Halloween 1951: Fast times in Rock Rapids, Iowa

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The tale of what really happened on Halloween Eve in 1951 in Rock Rapids, Iowa

By Bruce B. Brugmann

As I was preparing to update my annual Halloween blog, I checked the Guardian politics blog to see what the action looked like for tomorrow night on Halloween Eve.

Two years ago, Mayor Gavin Newsom shut down the Halloween celebration in the Castro, killing off one of San Francisco's most famous party events. But this year, as Melanie Ruiz reports, a local flash mob operator by the name of Amandeep "Deep" Jawa is organizing an unauthorized "Take Back Halloween" party in front of the Ferry building.He has arranged for at least two mobile DJs to spin and more than 300 people have signed up on Facebook.
But he says that he has no permits and the police may shut down the event.

Well, back where I come from in the Halloweens of my youth, we didn't get permits, didn't have authorization, and the police tried and failed to shut us down our events. This was in my hometown of Rock Rapids, a small farming community nestled along the Rock River in northwest Iowa. But we did have some fast times and created some almost famous urban legends on Halloween. I can speak for a generation or two back in the early 1950s when Halloween was the one night of the year when we could raise a little hell and and hope to stay one step ahead of the cops.