The one trick that my Halloween companions considered as the best suited for a Halloween prank was known as “The Resin Trick.” It was one that Turnip had learned from an “Old Timer,” Turnip had told me about the trick at Church one day. No one in my concentric circle of rowdy friends had even heard of the trick but it generated a great deal of curiosity and genuine interest. I took the initiative to purchase a small chunk of resin at the nearest music store for .75 cents. The only other supplies needed consisted of 100 feet of braided nylon cord and a Ten-Penney nail. Thor (my best friend) supplied the cord and nail. The trick was said to work only on houses that were constructed with weatherboard siding (wood siding that overlaps for weatherproof purposes). Brick houses were not prospective targets nor were houses with asbestos siding. As it turned out, the Principal of our elementary school owned one such house and there was no dog on the premises. It was agreed by the three of us, Chuck, Thor and myself, that Ezra Martin would be the ideal target for the resin trick. We had wanted to bring Turnip in on the prank but Turnip was a perpetual incorrigible who was constantly grounded due to insubordination to his adopted parents.
It was just after dark on the Halloween of 1971 when we attempted the trick (without any rehearsal). Thor tied the nylon cord to the nail then sneaked to the south side of Ezra’s house and wedged it between the weatherboard siding. Chuck and I were crouched in the bushes about 90 feet away. Thor arrived with the loose end of the cord and handed it to me. Since I was the keeper of the resin I got the honors of administering the substance to the cord. I stretched the cord until it was taunt then commenced to rub the stick of resin back and forth on the cord. Nothing happened at first but after 7 or 8 strokes the cord became saturated with resin and we began to hear the devilish music. The friction of the resin on the nylon cord caused a wicked squeak that sounded much like the prying of a rusty nail from an old board. EEEEENNNNKKKK! The more I stroked it the louder it sounded. The back stroke had a different pitch. OOONNNKKK! The sound was said to amplify on the inside of the house. Those on the inside of the house were alerted to the possibility that someone was prying the siding from the house with a crowbar.
When Ezra came out of the house I stopped. Ezra walked all around the outside of the house but the cord was wedged above his head and he walked under it. We choked back our laughter until he was back inside the house. Thor wanted to work the cord so I gave him the resin. The music continued and we were enjoying the thrill of it. Ezra came back out again but this time he held a flashlight. Thor stopped and we crouched down in the bushes as he held the cord taunt. Ezra walked all around the house again but he failed to detect the cord. Suddenly he spoke to us in the darkness.
“All right you idiots, whoever you are, now that you have had your fun you can leave.”
When Ezra went back in Thor retrieved the nail and we scooted on to the next target. I had never seen my companions so giddy with excitement. No other trick had ever given us such delinquent pleasure.