy while they munched the booty they had collected. Adult volunteers were on hand — many in costumes themselves. Nancy Popp was observed hopping around in a bunny costume accompanied by her assistant Debbie Perwonka, and Diane Knox, outfitted in a get-up that defies description, but took some inventiveness to assemble.

It was not apparent who was having more fun — the kids or the adults who were doing what they could to ensure the kids had fun.

On reflection, the Ranch, Oregon’s largest unincorporated subdivision, is managed and governed by one professional administrator, plus a group of amateur, volunteer Club and Maintenance Association directors.

They give it their all on their own time and are mostly successful accomplishing what needs to be done to manage an active community, in its inhabitants’ best interests.

It’s remarkable they do so well, especially since their only compensation is the satisfaction of knowing they gave it their best. And it apparently works, as evidenced by events such as last Thursday's.

Contract Publishing

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