There’s A monster Loose On Main Street

True story . . I was raised in the village of Clarkston, Michigan, population nine hundred residents. A rural setting surrounded by prosperous farms with lush orchards growing cherries, apples and peaches. My children enjoyed their early years here in a near ideal place at an ideal time to raise a family. The 1960’s were an ideal era because today Clarkston Village is surrounded by subdivisions and busy streets. Farms and lush orchards no longer exist.

Two blocks of owner operated businesses were sufficient to serve the needs of the village residents and the surrounding farm families. A post office, one bank, two grocery stores, a hardware and dry goods store, a barber shop, the Clarkston Cafe and Cheeseman’s Ice Cream Parlor with two pool tables in the back.

Morgan’s Auto Repair Garage with two gas pumps on Main Street were across the street from the ice cream parlor and our house was behind Morgan’s Auto.

October brings brilliant colors along with retail displays of costumes and candy. I had an idea that might bring some excitement to this quiet village on Halloween eve. A monster on main street seemed like a fun idea.

Now, my children’s dad is a big guy to begin with at six foot four inches. On a trip into the city (Pontiac, Michigan) I was able to shop a rubber Frankenstein head. At a Salvation Army Store I found the perfect suit coat that a very large man would have worn at an earlier time. It became mine for only four dollars.

Halloween eve, my daughter and son (ages seven and five) could hardly wait for ‘trick or treat’ time. Their mom prepared them with fun costumes and coaching on a trick that might earn a treat. I wished them good luck with a hug. Bag in hand it was time to roam the neighborhoods.

Now, their dad had to put his monster together in a hurry. By stuffing socks into the heels of my hunting boots and placing padding in the shoulders of the outsized coat I became an even bigger man. Finally, with the Frankenstein head in place a seven foot monster was created.

The only alley in town was across the street from our house enabling me to slip across the street and disappear. Anyone who might have had a brief glimpse would not be uncertain of what they saw. Stepping out of the alley one block later placed me near the only stoplight in town. Frankenstein was on Main Street.

It didn’t take long for word to spread . . “There’s a monster loose on Main Street”! Curiosities were bringing parents in from close neighborhoods, with children in hand, to see if what they heard was true. “There he is”!

As if in slow motion, the expressionless giant moved along as parents had to manage their children’s reactions to the monster they recognized from TV. The monster moved from store to store seemingly ignoring the attentions, pausing only to exchange stares with children uncertain of their safety.

Moving along as onlookers gave way, Clarkston’s Freaky Franky crossed the street and disappeared into the salvage yard behind Morgan’s Auto Repair.

I could now remove the rubber head and safely make my way through the salvage lot to our back yard. Entering our back door, I quickly removed and hid all evidence of the evening and settled into my easy chair. Just in time as my excited children barged through the front door, followed by a smiling mom.

I was bombarded with simultaneous, excited explanations of what they saw on Main Street. Their dad’s assurances that there was no such thing as a Frankenstein monster seemed of little influence. It was at a future time when everyone got to share a laugh around the Halloween monster on Main Street.


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